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Referencing XGen into another Maya scene

Message 1 of 13
5824 Views, 12 Replies

Referencing XGen into another Maya scene

Hi everyone,


To start I'm currently using Maya 2016 and I'm having an issue with getting XGen to reference into another Maya scene. I can get XGen to reference properly if the geometry that the description is on is not being referenced.  But for an animation pipeline we want to be able to reference in the model to a Maya scene then apply the XGen description in the new scene then reference that file into a master or larger scene file, but every time I try this only the model gets referenced without the XGen description. Is this possible? Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



Message 2 of 13

Are you referencing in the geo then applying the XGen collection to that or do you want to reference the Maya/Xgen scene file?


Both can be done but you need to make sure the XGen data path is setup  if you are not using the default project settings.




this brings up the file path editor for XGen:




As XGen uses a relative project path by default, the xgen files may not be found if you try to load an XGen file in another project. What you can do is use both a relative AND an absolute path and if the first path cannot be resolved, XGen will look to the second path (and so on..)


If you want to import an xgen collection on to referenced geometry, you can import into a namespace:








Referencing the XGen scene directly is also supported (as is importing the scene)









Michael Todd

XGen Product Owner and Designer

Message 3 of 13

Yes I'm referencing in the geo then applying XGen to that referenced geometry, then I'm trying to reference that scene into a master file. I have the relative and absolute path set up for XGen. The XGen collection and description show up in the outliner but nothing in the XGen window or viewport only the geo shows in the viewport.



Message 4 of 13

You could try saving that scene and reloading.

Michael Todd

XGen Product Owner and Designer

Message 5 of 13

lol ok that worked for whatever reason.
Message 6 of 13

thanks for all you help!
Message 7 of 13

No worries..


The issue where you save the scene and open it again is down to a tricky bug to track down. It's something to do with building the UI on file load where something doesn't get triggered so the XGen UI does not get rebuilt, but the data is in the scene. It tends not to happen if the XGen UI is open before referencing or loading an XGen scene.




Michael Todd

XGen Product Owner and Designer

Message 8 of 13

I'll keep that in mind about the UI being open before I try a reference, thanks.  I do however have another question for you, is there any reason that I now can't see XGen in RenderMan? We are currently using RenderMan 19.  It works fine in the original file but now for whatever reason XGen doesn't show up in the Image Tool when being referenced, but the referenced PxrDisney shader is working.

Message 9 of 13

Is the shader attached to the description? Is the renderer set in the output tab? Do you get any errors?

Michael Todd

XGen Product Owner and Designer

Message 10 of 13

Sorry for the late response, there was a lot of trial and error going on yesterday. But we managed to figure it out, for the most part, and there is probably a better way but it worked and if this is the only way Im sure it could be automated. Referencing XGen into the same folder structure as the original file works without a hitch, referencing XGen into a different folder structure we had to copy the .xgen file from the original file and paste it into the reference folder even with absolute paths, save and then reopen, then everything worked just fine.
Message 11 of 13

So I have one more question about referencing XGen.  Can you reference XGen into another scene with archives, my process that got XGen referencing working doesn't seem to work with archives, also it keep changing the location of where the project is set to. I feel like just importing the XGen scenes is a much easier way to work without all these headaches.

Message 12 of 13

What version of Maya are you using? Early versions of XGen in maya had issues with namespaces when referencing, but those have been cleared up since. 

So long as you file paths are set up so that the files can be found, then yes, you can reference archive objects type XGen setups.



Michael Todd

XGen Product Owner and Designer

Message 13 of 13
in reply to: jarret.ballard

Speaking of referencing and xgen, I just made eyelashes for a referenced model in the original (non-referenced) scene. Reloading the referenced file in my master scene brings in the character and the eyelashes, but the eyelashes do not move with the eyelids when the character blinks as they do in the original file. But if I create the same eyelashes in the master scene they work fine. Any way to build the eyelashes first so they are useable?

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