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Maya node reference weirdness

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aaronfross
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Maya node reference weirdness

Hi,

 

The connection between a maya node and the reference string in the Bifrost Graph is problematic.

 

The name of the referencing node in the Bifrost Graph is independent of the name of the referenced node in the Maya DG. OK, I can live with that.

 

But weirdly, if I change the node name in Maya, and don't change the reference string in the Bifrost node, then the connection between the Maya node and the Bifrost reference *doesn't* break.

 

In other words, Bifrost now points to a Maya node name that doesn't currently exist. It points to the *former* node name. And yet the connection is still alive.

 

Then, if I alter the reference string to any other name, then back to the *former* node name that worked a minute ago, now that connection is dead.

 

So it appears that the Bifrost reference string is not actually a persistent data channel. It's only effective for making a connection to a Maya node at the moment the reference is created, or when the reference string changes.

 

This is very bizarre, and not at all the way referencing normally works. A reference to a linked asset that does not exist is a broken link.

 

I assume this was done intentionally, so that links don't break when the user changes the node name in Maya. Fair enough. But confusion is sure to ensue unless the reference string updates itself when the Maya node name changes. If I change the Maya node name, then look at my Bifrost graph and see a different name referenced there, I'm going to understandably wonder what is going on. In production scenes with many nodes, this could get very problematic very quickly.

 

Please, when the Maya node name changes, the corresponding reference string should change in Bifrost. This applies to meshes, materials, and I guess everything else.

 

If it's not possible for Bifrost to update the reference strings, then really, the link should break when the Maya node name changes. Otherwise it is going to be very difficult for users to keep their sanity in heavy scenes.

 

Thanks

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