What is an Asset?


An asset is clean, standardized, and rigged model that we all share the use of on a particular show. They are usually referenced into our animation and rendering scenes. Most of the time assets are just simple models, like a tree. They aren't always animated, sometimes they are just props, but they all get a rig controller of some kind (usually a nurbs shape).

Allot of care goes into keeping our assets clean, and keeping the way we create and update them clean as well. There are numerous pages on assets on the infowiki because of this. if you have questions about them, the best people to contact are doug, jeremy, and john.

As i said earlier they are usually just a specific way of sharing a particular model. So if our show needs a racetrack, car, and blimp….then our maya scene has 3 assets in it. The assets are .mb file that are saved in the /maya/scenes/ASSETS/ directory. Each asset gets its own directory. And in that directory there are at least two more directories…. a "model" and a "rig" directory. the model directory contains the latest version of the model. the rig directory contains the latest version of the rig file for this asset. the rig file is the one that we import/reference into our scenes to work with. Within the model and rig directories there should be "archive" direcories, this is where we keep our backup versions anytime we need to update an asset. Here is what the structure looks like!

  • scenes
    • assets
      • blimp
        • model
          • archive
            • blimp_v01_dw.mb
            • blimp_v02_jn.mb
          • blimp.mb (this is a stripped model, the one we create right before we rig)
        • rig
          • archive
            • blimp_v01_js.mb
            • blimp_v02_js.mb
          • blimp.mb (this is the rigged asset, the one we use in our scenes for animation, layout, rendering)
      • raceCar
        • … directories like above…
      • racetrack
        • … directories like above…

as you can see, each asset on a show gets its own directory structure. the name of the asset is the name of the directory and vice versa. when u need to update an asset (rig or model), you copy the current one "blimp.mb" into the respective archive folder and give it the next up version number, and add your initials. this way we know who updated the asset, and when, and in what order. You then would save your prepared model or rig OVER the current blimp.mb. then that updated asset would become "live" in any scenes that have it referenced.

this is the basic concept!

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