Administrative Questions

Frequently asked questions about installation and management:

» Does SyFlex come in nodelocked or floating license?

» Commercial and Academic licenses come floating, unless the client requires differently. Student licenses come nodelocked.

» Is SyFlex a plug-in or stand-alone?

» SyFlex is indeed a plug-in. Once installed, it's seamlessly integrated within the "parent" program, be it Maya, XSI or Houdini.

» How do I install SyFlex?

» SyFlex is easy to install. The software comes to you electronically, a link will be sent to you upon payment. After downloading, the installation program will generate a code and prompt you to mail it to us. Shortly after sending this email, your license key will be emailed back to you, and you can complete the installation.

» Do I need SyFlex on my rendering machines?

» Not necessarily. SyFlex can bake the animation in "cache" files. Once cached, the simulation can be used for rendering without any SyFlex licenses. This is also useful in team work, when one team is creating the simulations and another (say the lighting department) proceeds with applying additional effects onto the simulations.

Technical Questions

Frequently asked questions about SyFlexing:

» Can I tweak a few frames without having to run the whole simulation again?

» Yes. Once the simulation is cached you can access each frame and edit it. To enable Cache: set the name of the cache files in the "Cache Name" Attribute of the syCloth node. The simulator will now save one file per frame.

 To edit one of these frames:

  • duplicate the cloth (to be sure you are not modifying the syCloth)
  • select this object
  • in the menu call: Syflex > Cache > Read Mesh
  • this reads the cache file, and updates the geometry of the selected object
  • modify the geometry
  • save in the same file using: Syflex > Cache > Save Mesh
  • after modifying all the frames, you can remove the duplicate cloth.

 You can also blend two different simulations over time or topology by using the "Blend Cache" functionality.

» The simulation is much slower after I smoothed my syCloth object...

» When you smooth the syCloth, a node is added; you can find it in the hypergraph added after the syCloth node. Now the smooth is recomputed at each frame, causing the simulation to slow down. It also prevents selecting faces and vertices (nail, collisions...). You can remove the smoothing in the hypergraph. In general it is advisable to smooth the cloth only after the simulation is done.

  The density of the mesh does influence the look of the simulation, so in some cases, you might want to try applying different smooth levels before running the simulation. In these cases it is advisable to define the smoothness before turning the model into a syCloth!

» I have 40 syCloth cable objects that I want to simulate, how do I manage that?

» Try combining all objects into one before creating the syCloth. You can also apply the same forces on many syCloth nodes (See next).

» Can I apply the same force to two syObjects?

» Yes, use the mel commands:
syConnectForce syForce syCloth
syDisconnectForce syForce syCloth

» How do I simulate multiple layers of cloth?

» To create, for example, a shirt plus a jacket:
  • Create one syCloth from the shirt
  • Create another syCloth from the jacket
  • Create a collision between the shirt and jacket
  There is no need for two passes, everything can be done in one pass.

» My pins suddenly appear to be not connected to my syCloth! What happened?

» A pin can be "away" from the cloth in a few cases:
  • When you set the "distance" attribute to a value different from 0. In this case, springs are created between the pins and the cloth to make a soft connection.
  • If the cloth is translated (better avoid that)
  If you have changed the initial position of the object the pin is attached to, you need to reset the pin by calling the function:
  Syflex > Constraint > Update Constraint

» I am happy with my simulation, but it's running a little too fast. Can I slow it down?

» A simple solution is to add a multiply node in the hypergraph, between the time node and the syCloth node.

» What about motion blur?

» Just cache your simulations. Cached simulations smoothly interpolate the movement between two frames, allowing the motion blur to work fine.

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