Whats New - Version 5.2.0

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General Remarks
In addition to the improvements listed on this page, version 5.2 of Cutter has been improved with regard to its handling of slim files, refer to Automatic Conversion of Shaders and RSL Functions to Slim Files. The rendering of mi files has also been improved, refer to rendering & shader writing. Compiling mental images shaders under Windows has, however, been complicated by the new version of Visual Studio 8. Cutter is still setup to use .NET 2003. I have, however, included two bat files for VS8. I am unsure if the additional VS8 scripts work properly.
Malcolm Kesson 5/18/07

Python Documentation Lookup
Documentation about modules and builtin functions at docs.python.org can be accessed by option + double clicking on a module or function name.

figure 1

Holding the shift key down while option + double clicking causes Cutter to open a web document in the users preferred browser.

Process Monitor Log File
Previous versions of Cutter provided the ability to write a log file when rendering a RenderMan Rib file. This enabled printf()'s to be saved to file. That facility was controlled within the "Rsl & Slim Options" panel of the Rman Tools palette - figure 2.

The option to write a log file has been moved to the "Options" tab of the Process Monitor palette - figure 3. Any process can now be "logged". However, please note that only a single log file is generated. Therefore, multiple processes "share" the same log file - their output data becomes interleaved within the log file.

One last point. Writing a new log file over-writes an existing log.

figure 3

figure 2

Terminating a Process
A process may be terminated by right mouse clicking (MacOSX control + click) within the text area of the Process Monitor window - figure 4.

figure 4

Transforms Tool
This palette is designed to help those who wish to script Mental Images mi files. Unlike RenderMan, Mental Images scene descriptions do not support the specification of individual (human friendly) transformations such as Translate, Rotate etc. Instead, transformations in mi files can only be specified as a complete, less human friendly, transformation matrix of 16 values.

The transforms tool, figure 5, consists of two panels. The left-hand panel lists the standard transformations - similiar to Maya's channel editor. Values entered into the transformation text fields automatically update the matrix shown in the right-hand panel.

figure 5

Reading Existing Transforms - Mental Images
It is assumed the user has placed their text cursor in a "transform" statement - refer to figure 6. If the matrix values of the transform are preceeded by three lines of comments the tool will be able to read them and assign their values to the transformation text fields of the left-hand panel. The option to "Get From Comments" is available from a popup menu


figure 6

By default the tool is set to output a mi-style matrix. However, de-selecting the Mantal Ray checkbox provides access to the output of matrix values suitable for right-hand (rh) and left-hand (lh) coordinate systems. Checking the math box enables a user to see, at least to some extent, the that trigonometry is applied to the elements of the matrix - figure 7.

figure 7

Text insertion
In the case of an mi file the most convenient way of inserting matrix values is to put the cursor (anywhere) in a transform statement - figure 8. When the Apply button is clicked, Cutter will automatically update the transformation vales specified by the transform statement.

Aternatively, select the values you wish to replace and click the Apply button.

figure 8

Exporting Selection As Html
Selected text may now be "exported" as HTML code - figure 9. This facility will be of assistance to users who have a need to record what they have scripted within Cutter as a web page.

figure 9

Generating a Shadow Pass
Cutters ability to generate a shadow pass rib file for a "shadowspot" shader has been slightly improved. If, for example, transforms are applied to an instance of a shadowspot light ie.

        Rotate 80   0 1 0
        Rotate -45  1 0 0
        LightSource "shadowspot" 1 "intensity" 200.0
                    "shadowname" ["spot1.tx"]
                    "from" [0 0 9]
                    "to"   [0 0 0]

The camera transforms of the shadow pass rib file generated by Cutter will include the additional transformations ie.

    Translate 0 0 9.0
    Rotate 0.0   1 0 0
    Rotate 0.0   0 1 0
    Translate -0.0 -0.0 0.0
        # Begin additional transforms
        Rotate -45  1 0 0
        Rotate 80   0 1 0
        # End additional transforms
    Scale 1 1 -1

© 2002-7 Malcolm Kesson. All rights reserved.