# The Multiverse Shelf
MultiverseForMaya plug-in is loaded in Maya, the Multiverse Shelf
will be available.
Most of the Multiverse functionalities are accessible via its shelf, please note that you can also automate your workflow via scripting via the Multiverse Python API.
# Write USD Asset
Write any selected, static or animated Maya data (such as geometry primitives, hierarchies, properties, and including any topology varying data) to a single USD file — we call this an “asset”.
It is also possible to write USDZ assets for AR.
In a multi-stage workflow you can, for example, write t-pose model, uvs, animation, and material assignment as separate USD files, and then layer them in a Multiverse Compound.
Once a file is written, you can then read it in Maya via the Multiverse Read USD
shelf button: data will be encapsulated in a Multiverse Compound
mvUsdCompoundShape nodes) and streamed into the viewport (no actual data is
If before writing your Maya data is contained in a Multiverse Set node
mvSet) with the "proxy", "render", "guide" purposes specified, then the asset
will contain them as well, see Generating Viewport Proxies.
# Write USD Composition
Write any selected, static or animated, Maya hierarchy consisting of a
combination of Multiverse Compounds (
mvUsdCompoundShape nodes that are
generated by a Multiverse Read operation) and of Maya Groups (
as a single USD file — we call this a “composition”.
Composition writing is also needed when writing Maya instancers nodes (such as some MASH instancing) where the source data for the instancing are one or more Multiverse compound nodes.
# Write USD Overrides
Write “overrides” for the selected Multiverse Compound node (a
mvUsdCompoundShape node is generated by a Multiverse Read operation) to a
single USD file. Overrides are performed in the Multiverse Explore and Override
When writing overrides, an option is available to automatically "sync" the overrides as a layer on their related Compound.
# Read USD (and Alembic)
Read USD files representing static or animated Assets and Compositions. Read ABC
files representing Assets. These files can come from any USD-enabled DCC
application, such as Multiverse (Maya) and Solaris (Houdini). As a result a
Multiverse Compound node (
mvUsdCompoundShape) will be created.
The viewport draw mode can be set before reading, you can leverage this functionality to avoid loading in the viewport things that are impossible to draw due to complexity.
Likewise you have the option to choose the USD display purpose.
Additionally you can generate USD clips for file-per-frame sequences of USD or ABC (typically coming from Houdini).
You can also read USD files with varying topology generated from either Multiverse (Maya) or Solaris (Houdini).
# Skip Draw
Skip the viewport draw of the selected Compound. If nothing is selected skip the draw for all compounds.
# Draw Bounding Box
Draw the selected compound as a Bounding Box in the viewport. If nothing is selected draw all compounds as a Bounding Box.
# Draw Bounding Boxes
Draw the selected compound as a hierarchy of Bounding Boxes in the viewport. If nothing is selected draw all compounds as hierarchies of Bounding Boxes.
# Draw Point Cloud
Draw the selected compound as a Point Cloud in the viewport. If nothing is selected draw all compounds as a Point Clouds.
# Draw Flat
Draw the selected compound with Flat Shading in the viewport. If nothing is selected draw all compounds with Flat Shading.
# Draw Smooth
Draw the selected compound with Smooth Shading in the viewport. If nothing is selected draw all compounds with Smooth Shading.
# Draw Materials
Draw the selected compound with smooth shaded USD preview materials (if available in the USD file) in the viewport. If nothing is selected draw all compounds with smooth shaded materials.
# Frame USD Prim
Frames the currently selected item (USD prim).
It is also possible to frame an item via:
- Hotkey: If not already registered,
CTRL+ALT+Fwill be automatically registered on Windows and Linux while
COMMAND+Fwill be registered on macOS.
Note that a different key can be mapped from the Maya Hotkey Editor:
Windows->Settings/Preferences->Hotkey Editor> Custom Script> Multiverse
- Marking menu:
RMB > Frame Selected Item
# Hydra Storm
Set viewport Rendering mode to: Multiverse Storm Hydra Delegate (default).
This streams all Multiverse Compound nodes into the viewport using the customized Storm Hydra viewport render delegate. Any other Maya geometry will co-exist in the viewport and will be rendered by Maya VP2. Storm relies on modern rasterizaton, consolidation and culling techniques using OpenGL (Windows/Linux) and Metal (macOS) GPU acceleration and provides very fast, high FPS playback, thumbling and in general very high performance in the viewport.
# Hydra 3DelightNSI
Set viewport rendering mode to: 3Delight NSI Hydra Delegate.
This streams all Multiverse Compound nodes into the viewport using the 3Delight NSI Hydra viewport render delegate. Any other Maya geometry will co-exist in the viewport and will be rendered by Maya VP2. NSI relies on state of the art path tracing using the 3Delight offline rendering library (included with Multiverse). It provides very fast, progressive path tracing in the viewport. It is in general slower at playback / manipulation than Storm, but it can scale to nearly unlimited scene complexity thanks to the benefits of path tracing over rasterization and the efficiency of NSI.
# Create mvSet Node
Create a Multiverse Set node
The Multiverse Set node has multiple functionalities, when clicking its shelf button you will see the following menu:
In order from top-down:
- Setting namespace information for material assignments with attribute overrides in MEOW. ALso it can container renderers-specific set nodes to use as MEOW attribute overrides as well as add custom USD attributes.
- Define the
proxypurpose when writing USD Assets: LMB-click on the icon: second choice.
- Define the
renderpurpose when writing USD Assets: LMB-click on the icon: third choice.
- Define the
guidepurpose when writing USD Assets: LMB-click on the icon: third choice.
When used in the context of attribute sets, is designed to contain renderer
specific set nodes. Inside an
mvSet you can put nodes such as:
set(typically use by Arnold and VRay)
redshiftVisibilityand other Redshift set nodes.
vrayObjectPropertiesand other vray set nodes
A Multiverse set node is also created every time an attribute override is set in MEOW, and it can also be used for creating custom USD attributes as overrides.
mvUsdCompoundShape nodes inside an
mvSet as it is nonsensical:
mvSet should contain other
set-like nodes specific to each renderer as
per listed above, or, Maya geometry when is used for the purpose of writing
# Define & Set Variants
Multiverse offers a complete workflow to author Variants both on Maya data, and also on USD data encapsulated in Multiverse Compounds. This shelf button relates to the former (Maya data), while MEOW has the UI for the latter (USD data).
Wen clicking the Variant shelf button you will see the following menu:
In order from top-down:
- Define Variant Set. Define a VariantSet on the selected Maya transform node. You will define the name of your variant set and, optionally, the name of the default variant.
- Create Hierarchy Variants. Create your hierarchy variants on the selected Maya transform nodes (if a shape is selected its transform will be used). You will define their name and to which VariantSet they belong to. This is designed for fast multi-authoring of multiple variants.
- Create Attribute Variants. Create your attribute variants on the selected Maya shape nodes. You will define their name and to which VariantSet they belong to. This is designed for fast multi-authoring of multiple variants.
- Copy Attribute Variants. Copy variant attributes from a transform node to another transform node: the last selected is the target in Maya-style.
- Remove Variants Related Attributes: Remove all related variant attributes on the selected Maya nodes.
Since Variants come with their own terminology, we strongly recommend to read well the relative Variant documentation.
Open the Multiverse Explore & Override Windows — (MEOW).
This opens up a high-performance, stackable, panel window called “MEOW”. When a
Multiverse Compound is selected, the MEOW will display a hierarchical tree graph
where each row represents a node item in the graph (matching exactly how it was
written, e.g. by the Multiverse Write Asset/Composition operations or by Solaris
USD_ROP or by any other DCC app able to write USD files).
MEOW can efficiently display extremely complex hierarchies of items. You can use the MEOW to:
- Explore the hierarchy/items of a Multiverse Compound node using the MMB: this will pop up an info window for the selected item.
- Set Overrides at any point in the hierarchy using the RMB. Note that overrides are inherited by propagation to their children (if not further overridden below in the hierarchy).
You can set and write the following overrides:
- (Mat) material assignment (via shading group
- (Xfrm) transformations (via locator
transformnodes — with complete and full support for their ancestors and foster parents)
- (Attr) attributes (via Multiverse
- (Var) variant selection
- (RV) rendering visibility
The only override that can be set but that cannot be written is:
- (VV) viewport visibility
Static or animated overrides can be then either saved in the current Maya scene or written with the Multiverse “Write USD Override” shelf button (see above) and layered on their respective Compound: Multiverse will automatically sync a Compound by creating a new layer for the overrides that were written.
# To usdview
Open the selected Multiverse Compound in
usdview, a simple external viewing
application for USD files.
# Read the Docs
Hyperjump to the very same documentation that you are reading 🤓
# Info Window
Show information about the version of Multiverse you are using including the license and commit id of the build, for example:
Multiverse for Maya License: Free or Pro Version: 6.5.0 - f70bwi7h USD Version: 20.08
# Multiverse Global Settings
Allow to set global Multiverse setting, currently for the Storm viewport.