When you create or edit a component on a disciplines flowchart, you choose a Component and Component Format. When these are set, various other settings become available, including the Input filters and Output filters.
- Use the Input filters to control what is loaded into the component from other disciplines, components, and the Digital Asset Manager.
- Use the Output filters to control what the component can publish or pass on to other disciplines or components.
For example, you could have an Animation discipline that needs to load the characters in a scene. But you do not want to load the environment from the scene, as it would slow down the performance and is not needed by the character animators. So, in this scenario, you could set the input filter to ENTITY_FIELD type is not Environment, which tells SimpelCloud to load any assets except those with a type of "Environment".
The relationships between a scene and its assets are defined in the Digital Asset Manager (DAM).
To define the input and output filters, you use the table on the Input filters and Output filters tabs.
By default, the table has a single row but you can add more rows as needed. Each row represents a filter condition, and this is a rule that will apply to the component.
SimpleCloud performs the filters one row at a time. The top row filter is applied first, and then the second row of the filter is applied to the results of the first row. As you add more rows, you can change the order to meet your requirements.
To create a filter condition:
- Select the appropriate tab, either Input filters or Output filters, depending on your requirements.
- Use the left-most field to select the type of filter to apply. You can choose from:
Include or exclude data from a particular discipline that exists in SimpleCloud. For example, you could have an animation cache component for an Animation discipline, and it receives inputs from a RIG discipline and a DRAFT_RIG. You could use the Discipline filter to set the component to receive inputs from the RIG discipline only.
Include or exclude data from a particular entity field. The entity field must exist in SimpleCloud (on the DAM entities tab). For example, you could set the input filter to exclude entities with a type of Environment. This would prevent environments from being loaded into the component.
Include or exclude data from a particular component that exists in SimpleCloud. This works similar to the discipline filter, except that it applies to individual components rather than disciplines.
- In the adjacent field, select the type of input.
For Discipline and Component, select either code or nicename, so that you can identify them by their id or name.
For Entity_field, enter the name of the field.
- In the next field, select the operator. This defines the condition and tells SimpleCloud how to find matching results. There are several options to choose from, and are all common operators, such as "is" for an exact match "is not" for anything except an exact match, "greater than" for a value that is higher, and more.
- In the right-most field, enter the criteria that must be matched. For example, if you set an input filter that is Entity_Field, type, is, Environment, the component will only load data from "Environment" type fields. All other types will be excluded.
- To add more criteria, select the plus icon ( + ) to add another row.
- To remove a row, select the cross icon ( x ) at the end of the row.
- To change the order of the filters, so that they are applied in a different sequence, select the up arrow and down arrow icons at the end of the row.
- Select Accept.
The filters will now be applied to the component's inputs and/or outputs. SimpleCloud will only load the components into a discipline if they meet the input filters criteria. Similarly, it will only publish the components to another discipline if they meet the output filter criteria.