Understanding the runtime and Daz content file structure

edited October 2013 in New Users

I keep seeing posts about issues with the runtime structure, and how messed up it is, and the problems it creates for new users.
And i'd said i'd get around to putting up a tutorial regarding this.
So here it is.
(note to mac users, i don't have one so things may be different for you)

POSER CONTENT(Runtime)
Everything Poser goes in a runtime folder.
Whether the runtime is a sub folder(c:\my library\runtime) or just put on a drive(c:\runtime) doesn’t matter(generally)
And the programs don’t care if parts of content are in one runtime or a completely different one, or drive.
As long as the directories are mapped.
This means mapping the PARENT DIRECTORY, not the runtime itself.
See the structure below for the proper layout.
(Mapping directories:Poser:Right sidepanel>click on the (+)running man)
Daz:ContentLibraryTab(rightclick)>ContentdirectoryManager(leftclick))
I've tested this in both daz and poser(2014).

Here’s the basic layout of what a runtime should look like
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Geometries
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Textures
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Camera
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Character*
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Face*
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Hair
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Hand
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Light
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Materials
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Pose
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Props
x:\{Mapped directory}\Runtime\Libraries\Scene
*these two folders actually get renamed to Figures and Expressions, respectively, inside daz and poser

As you can see, there are three primary directories within a runtime folder.
Geometries: Where all the OBJ files should be.
Textures:Where all the Shaders should be(poser materials are seperate)
Libraries:where all the clickable stuff goes.

Folders within textures and geometries should never be moved any where but to a rutime\textures, or runtime\geometries folder respectively.

The libraries sub folders should have the following:
CAMERA: CM2
*CHARACTER:CR2
*FACE:FC2
HAIR:HR2
HAND:HD2
LIGHT:LT2
MATERIALS:mt5 and mc6 predominately. These are poser material files, and generally don’t work in daz.
POSE:PZ2
PROP:PP2
SCENE:PZ3
*The two directories get renamed to Figures and Expressions respectively within the programs.

These locations/folders actually correlate to the ten buttons in poser.


Now here’s the rub.
Any of those file formats can be in any of the directories, including the base Libraries folder.
And you may have duplicate named files in multiple folders.
Such as hairs appearing in hair, character or prop.
They are generally different items.
One is an HR2, the next a cr2 and the other is a pp2. and may function differently.
You’ll literally have to test each accordingly.

Basically as long as the content is visible in daz or poser, and it works, the companies./programs don’t seem to care how it’s placed.

Moving things around….
As i said any of the file types within the libraries sub folders, can generally be placed any where within the libraries folder. including the libraries folder itself.
The exception is when there is actually a named folder beyond the basic ten.
Such as Morphs, python, or any number of names.

In most cases those are additional information for certain content.
It may be a script for adding morph dials to a corset(pz2), or python scripting(py) or or or.
For the most part you want to maintain the relative placement.

That is, wherever it falls within the runtime, it needs to stay there.
Doesn’t matter if it’s in another runtime, as long as that runtime is mapped.
Such as the morphs folder may be in runtime.
It needs to stay in runtime, and not be placed in a sub directory.
If it’s in Runtime\libraries, it needs to stay within the libraries sub directory.


Currently i’m working on consolidating the Geometries, textures, and the random folders into parent folders.
Geometries is in Objects, textures are in textures, and the random folders is in crazy freaking content creators folder.

Each maintains the required structure as far as it needs, with nothing more there.

Now as far as putting the content in the correct place, hair in hair etc, that is completely up to you where to place it.

What i’d recommend is to start with a desktop folder to put the exe, zip, dim file into.
once there, restructure accordingly, but don’t move anything to your working directories.
Save it as a new zip/rar etc so you don’t have to use the Exe later, or go through the work again.
This is something else i’ve been doing as i clean out a failing drive.

There is one last thing to keep in mind.
Uninstallers usually don’t work after this kind of customization.
so you’ll have to manually uninstall the content.
That is where the readme’s come in, as most have a file list.

If you significantly change the layout, you may want to make your own file list to refer back to in the event of needing to remove it.
I personally use directory list print pro(it costs), but there are alternatives to print file lists for free.

And lastly if you are feeling rather ambitious, you can always edit the cr2 files and change where it draws the files from.
If you do decide to start messing with this, always make a back up of the initial file first, then edit in any text editor.
I’ve found that notepad++ works the best for this, as you can open both the original and the current version, and see them side by side for comparison. Where as notepad, requires two open copies to do this.

SO with the restructuring, my shaders(materials have their own directory remember) are now with the product they work with.
(just like daz puts the materials as a sub directory of the item)
All the props associated with a certain Clothing set are with the clothing set.
And poses only contains poses.

DazStudio(MYLIbrary)

Compared to the runtime insanity, daz is wayyyyyyyy easier.
There are two primary formats for daz studio
DSX(dsa, dsb etc) and DUF.
Any folder that contains either of these File types, has daz useable content.

It really doesn't care where anything goes as long as it's mapped.
(see above for the textures folder)
The exception is the DATA folder.
Never mess with the DATA folder, put it anywhere, map the Parent folder containing it, but don't mess with the files/structure.
(unless you are very brave, and have some programming experience).
This folder is the daz equivalent of the Geometries folder, as well as incorporating a lot of other things in it.
If you've ever noticed, daz only content, doesn't always contain an OBJ file.
(ok, some poser content doesn't either, but i'm not going that deep into it).

Also, Daz creates a series of data files within additional runtimes(if you have them) called Auto_adapted(x:\Folder\data\Auto_Adapted)
Don't mess with that one either, it is items from poser that have been modified(automatically) for use in daz.
I haven't' quite figured out what does or does not create these files, and it seems a bit random.
I have the folder in my Sets runtimes, but not in my base mesh(victoria4/3 etc).

The installers(old versions) or DLM, usually put things in a certain structure.
Clothes in clothes
Sets in Architecture
Etc.
Doesn't matter.
As long as there is a DS* or DUF file, and the folder is mapped, it'll work.
I've gone so far as to put the files on my desktop, and mapped it.
Everything loaded just fine.
Once again i have to tell you that depending on the item, it may require a certain placement of files just to find it.
This has been few and far between, but it does happen.
It's usually a texture/shader that causes the problem.

Notes On mapping directories in Daz Studio
This one gets a lot of misinformation as well.
The biggest one is that you have to map Directories to both the poser formats and Daz studio formats.
This is not the case.

This of course applies only when using separate/multiple directories, and not just defaulting to the My library(dump everything in here) folder, or a single directory for all content. IF using a single directory for all content, or mixing both daz and poser content, Map to both accordingly.

If it's daz content(DSX,DUF), map it only to the Daz studio formats.
If it's poser content(RUntime), map it only to the Poser formats.
Be aware that Daz content does have a runtime for textures, and that directory will need to be mapped to the poser side.

SOmetimes there is daz content coupled with poser content(shaders usually) you'll get an icon of a scroll in the upper left corner.
That indicates it's got a daz version that, generally, loads instead of the poser version.
It doesn't need to be mapped to both formats, it'll work mapped in the poser format only.


The main reason I say not to map to both, is it adds a lot of folders that you don't need in daz.
Such as the morphs and Python folders mentioned earlier.
You can't do anything with them directly(shows an empty folder), so being able to see the folder in your content directories is a bit superfluous.
Another reason is that if you're like me and start cleaning out the directories in daz that have nothing showing, you might delete a folder that you need for poser content.
I've done that more times then i care to count. And it's almost impossible to figure out what you've broken until yo go to use it.
To verify if a folder is actually empty, put the pointer over the folder, and right click, then select Browse to folder location.
If it's truly empty, it won't open a window.

I know it'll be a bit of a pain to have the daz stuff separate from the poser items, but i've found it to be easier to work with.
I'm not dealing with empty directories all over the place, as there are no DS* or DUf files in them.
And since i'm converting most of my "poser only" content over to daz version(DUF), It'll improve my workflow even further.
That is of course if i ever get it done.

THINGS TO ALWAYS REMEMBER:
1. Never map a RUNTIME folder directly, only map the parent directory(the directory it is in)
2. If you are using a single Directory for both daz and poser content, Map It under both daz and poser formats.
3. When using split(one for poser, one for daz) or multiple directories, it is not always necessary to Map the directories to both the daz format and poser format. In this case only map to the proper format. DSX, DUF for Daz, and Anything in a runtime to poser.


I hope this helps some of the noobs out there, and maybe some of you old timers as well.
And if the admins find it particularly useful i'd appreciate a sticky(and an ataboy).

If somebody finds anything i've missed or something that is totally wrong in this post, don't hesitate to let me know.
I'll correct accordingly, and eat the requisite crow.

Post edited by refsocrd1_aefdbd2b3a on

Comments

  • SylvanSylvan Posts: 2,505
    edited December 1969

    This is a great reference to have on hand as I sometimes tend to mess things up.

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,698
    edited December 1969

    Just a correction about mapping as both DS and Poser format -- you'll only get the problem you cited if you map the wrong folder. You always map the folder CONTAINING the Runtime folder, never include "Runtime" as part of the path, or any other subfolder. Similarly, never map the Data folder itself , map the folder CONTAINING the Data folder. As long as you do that, you won't see the folders that are supposed to be hidden.

    You often need to map as both because DS content also uses Runtime:Textures to store the textures, and DS will only look in that location if the folder containing the Runtime folder is listed as a Poser-format content folder.

  • edited December 1969

    Just a correction about mapping as both DS and Poser format -- you'll only get the problem you cited if you map the wrong folder. You always map the folder CONTAINING the Runtime folder, never include "Runtime" as part of the path, or any other subfolder. Similarly, never map the Data folder itself , map the folder CONTAINING the Data folder. As long as you do that, you won't see the folders that are supposed to be hidden.

    You often need to map as both because DS content also uses Runtime:Textures to store the textures, and DS will only look in that location if the folder containing the Runtime folder is listed as a Poser-format content folder.

    Thanks for the catch on not noting the mapping parent directory only,
    The rundown of the structure shows this, but i didn't make any statement about it.
    I'll add it in the runtime section, and add some clarification in the Mapping section.


    Remember the Textures file is a runtime, and as such a poser format.

    It only needs to be mapped on the poser side, not the daz side.

    I don't have any of my runtimes mapped to the daz side, and all of my textures are in a single Runtime directory.
    Whether the content is daz only or poser only.
    And to date have had no problems.
    Thought i was pretty clear that this only applies with multiple runtimes/directories
    Ah well, what we think we wrote is not as clear as what people see we wrote.

    Appreciate the catches. keep em coming.

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,698
    edited December 1969

    Yes, if you separate the Runtime/Textures portion from the DS-format content, that works fine. But if you just install the entire item to one location, it needs to be mapped as both.

  • edited December 1969

    Yes, if you separate the Runtime/Textures portion from the DS-format content, that works fine. But if you just install the entire item to one location, it needs to be mapped as both.

    exactly, thought i was clear on that originally, but updated to be crystal on it.
    Give it another once over and see if it's a bit clearer on that point.

  • Is there any way to know where DAZ Studio is looking for these files?  It seems this should be displayed in the preferences folder, but for some reason, there appears to be no way to read this.

  • Hi there! I've been rendering since 2010 and just reopened my Daz Studio 3 but for some reason my content library is ALL out of whack.

    Is there a way to reorganize within Windows Explorer so that it's mapped correctly? V4 won't even load. 

    TIA!

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  • I don't have DS 3 installed, so I can't recall how to open the content directory manager - you could check the DS 4 location, click on the lined button at top-right of the pane in your screen shot. It looks as if you did a search for content and the system found a lot of stuff that had been unpacked with a folder for the product name - in which case taking the contents from those and placing them in your real content directory should consolidate them.

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