Chapter 23. Building Complex Scenes with XRefs and Using Vault


  • Externally referencing objects and scenes

  • Setting up an asset management system

  • Understanding Autodesk's vault system

  • Using the Asset Tracking interface

Using external references (XRefs), you can pull multiple scenes, objects, materials, and controllers together into a single scene. XRefs allow a diverse team to work on separate parts of a scene at the same time. They also provide a great way to reuse existing resources.

How often do you go into your garage during the winter months? Unless you have a pair of the warm overalls or a space heater, you probably just throw in any tools you use, the Christmas lights, spare quarts of oil, and the kids' bikes wherever they fit as you make a mad dash back into the warm house, and then when spring comes, you have a real mess on your hands.

Max projects can be the same. During an aggressive project, Max files, textures, and render passes get saved all over the network. By the time the project is finished, you may have a hard time reusing things simply because you can't find anything. This dilemma is compounded when you work on a team with several individuals throwing stuff all over the place.

An asset management system can help with this problem by introducing a system that acts as a little secretary logging every object thrown to the network. This little secretary is also smart enough to keep track of the latest updates of all files, making sure that each accessed file ...

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