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View Full Version : Any small program to convert Mac lws files into PC lws files ? (and maybe objects)



JML
04-26-2005, 07:17 AM
I was wondering if there was any small program to convert Mac lws files into PC lws files ? (and maybe the textures' objects too)

cgolchert
04-26-2005, 08:50 AM
What kind of conversion are you looking for? The files should work on either.

kevman3d
05-06-2005, 10:46 PM
I agree - Mac and PC LWS files are identical - I have Mac's at my workplace that work just as well on the PC, however there are some things you gotta make sure of to cleanly work on both platforms:

You use content directories correctly - That is, ALL your project assets (images, objects, pfx/mdd and scenes) are stored in the content directory, and you made sure that you set the content directory BEFORE you started saving objects, etc. This will prevent that all annoying 'Can't find object/image...' pop-ups.
You avoid using Mac's ability to use *invalid* path characters in its folder names, such as the slashes like 'My content/animation folder', etc. These are real annoying, but LW on the Mac also gets confused by slashes and splits paths using them if it sees them as well.


However, to properly help here, can you tell us what errors or problems your having with the files? Are there specific errors?

JML
05-07-2005, 05:25 PM
we have some people working on mac and right now it's a pain to send stuff to render.
when they want to send stuff to render on the pc renderfarm, they have to copy all their file on the pc server, load the scene in LW on a pc and tell LW where to search the paths, save scene and objects, then send the scene with the network controller on the pcserver..

we will soon configure the pc server to be seen from the mac, so they should be able to work from the pc server from their macs. (anybody tried this?)
then when they want to send a scene to the rendertower, they open VNC, connect to the pc server and add the scene to render queue on tequila scream.
no need to copy any files because all the files are already on the pc server and all the paths are fine..

the thing I'm wondering is if tequilascream is going to be able to open those mac lws files. (don't remember but sometimes, " : " become " \ " for the paths).
(beccause when I open a mac lws file on a pc with notepad , all text inside is compact and wierd. ) but it opens fine in LW.

I guess we will see when we actually try it..

kevman3d
05-07-2005, 07:58 PM
when they want to send stuff to render on the pc renderfarm, they have to copy all their file on the pc server, load the scene in LW on a pc and tell LW where to search the paths, save scene and objects, then send the scene with the network controller on the pcserver

It does sound very much like a case of user 'content directory' education here, rather then a Mac-PC issue. Don't worry - I've worked with PC users who have all the same issues relinking files on a server for the exact same reasons. :D

I would recommend that you look at getting users to use Content Manager in LightWave and use that to clean up their scenes into a fresh clean directory before sending them across to the PC renderfarm. This will take care of relinking and moving external files into a proper content layout. Only thing to note is that you'll have to manually move around pfx and mdd files.

By default, all assets should be stored in relative paths to the content directory (making them easy to locate), and yes, they *DO* work fine on a PC without any fiddling - Why, cause I've done it many, many times from a Mac and have had no issues.

When someone doesn't set their content directory properly, you end up with a plethora of nasty external file paths like MacOSX : ProjectX : objects : spaceship1.lwo instead of the correct objects/spaceship1.lwo that should be used in the scene file if the content directory had been set.

The other tool to use is Lean Clean Scene Machine to post-process the scene file to production - This will test externally linked 'local' files and attempt to correct the paths for you (amongst other handy features). You can download it (free) from http://www.newtek-europe.com/uk/community/lightwave/phillips/3.html

JML
05-07-2005, 10:22 PM
I never had any problem with the content directory before but since those groups
in our company are starting to use LW for the first time, I don't know how they setup their content folder.. I guess we will have to discuss how we are going to setup our projects directory..

if it works fine for you then it should work fine for us, I'll do some test monday.
thanks for the infos.

stib
05-17-2005, 11:31 PM
I know exactly what you're talking about: I work on a mac and have a couple of PC boxxen I use as render pigs. A text find and replace is what you need. where the file says:


SaveAnimationName MacHD:MyFolder:AnotherFolder:AndSoOn:renders:myRen der.mov
or

SaveRGBImagesPrefix MacHD:MyFolder:AnotherFolder:AndSoOn:renders:myRen der

you have to replace it with a valid windows path to the save location as the windows machine sees it
eg

z:\LightwaveRenders\myproject\myrender.mov
or

z:\LightwaveRenders\myproject\myrender.mov

(On my PC render pigs I set up a network drive at z:\ which was the folder on my mac where I put all my renders.)

You can use a text editor like openoffice.org or even M$Word to make the changes.
As for finding object files etc, you have to set the LWSN config file so that their content directory is the one on the mac. There are various tutorials around for doing this. Once that is done the objects will loa without a hitch. It's just a pity NT didn't do the same for the save paths.

I'm in the process of setting up a linux render farm, so I might write an appleScript (or LScript if I get the time to learn it) that will do this. But don't hold yr breath.

JML
05-18-2005, 07:00 AM
kevman3d was right, we just had to setup the same content directory on all the computers.
things are working better now,

(people on mac go on the pc box, copy their file on the winserver, open the scene from the server, set all the render paths and vnc to tequila to send the jobs)
not the fastest workflow but at least now LW knows where to find all the textures and objects.

and things should work even better, right my pc access the windowsserver where all the files are stored, so i'm working from this server.
soon, we are going to have the macs access the window server directly and they should be able to work from their box accessing their projects file on the server and easily be able to send jobs directly from their box .
hopefully that will work well..

newsvixen8
06-01-2005, 07:31 AM
Okay, I'll ask the dumb question... what IS the correct way to use Content Manager to set up a "nice clean directory" for new projects?

Matt
06-01-2005, 09:56 AM
If you download my ScreamerNet PDF is covers the main two methods that most people use, and why good content organisation is important in LightWave.

You can find it on the last page of the 'Stuff About Me...' link in my sig.

Cheers
Matt

newsvixen8
06-02-2005, 03:28 PM
Thanks, will do! (Y'all are so gracious in this community...)