I would like to share with you my latest tool that I developed in my spare time. It’s aim is to help you with batch pre-conversion of textures for VFX render engines.
It will batch convert your textures into formats like rat (for Mantra), tx (for PRMan or Arnold), rstexbin (for Redshift). It works within Houdini, Maya or as a standalone application. You can see screen capture of this tool in action here 🙂
There are lots of scripts around the internet which help you doing that. But usually they are not very user friendly, or are tied to a DCC application. So I thought I will use this opportunity for learning some Python UI programming and make something useful (hopefully). It might be a bit of overkill for such a simple task, where couple of lines of code would do the same job, but I took it as a learning project and played with it a bit.
For UI I decided to go with PySide2 as it is present in all main VFX packages (Houdini, Nuke, Maya …) and is using Qt which is platform independent and can run as a standalone application.
I also used QThreads for spawning parallel processes and tried to make UI responsive, dynamic and simple. I also tried to make it easy to extend for other output formats and modify for user needs.
I tested the tool under Houdini, Maya, Linux and Windows and it looked similar in all cases and worked fine. There was a little amount of work to make it run in all of those environments. And I guess it could run from Nuke 11, Mari, Katana or whatever else 🙂
If your favorite VFX application does not have Qt5 / PySide2 yet, then this tool will easily run under PySide, or with a help of Qt.py. But it is probable that your app supports it as it have been recommended by VFX Reference Platform for quite some time.
The tool is hosted on GitHub and you will find there setup and usage instructions.
Hope you will like it,
I will welcome your feedback and suggestions.