Exporting Compounds

Exporting a compound allows you to use it in other trees and scenes, as well as share it with others.

To export a compound

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Right-click on a compound (not over a port) and choose Export Compound.


    • Select a compound and choose Compounds Export Compound.

  2. Activate Embed internal compounds if desired. When this option is on, all nested compounds will be entirely embedded in the compound that you are exporting. If it is off, any nested compounds that have already been exported will be referenced.

  3. Select a file name and location, then click OK. The preset manager scans for compound files in all subfolders of the Data\Compounds\ folder in the user, workgroup, and factory locations.

For information about re-exporting an updated version of a previously exported compound, see Versioning Compounds.

NoteIf two compounds have the same name, Softimage logs a warning message telling you the locations of the version that will be used and the versions that will be ignored.

What's in an Exported Compound

Compounds are stored as XML-based files. They contain:

  • All internal nodes and their connections. Nested compounds can be referenced if they have already been exported themselves, otherwise nested compounds are embedded.

  • The values of all ports and parameters, including any keyframed animation. The current values of exposed ports and parameters become the default values.

  • Group comments, comments, and comments on individual nodes.

  • The profiles of any Fcurve nodes.

  • The name of the compound, and its category and tasks. See Categories and Tasks.

  • The display state of connections. You can even create compounds that do nothing more than display the values of specific attributes, like Force. See Displaying Port Values for more information about displaying values on connections.

Compounds do not store expressions or other forms of animation other than keyframes, because the referenced elements may not exist in other scenes.

Exporting as Private

Exporting an ICE compound as private obfuscates the resulting compound file. Private ICE compounds cannot be edited or exploded.

You can export an ICE compound as private to help keep your techniques secret, or to prevent users from opening it and modifying unexposed values.

You should keep a scene with the original version of your ICE compound, or else you will not be able to fix bugs or make other changes without rebuilding the compound entirely.

To export an ICE compound as private

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Right-click on an ICE compound (not over a port) and choose Export Compound as Private.


    • Select an ICE compound and choose Compounds Export Compound as Private.

  2. Select a file name and location, then click OK.

Nested compounds are always embedded when saving an ICE compound as private.

Providing Thumbnails

You can provide thumbnails for your exported compounds. Thumbnails are displayed in the preset manager if they exist.

Thumbnail images must be stored in a Thumbnails subdirectory of the location where the .xsicompound itself is stored. They must have the same filename as the .xsicompound and a file extension depending on the image format, for example, "Roaring Fire.png". Any supported image format can be used.

Thumbnails are automatically scaled for display in the preset manager. The largest size displayed is 64 by 64 pixels, so there's no point saving a larger image than that.