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Clarisse 5.0 Reference Guide

The workflow of Clarisse is very asset centric and there are many reasons why you may want to export your work as assets to:

  • create asset libraries to reuse as references in Clarisse.
  • export looks and material associations
  • export specific procedural setups to reuse in other projects
  • export layouts in order to import them in other packages
  • package a whole project as a single archive...

 

This is why there are quite a few ways to export assets out of Clarisse.

Exporting Contexts

The content of any context can be externalized from the current project. This operation complements the ability to localize references. It will create a Clarisse project file from the content of the context and turn the context into a Reference (if not already). Any kinds of context can be exported. When exporting a context already referencing external assets, its content is externalized into a project file with all the applied overrides and the context is automatically referencing the saved project as if it had been referenced using File > Reference > File...

 

To export a context, select it then click on File -> Reference -> Export Context... A file browser opens and allows to choose where to save the resulting project, exactly as if we were saving a project. Once exported, the context automatically becomes a reference in the current project.

Note

If the exported context is already a Reference, its overridden attributes will keep their edits but will not be considered as overridden anymore (they will loose their underlined blue display) because the edits will be exported into the newly referenced file.

Exporting Alembic Caches

You can export contexts as alembic files using the File > Export > Context As Alembic... Clarisse will export the geometries contained in the selected context and sub-context(s) to a specified alembic file you can use back in Clarisse, or any other DCC application. It will resolve all dependencies for you so that the resulting cache is as close as possible to what's defined in the exported context.

Options

Description

Filename

Alembic Output file.

Frame Range

First and last frame of the animation you want to export, for animated geometry.

Write One Frame Per File

Alembic is optimized to store full animations in one file, similar to video file formats, instead of numbered files sequences. However, in special cases, you may prefer to work with one numbered file per frame. This attribute allows this.

Keep in mind de duplication over time won’t work with this option enabled, and each frame will store the full geometry, even if it is static.

Transfer Source Data

By default, event if the context geometry is read from an existing alembic file, Clarisse exports its internal, processed geometry. This guaranties that the exported alembic is exactly the same as the geometry displayed in Clarisse.

By enabling this attribute, Clarisse will directly copy the source alembic to the exported one, without any geometry processing, providing a much faster export.

Export Combiners

When checked, combiners will be exported as pivots with their sub-objects as direct children. Sub-combiners are exported recursively.

Export Scatterers

Enable/Disable the export of Scatterers.

Scatterer Export Mode: Instances As Geometries

Export the scatterer using the full geometry, as displayed in Clarisse.

Be careful since this can produce extremely heavy files, impossible to load in most 3d software. It is usually better to use the “instances as bounding boxes” mode, or better, export the source geometry and the support point cloud, to reconstruct the scatterer in the external DCC.

Scatterer Export Mode: Instances as bounding Boxes

Export the scatterer using bounding boxes instead of the full geometry, leading to much more manageable alembic files. Depending on the software, you may be able to reconstruct the scatterer by replacing the boxes by the original source geometry.

Export Properties

Enable the export of custom geometry properties. This is especially useful for point clouds, to store transform and instancing data, allowing the scatterer reconstruction outside of Clarisse.

Fill Sparse properties

Check this option if you have issues reading the alembic file in an external software (some don’t like the mix of empty/filled properties on the same geometry).

Limitations

The Alembic exporter comes with some limitations that are partially due to Clarisse and the Alembic library. Currently, Clarisse doesn't export implicit geometries, render displacements, volumes, materials and textures and lights. Since there's no efficient way to represent scatterers in Alembic, exporting scenes with big scatterers can result in very large files that will be very challenging to load back in any applications.

Exporting USD

Clarisse can export scenes contained in a selected context and sub-context(s) as a USD file. To export a context as USD, go to File > Export > Context As USD... Depending on the mode you choose, the resulting USD can either be standalone (in which case all external file dependencies are embedded in the output file) or exported as an override of the main stage while keeping the links to original assets.

Options

Description

Filename

USD output file.

Default Prim

Define the USD root prim mode becomes the new parent of all unparented items in the exported scene. When select None, no root prim is created. This mode is only useful if you want to bring the USD as a main stage. If you select Create, the exporter creates a new root prim with the name specified by Root Prim Name. When selecting Use Existing the item selected by Root Prim attribute becomes the root prim of the USD.

Root Prim Name

Define the name of the root prim when Default Prim is set to Create.

Root Prim

Define the root prim item when Default Prim is set to Choose Existing.

Standalone

Enable/Disable the export as a standalone self-contained USD file. When enabled, Clarisse bakes all external dependencies so that the output USD is self contained. When disabled, Clarisse tries to keep as much as possible links to original assets so that the work done in Clarisse is exported as overrides in the main stage.

Use Instances

Enable/Disable the conversion of duplicated items as instances. If enabled, duplicated items are automatically encapsulated within an "instanceable" xform instance. When disabled items are exported as simple references (default).

Export Hidden Items

Enable/Disable the export of hidden items. By default, hidden items are not exported, by checking Export Hidden Items, Clarisse forces the export of hidden items but also flag their visibility property accordingly in the USD file.

Export Displacements

Enable/Disable the export of render displacements as geometry. Warning this can lead to export massive files.

Animation

It is possible to export a single frame or an entire animation using the Animation Mode attribute.

Mode

Description

Current Frame

Export the current frame.

Current Range

Export the current frame range defined by the application timeline.

Custom Frame

Export the specified frame.

Custom Range

Export the specified frame range.

Limitations

While the exported USD file is visually identical to the scene created in Clarisse, the USD hierarchy structure of the output file is not guaranteed to match the one in Clarisse. Indeed, since the USD hierarchy description is a subset of Clarisse one, the exporter may need to generate a new hierarchy that is compatible with USD to ensure the output is identical and as efficient as possible.

Exporting as Wavefront OBJ

It is possible to export a selection of geometries, including scatterers and combiners as a Wavefront OBJ file using the File > Export > Geometry.

Limitations

Wavefront OBJ is far to be the best format to export assets so it is highly recommended to use Alembic instead. The Wavefront OBJ exporter is very basic and only supports the export polygonal geometries. It doesn't export any material information.

Exporting Project Archives

Unlike traditional applications Clarisse doesn't save a monolithic file which includes everything in it. Instead, Clarisse keeps as much as possible data as external references. Despite all the benefit resulting from this approach, this can still raise some issues when it comes to share a project  or when using an online render farm service for example.  Indeed, this task can be very time consuming and prone to human errors as to export a self contained version of his project a user must:

  • Keep track of all file dependencies.
  • Copy them in a relative location.
  • Update all file paths in the project before finally creating a ZIP archive.

 

Fortunately, Clarisse comes with a Python script which bundles automatically a project along with its dependencies in a ZIP archive. To export the current project as a ZIP archive, go to the General tab of the main application shelf toolbar and click on:

 

The script will resolve automatically, sequences of images, objects, UDIM and UVTILES images. Just set the Filename and press Ok to export the current project and its dependencies as a single ZIP archive.

Option

Description

Filename

Set the output ZIP archive file.

Sequence Mode

Defines the behavior of the script when exporting file dependencies that are sequences (such as image sequences).

Custom First Frame

Set the first frame when Sequence Mode is set to Custom Frame Range

Custom Last Frame

Set the last frame when Sequence Mode is set to Custom Frame Range

 

Depending on your needs, you might want to export file dependencies relative to a specific frame range. Sequence Mode controls the behavior of the script when it has to export file dependencies detected as sequences.

Mode

Description

Use Timeline

Use the frame range defined by the application timeline.

Get All Files

Whatever the sequence length all files will be exported to the archive.

Current Frame

Only files relative to the current frame (set in the timeline) are exported to the archive.

Custom Frame Range

Use a custom frame range define by Custom First Frame and Custom Last Frame.

 

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