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The Slim Window

The majority of your operations you perform in Slim will be within one window:

This window is divided into three main sections:

  1. The Palette View
  2. The Network View
  3. The Appearance View

These views all work together to provide increasing levels of detail: The Palette View displays all of your active palettes and their contents. The Network View displays how appearances in those palettes combine to form shaders. The Appearance View displays parameters and a preview for a specific appearance within a network.

These views are window panes, and their relative size can be changed by dragging the mullions (or "sashes") between them. The entire window itself can be resized as well.


Slim can be invoked in different modes. Some of the menu items described below are not always visible, depending on whether Slim is invoked in client or standalone mode, and depending on whether Slim is being used as a piece of RenderMan Artist Tools (RAT) or RenderMan Studio (RMS).

File Menu

The File menu contains functions related to reading and writing files.

New Palette
Create a new palette file and set it as the current palette
Open Palette
Open an existing palette file and set it as the current palette
Save Session (RMS only)
Save the current session file
Save Palette
Save the current palette file
Save Palette As...
Save the current palette to a new filename
Revert Palette...
Revert the current palette to a previously-saved version
Remove Palette (when working with a session / scene file)
Remove the current palette from the existing session / scene file
Import Appearance...
Import an appearance or shader from a file
Export Appearance...
Export an appearance to a file
Reload the template or shader for the current appearance
Upgrade Template
Upgrade the template for the current appearance. This might be necessary if you have loaded a palette with templates from a previous version of Slim.
Quit (Only when used with RfM or in standalone mode)
Quit Slim

Edit Menu

The Edit menu contains commands related to editing:

Undo the last action performed
Redo the last action undone
Select All
Select all appearances in the current palette
Delete the selected appearance(s)
Revert Values
Revert all of the parameter values for the selected appearance to their defaults
Preserve Values
Freeze all of the current parameter values for the selected appearance. This will protect those values from any changes to the values in the appearance's source.

Palette Menu

The Palette menu provides commands that operate on the current palette.

Create Subpalette
Create a new subpalette in the current palette. You can drag/drop appearances and other subpalettes into and out of this subpalette.
Create Smart Palette
Create a new smart palette within the current palette. This will open the Smart Palette Editor, enabling you to select the criteria for your new smart palette.
Edit Library Palette
Edit the contents of a selected Library Palette.
Close Package
Close the current package.
Saved Icon Settings
Change the settings for saving icons in the current palette: The first set of radio buttons controls which appearances within the palette will have their icons saved. The second set controls the resolution of those icons. Saving icons within a palette increases its file size, which can affect the speed at which the palette is loaded.
Uniqueify All
Reassign the unique identifiers for all nodes within the palette. This is necessary after copying a palette file to make sure its identifiers do not conflict with those in the original.
Delete Unused (only when used with MTOR)
Delete any appearances that aren't in use by MTOR.
Delete Disconnected
Delete any non-attachable appearances that aren't connected to any attachable appearances.

Appearance Menu

The Edit menu contains commands related to editing:

Attach (MTOR only)
Attach the selected appearance to the object picked in Maya
Detach (MTOR only)
Detach the selected appearance from the object picked in Maya
Pick Objects (MTOR only)
Pick the objects in Maya that have the selected appearance attached
Pick Objects (Calculated) (MTOR only)
Pick the objects in Maya that have the selected appearance attached in the current adaptor context
Add to Scene (RfM only)
Add the selected shader to the current scene
Render Icon
Render the preview swatch for the selected appearance
Render Flipbook
Render a flipbook for the current appearance
This provides a set of commands allowing you to select instances, upstream or downstream appearances for the selected appearance.
Duplicate the selected appearance.
Duplicate Network
Duplicate the selected appearance and all upstream appearances.
Create Instance
Create an Instance of the selected appearance.
Create Shader Instance
Create a Shader Instance of the selected appearance.
Enclose the selected appearances in a Package.
Extract the contents of the selected package and delete it.
Show Package Contents
Show the contents of the selected package.
Edit Package Parameters
Edit the Parameter interface for the selected package.
Edit Master
This provides a pair of commands that allow you to globalize (give an absolute path to) or localize (give a relative path to) the shader generated by the selected appearance.

Commands Menu

The Commands menu lists a set of procedures that can be customized and configured. Information on creating these commands is available in the Scripting documentation.

By default, a few commands are available for the current palette:

Recompile All
Recompile all of the shaders in the current palette.
Generate a verbose report providing copious amounts of data. This report enumerates external resources and reports warnings. The report is printed to the Slim Message Logger.
GenerateReport (Short)
Generate a short version of the above report enumerating warnings. The report is printed to the Slim Message Logger.
String Search & Replace
A general search and replace command. The procedure used by this command is also accessible from the scripting environment using the ::Slim::SearchReplace procedure.
Instance All
Instantiate each of the current templates. This can be useful procedure for testing your set of templates.

View Menu

The View menu controls visibility of various elements in Slim.

Toggle Palette View
Toggle the Palette View between Browse and Create mode.
Show Network View
Toggle the visibility of the Network View.
Maximize Network View
Maximize the Network View by temporarily hiding the Palette View.
Two-Column View
Arrange the Slim Window in a Two-Column View.
Three-Column View
Arrange the Slim Window in a Three-Column View (the default).
Show Appearance Notes
Toggle the visibility of notes within the Appearance View.
Show Appearance Tags
Toggle the visibility of tags within the Appearance View.
SL Source (Only with Expert Menus enabled)
Display the shading language source for the selected appearance in a text editor.
Slim Source (Only with Expert Menus enabled)
Open the Slim source for the selected appearance in a text editor. This is how the appearance will be written into the palette file. Any changes made and saved in the text editor will be incorporated back into the appearance after you close the editor.

Window Menu

The Window menu gives you access to all of the other windows of Slim.

Workspace Editor (RAT only)
Open the Workspace Editor
Message Log
Open the Message Log
Open the Slim Scripting console
Open the Preferences editor
What follows is a list of windows for any appearances that are being edited in a separate window (if any).

Help Menu

The Help menu contains an About Slim command that displays build and version information as well as links to this documentation and the RenderMan forums.

Because this menu can be customized, you may find additional links to documentation specific to your studio.

Two-Column View

With the Network View visible, the Palette View and Network View can also be arranged in a "Two-Column" View. Depending on your palette, networks, and monitor, you may find this arrangement a better use of space. It can be selected from the View Menu.

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