avoiding the path inconsistencies in maya 2011.5

david | dj mod,opinions | Monday, October 4th, 2010

Last week I downloaded and installed the "Maya 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack". This is really just "Maya 2011 Service Pack 1" with a couple of extras thrown in to sweeten the deal for subscribers.

For some reason, so far unknown to me, the autodesk devs decided to distribute the subscription advantage pack as "2011.5" while continuing to call service pack 1 "2011". I'm pretty sure the code base for 2011.5 is the same as for 2011 - at least all the 3rd party plugins I've tried still load and behave correctly (and usually a version change requires a recompile of 3rd party plugins).

By default the subscription advantage pack gets installed to "C:\Program Files\Autodesk\Maya 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack". I know I could have redirected it to a more sensible and shorter path name, but I like to stick to defaults since they make some things more straight forward and less prone to human error (for example, deployment on a render farm).

The thing that really bothered me was the way my prefs folder would now have to be named "2011.5-x64". I know it's only a few extra characters, but it makes transporting prefs messy (for example, when I need to work on a system that does not have the SAP).

Ok, enough whinging. There's an easy solution. And it goes something like this.

Disclaimer & Update: 4 October 2010:

The following instructions are, in many ways, experimental. It is too early to tell if I have succeeded in upgrading sp1 to 2011.5 and I am updating my original post today because I discovered things missing. Currently everything I've tested is working, but tomorrow is another day. Since this is a fresh install I feel more adventurous than usual, safe in the knowledge that I can simply reinstall everything if something goes wrong.

  • Install "Maya 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack" and make a copy of the following files.
scripts/AETemplates...
    AEsubstanceTemplate.mel
    AEmentalrayGlobalsTemplate.mel +
scripts/others/...
    getEffectsAssets.mel
    ICEFlowInitStrings.mel
    ICEFlow.pres.mel
    makeCollideEffect.mel
    makeCollideEffect.res.mel
    visorPanel.mel +
    visorPanel.res.mel +
    createMRImageFormatControl.mel +
    createMRImageFormatControl.res.mel +
scripts/startup/...
    buildSendToSubMenus.mel
    buildSendToSubMenus.res.mel
    EffectsAssetsMenu.mel
    EffectsAssetsMenu.res.mel
    defaultRunTimeCommands.mel +
    defaultRunTimeCommands.res.mel +
    initMainMenuBar.mel +
    initMainMenuBar.res.mel +
bin/....
    substance_linker.dll
    substance_sse2_blend.dll
    synHub.dll
bin/plug-ins/....
    craftdirectorstudioadaptor_maya2011.5.mll
    ICEFlow.mll
    Substance.mll
    Mayatomr.mll +
icons/...
    render_substance.png
    render_substanceOutput.png
    sbs_button_green.png
    sbs_button_grey.png
    sbs_button_orange.png
presets/EffectsAssets/...
    ALL
substances/...
    ALL
  • Uninstall "Maya 2011 Subscription Advantage Pack"  (optional*).
  • Install "Maya 2011 Service Pack 1".
  • Move the files you copied (above) into the relevant folders in the new install (creating any folders that don't exist). The files marked with a "+" will overwrite existing files.

Thats it. This way I keep the familiar folder names and our render farm submission script will not need changing to deal with version "2011.5". My machine will just look like the rest of the farm.

* I marked uninstalling the SAP as optional because the version change actually means you can install 2011.5 and 2011 on the same system. And I suggested uninstalling the SAP before installing 2011 sp1 because in the past when I uninstalled the old version of maya after installing the upgrade I lost all my maya related  file associations, which required me to uninstall and reinstall the upgrade to get them back. Maybe they've fixed that now, but I cant be bothered wasting my time finding out.

1 Comment »

  1. Thanks for the info. I did the transfer and everything works so far.

    Comment by mdfisher272 — October 5, 2010 @ 7:23 pm

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