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Help understanding Metadata
Posted: 23 November 2012 11:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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I should also say, you took the time to try to explain your point and do screen captures to make it clear. Thank you for that.. I just hope it can be kept on a level where people don’t get emotionally vested in something that should be a technical issue, myself included ofc. There isn’t any reason anyone should get upset about any of this.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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No need to apologize. The discussion is good because it gets us on the same page and hopefully moves DAZ Studio and the community forward. Agree there is no need for any of us to get emotional - we’re just trying to understand each other coming at an issue from different angles - that’s why I took the time to demonstrate what I was saying with screenshots. I guess the reason I’m taking quite a strong position on this is because you are coming across as taking a strong position, but you may not have invested the same level of time in understanding the subject (see my last note below for an example).

Unfortunately I don’t understand what issue is tripping me up, I hadn’t intended to respond on RH’s issue, but to the issue you raised on batch renaming files. I don’t see how you can expect to do that outside of Studio and have the default metadata work, so I showed you how modifying the DSX will allow you to do what you want to do - automate renaming files outside of Studio while keeping metadata intact. I was trying to help *you* address your issue.

Gedd - 23 November 2012 11:26 PM

That last part, the fact that import doesn’t zero out old metadata, nor provide a simple interface where all of the metadata is visible in a single screen for a given object/set of objects… that’s an example of a gotcha.


I agree that Studio’s metadata interface and Smart Content are far from perfect (I’ve filed dozens of feature requests to further improve the interface). However, Studio *does* zero out old metadata and replace it with the new. I was referring to categories specifically. Obviously it shouldn’t zero out your old categories because then you lose any additional categorization you’ve done every time you update the product. That decision makes perfect sense to me.

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Posted: 23 November 2012 11:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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cridgit - 23 November 2012 11:54 PM

... However, Studio *does* zero out old metadata and replace it with the new. I was referring to categories specifically. Obviously it shouldn’t zero out your old categories because then you lose any additional categorization you’ve done every time you update the product. That decision makes perfect sense to me.

On the surface, yes this would seem to make sense. However, there are better ways to handle this that would accommodate merging the various streams without conflicting but again, this starts to get a bit into the deeper end, and without assigning resources that aren’t necessarily available at this time for this task it might be the best option.

As for mass renaming files messing with the ‘default’ metadata.. yes you are correct. Without some way to efficiently update the support files it would break the system.

This basically gets at the center of the situation. Many people have voiced their situation that they prefer renaming and restructuring the files to the point of giving up metadata if necessary. That is, if forced to choose between them, they do not choose metadata but rather choose rename and restructure. I think it is only respectful to appreciate their right to feel that if they can only have one or the other, they will choose restructure and rename. One shouldn’t have to choose, eventually.

The final point is that if the metadata is too hard to change, if there isn’t an easy to manage interface for doing mass changes on the metadata, it will be useless for many. One size does not fit all in this case. Is there really any good structure of metadata that will work for most people? It seems the focus should be on creating flexible ways of creating and managing various metadata structures, with methods to save/share/modify metadata templates of objects. That way, people could create their own ‘groups’ to create metadata in ways that make sense to them.

Categories actually fill this role for many people, which is why they say they don’t understand why they should care about metadata. While there is a functional difference between metadata and categories, I don’t think the differences are ones that some people care about in the case of metadata in it’s current state.

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Posted: 24 November 2012 12:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Another quick note on handling metadata. I have found that the programs that ‘consume’ metadata are often not the best ones for modifying it. bundling both in one package often makes the program complicated to use. Mediamonkey is great for ripping cd’s and modifying the mp3 tags, and for some it is great for playback. For many though, it is more than they need for playback. One can use Mediamonkey to manage an mp3 library, while using many other apps to actually play back (consume..) including an apple ipod. Microsoft’s Media Player and Apple’s ITunes both read the tags Mediamonkey puts ‘in the mp3 file’ and so need nothing other then the modified mp3 to have all of the metadata intact. If the same song is ripped in MS or Apple’s product, they put the metadata in an internal structure only and trying to move the mp3 results in a file with a database key for a filename and no metadata, ie useless to any other program other then the one it was ripped in. Also, if something happens to the index of the ripping program if it was either MS or Apple’s product… well you can guess.. *poof.* All one has to do to back up music ripped in Mediamonkey is save the mp3 files. To restore, wipe the index in the program or reload the program and point it to the parent folder for the music and say ‘index.’ In MS/Apple (if the song/album was ripped in either,) One would have to go through a complicated process of backing up the music, the index, and restoring both ‘properly.’ Not nearly as easy for someone not technical, and more of a bother for anyone who is. Note, anyone can move their whole music library to another computer and point MS/Apple player at the folder and they will index the folders ripped by Mediamonkey and all of that data will instantly work in either/both.

Media Companion looks up the metadata for movies, updates and manages the xml sidecar files, and technically can play them but isn’t the best player by far. XBMC is a very nice media player, but not so great at managing the tags. XBMC does use the same xml format that Media Companion does though, so someone can use one for tagging/managing, one for consuming. With these programs, since the sidecar xml files are stored in the same folder as the movie, all one has to do to back them up is back up the folder with the movie in it. To restore, simply wipe the index or reinstall the base app and point it to the movies parent folder and say ‘index,’ simple and robust.

In either case, each song, album, movie, etc.. is an autonomous unit with it’s metadata contained within it’s structure or in a folder with it’s metadata. One can back up 5 items, 50 items, 500 items to one location, some other number of items to another location… reassemble them however they want… it all works.

If one can wrap their mind around how these programs work with the metadata, they will see the future imo.

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Posted: 24 November 2012 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Ok, sorry but I have to throw in one more point.

Metadata is a changing field right now. There is experimentation on the best ways to implement and consume it. Take ‘Tag Clouds’ on websites. In some cases they are simply an amusing sidebar item that people glance at and otherwise ignore. In other cases they fit very well and get used. The point is, people are playing with the whole idea of metadata and various ways of utilizing it.

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Posted: 26 November 2012 01:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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OK, I think I have a direction now.  After studying the tutorials and playing a bit, I have been able to mess with the metadata and make my own work for some content that came without.  I like the possibilities that the metadata opens up for better workflow.  It is really nice now that I see how it all actually works. Not simple, but not nearly as bad as I had thought and better than I thought.  I didn’t really grasp the relationship of the tabs to the categories or metadata before.  I am going to bite the bullet and start re-installing my content.  I can see how in the long run, it will be for the best.

....So if you insist on changing the files and paths DAZ Studio won’t be able to connect the asset’s metadata to it, and you’re on your own. If you leave the file names and paths intact and import the metadata, DAZ Studio knows what the asset is and attaches the metadata to it. If you THEN change the file name and path (through DAZ Studio), it should keep track for you (I haven’t tested this).

It does.  I have been trying to figure out how to change the file names and paths inside DAZ Studio, and I don’t think it it works like it used to.  I am pretty sure we used to be able to drag and drop between directories, but not now.  You can however, select files from a category and from there have the option to edit the file pathways. You can select all files with that base pathway and change them to another base pathway. Seems to work, so I plan on re-installing to a NEW directory and then moving it all over to the main one whenever I am ready. 

In making my own metadata, I have found a few questions regarding the default categories.  Many of the categories seem to be duplicated under “Presets”.  What is the reasoning for choosing, say “Preset/morphs” versus the “Shaping” category? and What is the difference between “apply” and “inj”.  I have several products that seem to place everything in “presets” and other similar products that don’t use the presets at all.  I am finding it a bit confusing.

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Posted: 30 November 2012 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Wildlyfe - 26 November 2012 01:14 AM

In making my own metadata, I have found a few questions regarding the default categories.  Many of the categories seem to be duplicated under “Presets”.  What is the reasoning for choosing, say “Preset/morphs” versus the “Shaping” category? and What is the difference between “apply” and “inj”.  I have several products that seem to place everything in “presets” and other similar products that don’t use the presets at all.  I am finding it a bit confusing.


Super to hear you’re getting your teeth stuck into this. We have a discussion on metadata guidelines / consistency going on here: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/7542/

Presets has been dropped and the categories that used to be under Presets are now directly in the Default category. So Default/Presets/Morphs should be dropped and Default/Shaping should be used instead. The new DAZ products are using the new default categories, but many of the older products still need to be updated.

Inject is for injecting a morph and typically leaving the slider on 0, whereas Apply moves the slider to 1 (or 100%). Some injects also apply the morph, and some applies also inject the morph, so its a grey area. I tend to put anything that injects a morph (whether it applies the morph or not) in the Inject category, and the few poses that apply a morph go into Apply. Currently I have probably around 10 Injects for every 1 Apply.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 09:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Thanks Cridgit,  for the update.  Exactly the info I needed.  I have been trying to follow the guideline discussion, but got a bit lost.  A lot to digest.  Finally I can see it all coming together.

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Posted: 20 October 2013 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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cridgit - 30 November 2012 06:57 PM


Presets has been dropped and the categories that used to be under Presets are now directly in the Default category. So Default/Presets/Morphs should be dropped and Default/Shaping should be used instead. The new DAZ products are using the new default categories, but many of the older products still need to be updated.

Inject is for injecting a morph and typically leaving the slider on 0, whereas Apply moves the slider to 1 (or 100%). Some injects also apply the morph, and some applies also inject the morph, so its a grey area. I tend to put anything that injects a morph (whether it applies the morph or not) in the Inject category, and the few poses that apply a morph go into Apply. Currently I have probably around 10 Injects for every 1 Apply.


Exactly the clarification Daz noobs like me was looking for! Thanks a zillion.

There are so many ways to do the same thing in Daz, and so much historical baggage to sieve through. But I’ll get there…

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