Slim 3.0 Release Notes

New Features
Bug Fixes

New Features
  • Irma Support: Slim conspires with MTOR to provide support for Irma re-rendering.

  • Checkpointing: Slim now provides powerful checkpointing functionality which you can use to preserve previous palettes for posterity. Checkpointing is automatic, but can also be configured (or turned off), for whatever suits your workflow best.  

  • New Templates:

    • IBI -- Image Based Illumination: a new shadingmodel template called IBI (for Image Based Illumination) has been added. This template allows you to use environment maps to specify lighting conditions in your scene.

    • Layer Optimo: a new surface template trades off the generality of the Layer shadingmodel template in favor of performance.

    • User Attributes: provides access to attributes specified via the RIB stream.

  • Custom Command UI: You can now add your own tcl procedures to the new Commands menus associated with the AppearanceEditor and PaletteEditor window. Commands can either be straight tcl procedure calls or can create a custom graphical user interface for interacting with the user. The ::Slim::SearchReplace and ::Slim::GenerateReport procedures are now available within the PaletteEditor Commands menu.

  • Internalize Palette: External palettes can now be internalized, using Slim's nifty new "Import" command.

  • Pick Objects (Computed) and Display Selected (Computed): Added ability to pick MTOR objects associated with the current appearance by adaptation. That is, Adaptors are evaluated within the current context to determine the Maya-side selection. To select objects that are directly associated with an appearance, use Pick Objects (Literal). The new feature is called Pick Object (Computed).

  • Generate Parameter: Template developers can now more precisely control Slim's code generation by selectively generating sub-graphs of the entire call graph. 

  • Slim now embeds preprocessor definitions in generated shaders. This allows template designers to write templates that know more about their context. The new definitions are SLIM_VERSION, SLIM_INSTANCETYPE, SLIM_INSTANCENAME, and SLIM_SHADERTYPE.
  • Slim now considers searchpaths in conjunction with the shader master to determine the shader's destination
  • Added new scripting commands to control Slim's code generation timing.
  • You can now upgrade a function to a new template version. In the Slim Appearance Editor this functionality resides in the File Menu next to Reload. You can script this functionality via new methods of the function object: UpgradeTemplate and IsDownRev.
  • Added new preference, RichCollectionGUI, that controls whether to present hierarchical controls over appearance networks within the Appearance Editor window.
  • Palette descriptions are now stored in Slim palette files
  • File extensions known to the standard file picker can now specified in RAT.ini.
  • You can now develop Slim templates that have attachment semantics. Prior to this release, only shadingmodel templates could be attached to Maya objects.  Now a new Slim preference SlimAttachableMap can be ammended to add new attachable types.
  • Slim is more verbose when palette conflicts are encountered.
  • Texture templates now provide control over texture filter.
  • A new method of the appearance class (apph Edit) allows Slim scripts to invoke an appearance editor
  • Slim scripts can now invoke Slim's file picker via: ::RAT::PickFile.
  • You can now specify output texture type using txmake in mapped parameters.  You choose between two forms: -byte/-short/-float or -type byte|short|float to choose the representation within the Pixar texture file.

Bug Fixes
  • The Palette Editor's "Appearance->Uniqueify All" command, as before, assigns a new paletteID and appearanceIDs to all appearances in the palette. In addition it now assigns new names to the appearances. And a bug which would cause some attachments to be lost has been fixed.
  • Flattening appearance networks connected to ensembles works now.
  • Pick Objects Computed now works for appearances attached to ensembles.
  • Reloading instances after modifying the master reference works
  • Defeated Slim's overzealous generation of shaders. All generated shaders were mistakenly marked "dirty" each time a palette was opened. The opposite problem - that of not regenerating shaders during deferred RIB generation has also been fixed.
  • :RAT::PackageColor didn't support variable arguments for callbacks associated with customui extensions. The InlineColor demo now works.
  • Appearance duplication via Slim scripting now works.
  • Checking connection status within Dynamic Functions now works.
  • Missing palette references are no longer automatically deleted.
  • CreateInstance invoked within a TCL proc now works.
  • Flattening appearances containing work generators no longer eliminates the work request.



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