40min

ProxSi - Overview

ProxSi proxy format locks 3D asset with password protection.

Screenshot of the ProxSi rollout
Screenshot of the ProxSi rollout



Background

For decades 3D artists, especially in architectural visualisation, have been asked by their clients to send 3D scenes to third parties as part of the design process. Many have found ways to avoid this or are pressured to send their hard work to their clients, who too often, and regrettably, have been known to then send the files to a competitor! Another scenario, especially with master planning architects and developers at competition stages, may wish to send out models to project bidders but wish to restrict them from permanently acquiring the assets.

The list of these scenarios is long. An old-school technique, used by 3D artists to prevent competitors from using their 3D models was to sabotage them, by deleting back faces, deleting copyright textures etc. This practice has been widespread and really sends a negative message across the industry of 'why should we help you when your ulterior motive may be to steal our work?'.

We developed ProxSi to keep your clients happy! Allowing you to safely send 3D datasets to requested third parties, timestamped to expire when their work is complete.

And here's a SiNi customer story...

A few years back, we heard from a customer who told us how they discovered the power of ProxSi first-hand! They had won a big rendering job on a massive master planning project. The studio bosses couldn't believe their luck that the existing rendering studio had sent them the entire project with no visible tampering. But when the lead 3D artist on the project informed the bosses the buildings were locked to expire in three months, the bosses ignored it, as nobody had heard of such a thing in 3D before. They finished the renderings and delivered them to the client. Several months later, they wanted to use the buildings on another project and opened up the files to discover they had expired and were no longer renderable. They could do nothing to get hold of them...WHAT? We were told they contacted the developer who had commissioned them. The developer said they had no right to use the models without their permission and that was that. They had been loaned to a competitor for a fixed period of time, at the request of the project client, who liked the fact the usage remained in their control. ProxSi did its job!

Why use ProxSi security?

Ownership of digital 3D assets that you can share and control who uses them. This can be as simple as locking an asset once the design is approved, or maybe you wish to loan a 3D asset to a third party for a set period of time?

Why is this important?

ProxSi protects against piracy, theft and freebooting
ProxSi protects against piracy, theft and freebooting

If you work in a studio or on confidential or sensitive projects, leaking a design may have massive PR and commercial implications, not least damaging your reputation. Until ProxSi, keeping track of digital 3D assets has been akin to policing diamond mining workers! Some of the ways studios use to try to stop staff copying 3D models, include disabling flash drives, direct internet connections and personal websites. Over 90% of the industry will likely have 3D assets acquired from someone else, or freebooting, with no consideration of copyright or ownership. Aside from legal terms and conditions, there is nothing stopping someone from buying 3D assets from an online website and sharing these purchases with others, or passing them off as their work.

What are the restrictions of ProxSi proxy?

To enable the security features we developed our own proxy format. This was developed to be as universal as possible supporting many third-party renderers, enabling us to translate from one format to the other. This can also be used as an alternative to V-Ray and Corona proxies to optimise 3D scenes. We recommend using ProxSi with Arnold. Hard surface 3D models

  • You can only apply UVW mapping.
  • You cannot add modifiers in the stack.

Animated 3D models

  • Character mesh only.
  • Does not support keyframe animation.
  • Does not support Point cache or Alembic files.
  • Does not support rigging, bones, etc.

Simulations and particles

  • Not supported.

Below is a comparison table between 3ds Max proxies



ProxSi

V-Ray

Corona

3D mesh







Password protect







Expiry date - loan model







Copy/paste proxies

IgNite

IgNite

IgNite

Multi-object authoring

IgNite





Keyframe animation







Point cache/alembic







Character rigging/bones







Simulations/particles







Hair and fur









Workflow from two-way to sending locked.
Workflow from two-way to sending locked.

What are the restrictions of locked 3D assets?

In simplistic terms, you cannot modify the 3D geometry once locked. Hard surface 3D models

  • Fully protected.
  • Restricted viewport setting - the maximum display is half mesh.
  • You can only apply UVW mapping.
  • You can render (until the expiry date).
  • Selected model exporting disabled.
  • Copy/paste enabled - if SiNi installed.
  • You can change material IDs.

What happens when a locked ProxSi expires?

Document image

It automatically becomes non-renderable marked by a SiNi Squirrel icon. Expired ProxSi 3D assets can be reactivated by entering the password, if available.

Can I lock an entire scene?

It has typically been used to lock a design in the scene and not the entire scene itself. You could lock everything and set everything with the same password using the bulk ProxSi tools included in the IgNite/workflow tab. IgNite (UI) - Workflow

How does it work?

ProxSi works best if you attach 3D assets to single objects. ie, attach each design, (a building for example), into one model. Please see Sculpt (UI) for attaching geometry. ProxSi can only work on objects saved in the scene, X-refs will need to be merged. Select all the models you want to password protect and follow the steps to lock. Please see ProxSi (UI) for details. If the models contain third party proxies (V-Ray, Corona), these will be converted to ProxSi format and saved internally into the 3D scene. When you unlock the proxy, it converts everything back to edit mesh format and saves instances.