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The preferences window for Slim can be opened from the Windows menu. Preferences allow the user to control many different aspects of Slim, from tweaking render previewing to unlocking advanced features for expert users.


Raise Slim (RenderMan Artist Tools only)

When reading a scene file with Slim palettes, raise Slim.

Gain, Gamma

Gain and gamma settings for colors renders and textures.

Instance Structure

Controls the presentation of parameters in instances. By default, these parameters are arranged in a "Hierarchical" fashion that approximates the structure of the palette. "Grouped" presents a simpler arrangement, with just one level of nesting, and "Flat" lists all parameters with no nesting at all. The last option is recommended when using Slim with RenderMan for Maya.

Expert Menus

Controls whether to display extra menus tailored for extension developers and experts.


These settings allow you to configure the appearance of preview (or swatch) renders. These settings are spread across these sections:



To use Slim's internal prman renderer, set this to internal. To plug in your own renderer, place your rendering command here. You can use %f and %i, which will be replaced by the RIB filename and the Slim internal image name (respectively), e.g.:

prman %f

Processors Used

Number of processors to use for preview renders. All instructs Slim to use all of your computer's processors.

Shading Rate

Default Shading Rate for preview renders

Custom Display

Use this option if you'd like to send the render to a display other than Slim. This option is disabled when using Slim's internal renderer.


Object Size
Default size of the object rendered in previews
Object Shape
Default shape of the preview object
Use this to select a custom RIB archive that will be used for the preview object. This option is disabled when using Slim's internal renderer.


Simple Lights
This toggles the use of the three simple lights defined below.
Key Light
The color and intensity of the key light for preview renderings. The key light is located behind, above, and to the right of the camera.
Fill Light
The color and intensity of the fill light for preview renderings. The fill light is located behind, below, and to the left of the camera.
Ambient Light
The color and intensity of the ambient light for preview renderings.
Use this to define a custom RIB archive that will be used for lights. This option is disabled when using Slim's internal renderer.


Environment Light
Toggles the use of an environment map-based light in preview renders. This environment performs an inexpensive approximation of diffuse and specular light for the purposes of previewing your shader.
Environment Map
Texture to use for the environment light in preview renders
Strength of the diffuse component of the environment map
Diffuse Blur
Amount to blur the environment map for diffuse approximation
Strength of the specular component of the environment map


Up Axis
Up Axis for preview renders
Background Texture
Texture to use for background plate in preview renders
Surrounding Sphere
Toggles the presence of a sphere that surrounds the scene. This may be useful when ray-tracing.
Sphere Texture
Texture map used on the surrounding sphere
Show Frame Control

Show the Frame setting when displaying render settings. This can be useful when testing animated shaders.


These settings apply to the rendering of textures only.

The resolution, in pixels, of the rendered image. Textures are always rendered square.
The renderer to employ to render the textures. The line above causes Alfred to distribute the rendering to up to six processors. Slim substitutes %f with the name of a RIB file in the expression. Another common choice would be render %f.


These settings apply to the rendering of flipbooks only.

The resolution of each frame in the flipbook, in pixels. Flipbook frames are always square.
The number of frames in a flipbook.
Sequence Range
The first and last frames of your sequence. These are used by the scripting subsystem to calculate the $pct variable. Specifically:
$pct = ($f - $firstframe) / ($lastframe - $firstframe).
The renderer to use for flipbook rendering. Choices are: internal, render and netrender.


Save Icons
Which appearances should retain their icons when saved. Icons are useful for identifying shaders, but will make palette files larger.
Saved Resolution
Resolution for saved icons. Saving at the lower resolution will keep palette files smaller.
Full Paths
Controls whether to automatically truncate files selected via the file picker to relative pathnames. The current workspace's searchpaths are used to peform the truncation.
Master Directory
Controls whether the directory for an appearance's master is dereferenced upon creation. This can add stability at the cost of flexibility.
Checkpoint Queue Size
Sets a number of checkpoints for versioning any given palette. With the default setting of 0, no checkpoints will be kept. Higher settings will save a checkpointed versions of the palette to disk when a palette is saved, to the maximum setting provided by this preference. The palette checkpoints will conform to a numerated *.bk naming convention. Palettes may be reverted via Slim's Revert command.
Shader Compiler
The command to execute compile shaders. Note that %f will be replaced with the shader source filename and that %I will be replaced with the standard Slim include directory. The default compiler command, then, is:
shader -I%I %f
Secondary Compiler Command to execute as a secondary shader compiler. secondary compiler may be useful when developing shaders for use in hybrid rendering schemes. As with the primary compiler, %f will be replaced with the shader source filename and %I will be replaced with the standard Slim include directory.

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