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A question about content management
Posted: 20 August 2012 08:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hey guys,

I have been using Daz for a few years now.  During that time I have acquired a large library of models. First I tried to make my own folder structure to install the content into, then with the later releases I tried to consolidate the content into the default folders. As you can imagine the result was a very messy content library.

My question is, how would you suggest to consolidate the content?
I understand there are a geometry folder and a texture folder, will it be fine if I just move the folders around as I seem fit?

Any ideas or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Thanks all.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The Geometries and Textures folders should be left alone—they are invisible in the interface, and the content files that use them won’t be able to find them if you move them around.

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Posted: 20 August 2012 09:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks for the reply. So how do I rearrange the content that is visible in the viewer?
Does it use a file to store the info or is there a way to remap it?

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Posted: 20 August 2012 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The easiest way IMHO is to use Categories—I create my own categories (outside the Default categories, as my organization is different), and categorize my content that way.  I used to rearrange the actual files and folders on disk, but using categories is both more versatile (you can categorize the same file in multiple places, and if you change your mind you can rearrange things any time you like), and safer (since the actual files on disk stay in the same place, you can’t accidentally break anything).

Adamr001 has a crash-course on categories in DS4, as well as an in-depth guide to the DS3 categories (a lot has changed, but the principles from the DS3 version are helpful for understanding):  http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/306/

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Posted: 20 August 2012 10:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks, I am going to read through this and give it a try smile

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Posted: 20 August 2012 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Ok, I’m going to try and clarify a very confusing topic as it took me a long time to figure this out.

The folder structure is such that it supports two different formats, DAZ and Poser, and different generations of both. Having said that, it isn’t as bad as it could be under the circumstances, but it’s not the easiest to understand at first glance. So lets try to simplify it if we can.

First, in the DAZ program, the ‘Content Libary’ tab shows a semblance of the folder structure in your content ‘Library’ with two caveats. One, it breaks it up into two subgroups, DAZ Formats, and Poser Formats. Now these subgroups are obvious in the ‘Content Library’ tab of DAZ, but not so much at first glance in the folder structure. When you install DAZ, it creates the folder structure, then maps the ‘Content Library’ tab area to it in a pretty standard way. This can be later modified as long as one doesn’t move something DAZ expects to be a specific place, many items as long as they are in a general area, DAZ will find and display them, but others… if they are moved things break.

Most of this is pretty obvious to many of us so lets dive in.

The basic folder structure is as follows:

\Library (Main Folder)
  \ {Invisible DAZ Stuff}
  \ {Visible DAZ Stuff}
    \ Runtime (Poser stuff and Textures for both)
      \ {Invisible/Structural Poser Stuff}
      \ Textures (Poser and DAZ textures go here)
      \ libraries (note this is a second library folder… the Poser library.. and it’s spelled plural)
            \ {Invisible Poser Stuff}
            \ {Visible Poser Stuff}

The {Invisible DAZ/Poser Stuff} are support folders that get ignored by the DAZ Interface when populating the ‘Content Manager’ tab, thus invisible. They include \Readme, \Uninstallers, \Python, \Support, etc… For our purposes they can/should be ignored. If they are moved or modified by a user, things break.

The {Visible DAZ/Poser Stuff} are the folders that show up in the ‘Content Library’ tab and are what we can rearrange. In the case of DAZ, we can rearrange these any way we want and they will show up in the ‘DAZ Formats’ section of the ‘Content Library’ tab as we arrange them. In the case of Poser, there’s another caveat, the initial folders under \libraries are ignored except for specific named folders, such as \camera, \Character, \Hand, \Pose… etc… so if someone creates their own folder under \libraries such as \sites it will be ignored by the DAZ ‘Content Library’ tab. If we created that same folder under the \Library tab (note, Library is the main folder as seen above, not the \libraries folder which contains Poser specific items) it would show up under the ‘DAZ Formats’ section of the ‘Content Library’ tab. For it to show up in the ‘Poser Formats’ section, it would have to be made as a subfolder of one of the folders recognized for inclusion.. i.e. as a subfolder of \camera, \Character, \Hand, etc…

Now, another interesting point. DAZ doesn’t care what is put into which of the Poser recognized subfolders as long as the item is in a recognized subfolder or in a subfolder of a recognized subfolder. That means, one could put ‘characters (people, avatars…)’ in the \Hand or \Pose folder and they would show up and work just fine. A perfect example of this is the fact that Poser put shaders into the ‘Pose’ folder for reasons I won’t get into. People often move the shaders out of this folder and put them in a subfolder of the item they are shaders for, so if they are shaders for a character, they will move that shader folder out of the ‘Pose’ folder and into the folder of the character they are a shader for. When one goes to the ‘Content Library’ tab, these shaders would now show up under ‘Library\Poser Format\Figures\(character)\Shaders.’

Note also in the previous example that the ‘\Library\Runtime\libraries\Character’ folder maps to the ‘Library\Poser Formats\Figures’ area of the ‘Content Library’ tab. Yes, I didn’t mistype. The folder name (character) and the mapped content area (Figures) are not the same, and the folder ‘must’ be named ‘Character’ to be seen.

So, what does all this mean?

This might help:

\Library (Main Folder, don’t touch)
    \data (invisible, structural, don’t touch)
    \People (visible DAZ, not structural, rearrange, rename, move stuff and delete… whatever)
    \Poses (visible DAZ, not structural, rearrange, rename, move stuff and delete… whatever)
    \ReadMe’s (invisible, not structural, rearrange, rename, move stuff and delete… whatever)
    \Uninstallers (invisible, structural, don’t touch if you want your uninstallers to work)
    \{Anything Else} (visible DAZ, not structural, rearrange, rename, move stuff and delete… whatever)
    \Runtime (Main Poser Folder, don’t touch)
      \Geometries (invisible, structural, don’t touch)
      \prefs (invisible, structural, don’t touch)
      \Python (invisible, structural, don’t touch)
      \Reflection Maps (invisible, structural, don’t touch)
      \Support (invisible, nonstructural, don’t touch)
      \textures (invisible, structural, don’t touch)
      \libraries (Main Poser Folder, don’t touch)
            \!DAZ (invisible, structural, don’t touch)
            \camera (visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Character (maps to Figures, visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Face (maps to expressions, visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Hair (visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Hand (visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Light (visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Materials (visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Pose (visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)
            \Props (visible named folder, recognized… use however you want but don’t rename)

Since shaders are usually specific to an item I usually move them to a subfolder of that item. Cameras and Lights are usually specific to a site so I move them to a subfolder of that site, etc… Understand, everything coming in new will go in the place it was set up to go into, not your format so even if you delete unused folders, they will be recreated and repopulated when you get something new that the PA had stuffed stuff there. I didn’t bother explaining ‘Other Import Formats’, Products or Categories as they aren’t pertinent to this specific conversation. This is also a simplified version. That is, the areas marked ‘don’t touch’ can actually be touched ‘if you know a *lot* more about when it is/is not ok to touch them. Finally, this is all re: 4.0x.. not 4.5 and I can’t verify with certainty this all holds true in 4.5

* If anyone see’s anything the aren’t sure of, or are certain is wrong please feel free to ask/point out, goal is to elucidate smile

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Posted: 20 August 2012 11:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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My previous post was actually a cross post of fixmypc’s since I started it, then got drawn away for a while (longer than I realized) before I finished it.

I also use and recommend categories, but personally I do it differently for a reason that helps me. I like to have all of the items for a particular item from a particular vendor under the same folder because it helps me recognize easier if something isn’t installed fully or properly right at the install. I’ve had where I have thought things were installed properly then realized I forgot to check accessories, lights, etc.. that came with it and it wasn’t actually all set up properly. I have seen many others in the forums mention the same problem. Many Items come with portions in the ‘Poser Formats’ section and the ‘DAZ Formats’ section unfortunately (a frustration to me actually) so I consolidate the items under each as much as possible then use categories to consolidate the two ‘halves’ into a single product. It’s not that this is any better, it’s just what I’ve found works for me. I also will create various other sort orders/groupings under the ‘categories’ section which can be very helpful. For instance, because I put all of the accessories to an outfit under that outfit, in categories I have a separate category for ‘weapons’ ‘jewelry’ etc…

Having said that, this is a *lot* of work, and I spend more time reorganizing then doing art so for that reason unfortunately I don’t necessarily recommend it. But when I do need to find something when I am creating, I can find it faster and that is important to me when my creative juices are flowing so I can take advantage of that rather then get frustrated trying to find stuff.

Finally, metadata… I think it will be helpful… once I get that far ;p (but I don’t believe it supplants any of what I am doing already for my purposes or I would just go that route as many do.)

In the end, fixmypc’s recommendation of going straight to categories is probably the best compromise for most people

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Gedd,

With your post and Fixmypcmike’s posts and links it all starts to make a bit mores sense now. I cant wait to get home tonight and take a crack of this. Thank you both again.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Wrong thread post wink

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Just because I may have a strong opinion doesn’t make it any more (or less) correct than any other, just that I feel passionately a particular way at that moment.

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