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Blender Artist Docs

Blender Addon - 0.1.5

AYON global tools

Working with AYON in Blender

AYON is here to ease you the burden of working on project with lots of collaborators, worrying about naming, setting stuff, browsing through endless directories, loading and exporting and so on. To achieve that, AYON is using concept of being "data driven". This means that what happens when publishing is influenced by data in scene. This can by slightly confusing so let's get to it with few examples.

Setting scene data

Blender settings concerning framerate, resolution and frame range are handled by AYON. If set correctly in Ftrack, Blender will automatically set the values for you.

Publishing models

Intro

Publishing models in Blender is pretty straightforward. Create your model as you need. You might need to adhere to specifications of your studio that can be different between studios and projects but by default your geometry does not need any other convention.

Model example

Creating instance

Now create Model instance from it to let AYON know what in the scene you want to publish. Go AYON → Create... → Model.

Model create instance

See Variant and Product for more detail on what they are and how they are used in AYON.

Use selection toggle will use whatever you have selected in Outliner to be wrapped in Model instance. This is usually what you want. Click on Create button.

You'll notice then after you've created new Model instance, there is a new collection in Outliner called after your product and variant, in our case it is /assets/props/suzanne_modelMain. The assets selected when creating the Model instance are linked in the new collection.

And that's it, you have your first model ready to publish.

Now save your scene (if you didn't do it already). You will notice that path in Save dialog is already set to place where scenes related to modeling task on your asset should reside. As in our case we are working on product called suzanne and on task modeling, path relative to your project directory will be project_XY/assets/props/suzanne/work/modeling. The default name for the file will be project_XY_product_task_version, so in our case test_suzanne_modeling_v001.blend. Let's save it.

Model create instance

Publishing models

Now let's publish it. Go AYON → Publish.... You will be presented with following window:

Model publish

Note that content of this window can differs by your pipeline configuration. For more detail see Publisher.

Items in left column are instances you will be publishing. You can disable them by clicking on the toggle next to them.

See that in this case we are publishing the Blender model named modelMain and the workfile workfileModeling (its instance is generated automatically for any workfile).

On the right side, you can enable or disable optional validators or extractors for the selected instance.

Lets do dry-run on publishing to see if we pass all validators. Click on the filter icon at the bottom next to the "Publish" button. Validators are run.

Fixing problems

For the sake of demonstration, I intentionally kept the model in Edit Mode, to trigger the validator designed to check just this.

Failed Model Validator

The report tab in the publisher window shows us that we have problem with validator Validate Object Mode.

From there you can see that there is problem with the object Suzanne. Some validators have option to fix problem for you or just select objects that cause trouble. This is the case with our failed validator.

On top you can see a button Select Invalid. This will select offending object in Blender.

Fix is easy. Without closing Publisher window we just turn back the Object Mode. Then we need to reset it to make it notice changes we've made. Click on arrow circle button at the bottom and it will reset the Publisher to initial state. Run validators again (filter icon) to see if everything is ok.

It should OK be now. Click the Publish button when ready.

Publish process will now take its course. Depending on data you are publishing it can take a while. You should end up in the report tab of the publisher window, with a success message and information about published data.

Success Publish

You can now close publisher window. To check for yourself that model is published, open Asset Loader - AYON → Load.... There you should see your model, named modelDefault.

Loading models

You can load model with Loader. Go AYON → Load..., select your rig, right click on it and click Link model (blend).

Creating Rigs

Creating and publishing rigs with AYON follows similar workflow as with other data types. Create your rig and mark parts of your hierarchy in sets to help AYON validators and extractors to check it and publish it.

Preparing rig for publish

When creating rigs in Blender, it is important to keep a specific structure for the bones and the geometry. Let's first create a model and its rig. For demonstration, I'll create a simple model for a robotic arm made of simple boxes.

Blender - Simple model for rigging

I have now created the armature RIG_RobotArm. While the naming is not important, you can just adhere to your naming conventions, the hierarchy is. Once the models are skinned to the armature, the geometry must be organized in a separate Collection. In this case, I have the armature in the main Collection, and the geometry in the Geometry Collection.

Blender - Rig Hierarchy Example

When you've prepared your hierarchy, it's time to create Rig instance in AYON. Select your whole rig hierarchy and go AYON → Create.... Select Rig.

A new collection named after the selected Product and Variant should have been created. In our case, it is character1_rigDefault. All the selected armature and models have been linked in this new collection. You should end up with something like this:

Blender - Rig Hierarchy Example

Publishing rigs

Publishing rig is done in same way as publishing everything else. Save your scene and go AYON → Publish. For more detail see Publisher.

Loading rigs

You can load rig with Loader. Go AYON → Load..., select your rig, right click on it and click Link rig (blend).

Layouts in Blender

A layout is a set of elements that populate a scene. AYON allows to version and manage those sets.

Publishing a layout

Working with Layout is easy. Just load your assets into scene with Loader (AYON → Load...). Populate your scene as you wish, translate each piece to fit your need. When ready, select all imported stuff and go AYON → Create... and select Layout. When selecting rigs, you need to select only the armature, the geometry will automatically be included. This will create set containing your selection and marking it for publishing.

Now you can publish is with AYON → Publish.

Loading layouts

You can load a Layout using Loader (AYON → Load...). Select your layout, right click on it and select Link Layout (blend). This will populate your scene with all those models you've put into layout.