Using the Missing Dependency Scanner - Lumberyard User Guide

Using the Missing Dependency Scanner

Open 3D Engine (O3DE), the successor to Lumberyard, is now available in Developer Preview. Download O3DE or visit the AWS Game Tech blog to learn more.

Use the AssetProcessorBatch.exe tool to scan your files for patterns that look like missing dependencies. To perform a scan, run the AssetProcessorBatch.exe command using the dependencyScanPattern (or dsp) flag. Because the command performs a SQL query, use search strings compatible with SQL syntax; for example, the wildcard character is %, not *.

The following command scans all files with the extension .txt.

AssetProcessorBatch.exe /dependencyScanPattern=%.txt

The command scans the ProductName column in the Products table in the asset database. The scanner performs multiple passes so that it can present only results that are likely to be missing dependencies. It scans for patterns like paths, asset IDs, and UUIDs that map to existing products in your game. The results of the scan are stored in the MissingProductDependencies table of the asset database.

Taking Action

If a scan of assets in your project returns results, verify that they are true dependencies.


The following procedures show you how to create an XML file that has a missing dependency. You then resolve the dependency by creating a new schema.

To create a file with a missing dependency

  1. Create a new XML file in your project named missingdependency.xml.

  2. Edit the file to include a reference to an asset in your project. In the following example, missingDependency refers to the project.json file in the game project.

    <missingDependency path="project.json"/>
  3. Run the missing dependency scanner, which processes assets, using syntax, as shown in the following example. The command uses a wildcard to avoid including a platform or project name in the query.

    Bin64vc141\AssetProcessorBatch /dsp=%missingdependency.xml

    The following example shows a query without a wildcard character. The query matches the sample project and operating system environment. Replace <project_name> with the name of your game project.

    Bin64vc141\AssetProcessorBatch /dsp=pc/<project_name>/missingdependency.xml
  4. Observe the log output. The UUID in the following sample might be different from what you see.

    AssetProcessor: Scanning for missing dependencies: I:\p4\lyengine\branches\<project_name>\dev\Cache\<project_name>\pc\<project_name>\missingdependency.xml AssetProcessor: Missing dependency: String "project.json" matches asset: {B076CDDC-14DF-50F4-A5E9-7518ABB3E851}:0

    The following image shows sample asset database output.

                            Sample output from an asset scan in the asset database.

Next, create a schema to match this file and output, or emit, the dependency.

To create a schema to emit the dependency

  1. In Lumberyard Editor, choose Tools, Asset Editor.

  2. In the Asset Editor, choose File, New, XML Schema.

                            Creating a new schema file in the Asset Editor.
  3. For Matching Rules, click the plus (+) icon to add a rule.

  4. For File Path Pattern, enter missingdependency.xml.

  5. For Dependency Search Rules, add a dependency search rule and a search definition.

  6. For Search Rule Structure, Name, enter the name missingDependency.

  7. For Attributes, add an attribute with the following values.

    1. For Name, enter path.

    2. For Expected Extension, enter .json.

    3. For Path Dependency Type, choose ProductFile.

  8. Save the file to the location lumberyard_version\dev\Engine\Schema\missingdependency.xmlschema.

  9. Save the missingdependency.xml again to force it to reprocess.

  10. Verify that the dependency now appears correctly in the asset database, as the following images show:

                            Dependency appearing correctly in the asset database.
  11. Run the missing dependency scanner again, using syntax, as shown in the following example:

    Bin64vc141\AssetProcessorBatch /dsp=%missingdependency.xml
  12. The scanner should now report no results, as shown in the following sample log entry:

    AssetProcessor: Scanning for missing dependencies: I:\p4\lyengine\branches\<project_name>\dev\Cache\<project_name>\pc\<project_name>\missingdependency.xml AssetProcessor: No assets remain in the build queue. Saving the catalog, and then shutting down.

Custom Dependency Scanners

The missing dependency scanning system supports authoring specialized dependency scanners. To match specific data types, you can build a custom scanner by inheriting from SpecializedDependencyScanner. Implement the necessary functions and register your scanner with the MissingDependencyScanner by calling RegisterSpecializedScanner.

You can specify which scanners are run against which files by changing the call to MissingDependencyScanner's ScanFile to use a different match type or force the usage of a particular scanner.