This is update has several new work flow features and several fixes.  Please read through this list as some of the changes may affect scenes created in previous versions of messiah.


Features & Modifications



At the request of about 2 million people, we have added a Replace Image option in the image pulldown.


Image Sequences

  • Image Sequence setup has been revamped.  Instead of the offset that was there before, you may now specify what frame you want your image sequence to start playing back from.  This will probably cause old scenes to behave strangely if the offset was used, but it's easy enough to use the new start frame method.  Even if your sequence is numbered starting at 200, for example, you can tell the program to have it start playing at any frame you want.  Frames prior to the first frame will display/render the first frame of the sequence.  Frames after the last frame will display/render the last frame of the sequence.

  • When you select the 'sequence' button in the image manager it will automatically set the number of frames in the sequence.

  • Enabled the 'loop' feature for sequences.  This was never hooked up before and works properly now.

  • Drastically reduced the amount of ram used for image sequences.  Before the entire frame range of the image sequence would be cached in RAM.  This was the primary reason people were having renders die after as few as a 50-100 frames or so.  Now only the current frame's image is cached for sequences.

  • Made a change which should fix any other strange sequence stuff that was going on.  Apparently some items were not taking into account that an image may be a part of a sequence.  Now any image that is flagged as being a sequence should render appropriately.

  • Fixed the problem with spotlights which were projecting an image sequence.  Before only a single static frame would be rendered. Now, the image sequence will be properly rendered.

Background Images

  • Added background image scaling. There is a new control, 'Background Image Scale Percent' which will allow the user to interactively scale the background image in the viewport on both the x and y dimensions, by a percentage between 1-100. 100 is the default. This is handy if you want to use a sequence of very large image files as a background sequence and don't need to have the full res image in the viewport. Values from 25-50 look pretty good, depending on image size.

    Scaled images will only be displayed in the viewport as a background image, but the full res image will be utilized when rendering.

Selection List

Added a Selection List text gadget next to the current object popup on the bottom right of the interface.

  1.  Allows you to enter an object name and will select that object when you press Return or the E (Execute) button next to the string gadget.  

    Example: Camera  This will de-select all selected items and select the Camera as the current object.

  2. Allows you to enter a channel name and it will select that channel in the main item list.

    Example: Camera:heading  This will de-select all selected items and select the heading channel of theCamera object as the current channel.

  3. Allow the user to enter multiple objects or object:channels for selection

    Example: Camera,Null:heading  This will de-select all selected items and select both the Camera object and the heading channel of 'Null'. This first item entered will become the current object.

  4. Allow the user to add objects to the current selection by placing a comma prior to the first object or object:channel name.

    Example: Camera,Null:heading   This will retain the previous selection, while adding the Camera object and the heading channel of 'Null' to the current selection

  5. Selection List History gadget. This is next to the E (Execute) gadget of the Selection List control. This will record any object or object:channel selections the user makes through the Selection List text entry control. This is handy if you need to quickly switch between a few objects while animating for example.

    1. Click the Selection List History gadget (it is on the right of the Selection List) and the list will popup.  Single click on the list item to copy that selection to the Selection List string gadget without executing the selection.

    2.  Double click the list item to copy that selection to the Selection List as well as immediately execute that selection.

Command String History

Added a Command String History List gadget. This is next to the E (Execute) gadget of the Command String control.  This will record any expression or other command the user executes from the Command String entry control.  Functionally it operate identically to the Selection List History gadget.  We've also added the ability to restore the last string entered in the Command String control. Press the R (Restore) button next the C (Clipboard) button.  You can also copy to the clipboard using the  Copy to Clipboard feature. To do this, press the C (Clipboard) button next to the Command String History List button.   This will copy the contents of the Command String History List to the Windows clipboard.


Auto Complete

Added auto-complete to some string gadgets. Right now auto-complete is active for the following controls:

  1. Command String control on main interface (objects, effects, function,expressions,shaders)

  2. Selection List String control (objects)

  3. Exp control on the Command->Expressions  tab (objects, effects, functions, expressions, shaders) When you type in a name, the string will present you with the first best match for what it thinks you might want to select.  Keep typing enough of the name until it appears.  If the correct name is presented just press the 'End' key to go to the end of the selection and continue typing (or just press Return if you're done).  If you want to remove the auto-complete selected text just press 'Delete' and it will be removed.

    Sometimes you might have a bunch of objects with number suffixes.  Example: Null_01, Null_02.....Null_10  Suppose you type in 'Null' so auto-complete will think you may want to select 'Null_01'.  So, in this case you really want Null_05.  Press the Up or Down arrow keys to move up and down through the possible selection list. When you find the item you want just press the 'End' key to accept that item and continue typing (or just press Return if you're done.)


LightWave Connection Fix  (Previously released separately on August 16, 2006 Update)

Fixed the LightWave connection plug-in to work properly with LW9.  Here's how to use it.

  1. Start LightWave, then on the Utilities tab click on Edit Plugins and delete the messiah entries.  They will be in the Displacement, Motion, Layout Command, and Scene Master sections. 
  2. Click on Master Plugins and if messiah is there, remove it.  Now quit LightWave.
  3. Rename, delete, or move your lwmasters8.cfg and/or lwmasters9.cfg files.
  4. Start LightWave and go to the Utilities tab.
  5. Use Add Plugins to add the messiahLW.p plug-in (it's in the root of your messiah folder-- don't move it).
  6. Click on Masters Plugins and from the drop down menu select messiah_master.
  7. Quit LightWave and restart so the lwmasters file will be written out properly with the messiah_master info.


Maya Connection Update

  • Added the Maya 8.0 connection plug-in.

  •  Added a new menu to the messiahmayaXX.mll plugins.  There is a new MEL script in the main messiah directory named messiah.mel.

    Either copy this over to a search path maya looks for your scripts, typically "C:\Documents and Settings\(user name)\My Documents\maya\scripts", or add the path to the messiah executable to your maya script PATH.

    Now, when the messiahmaya plugin is initialized, a new 'messiah' menu will automatically be added to the main maya menu allowing you at add the xformer, deformer or bring up the messiah interface.  You can also change the scale or query the current scale.


Edit Sphere

  1. New controls were added to the edit sphere block in edit key/frame editing.

    1. Edit Sphere Manipulator - The ability to change the edit sphere from it's current combined rotation and translation manipulators to separate manipulators.

      In the key command manager under the interface section, there are some Edit Sphere functions that can be assigned to keys that let the user change the edit sphere to the Translation, Rotation, or Scale manipulator, or to toggle back and forth between Translation and Rotation manipulators.

  2. Mouse Button Channels -  When on and used with separate manipulator mode, mouse button presses are mapped to the edit sphere channel of the mode.

    In Translation mode, left mouse will move on X,  middle mouse will move on Y, Right mouse will move on Z.

    As a quick option:

    While in separate manipulator mode, the user can use the control key to switch the manipulator (ex. translation to rotation), while the key is being held down.  As soon as the key is released, it returns to the original manipulator.  This option gives the ability to use the edit sphere like people are used to, but takes care of accidentally moving or being unable to select the ring or line when both translation and rotation manipulators are shown together.

    This should give everyone a wide array of options, for both functionality and personal tastes, to get around any problems with selecting the wrong channel with the edit sphere, or optional methods for the edit sphere to work similar to other programs with mouse button channels. Mouse button channels can only respond if the mouse is clicked inside of the edit sphere area. This is because a right mouse button in the world normally brings up the menu.

Channel Selection

You are now able to use CTRL + number key to add the channel to a multi-selection or remove it.


General Fixes

Images Fix

Fixed a crash with some image sequences which occurred when the width of the image wasn't aligned to a 32bit boundary.  (See also Images in the new features section above for other fixes.)

Dope Sheet Fix

Fixed a potential crash when trying select items in the dope sheet.

Text Controls Fix

Inserting text into text controls of lists by double clicking on the list item, is fixed.   It had been broken in a recent version.

Soft-Body Fix

Soft-body collision with two effects using the same collision object fixed.

Particles Fix

Particle distances are clamped to avoid particles with huge accelerations from going beyond the limit of space.

Anti-Aliasing Fix

Anti-aliasing now clips values above 1.0 to guarantee correct colors within 8bit per channel image formats.

Shader Menu Fix

Fixed a problem with the shader menus, where they didn't scroll if they were bigger than the screen height.  Now it generates a branch

that says "more >>" after every 20 shaders, so that they fit on the screen.

Copying Materials

All parameters should now be copied over when copying/pasting a material.

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