Backing Up and Recovering Your Work


Softimage provides a number of ways of recovering your work if your system crashes. In most cases, you can easily recover your work by using the autosave and recovery mechanisms. You also have backup options that let you load previously saved versions of your scene if you want to backtrack and rework some of your content.

Autosaving Scene Files

The autosave options in your Data Management preferences let you activate the autosave feature and determine how frequently autosaves are made.


The autosaved scene file is created and maintained separately from the files you save while working. It is deleted when you exit Softimage in a normal manner. You must still make sure to save your work each time you exit.

The autosaved scene file is maintained in the hidden System folder under the active project.

To set autosave

  1. From the main menu, choose File Preferences to open the Preferences window.

  2. Click Data Management.

  3. On the Files tab, activate the Enable Autosave option.

    By default, autosave is set to save every 30 minutes, but you can change this time span in the Autosave Interval text box.

Backing Up Saved Scenes

Each time you save your scene, its file is automatically saved in a backup folder. This means you can go back and load an earlier version of your scene if needed. This can also come in handy if your scene file could not be automatically recovered.

The default number of backed-up scenes is four, but you can change this number (to a maximum of 100) in your Data Management preferences.

To set backup preferences

  • Choose File Preferences. Click Data Management and set the number of backups in the Backups for each Scene Saved text box on the Files tab.

  • Set backups over a specified number of days with the Additional Backups (Days) option. This is useful if you save often and the last backed up version does not include the information you need. This option ensures that you can retrieve your work from the last backed up versions of the n previous days.

TipMake sure you have enough disk space so that your backup files are created successfully.

To reload a scene file from its backup folder

  1. Choose File Open and navigate to your backup folder. By default, this folder is called Backup and is located in your project folder.

    This folder contains all your saved scene files. These files are labeled (Myscene)_B1, (Myscene)_B2, (Myscene)_B3 etc., with (Myscene)_B1 being the most recently saved scene.

  2. Select the required backup version and click OK to load the scene.

Recovering Scene Files

Recovering Scenes After a Crash

After a crash occurs, a dialog box usually opens indicating that your scene file has been successfully saved to an autosave or crash backup directory in the project's System folder.

Softimage first tries to load the autosave file (if the Autosave option is enabled); if not, it falls back on the default crashsave file. You can continue to use the scene after restarting Softimage.

To recover a scene file after a system crash

  1. Restart Softimage after the crash. A dialog box opens asking if you want to try to recover the scene. Click Yes.

  2. If the scene is recoverable, an untitled scene opens with your latest work retrieved from the crashsave or autosave process.

  3. Save the scene under a new name and restart Softimage.

Recovering a Scene with Corrupt Models

If a scene crashes when you try to open it, it may be that a single model is corrupt. You can try to recover the rest of the scene using the recovery journal file.

To recover a scene that crashes on opening

  1. Choose File Preferences to open the Preferences window.

  2. Click Data Management.

  3. On the Scene Recovery tab, enter a file path and name in Load Recovery Journal File. For example:

  4. Restart Softimage and open the scene.

    As Softimage processes the scene, it writes to the file when it begins to load each model within the scene, and again after it loads each model successfully. If Softimage crashes while loading a particular model, the journal file indicates that the model never finished loading.

    In addition when Load Recovery Journal File is defined, some corrupt clusters and cluster properties such as texture UVs are automatically fixed. When this occurs, the cluster's full name is logged to the command history.

  5. Restart Softimage and open the scene again.

    Softimage reads the journal file, and skips the model that failed to load in the previous attempt.

    You may need to repeat this step several times if there are several corrupt models in the same scene.

  6. Once you have successfully recovered as much of the scene as possible, clear the contents of the Load Recovery Journal File box to deactivate the option.

    This speeds up the process of opening scenes because Softimage does not need to read and write to the file. In addition, it allows Softimage to load models with the same name as those that were skipped, for example if you later open a backup of your scene that was saved before the corruption occurred.

Recovering a Scene with Corrupt Operators

If you recovered a scene after crashing, it's possible that some operators are corrupted and are causing instability. You can try to hunt down and remove the operators that are causing problems.

To diagnose and fix operator corruption

  1. On the Scene Recovery tab of your Data Management preferences, activate Disable all geometry operators on load.

  2. Open the problematic scene. Note that all operators in the geometry, texture, and envelope stacks have been disabled.

  3. Try to find the corrupt operator. For example, delete the last operator you added, and then re-enable the stack from the bottom to see if the problem goes away.

    For information about enabling operators in the stack, see Disabling the Top of the Stack [Modeling and Deformation Basics].

  4. Once you have found the problem and deleted that operator, save the scene and press Ctrl+N to start a new scene.

  5. Deactivate Disable all geometry operators on load. Do not keep working with this option on — it is a debugging tool only.

  6. Re-open the scene. The operators are now active and you can continue working.

Recovering a Scene with Corrupt Polygon Meshes or Clusters

If you are having problems with a scene, it's possible that some polygon meshes or clusters are corrupt. You can find these meshes and clusters and try to recover your work.

To diagnose and fix polygon mesh corruption

  1. On the Scene Recovery tab of your Data Management preferences, make sure that Detect corrupted polygon meshes and clusters upon load/freeze is on.

  2. Open the problematic scene.

    If cluster corruption is found, it is fixed automatically and the names of the clusters are logged to the command history. You should check these clusters to make sure that they still contain the same components and properties (texture UVs, vertex colors, weight maps, and so on) that you expect. There might be additional cluster corruption that you can find and fix by freezing all or part of the operator stack, because corruption is not detected in unfrozen data.

    If mesh corruption is found, the name of the object and the indices of the illegal components are logged in the command history and you are prompted to hide the mesh (to avoid potential crashes when drawing the corrupt mesh structure).

  3. To fix mesh corruption, first try to unhide the object and select all its polygons.

    If you can't unhide and select the polygons without crashing, try selecting all the polygons by typing the following into the name selection box in the Select panel:

  4. Choose Create Poly. Mesh Extract Polygons (keep) from the Model toolbar.

    A new mesh object is created from the polygons of the corrupted mesh.

  5. Freeze the new mesh object.

    If no new messages about corrupt components are logged, you have successfully fixed the corruption. Delete the original mesh.

    Otherwise, continue with the next step.

  6. Try to recover part of your work by selecting the uncorrupted polygons (leaving out an area around the corrupt components) and then repeating steps 4 and 5. Unfortunately, some corrupt meshes cannot be recovered.