MAYA connector - Tracking assets - versioning of referenced file

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Joined: September 9th, 2015, 9:06 am

MAYA connector - Tracking assets - versioning of referenced file

Post by Mariusz »

Hi, I've tried to figure out how to use referencing feature in NIM for Maya.
NIM connector have only reference option and its works.
In one assets scene I can reference few other but that if I have new versions of some referenced files?
How to update automatically to the latest version?

1. I would like to create HQ model of "JET" so I made asset could "JET".
Modeling process need to be divide to few artist because I need speed up the process.
At this stage I have first question:
Should I create for all parts of jet new asset folder in this project or there is any method
to make some "sub-assets" and divide this to few artists.
( ex. "JET_engine" assign to artist "M", "Jet wheels"assign to some artist "T", etc.. ) ?
How to manage this stage?
There is any way to make sub-assets ?

2. Now I get all first version of parts for "JET" from artists and
I would like to put everything in one asset scene
( "JET_cockpit_v001" + "JET_engine_v001" + "JET_wheels_v001" ....... = to one Full "JET_model_v001" asset maya scene )
So I use NIM>reference to collect all assets to one asset scene.
Then I can simple reference with the same tool to use this to my shot scene.

3. But what if I have new version of asset for ex. "JET_cockpit_v002" ?
How I can first update my big asset scene "JET_model_v001" with new version of element "JET_cockpit_v002" ?
After that how I can automatically update and version up this in my shot scene?

Manually updating and version up this its nightmare in terms of wasted work hours
and we need some tool to do this in NIM. The tool should remove old version of referenced model and switch this to latest version.
You know what I mean?
Please help me with that big workflow question.


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Re: MAYA connector - Tracking assets - versioning of referenced file

Post by andrew »

Hi Mariusz,

Our NIM publishing handles the updating of versions throughout the version stream using symbolic linking to maintain up to date files.

Using your example you have an asset called JET. To make sub-assets you can either use unique basenames within the asset (ex. JET_model_engine, JET_model_wheels ) and contain all these under JET or create separate assets called JET_Engine, JET_Wheels, and then reference in their asset master into JET. Asset masters are the versionless hero for the asset, which essential creates a JET.mb file.

Within each basename you have a series of versions. Anyone of these versions can be published through the NIM web interface or directly through the connector. In either case the result is a versionless maya file pointing to the published version, however they work slightly differently. Selecting a file to publish from within the NIM web UI will create a link to that specific file. (ex selecting JET_rig_wheels_v04.mb --> JET_rig_wheels.mb). When publishing from within the Maya connector, Maya will write out two files... JET_rig_wheels_v04.mb and JET_rig_wheels_v04_PUB.mb, and the link will be pointing to JET_rig_wheels_v04_PUB.mb. This removes the published file from the version stream so it can not be opened directly and changed without deliberate intention.

Once we have a published basename we can choose one of these to be set as the Asset Master Reference. Select your asset and at the top you will see a dropdown saying Set Asset Master Reference. This will list all published basenames. Select one of these to set the desired link. (ex JET_rig_wheels.mb --> JET.mb ) The artist who would need the always updated published assets would reference in the Asset Master as chosen from the Filter menu. The options here are work (the full working version stream), publish ( the published versions), asset master ( the versionless master file ). When choosing the asset master there is no task, basename or version to select as there will only be one file for any given asset.

The full tree might look something like this... Starting from the Asset Master down
AssetMaster---->Publish--------->Working Version
JET.mb ---> JET_rig.mb---->JET_rig_v08.mb.....Referenced Publish --------> Working Versions

You can see how this can scale out quickly as well as always trickle through the latest version. If an artist updates JET_model_engine and publishes version 06.. JET_model_engine.mb will now be pointing to JET_model_engine_v06.mb and it will trickle upstream as needed all the way to JET.mb

I know this can be a little tricky to diagram on paper. We're looking to do a video tutorial of this process soon. In the meantime let me know if this is clear or if you would like further explanation.


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