Question for those who manually categorize content...

quickxoticaquickxotica Posts: 0
edited July 2012 in The Commons

Question for those of you who assign categories to all your content:

Do you prefer to have the various materials/textures associated with a particular item shown in a sub-folder within the item’s own category folder (one level farther down the folder tree), or do you simply have all of your textures categorized under “presets/materials/[name of prop].”

Because so much content lacks Metadata, I just spent MANY hours finally going through ALL my Daz & Poser content folders & manually assigning categories to everything that didn’t already have at least one. This has been an improvement over searching for stuff blindly & trying to remember what content is where, but I can’t help thinking that it would be even better if I had done it differently: i.e. if I had put all those texture options into new sub-folders co-located with their respective prop/item under the Props/ or Sets/… branches of the folder tree instead of under the Presets/ branch. But fixing/adding those new categorizations now is going to mean another marathon of mouse-clicks for me… Will it be worth it?

Is there a better way?

Advice from those more experienced would be appreciated. I am using DS4Pro 64-bit on Win7. Thanks.

Post edited by quickxotica on

Comments

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I hate to say it but, YES I do that myself. All content for one item in one easy to get to place, right next to the item. Once you start this you must keep it up or you get way behind very fast. But why hunt in another catagory for those cool textures if you can just load them one or two clicks after you load the item? I also have large catagories Such as Furniture Indoor with sub catagories under those. It does make for much faster scene design and set ups.

  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited July 2012

    Yes, I have all textures as subfolders of their parent item, this includes having a 'characters' folder under each of the base figures. I also drag all props items over to the characters folder hierarchy so that props associated with an outfit are in the same folder as the outfit itself. I also do the same for associated poses and merge Poser and Daz versions of the same textures if the PA hasn't done it so that the DAZ version will be automatically picked up by Studio when I select the texture.

    Setting it up initially is a faff, but I've been doing it this way for several years now and it means that when you are actually doing something creative, you don't have to think about whether there is a texture you can use, it is right there for you. If you get into the habit of moving files as soon as you install them, then there really isn't that much of an ongoing overhead. I've never used metadata/smart content, because what it was trying to give to people I effectively had already.

    Post edited by DWG on
  • Robert952Robert952 Posts: 108
    edited December 1969

    Yes to the textures for a given model/figure.

    Other props (like shoes, jewelry and such) I put in a more generic set of folders. The textures still stay with the base model.

    Same with poses. I put all the poses in sub folders (like Victoria, Michael) but label where they came from (if associated with a specific model or set.

    I haven't played with the metadata much... too set in my old ways.

  • Zev0Zev0 Posts: 3,591
    edited July 2012

    I always call my Textures, Lights, Props, Pose, Character the exact same name for that particular product. So if I load the character called Mary, I know the textures for it will be under the name Mary. If the set has props it will be under Mary. Its just easier to remember it that way. I always extract to a folder on my desktop and rename before it goes into my runtime or library. But everyone has their own method...

    Post edited by Zev0 on
  • PendraiaPendraia Posts: 2,522
    edited December 1969

    DWG said:
    Yes, I have all textures as subfolders of their parent item, this includes having a 'characters' folder under each of the base figures. I also drag all props items over to the characters folder hierarchy so that props associated with an outfit are in the same folder as the outfit itself. I also do the same for associated poses and merge Poser and Daz versions of the same textures if the PA hasn't done it so that the DAZ version will be automatically picked up by Studio when I select the texture.

    Setting it up initially is a faff, but I've been doing it this way for several years now and it means that when you are actually doing something creative, you don't have to think about whether there is a texture you can use, it is right there for you. If you get into the habit of moving files as soon as you install them, then there really isn't that much of an ongoing overhead. I've never used metadata/smart content, because what it was trying to give to people I effectively had already.
    I do this also my main gripe with ds4 is that they've restricted the ability to move/delete some folders. I have my own system which is admittedly similar to theirs , but I prefer my own. Everything is organized so that I can easily find it. When you own gb's of content it is too easy to forget which textures you have for an outfit if they are all in the same folder it' s less of an issue to find stuff.

  • ErdehelErdehel Posts: 193
    edited July 2012

    Yes indeed. I categorize every product from the studio and poser subfloders into categories. Main Product gets in an assigned category and I put all textures and props related to the product in subcategories. I may also categorize a part of the product to another category if it is relevant for that category. When I buy a new texture set for a product I put it also in a subcategory of the main product. Works well and I can easily find a Product and all what was made for it.

    Post edited by Erdehel on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    I just chuck all CR2s, scenes and Mats files all in one folder. Additional mats go into a subfolder.

    Being in one folder makes me remember what a pz2, pp2 etc are. ;)

  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited December 1969

    Pendraia said:
    my main gripe with ds4 is that they've restricted the ability to move/delete some folders.


    Which ones? I can't say that I've noticed.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 2,385
    edited December 1969

    Definitely makes sense to categorize all elements of a given item together. The odds are pretty good that's when you'd use them, thus saving time, instead of searching for them in other areas.

  • BarubaryBarubary Posts: 947
    edited December 1969

    Yep, everything, materials, associated poses, props, lights, cameras etc. that belongs to one item are being put into one folder / subfolder. Due to the way I organize my stuff, I may copy some items to a separate folder (so I have, lets say, jewelry props from one outfit in both the outfit's folder and in an own separate folder in my 'Jewelry' section), but there's always one 'main folder'. I really hate spreading content over several folders, but from what I understand, the way Poser, at least older versions are set up, content creators kind of have to.

  • ErdehelErdehel Posts: 193
    edited December 1969

    Pendraia said:
    my main gripe with ds4 is that they've restricted the ability to move/delete some folders..

    Categories or Folders? I never touch the folders in the Studio and Poser file system. I let products install stuff wherever they want. It is easier to update them doing this. Once the stuff is categorized or ignored I don't look at those files anymore.

    The categories system (except unassigned) can be organized exactly the way you want it.

  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 563
    edited December 1969

    Yes, yes, yes... I now always group the associated files as subfolders. Also add in the artists name so I can search that way as well and cut and paste key information from the product page into the notes field. And then backup religiously my Content Manager Database. There's a lot of hours of work invested in it now.

    Nothing more frustrating than finding a texture you want to use and not being able to locate the associated mesh when you're on a creative role! This little bit of work up fronts saves hair pulling down the line for sure. Good idea to post this and share ideas.

  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited December 1969

    Barubary said:
    Due to the way I organize my stuff, I may copy some items to a separate folder (so I have, lets say, jewelry props from one outfit in both the outfit's folder and in an own separate folder in my 'Jewelry' section),

    I do the same, I have an Accessories folder, with subfolders for jewellery, handbags, watches, glasses and so on, it makes it so much easier to completely outfit a character. Another thing I'll often create duplicate copies of to group together under a single folder is footwear, just because shoes or boots come with a particular outfit doesn't mean they can't be used with something completely different.

  • ErdehelErdehel Posts: 193
    edited December 1969

    Categorizing in multiple categories does wonders :) I use it a lot for non character dependent stuff: Jewels, hair, weapons, poses, ...

  • quickxoticaquickxotica Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Wow, thanks everyone for all the replies (& PMs). Seems like most of you like to keep everything (presets, materials, sub-props) co-located with its parent mesh.

    Thank you! Looks like I have some more work to do... but in the end I agree it will be worth it. I think I have a couple hundred Gig's of content. Already I am finding products I had forgotten about that I could have used in previous renders. Assigning multiple categories to certain items that are versatile is becoming one of my favorite tricks.

    One of these days I'll finish all this & be able to get back to rendering. :-)

    PS: Once all this work is done, are there any special steps I need to take to make sure my categorizations survive the inevitable version-upgrade to DS4.5? I'd REALLY don't think I could re-do all this if it ever gets wiped out.

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    PS: Once all this work is done, are there any special steps I need to take to make sure my categorizations survive the inevitable version-upgrade to DS4.5? I'd REALLY don't think I could re-do all this if it ever gets wiped out.
    Look in my .signature below at my freebies and tutorials link. There's a thread on moving DS4 from one computer to another. This thread basically covers everything you need to know about backing up the DS4 CMS (which converts to 4.5 just fine automatically by the way).

  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited July 2012

    Once all this work is done, are there any special steps I need to take to make sure my categorizations survive the inevitable version-upgrade to DS4.5? I'd REALLY don't think I could re-do all this if it ever gets wiped out.


    Changes to the actual folders on disk should be completely unaffected by whichever version of Studio you're running, my existing content library opens quite happily in Studio 2, 3 and 4.

    Changes to the smart content categories should be preserved, as it's a database rather than a part of the code, and I haven't seen anyone who has upgraded complaining that their categorisation has been corrupted, however I don't use Smart Content and I haven't upgraded to 4.5 yet, so I can't say that definitively.

    Post edited by DWG on
  • ErdehelErdehel Posts: 193
    edited July 2012

    The move of my content database to DAZ Studio 4.5 even allowed me to solve some inconsistencies with the help of the new database maintenance tools. :-)

    Post edited by Erdehel on
  • Kevin-McKeeKevin-McKee Posts: 645
    edited December 1969

    I'd say manually organizing your content is more of a necessity than a choice. If I didn't, I'd never be able able to find anything.

  • karibousboutiquekaribousboutique Posts: 848
    edited December 1969

    http://karibous-boutique.deviantart.com/gallery/25693748#/d2so6t9


    My tutorial on how I organize my own runtime. :)

  • DWGDWG Posts: 772
    edited August 2012

    Oh, one extra point. Don't assume that because you've rearranged the folders, that's it. My folder design is a work in progress and usually sees significant change once a year or so.

    As an example if that I'm in the middle of moving the material folders under their parent items now that DS4 handles .MC6s, I've just changed my naming convention for Gen 4 outfits and I'm going to be changing it for hair - essentially the rise of Genesis now means that distinctions between something being usable by A, G and V4 and something being usable by only A4 and V4 are less important than they used to be. My naming conventions used to have the applicable figures as their lead element, but seeing as I'll almost inevitably be auto-fitting to Genesis in future I've moved that to the back of the filename to allow the item name to dominate.

    Post edited by DWG on
  • deloquenciadeloquencia Posts: 46
    edited December 1969


    http://karibous-boutique.deviantart.com/gallery/25693748#/d2so6t9
    My tutorial on how I organize my own runtime. :)

    Thanks for the tutorial, you mentioned things I didn't considered.

    I admit that although you described how to break the runtime into parts and gave tips to organize the content around Victoria 4.2, It's still too dangerous for a new user to break it - so nothing works anymore. You're an experienced user and know exactly how the runtimes works.

    So I'm searching an external option to manage my content.
    With the scripting facilities it should be possible to link this external solution to DAZ Studio or Poser -
    to i.e. load such organized content.

  • edited February 2013

    just popping in with my two cents.

    For me organization/categorization starts at install.

    Instead of installing everything into the "my library" folder, I have a parent directory on a secondary drive.
    Within that directory i have sub directories for each category.
    This is what, currently, works for me.

    animation
    animals
    clothes
    efx
    genesis
    hair
    hdri
    lights
    mechs and bots
    monsters
    other textures
    people
    poses
    props
    sets
    shaders and mats
    toon
    tuts
    vehicles
    weapons

    Now you could easily start micro managing these categories and sub divide even further.
    victoria 3 sub directory in clothing or hair for instance.
    I wouldn't recommend beyond this as windows has a tendency to not like having to deal with file structures with more than 256 characters(depending on OS) generally.
    At present i do the micro managing in daz. might change with the next computer build, we'll see.

    Another thing you might want to do if you do batch installs, is to keep a notepad open, and just type in what you are installing, then when you are in daz, you'll be able to find it faster for categorization.

    Now within daz, i'm over micro managed. chairs, plates, etc.

    The one problem i run into is duplicate names.
    This happens at two levels.
    The first is at the product producers level. for instance there is an Ireland character for v4 both on the renderosity site, and on share cg.
    The difference is that one has a parent of Pose>corinthianscori>Kenya collection>ireland(sharecg) and the other is just Pose>Ireland(rendo).
    When both folders, ireland, are placed in the same category(v4 characters for instance), they are merged, so both are in the same folder. This is actually handy for putting props associated with a certain figure(earrings and a dress for instance) together. TO solve this you can either create separate categories(for me ireland good(rendo), ireland creepy(sharecg), or keep the original structure(corinthianscori>Kenya collection>ireland(sharecg) and ireland(rendo).

    The second is at the product level(cr2, pz2, the picture you click on to load a product). when designers just use a generic name(sword) or name something that is exactly the same name as something else(contropose 1).
    then you either have to keep the upper directory, or rename the item.
    i usually just rename it and move on. Think I'm up to sword 50 at this point.

    edit:i previously stated that ireland was on this site, it's actually a renderosity. whoops

    Post edited by refsocrd1_aefdbd2b3a on
  • srieschsriesch Posts: 2,013
    edited February 2013

    I actually use a mix of the two methods.

    Originally I always created a materials folder for the materials because I found I was spending far too much time trying to figure out which icon was the material and which was the actual object, and this allowed me to know instantly.

    However, now that newer products have "Material" or "Wardrobe" printed in the upper right corner of the icon, I that problem no longer exists for these products, and since I don't want to spend huge quantities of time creating and navigating through unneeded levels of folders, plus it's nice to be able to see the icons for all my material options without opening another folder, for these products I just dump the materials right in with the product.

    Post edited by sriesch on
  • edited December 1969

    I actually use a mix of the two methods.

    Originally I always created a materials folder for the materials because I found I was spending far too much time trying to figure out which icon was the material and which was the actual object, and this allowed me to know instantly.

    However, now that newer products have "Material" or "Wardrobe" printed in the upper right corner of the icon, I that problem no longer exists for these products, and since I don't want to spend huge quantities of time creating and navigating through unneeded levels of folders, plus it's nice to be able to see the icons for all my material options without opening another folder, for these products I just dump the materials right in with the product.

    awesome you found what works for you. we all have to find our own sweet spot.

    word of warning though, those little notations are associated with meta data. no meta data, no notations.
    outside of the daz store, most vendors don't use it.

    Don't get me wrong, meta-data is a great concept. You can even create your own meta data files if you want.

    now that you mentioned, i just noticed that after upgrading to the latest build, those titles aren't on the icons, even the ones that had it previously. off to check this out.

    find what works for you, don't just go by what people say

  • MBuschMBusch Posts: 404
    edited February 2013

    refsocrd1 said:
    I actually use a mix of the two methods.

    Originally I always created a materials folder for the materials because I found I was spending far too much time trying to figure out which icon was the material and which was the actual object, and this allowed me to know instantly.

    However, now that newer products have "Material" or "Wardrobe" printed in the upper right corner of the icon, I that problem no longer exists for these products, and since I don't want to spend huge quantities of time creating and navigating through unneeded levels of folders, plus it's nice to be able to see the icons for all my material options without opening another folder, for these products I just dump the materials right in with the product.

    awesome you found what works for you. we all have to find our own sweet spot.

    word of warning though, those little notations are associated with meta data. no meta data, no notations.
    outside of the daz store, most vendors don't use it.

    Don't get me wrong, meta-data is a great concept. You can even create your own meta data files if you want.

    now that you mentioned, i just noticed that after upgrading to the latest build, those titles aren't on the icons, even the ones that had it previously. off to check this out.

    find what works for you, don't just go by what people say

    As said before in the thread, just found your way. Some people likes a hierarchical organization and is just fine for them. Some people feels better grouping the related stuff in the same folder or category. That is fine also. You really need found the workflow which better serves to you.

    I used to organize my stuff in a very structured hierarchy, but this arrangement sometimes put you navigating in a tiring way through much deeper folders. Since the CMS was introduced, I am organizing my stuff using the metadata and navigating through the Smart Content tab.

    Smart Content provides you with a better interface to get your stuff. Smart Content has nothing with how and where you host your files. It is very dependent of metadata, and metadata also, has nothing with how and where are your stuff too. The most recent stuff have the metadata well assigned, some older stuff needs some adjustments, and a lot of older stuff needs you set the metadata, and I sword is nothing hard or so much time consuming. The work will pay off if you like the Smart Content idea.

    The real fun is that with Smart Content you load your figure, Genesis as example and you decide make a lovely girl. With Genesis selected in the Scene tab, and choosing Shapes in Smart Content tab, you will get all Products (in case you are in Smart Contents Products tab) or Files from Products (in case you are in Smart Content Files tab) which works with Genesis. See all files/products which work with the figure gives you an ample view to choose.

    So, you will dress your girl and you think in put a dress on her. Select Wardrobe->Dresses, in this case I would prefer Smart Content Files tab, and you get a collection of al dresses which are Genesis compatible. Get one and load on your girl. Now, select the dress in the Scene tab and go to Smart Content Files->Materials and you get all files which works with that dress. Now you want a Shirt, select Genesis again on your Scene tab and go to the Wardrobe->Shirts in Smart Content->Files and you get all Shirts available and compatible with your girl, and you can choose anyone, not necessarily the Shirt which comes with the loaded dress.

    That is what I like in Smart Content. Works like your closet for select a clothing, a Makeup box, a Hair saloon... you can mix'n match your stuff in such way that you won't do with a hierarchical structure. There are some benefits from navigate in Smart Content->Products view. You choose one product and double click it to explore the content, and you get all files for that product wherever it is a Morph, a Material preset, or a Pose. Above the files you can view and hierarchical navigation through the categories and this very useful to characters materials which comes in two flavors; Default DS Shaders and Human Surface Shaders.

    Well, his works for me now. I really like to use Smart Content and the extra time in adjust some metadata product's it is a work which pays off when setting up a scene. Just as works for me, your mileage may vary.

    Post edited by MBusch on
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