Whats New - Version 5.4.0

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Pixar's Devkit API's

Cutter can now help developers handle 'C/C++' source code files that implement plugins and stand-alone executables based on Pixar's devkit api's. Cutter maintains its own Makefiles (MacOSX and Linux) and Visual Studio 8 bat files (Windows). It also applies a modified form of 'C/C++' syntax coloration to devkit source code. Finally, Cutter can display the appropriate Pixar devkit html document when the user double clicks on text in a source code file. For more details refer to,
    Cutter & Pixar's Devkit

RMS .rman Documents

A considerable number of features have been added to Cutter. Refer to the tutorial "Cutter & Ri Mel Scripting"

Houdini 9 - Rsl & Otl's

Release 9 of Houdini introduced the use of a python script named "slo2otl.py" to add/create shader information for a a Houdini OTL file. Prior versions of Houdini used an executable named "rmands". If a user has chosen to add compiled versions of their RenderMan shaders to an OTL, refer to Houdini OTL, Cutter will use either the python script or the executable depending on the path specified in preferences ie.
    Languages->Vfl->Houdini bin

Rendering RMS Rib Files

Generating single or multiple ribs with Pixar's RenderMan for Maya Pro (RfM Pro) is done with the mel command,
    rman genrib;

RfM Pro rib files opened in Cutter can be rendered (alt+e or control+e) even though paths within a RfM rib file are specified relative to the maya project directory in which they were generated. Cutter detects if the user is processing a RfM Pro rib file by examining its path. This facility depends on RfM Pro's RMSTREE environment variable being set correctly.

RMS Favorite Directories

For users who have Maya and RenderMan Studio installed, Cutter looks within their maya/projects directory in order to make a list of subdirecties beginning with the prefix,

Such directories are automatically added to the list of "favorites" in Cutter's Open File dialog window. The suggested use of directories whose names begin with the "RMS_" prefix is outlined in the tutorial RMS: Directories & Scripts

Compiling Class-Based Shaders

This version of Cutter is able to use Pixar's "shader" compiler to compile class-based (shader object) source code. The tutorial, RSL: Introduction to Class-Based Shaders is an introduction to the object oriented programming extensions added by Pixar to the RenderMan Shading Language.

The Rman Tool->Shaders menu adds compiled shader objects to its sub-menus based on the public methods implemented by a class-based shader. In the case of co-shaders they are added to a new sub-menu item labeled "Co-shader". If a co-shader is chosen from the sub-menu the appropriate rib statement is pasted into the active rib document.

Unlike the way that other shaders are handled by Cutter, a comment that lists the public methods implemented by the co-shader is also added to a rib file. For example,

# Public methods: foo() boo() choo()
Shader "myCoShader" "local_name"

When compiling a class-based shader that incorporates meta data, Cutter automatically adds the -C flag to the compiler options when it invokes Pixar's "shader" compiler. This will enable a compiled shader to be querried by sloinfo ie.

    sloinfo --meta myCoShader

However, Cutter does not make any use of a shaders meta data. If you have a suggestion of how Cutter might use meta data please let me know.

Shader Templates

The Rman Tools->Docs menu has been reorganized so that shader source files are organized into two groups, "Traditional" and "Class Based".

Compiling Mental Ray Shaders

Cutter can build a mental ray shader (DLL) on Windows if the user has Visual Studio 8 (or VC Express) installed on their computer. The template batch file that is used by Cutter is based on the detailed information provided by Bart Gawboy of the LA Mental Ray Users Group. His notes are available at,
    Compiling on Windows with MS VC Express 2008 and mr 3.6+

Cutter build mental images shaders written in the 'C' programming language on all three platforms. For more information about Cutter and mental images technology refer to,
    Cutter: Integration with mental ray

Keyframing Bug

A bug in Cutter's Keyframing facility that caused relative paths to be mishandled has been fixed.

Shadow Pass Bug

A bug that caused a shadow to be generated in the wrong direction for a shadowspot with the following parameters,
    "from" [0 0 -1] "to" [0 0 0]
has been fixed.

Python & Tabs

Prior to saving a python script Cutter checks if a python document has sequences of four spaces within its text. Python scripts copied from a web page will not have "tabbed" indentations and as such will cause the python interpreter to raise "indentation" errors. A dialog window will ask if the user wishes to replace all runs of four spaces with tabs. The dialog will, however, only appear once per document per session.

© 2002- Malcolm Kesson. All rights reserved.