Whats New - Version 5.3.0

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RenderMan ReverseOrientation

Rib files generated by Cutter no longer use "ReverseOrientation". The Rman Tools->Polygons popup now writes polygonal vertex data in right-hand order.

RenderMan - Shadows

Added the ability to generate a shadow pass for the light source shader "mtorSpotLight". Modified ShadowParser to correctly generate a shadow pass in situations where transforms preceed the declaration of a light source shader, for example,

        Rotate -30   1 0 0
        Rotate -30   0 0 1
        LightSource "shadowspot" 3
                "intensity" 100.0
                "from" [0 7 0]
                "to"   [0  0 0]
                "shadowname" ["spot3.tex"]

Cutter will add additional transforms to the shadow pass camera.

RSL -back Flag

Shaders compiled with RenderManProServer 13.5 are only compatible with RendMan Studio 1.0 if the -back flag is used. Cutter's Rman Tools->Options tab now enables this flag to be added.

RenderMan FrameBegin/FrameEnd Blocks

Animations saved as rib files for rendering with a RenderMan complient renderer are usually in the form of sequentially numbered files. However, the RenderMan standard does allow mulitple frames to be written into a single rib file. The data for each frame is contained in a FrameBegin / FrameEnd block. An individual frame of a multi-frame rib file can now be rendered by placing the text cursor within the frame and pressing the right mouse button or control+e or by hitting the enter key on the numeric keypad. The last item will provide an option to render an individual frame.

RenderMan Palette Window

Another menu item "ReadArchive" has been added to the Rman Tools palette. The sub-menu's of this item allow fast access to the pre-baked ribs stored in Cutter_Help/templates/Rib directory. The pre-baked ribs themselves such as nSphere.rib have now been exported from RenderMan Studio. They are quite different to the original bakes that had previously been baked from RenderMan Artist Tools. In particular, on a nurbs cylinder the 's' and 't' texture axes have been swapped. I am not sure if this is a bug with RMS.

GUI - Tab View

Added some cosmetic changes to the Tab View Tool. Windows on the Cutter desktop may be displayed in what I call tab format. Tabbing is activated by,


GUI - Palette Windows

Palette windows callapse when their title bar is double clicked.

GUI - Internal Browser "find"

The internal browser window now has a "find" field somewhat like firefox. Once a word has been "found", hitting the enter key will trigger "find next". Previous entries made in the find field can be displayed by right mouse (windows and linux) or option + mouse clicking in the field.

GUI - Window Focus

Text windows that lose focus now have their selected text hilited in gray. The selection and the defocused selection colors can be set in

    Preferences->UI Prefs->General->Documents->Text

Activation of text windows now occurs with two mouse clicks. The first click restores the windows focus - selected text changes color to yellow (or what ever the user has chosen in Preferences). The second click activates the cursor. Previous versions of Cutter "lost" the hiliting of selected text when a window regained focus.

GUI - Drag & Drop

Dragging and dropping a directory onto Cutter's desktop now results in a new document being opened containing a full recursive listing of the files contained within the directory.

Slim - RenderMan Studio

Slim appearance files for use with RenderMan Studio are now quite different to those intended for RenderMan Artist Tools. To cater for both "types" a new prefs item has been added to,

    Preferences->Rman->User->Slim Appearances/Templates

Cutter is still capable of automatically converting the source code of a shader or a custom rsl function to a Slim template. The steps to do this are,

    1  hilite the shader or function code,
    2  go to Rman Tools->Shaders->Export as a Slim Template
    3  save the slim doc in your preferred directory.

If a port has been opened in Maya, for example,

    commandPort -n ":2222"

Cutter will be able to "load" the template into Slim when the template is "executed" (alt+e or control+e or apple+e). The scripts it uses to do the "loading" are in,

Slim - Rat Only

Modified Cutter_Help/slim_headers/appearances/surface_header.txt to include,

    attribute float dice:hair {
        description { setting to ON generally improves performance }
        label { Hair/Fur dicing }
        detail varying
        default 1
        subtype switch

Corrected a bug in the way that template slims are generated from a rsl document. Added extra rib attributes to appearance slim docs - see the "Expert" collection in a slim editor window after a shader has been "Imported" into slim.

If the RSL function bake3d() has been used in the body of a shader Cutter appends a Ptc_Bake collection to the end of the Attributes in the shaders appearance slim file. This is to ensure an artist has a better chance of setting the folowing attributes BEFORE baking a point cloud,


If the shader does not use bake3d() these items are still written into the slim file but are somewhat "buried" inside the "Expert" collection.

Slim appearance files that are automatically generated by Cutter now have, for surface shaders, two additional items. The first item is a collection named Ptc_Baking. This collection contains three attributes that are useful when baking poinclouds,


The second item is an attribute named grouping:membership. This is useful when setting up RenderMan trace sets.

Maya 8.5 Html Documentation

Maya8.5 no longer uses a port to distribute a web page to a browser. If you are using Maya8.5 go to,

    Preferences Tool->Languages->Mel

and change the path to the "Commands". The appropriate paths are shown below.

        C:/Program Files/Autodesk/maya8.5/docs/Maya8.5/en_US/Commands

© 2002- Malcolm Kesson. All rights reserved.