Could this be the next greatest thing since sliced bread??

For several months now, I have been using Sini Software tools and integrating the offerings into my workflow. I thought it was time I wrote a post about it, as some of the features I use every single day, and I am really looking forward to what the team at Sini are working on next.

Ignite panel

Here, you can see what the ignite panel looks like. It sits as a window in 3ds max, like a command panel – I haven’t found a way to dock it, but with two monitors this isn’t too much of a problem.

The cool thing is that there is a space at the bottom of it where you can add your own scripts that you might use – you just need to click on the config tab to set the path to them. I have been told that in the future, this and the scripts will be saved in the cloud somewhere so that wherever you might be working, you can log in to your account and it will automatically download your own personal ‘toolset’ to the pc you’re working on. This sounds very handy to me as a freelancer. I’ve got quite well organised at taking my settings with me wherever I go since I use Google drive, but to have something that does it for me automatically would just take the pain away from having to do that.

Things I use all the time:

  • Forensic is brilliant – I have saved hours of my time cleaning up revit imports, cleaning up CAD drawings etc – and, this part of the plugin is free, and always will be apparently. I highly recommend that everyone uses this and checks their scene regularly, it can really solve problems that might not be apparent until render time or when your scene starts crashing inexplicably.
  • effect pivot – really handy for quickly getting your pivot to the centre bottom of an object for use in a forest etc.
  • copy and paste between files
  • find instances
  • shape and spline utilities  – find overlapping splines is awesome
  • flip keys – I recently did an animation of a sports product where the objects are built up – I created the sequence in reverse and just flipped the keys. Very handy.
  • playblast – great for previs, the preset render/appearance types are brilliant.
  • rename tool

I actually use quite a lot as I look at the list – there’s more I use than I mentioned here, but I use these more frequently than anything else. I’m looking forward to bringing proxsi & cyclone more into my everyday arsenal, but as a lot of my work involves other studios, I have to ensure that what I do is compatible with their systems so I can’t always freely use these plugins. However, I am able to reverse engineer scenes, converting objects to instances or editable mesh like in forest pack or railclone so that files are compatible with other users who don’t have the licences.

If your’e on the fence about this I’d say don’t be shy and dig in! Your time savings will be worth it.