We plan to create a system that pre-creates all our asset-layers up front, like the structure explained below.
Not all assets will need all of these layers , if the layer is not needed the artist will just leave the layer empty. The prims in the pre-built layers will be deactivated, so nothing would really be loaded from the layers until an artist publishes something to the layer.
We plan to use this same “asset” structure for building character, props and sets in addition to smaller components like an apple, or a coffee mug.
The reason we want to do this is, we don’t have to decide what layers will be needed at the point of creating the asset/component. If we find out at a late stage that we need to do some groom on the asset, the artist can open the work file, and publish to the groom layer.
Or if we find that all we actually need for a specific asset is assembly, we could just leave all the other layers blank, and just work on the assembly layer.
To us this makes sense, but I wanted your thoughts on this before we start implementing it.
- Are others doing something similar to this?
- Do you separate components and assets and consider them to be different “things” in your pipeline?
- If so, why ?
- Do you see any pitfalls?
- We want to build our pipeline as close to a standardized usd asset workflow as possible, do you see this is within the standard?
When do you use payload, do you use it for all layers no matter the complexity of the content?
For assets that require a complicated rig like a character, a normal maya rig is still the way to go, but for simpler assets that only need xforms, do you bring in the usd asset into your animation scene, or are you still using maya rigs for these assets?
A Lot of the concepts of USD can be a bit abstract until you “get it", we had a group internal at our studio doing several really inspiring and interesting meetings about our implementation, it has taken a some time for us to all get on the same page and grasp all the concepts and ideas of usd. We are not fully sure we get it all, and are going about this in the correct way, this is the reason we wanted to get some input from others that have been through a similar process.