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Rigging controls for UV animation

I am trying to create animation controls for material UVs in Maya.
More specifically, I have an anime-ish character for which I’m trying to animate
the iris size.

What I tried so far:
I created simple circle controls, and hooked the X and Y scale to the place2Dtexture
node in the corresponding material(aiStandard) through some math nodes.

I thought my work was pretty much going to end there since it was working
perfectly after I built my rig, but that wasn’t the case.
After some time, I realized that when opening a file which already has the rig in it,
the textures will not update in the viewport along with the controls.
(as opposed to building it in a new scene)

Now, the connections are fine, because the textures do update in Arnold’s render view,
so this seems to be a Viewport 2.0 issue…

Modifying the controls or changing the timeline time doesn’t update the texture, but here
are a few things that do:

  • Typing a new value in the control’s attribute editor scale and pressing enter.
  • An undo operation.
  • Using the mel “ogs -reset” command.

None of these help for this use case, because I want this to update in real-time just like any other
rig control. I’ve also tried to get some information from the console by echoing all commands, but
I couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.

I’m working in Maya 2019, but I’ve done some testing in Maya 2022 and the same thing happens.

At this point, I’m not sure what else to try and it’s becoming pretty frustrating, especially seeing
how it seems to work just fine until it is a file being opened/referenced.

Any ideas as to why this might be happening or suggestions for a different approach to achieve
the same would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

Apparently, the problem with the update is being caused by having Parallel evaluation enabled in Preferences/Settings/Animation…
Switching it to DG does the trick, but I’m not really sure why this is the case.

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for this effect i usually use a blendshape! Works great as well