# The Multiverse Shelf

Once the 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”.

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It is also possible to write USDZ assets for AR.

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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 in Maya).

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 (transform nodes) 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 Window (MEOW).

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.

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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).

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It is also possible to frame an item via:

  • Hotkey: If not already registered, CTRL+ALT+F will be automatically registered on Windows and Linux while COMMAND+F will 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 proxy purpose when writing USD Assets: LMB-click on the icon: second choice.
  • Define the render purpose when writing USD Assets: LMB-click on the icon: third choice.
  • Define the guide purpose when writing USD Assets: LMB-click on the icon: third choice.

See Generating Viewport Proxies.

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:

  • Maya set (typically use by Arnold and VRay)
  • 3Delight dlSet node
  • Redshift redshiftAttributeMesh, redshiftVisibility and other Redshift set nodes.
  • Vray vrayObjectProperties and other vray set nodes

Note

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.

Heads up!

Don’t put mvUsdCompoundShape nodes inside an mvSet as it is nonsensical: an 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 proxies.

# Define & Set Variants

Authoring 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.

Note

Since Variants come with their own terminology, we strongly recommend to read well the relative Variant documentation.

# MEOW

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:

  1. Explore the hierarchy/items of a Multiverse Compound node using the MMB: this will pop up an info window for the selected item.
  2. 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 shadingEngine nodes)
  • (Xfrm) transformations (via locator transform nodes — with complete and full support for their ancestors and foster parents)
  • (Attr) attributes (via Multiverse mvSet nodes)
  • (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
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# Multiverse Global Settings

Allow to set global Multiverse setting, currently for the Storm viewport.

Last Updated: 6/5/2021, 5:15:01 PM