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Please sort out the component system

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#21 Spacer


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Posted 20 February 2018 - 11:10 AM

I am trying Des's recommendations, but still very buggy. I am perhaps not as thorough as he is, though.


What kills me is how multiple materials appear with new components. I have hundreds of materials, many are duplicates...purge does nothing. A lot of other weird behavior not worth describing , or already has been....


I don't see how can anyone possible do serious (interior renderings, especially) work without a rock solid component system.


If there was ever a poll about which fix is everyone's priority, I'd bet this would win...is Support being silent onthis? Is there any news about an upcoming fix?


Incomponently yours..



#22 Des


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Posted 20 February 2018 - 03:56 PM

Hi Peter,

I agree that the components need to be a lot better, but I'm using them in all of my projects because I have no choice.

It's kind of like learning the "personality" even if it's a bit screwy. The more you use them the better they behave once you get to know them.

Maybe I've been lucky most of the time but I have had issues as well.


I've attached two snapshots of project information of a couple of projects I'm working on, one is an interior (542 components) and the other an exterior (1521 components).

So it's more than possible to work with them, even if they have weird moods..




Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 20.45.17.jpeg  Screen Shot 2018-02-20 at 20.47.41.jpeg


PS. I also use maxwell MXS references as well, I find them to be fantastic for certain large detailed objects which I won't be changing.

They help to keep the file manageable without bogging it down.

Edited by Des, 20 February 2018 - 04:00 PM.

#23 Spacer


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Posted 20 February 2018 - 04:59 PM

Hi Des,


Ok, for instance I had a component with one MXM which 'mis-fired' -with hundreds of materials, all the log says is the name of the material which could not be found. So how to find where in all these components the poorly referenced MXM lives?


There seems to be no tool for this. Perhaps I should see if Pylon could add to the Maxwell error log the identity of the culprit object as well - and that whether it is a component or not..


I recently renamed some folders containing my textures and MXM's, and most of the Materials in my components have been edited to find the correct texture folders, but a few escaped. I cannot say it component's fault, but I wish it were easier to fix these problems in a huge complex file.


Then I get this issue where allof a sudden component libraries appear in the Component Manager list- they have the name of one of the objects in that library, and actually contain a set of objects... this cannot be good. SO I Trashed them with the option "Remove reference to library", except in my zeal I got rid of one I should not have.  Now that component model is lost forever (be great if 'trashed ' components went into a bin like the trash in Windows, so that one could recover them...)


I don't know what MXS references are.. another item on my list.


Anyway thanks for all info.







#24 Des


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Posted 20 February 2018 - 05:39 PM

My file structure is fairly simple and I usually keep my referenced MXM materials in it's own folder (Inside the project folder). So each project has its materials at easy reach for me to find them.


For example


"Project Folder" >

---------------------"Project File" (FormZ file)

---------------------"Project Materials Folder" (contains the mxm's and their textures folder)

---------------------"Project Components Folder" (contains the component fmz files with their materials referenced to the above). I sometimes have separate folders for different component types.

---------------------"Project MXS Folder" (contains Maxwell MXS files and their own MXM materials, I like to keep them together for future use. I can just copy the whole folder into another project folder)



Using this system creates multiple copies of materials etc. on my computer, but at least everything to do with the current project is together.

I open an existing mxm, pack and go to another location, open the new one, re-assign the textures and reference the mxm to a FormZ material.

It's not as long winded as it seems and it allows me to copy a whole project onto my laptop for example with the knowledge that I have everything I need.


Be really careful re-naming folders etc., especially higher up in the folder hierarchy.


I'd be interested in other peoples file systems. I know some use a central location for everything, but that doesn't suit me at this time.






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#25 FZnoob


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 09:51 AM

So as I have previously stated I NEVER use components.

However, I was recently asked to revise a rendering for someone on vacation.

As soon as I opened the file I saw it was full of components.

Problems began almost immediately.


I selected a group of components and attempted to move them.

The program crashed. 

When I reopened the file something strange happened, and they became transparent even in shaded work mode.

Furthermore, when I attempted to copy the group to a new document, I could not.

I could delete them but not copy them. 

Then if I try to render it I get an error message.

Fortunately I was able to go back to a previous version and get the component from there.





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#26 Spacer


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Posted 21 February 2018 - 10:44 AM

Hi Des,


Thaks for sharing your set-up. It's interesting to see how others do this.


Well I made an error (or at least a daring change) by changing a folder name high up in the hierarchy, but it's because  I did a whole revamp of my file system to get rid of any potentially problematic  characters.


I centralize my textures and MXM's, unlike you. The filename was  "Materials + Textures", and so I thought i should get rid of the "plus" character.  I also renamed every other file, using a program which replaced white spaces and other problematic characters with stable ones. So lots of underscores now.  I did this to try to eliminate as many as possible sources of instability. There are often 3notices" and "warnings" in the Maxwell log about improper characters in filenames.


Generally, I don't get what the embedded library does. Perhaps it just lists which components are currently active, but we're not meant to touch it right? So why even allow us to open through it if that is so? I mean one should always edit a component through the actual library it's in (through component manager)), right? I respect that, but still I get instability.


Des,I have tried to implement all your other suggestions for working with C's, and i feel that i have better stability as a result.

1.)Create:import a model

2.) give it layer name that is the same as model name

3.) set it's working units to centimeters

4.) test in Maxwell that all works

5.) Open the library i want it to be in through the C Manager (CM)

6.) Use Create Component tool to make it a C in that library

7.) Save out.


I try to respect the use of the CM, and not ever touch the embedded library..


So why does my Component manager still sometimes fill with ghost libraries?


I have a folder called Components V8 in which I have other folders which are libraries.


Question: Can one directly open any of the FZ models in there, or should one always access the Components through the CM?



 nuff for now-





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