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Packaging a Product - File and Directory Structure
Posted: 13 October 2012 11:19 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I see there is a thread on trying to get metadata specs published. I have scoured through the publishing area on the Daz website. Very nice! I however can find no good answers to directory structure and file storage. It seems that file ‘structure’ should be pretty much a standard for Daz products as well? What I’m seeing on my drive is a vast array of things done different ways. This seems to even be the case with Daz products.

So, is there a good guide for this? Is there any real spec?

For brevity, lets drop the ‘Path To Daz Content’. On Windows, this would be something like C:\ Users\YourUserName\My Documents\Daz 3D\Studio\My Library in favor of simply using ‘My Library’.

I’ll then drop the Winders \ in favor of the Unix / as it is easier to read and easier to type and Mac users should like this. wink

Here is what I have found: The sample shirt zip file in the publishers area. It includes this structure.

My Library/data
My Library/data/DAZ 3D
My Library/data/DAZ 3D/Cool Stuff
My Library/data/DAZ 3D/Cool Stuff/Shirt/Shirt.dsf
My Library/data/DAZ 3D/Cool Stuff/Shirt/UV Sets
My Library/data/DAZ 3D/Cool Stuff/Shirt/UV Sets/DAZ 3D/Base/default.dsf
My Library/People
My Library/People/Genesis
My Library/People/Genesis/Clothing
My Library/People/Genesis/Clothing/Cool Stuff/Shirt.dsf

This is a layout for a shirt that is Genesis Clothing Item. The structure is explained by Daz as this:

“\People\Genesis\Clothing\[productname]\[itemname].dsf
\data\[authorname]\[productname]\[itemname]\”

Looking at my My Library, things are a hodgepodge to say the least! It seems that this format was not followed by many if not most.

The suggested data directory structure looks simple enough. Lets come back to that.

The People directory is pretty obvious, ‘if’ you are creating a clothing item for Genesis, but what if it is not a clothing item? Perhaps this layout should come from the root of the metadata structure? Some of what I see on my drive at the moment includes:

/Animals
/Camera Presets
/Content
/data
/Documentation
/Environments
/Figures
/Hair
/People
/Presets
/Props
/ReadMe’s
/resources
/Runtime
/Scenes
/Scripts
/Shader Presets
/shaders
/templates
/Textures
/Vehicles

Some of these look to be product type bases and others… I don’t know where they came from. I have not listed a number of obvious ‘out of place’ directories. I may have left some here, like why shaders and Shader Presets? Then there is a ‘Hair’ directory and also a People/Genesis/Hair directory? Where should the darned Hair go?

Following the logic of the Genesis Clothing Item example, which resides under My Library/People/Genesis/Clothing, it seems we could pull together a ‘standard’ directory structure for the other item types used within Daz Studio?

However when I look in my People Genesis folder, I see the following:

My Library/People/Genesis/Anatomy
My Library/People/Genesis/Characters
My Library/People/Genesis/Clothing
My Library/People/Genesis/Dynamic Clothes
My Library/People/Genesis/Hair
My Library/People/Genesis/Materials
My Library/People/Genesis/Poses
My Library/People/Genesis/Props
My Library/People/Genesis/Visibility Presets

There appears to be some redundancy which I suppose helps one define a Genesis product vs. a pre-Genesis character item?

At the moment I’m trying to finish up some various items for Daz Studio. Yet I’m stuck with not knowing where to put things. I have clothing and props so far. I have textures, bump maps and poses. I’m not even sure where to start with my base OBJs and the rest of these files so even though I have some nice looking items on my computer, I have no idea about how my files should be placed.

I hope this thread might be a place for others to discuss a possible spec for this, much like what is being worked on with metadata.

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Posted: 16 October 2012 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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dumorian - 13 October 2012 11:19 AM

So, is there a good guide for this? Is there any real spec?

Huh:“There is no sixth rule?” wink
I’d just mirror the Poser runtime but keeping things rational (i.e. no material preset in the pose folder). The problem is that the lack of order in the DS native content is sort of the son of the strange ordering in the Poser runtime. To boot, that ordering is (was) seen as constrictive by a number of users who do all sorts of things to their runtimes. If you have a huge amount of content the best approach is always going to be metadata, or other content ordering solution; on-disk file ordering is comparatively a poor solution.
Of course lack of order tends to beget further lack of order.

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Posted: 16 October 2012 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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ReDave I believe the OP wishes to put a Free item on a site for other users.

Step one: Create the Folders that you Wish your creations to load from in the Proper area’s of the My Library folders.
Step two: Save your creation to only those folders, the Data Folder will be made for you.
Step Tre: Only include those END folders staring at My Library in your File you will up-load. Make a Dummy My Library for this…

Example:
My Library/
Data/My Creation
Props/My Creation

And so on.

Hope this helps.

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Posted: 16 October 2012 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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While Poser had a rigid folder structure, DAZ Studio was more flexible because it wasn’t tied to a specific structure. However, unfortunately as a result of that flexibility, things became inconsistent (isn’t that always the case).

So yes, from a standard and organizing perspective, the DAZ folders are a mess. As you point out, different artists have difference preferences. Maclean for example, likes to use a MACLEAN parent folder. Some artists place clothing in CLOTHING and still others place clothing in FIGURE/CLOTHING. Some artists place materials in MATERIALS and some place it in the CLOTHING folder. Some artists misspell some folders. Metadata started getting even more ... uh ... interesting, but luckily that has been identified as an issue and is being worked on.

I’m not aware of there being any standardsm so pick something that feels sensible to you and let rip! grin

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Posted: 16 October 2012 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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OK, so basically what we have here is a system that makes Windows system files look like a model of order? wink

I was looking through some of Jack Tomlin’s stuff and he seems to have a pretty good order going. Perhaps I will work from there. But, those are to my knowledge all props/scenes/sets and not so much clothing, which DAZ seems to have guidelines for. ARRRGH!!!!!

The metadata is certainly nice. I think I might also look through that again and perhaps try to mimic some of the structure there with what I do.

Also of note, just after I made my original post, I realized that I am thinking strictly in Daz terms as that is my software. Poser is another hurdle for me to cross with this. However, it does seem that there is a Poser exporter… so once I have something packaged ‘my way’ smile, I’ll look into running the exporter. And now we have the DSON stuff, and I suppose I need to look into that, but my early look seems to reveal that it is run from within Poser, which I do not have unless you count Poser v 1.0 or was that 2.0? It is from the late 90’s. LOL!!!

As for packaging, I’m looking at doing the PA thing. That leaves me wondering how much ‘prep’ work Daz does with what you submit. Obviously that package it into the .exe’s. So now I wonder about how far they actually do go.

And, I guess I can also grab a few of those zip content files and have a look through those. The problem is the more I look the more I see that stuff is all over the place. This just seems like a very bad idea with a future of getting worse?

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Posted: 16 October 2012 05:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yes its a lot to work through, but don’t be discouraged - its worth the time you invest now.

For Pose, you’ll probably want to support the Poser runtime structure for a broader user base, unless you’re doing DS4.5 DSON stuff in which case Studio will create the Poser files for you. I haven’t used the Poser exporter, so I’m not sure how much it will do for you. Some of the freebie tools I downloaded do part of the job, but you still need to do some manual labour.

For publishing, you need to do the testing, prepare a product description (look at the product page in the store), provide promo images and specify commercial terms. DAZ does the packaging (generating a readme and zip/exe’s) as well as metadata. The process is quite smooth, although I have released only DS-specific products.

Good luck! grin

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Posted: 16 October 2012 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Yeah… I have a few things close to ready for prime time, but I am at the point where the files need to go in their ‘published’ location. At the top of this list are files like textures and bumpmaps.

My day job is working with webservers and I guess I’m overly anal about everything in its place, but that really is how I’ve tried to operate from day one with computers. So, yes, I do find it frustrating to wind up in such a brew of chaos.

To me the metadata is a paint job over rotten wood. You can keep adding coats of paint and the ‘shell’ becomes the structure. But the inside gets weaker and weaker until you have a pile of dust or until it gets converted into the termites that eat it. But, it is nice to have ‘artistic freedom’. smile Long live this hollow structure!

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Posted: 17 October 2012 05:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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OK, so my first product is going to be a group which includes a set of chains. Yes, I needed a lock and chain for Moon Gate the other day. So, I have decided to use the name Dumor3d for a store identity. Here is what I have so far.

/My Library/Runtime/textures/Dumor3d/ChainsandRestraints/Chains/texturefile.jpg

The product group will be Chains and Restraints which this portion being Chains. I have my texture file there and assume that if there was bump map, which most likely there will be, it should go there as well?

Next, I created:

/My Library/data/Dumor3d/Chains and Restraints/Chains

I then imported my obj and did all the work on that and saved it to that directory.

Upon save as asset -> prop/figure, Daz created:

/My Library/data/Dumor3d/Chains and Restraints/Chain 16 Links/Chain16SectionsGrouped_1280.dsf
/My Library/data/Dumor3d/Chains and Restraints/Chain 16 Links/UV Sets/Dumor3d/Base/default.dsf
/My Library/data/Dumor3d/Chains and Restraints/Chains/Chain_16_Links.duf
/My Library/data/Dumor3d/Chains and Restraints/Chains/Chain_16_Links.png

Does anyone know if this is all that Daz created as far as files go? Obviously Daz put entries into my Content Management database.

I set this to be a prop/furnishing and see it in my Smart Content files tab under Props/Furnishings. Yaaaay!

Anyway, does this look like a good start before I run through all of these items again to get them into the right place?

And then my next question is going to be how do you package all of this into a single ‘Product’ with the nice shiney group icon that product groups have? The one where you can click and get all of the groups icons for actors, materials, poses and so forth.

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