I was recently assigned on a particle recipe that was going to be used by several people on several shots. After some thinking on how I was going to approach the idea, I realized that I needed a few features missing in XSI. In fact, I”ve been wanting those features many times in the past. I decided to take the time to write some scripted events, even though I was on a tight deadline. It turned out it was easier than I thought.
A whole lot of time can be wasted by tweeking a parameter in XSI when you don’t know the units it’s expressed in. This is especially true in simulation. Simulations You can deduce the units of a parameter rapidly with only a few tries. The Age of a particle is expressed in seconds, not frames. [...]
When you are working on a shot with a live background plate, chances are that you will have to match the angle of view from the camera that shot the plate with the virtual camera in the your scene. XSI has some tools to facilitate this process, but it”s still not easy enough for most artists without a good knowledge of the relation between the focal length and filmback to understand. I wanted to ease the process more so that anyone could find the right camera angle as easily as possible. I wrote RealLens.