Categorize 3D Content - Folders and Files

hjakehjake Posts: 360
edited December 1969 in The Commons

I just re-downloaded all my products in the new DAZ zip format and decided to take the opportunity to re-categorize my 3D content - folders and files.

So here I am with over 4000 items from various sources to reorganize. What shall I call my folders?

I know I can create categories in DAZ and Poser to track within them, but I also need to keep my all the additional info I collected about a product with the packed and unpacked content on my offline hard drives.

I went looking form some ideas on category names and came across an old DAZ Artzone article with an invalid link.

To correct this problem you have to do the following:

ORIGINAL:

http://artzone.daz3d.com/wiki/doku.php/pub/tutorials/poser/poser-misc30

REPLACE WITH:

http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone/pub/tutorials/poser/poser-misc30


It is the first half that needs to be updated to go to the new location:

" http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/artzone "

Just a tip for you, I'm sure it has been mentioned before many times but it doesn't hurt to repeat it :-)

The info there may be dated, but there still some great tips and tricks.


***************************************

So if you organized your files and folders what category names did you use?

If there is already a thread where everyone is listing how they categorized things please point me to it

Thanks :-)

Comments

  • MBuschMBusch Posts: 535
    edited December 1969

    Well, if I can express my opinion about this matter, I would advise you against these organizational method for your content. A structured folder organization is a little bit archaic. In fact I think that DAZ metadata, the CMS (Content Management System), and the Smart Content pane are very underestimated features by DS users.

    It is a DAZ fault. CMS and metadata were badly introduced with a premature and untested categorization. So, now we have a lot of products with old metadata categorization or none at last. Recent products come with metadata in good shape and duly categorized with the new standard (look here).

    I am reinstalling all my content also and revising the metadata to each product that I install. The main advantage of use the metadata is that you don't need worry about where your stuff is installed. Also just see in the smart content pane the stuff that is compatible with the figure/prop selected in the Scene pane. I can think nothing better than this. To make something seemed with a organizational folder structure, you will need create a very complex folder hierarchy and probably will need to use some aliases, shortcuts, symlinks or whatever is the name in your OS.

    I confess, there are a lot of work to put the metadata in a useful shape, but I need tell you that the time spent will pay off when you are searching your stuff.

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    MBusch said:
    Well, if I can express my opinion about this matter, I would advise you against these organizational method for your content. A structured folder organization is a little bit archaic. In fact I think that DAZ metadata, the CMS (Content Management System), and the Smart Content pane are very underestimated features by DS users.
    ....(shortened)....

    I confess, there are a lot of work to put the metadata in a useful shape, but I need tell you that the time spent will pay off when you are searching your stuff.


    Actually I'm glad for your response and opinion. CMS provides me with few problems that maybe you (or others) can give some suggestions.

    1. Things not purchased from DAZ (half my library) do not have metadata (afaik). So how can I get them into CMS in a useful way? Without manually creating a metadata for each item? I looked into that and my eyes went blurry looking at the hoops you have to go through for each metadata creation.

    2. Have they created a useful backup system for CMS so I can uninstall DS and reinstall on this or another computer? The only way I know of is copy the CMS folder in Windows Explorer and hope you can paste it to the reinstall folder.

    3. Can I have a link in the CMS library that opens the folder (or pdf, jpg documents) since I have documents in it that help me (e.g. custom read me files) with choosing which content to use or how I will use it.

    4. If I put all content in one folder, won't CMS have to read the entire folder (of over 4000 items) each time I want to look at smart content in that folder? It would take quite some time to read 4000 items.

    5. If only half my content (stuff from DAZ itself) is "Smart Content" what about all the other stuff?

  • BarubaryBarubary Posts: 1,145
    edited November 2013

    MBusch said:
    Well, if I can express my opinion about this matter, I would advise you against these organizational method for your content. A structured folder organization is a little bit archaic. In fact I think that DAZ metadata, the CMS (Content Management System), and the Smart Content pane are very underestimated features by DS users.

    It is a DAZ fault. CMS and metadata were badly introduced with a premature and untested categorization. So, now we have a lot of products with old metadata categorization or none at last. Recent products come with metadata in good shape and duly categorized with the new standard (look here).

    I am reinstalling all my content also and revising the metadata to each product that I install. The main advantage of use the metadata is that you don't need worry about where your stuff is installed. Also just see in the smart content pane the stuff that is compatible with the figure/prop selected in the Scene pane. I can think nothing better than this. To make something seemed with a organizational folder structure, you will need create a very complex folder hierarchy and probably will need to use some aliases, shortcuts, symlinks or whatever is the name in your OS.

    I confess, there are a lot of work to put the metadata in a useful shape, but I need tell you that the time spent will pay off when you are searching your stuff.

    OK, I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, and I believe everyone should work with the tools he or she feels comfortable with.

    But if putting metadata in a useful shape is a lot of work, why not cut out the middle man, well, program, and invest that 'lot of work' in just organizing your runtime folder? I just don't see the difference, I guess.

    Post edited by Barubary on
  • CypherFOXCypherFOX Posts: 3,337
    edited November 2013

    Greetings,

    Barubary said:
    OK, I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, and I believe everyone should work with the tools he or she feels comfortable with.

    But if putting metadata in a useful shape is a lot of work, why not cut out the middle man, well, program, and invest that 'lot of work' in just organizing your runtime folder? I just don't see the difference, I guess.

    Well... If you leave your runtime alone, and work with the metadata instead, you don't have to worry about updates going into the right location (true for 3rd party as well as DAZ items), as everything goes where it was put originally.

    Related, if you don't screw with the runtime organization, you can use DIM and not think about where it's putting each and every thing.

    Or, to put it another way, my life is too short to care about runtime organization. I spent a brief amount of time trying to understand Poser's borked approach, and I now know enough to (1) be disgusted, and (2) find my way around. Having to manually manage every installed location for thousands and thousands of products (and that's just my DAZ purchases) seems like a deeply misguided approach. And a fast route to burnout.

    If you apply that effort to categorizing via metadata, you don't lose it when there's an update, and you don't have to think about it every install you do. Plus you don't have to come up with a placement guide that you need to refer to every install.

    I typically optimize my activities to limit cognitive load on repetitive tasks, because I believe that it frees my mind up for more interesting problems, and I really, strongly try to avoid potential black holes of recursive organization. That's my take, and I understand that others go a different route, and I'm totally okay with that, I'm just trying to answer the 'why go metadata' question.

    -- Morgan

    Post edited by CypherFOX on
  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,301
    edited December 1969

    Also bear in mind that there's a difference between Categories and Smart Content. Building the metadata to make a product smart can take some time, but just categorizing is no more time-consuming than moving folders and files around on disk, and a lot more flexible.

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    Also bear in mind that there's a difference between Categories and Smart Content. Building the metadata to make a product smart can take some time, but just categorizing is no more time-consuming than moving folders and files around on disk, and a lot more flexible.

    Okay I think I missed a step in this conversation.

    Are you saying when you categorize a piece of content, not sold by DAZ 3D (e.g. 9MBi, RDNA, Renderosity), that a metadata file is created for the content? I am not talking about smart content, but just categorized content.

    If yes, then where do i find that file? Is it editable outside of DS?

    What if I reinstall DS on my pc and my content will be in a different master folder or on a different drive (possibly a network drive), Can I edit the library reference point without manually re-categorizing each piece of content?

    And can you detail exactly how I can quickly backup the CMS database so if I make significant changes to the categorization, I can unwind my changes using previous database backups?

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,301
    edited December 1969

    hjake said:
    Also bear in mind that there's a difference between Categories and Smart Content. Building the metadata to make a product smart can take some time, but just categorizing is no more time-consuming than moving folders and files around on disk, and a lot more flexible.

    Okay I think I missed a step in this conversation.

    Are you saying when you categorize a piece of content, not sold by DAZ 3D (e.g. 9MBi, RDNA, Renderosity), that a metadata file is created for the content? I am not talking about smart content, but just categorized content.

    If yes, then where do i find that file? Is it editable outside of DS?

    What if I reinstall DS on my pc and my content will be in a different master folder or on a different drive (possibly a network drive), Can I edit the library reference point without manually re-categorizing each piece of content?

    And can you detail exactly how I can quickly backup the CMS database so if I make significant changes to the categorization, I can unwind my changes using previous database backups?


    To export your custom categories use Content Library > options menu (rectangle with horizontal lines in the upper corner) > Content DB Maintenance > Export User Data
    This creates one or more files named UserData_1.dsx in the Runtime:Support folder. They're plain text XML files, so you could edit them if you wished. They only have relative paths, so if you later switch to a different drive letter or a different root folder, they'll still work. Exporting and importing can take a while (I have over 200GB of content and it's ALL custom categorized -- it takes about 1/2 hour to export and 2 hours to import).

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    Barubary said:
    OK, I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, and I believe everyone should work with the tools he or she feels comfortable with.

    But if putting metadata in a useful shape is a lot of work, why not cut out the middle man, well, program, and invest that 'lot of work' in just organizing your runtime folder? I just don't see the difference, I guess.

    Well... If you leave your runtime alone, and work with the metadata instead, you don't have to worry about updates going into the right location (true for 3rd party as well as DAZ items), as everything goes where it was put originally.

    Related, if you don't screw with the runtime organization, you can use DIM and not think about where it's putting each and every thing.

    Or, to put it another way, my life is too short to care about runtime organization. I spent a brief amount of time trying to understand Poser's borked approach, and I now know enough to (1) be disgusted, and (2) find my way around. Having to manually manage every installed location for thousands and thousands of products (and that's just my DAZ purchases) seems like a deeply misguided approach. And a fast route to burnout.

    If you apply that effort to categorizing via metadata, you don't lose it when there's an update, and you don't have to think about it every install you do. Plus you don't have to come up with a placement guide that you need to refer to every install.

    I typically optimize my activities to limit cognitive load on repetitive tasks, because I believe that it frees my mind up for more interesting problems, and I really, strongly try to avoid potential black holes of recursive organization. That's my take, and I understand that others go a different route, and I'm totally okay with that, I'm just trying to answer the 'why go metadata' question.

    -- Morgan

    Does DIM install and manage zips not sold by DAZ?

    I think that answer is no, since the unzipped DAZ files include a manifest document.

    It seems on initial review as if the updates you are speaking only apply to content purchased at DAZ? How does DIM handle product updates downloaded from other sites?


    To anyone reading this, I am NOT down about CMS and DIM. I would REALLY love for them to work with all my content.

    If you look at my previous posts you will see that I would also like it to be able to open JPEG, PNG, MAFF, and PDF documents from within the same place I categorized an item. Often I have created my own READ MEs and product shot for my content to help me better utilize it. These items are in a special read me folder I created for groups of content. Custom thumbnails would be great too.

    I am also concerned about category load times if I put 4000+ items in a single content folder.

    I am a Poser 2010 user coming over to the Darkside (pun intended) of DAZ Studio. I own just about every add-on they have sold for it, but never buckled down and mastered it. I am definitely growing to like both very much.

    I wish Carrara would get an interface update to look like DAZ Studio. The 4.6 interface is fantastic except for a few windows can not resize smaller to fit properly on my 1366x768 screen even with auto-hide toolbar.

    All answers, comments, and opinions are welcome. You will not start an argument with me by stating a contrary view. We only grow and get better by seeking to understand contrary opinions.

    :-)

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    hjake said:
    Also bear in mind ..... flexible.

    Okay I think I missed ..... using previous database backups?


    To export your custom categories use Content Library > options menu (rectangle with horizontal lines in the upper corner) > Content DB Maintenance > Export User Data
    This creates one or more files named UserData_1.dsx in the Runtime:Support folder. They're plain text XML files, so you could edit them if you wished. They only have relative paths, so if you later switch to a different drive letter or a different root folder, they'll still work. Exporting and importing can take a while (I have over 200GB of content and it's ALL custom categorized -- it takes about 1/2 hour to export and 2 hours to import).


    That is great info and news. THANK YOU very much.

    What about 4000+ items in a single content folder on load times for DS in general and CMS categories in specific?

    If I leave my content in the 50 folders I use to categorize them for Poser and then add each folder to DS search list. Does that impact performance or does it have an impact on CMS export/import?

    Help the noob here, where is the Runtime:Support folder on a default installation. Would it be in a different place on a custom installation?

  • CypherFOXCypherFOX Posts: 3,337
    edited December 1969

    Greetings,

    hjake said:
    Does DIM install and manage zips not sold by DAZ?Nope, but that's not the core point.

    I think that answer is no, since the unzipped DAZ files include a manifest document.

    It seems on initial review as if the updates you are speaking only apply to content purchased at DAZ? How does DIM handle product updates downloaded from other sites?

    It's not only about content purchased at DAZ. Believe it or not stuff sold at other sites also has updates occasionally, and the mental tax of categorizing occurs every time you update, or install new content, whether from DAZ or not.

    For myself, installing (or updating!) 'rosity content is: Unzip in the directory above Runtime or unzip in the directory above My Library if it's Genesis content. That's it. If I had to think more than that, I wouldn't be buying stuff anywhere but at DAZ. I don't download freebies for the most part, because they ALWAYS have screwed up paths, and 'free' is only free if your time is worth nothing.

    Spending time managing and paying attention to my content libraries feels like tool time, not task time. I'm all about optimizing task time.

    -- Morgan

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,301
    edited December 1969

    hjake said:
    hjake said:
    Also bear in mind ..... flexible.

    Okay I think I missed ..... using previous database backups?


    To export your custom categories use Content Library > options menu (rectangle with horizontal lines in the upper corner) > Content DB Maintenance > Export User Data
    This creates one or more files named UserData_1.dsx in the Runtime:Support folder. They're plain text XML files, so you could edit them if you wished. They only have relative paths, so if you later switch to a different drive letter or a different root folder, they'll still work. Exporting and importing can take a while (I have over 200GB of content and it's ALL custom categorized -- it takes about 1/2 hour to export and 2 hours to import).


    That is great info and news. THANK YOU very much.

    What about 4000+ items in a single content folder on load times for DS in general and CMS categories in specific?

    If I leave my content in the 50 folders I use to categorize them for Poser and then add each folder to DS search list. Does that impact performance or does it have an impact on CMS export/import?

    Help the noob here, where is the Runtime:Support folder on a default installation. Would it be in a different place on a custom installation?

    Do you mean (a) a single runtime with a lot of items, of (b) a single folder like runtime/libraries/character/daz people with a lot of items?
    If it's (a) definitely no effect, if it's (b) I haven't noticed an effect, although I don't put that many items in a single folder because it's a pain to locate the one I want. It generally seems to me that categories populate quicker than folders on disk, but that may be just because I spend most of my time using categories rather than folders.

    As far as I know there isn't an impact on DS performance from multiple content folders -- I use about a dozen. It might impact time required to import userdata, since the exported data is only relative paths -- when you re-import it has to check which absolute path is being used. But I have no idea how much difference that makes, it might be negligible.

    It's just a subfolder Support in your Runtime folder, it would be the first one you have listed since you have multiple content folders.

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    hjake said:
    hjake said:
    Also bear in mind ..... flexible.

    Okay I think I missed ..... using previous database backups?


    To export your custom categories use Content Library > options menu (rectangle with horizontal lines in the upper corner) > Content DB Maintenance > Export User Data
    This creates one or more files named UserData_1.dsx in the Runtime:Support folder. They're plain text XML files, so you could edit them if you wished. They only have relative paths, so if you later switch to a different drive letter or a different root folder, they'll still work. Exporting and importing can take a while (I have over 200GB of content and it's ALL custom categorized -- it takes about 1/2 hour to export and 2 hours to import).


    That is great info and news. THANK YOU very much.

    What about 4000+ items in a single content folder on load times for DS in general and CMS categories in specific?

    If I leave my content in the 50 folders I use to categorize them for Poser and then add each folder to DS search list. Does that impact performance or does it have an impact on CMS export/import?

    Help the noob here, where is the Runtime:Support folder on a default installation. Would it be in a different place on a custom installation?

    Do you mean (a) a single runtime with a lot of items, of (b) a single folder like runtime/libraries/character/daz people with a lot of items?
    If it's (a) definitely no effect, if it's (b) I haven't noticed an effect, although I don't put that many items in a single folder because it's a pain to locate the one I want. It generally seems to me that categories populate quicker than folders on disk, but that may be just because I spend most of my time using categories rather than folders.

    As far as I know there isn't an impact on DS performance from multiple content folders -- I use about a dozen. It might impact time required to import userdata, since the exported data is only relative paths -- when you re-import it has to check which absolute path is being used. But I have no idea how much difference that makes, it might be negligible.

    It's just a subfolder Support in your Runtime folder, it would be the first one you have listed since you have multiple content folders.

    Thanks I think you have answered my question.

    Just to clarify (hahaha):

    If I unzipped all 4000+ items into a single folder called "MY STUFF" and it contained the folder Content which in turn contained the folder Runtime. My unzipped files of Poser content into sub-folder Runtime and DS content into sub-folder Content (which contains the the sub-folder Runtime) would this impact performance for DS load times for materials/surfaces/shaders, CMS categories, and Load Item into Scene?

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    hjake said:
    Does DIM install and manage zips not sold by DAZ?Nope, but that's not the core point.

    I think that answer is no, since the unzipped DAZ files include a manifest document.

    It seems on initial review as if the updates you are speaking only apply to content purchased at DAZ? How does DIM handle product updates downloaded from other sites?

    It's not only about content purchased at DAZ. Believe it or not stuff sold at other sites also has updates occasionally, and the mental tax of categorizing occurs every time you update, or install new content, whether from DAZ or not.

    For myself, installing (or updating!) 'rosity content is: Unzip in the directory above Runtime or unzip in the directory above My Library if it's Genesis content. That's it. If I had to think more than that, I wouldn't be buying stuff anywhere but at DAZ. I don't download freebies for the most part, because they ALWAYS have screwed up paths, and 'free' is only free if your time is worth nothing.

    Spending time managing and paying attention to my content libraries feels like tool time, not task time. I'm all about optimizing task time.

    -- Morgan

    Hi Morgan,

    Thanks for the response :-)

    I am not sure what problem you have had with updating products prior to DIM but it has always been easy for me with Windows Explorer and just filing them away when I purchase them. I also made a spreadsheet with all kinds of info for each item. I can know at a glance in the spreadsheet if I already bought an item and what type of props/figures/textures it contains. The key has always been file when you buy it.

    I only had to re-download my DAZ content because they switched to zip (which is awesome btw).

    I am not sure why DAZ finds it difficult to just put a date in the product library saying when the file was last updated. Heck at Renderosity I can even sort by date updated.

    DIM seems to me to be a method to try an APPLE-ize DAZ customers. Their version of the Apple/Google Play store.
    I am not interested in that. I just unzip, file and forget about it.

    Don't get me wrong categorizing with DAZ CMS looks promising. I am very glad DAZ 3D switched to zip files. I wish Illusions Designs would follow their example.

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,301
    edited December 1969

    hjake said:
    hjake said:
    hjake said:
    Also bear in mind ..... flexible.

    Okay I think I missed ..... using previous database backups?


    To export your custom categories use Content Library > options menu (rectangle with horizontal lines in the upper corner) > Content DB Maintenance > Export User Data
    This creates one or more files named UserData_1.dsx in the Runtime:Support folder. They're plain text XML files, so you could edit them if you wished. They only have relative paths, so if you later switch to a different drive letter or a different root folder, they'll still work. Exporting and importing can take a while (I have over 200GB of content and it's ALL custom categorized -- it takes about 1/2 hour to export and 2 hours to import).


    That is great info and news. THANK YOU very much.

    What about 4000+ items in a single content folder on load times for DS in general and CMS categories in specific?

    If I leave my content in the 50 folders I use to categorize them for Poser and then add each folder to DS search list. Does that impact performance or does it have an impact on CMS export/import?

    Help the noob here, where is the Runtime:Support folder on a default installation. Would it be in a different place on a custom installation?

    Do you mean (a) a single runtime with a lot of items, of (b) a single folder like runtime/libraries/character/daz people with a lot of items?
    If it's (a) definitely no effect, if it's (b) I haven't noticed an effect, although I don't put that many items in a single folder because it's a pain to locate the one I want. It generally seems to me that categories populate quicker than folders on disk, but that may be just because I spend most of my time using categories rather than folders.

    As far as I know there isn't an impact on DS performance from multiple content folders -- I use about a dozen. It might impact time required to import userdata, since the exported data is only relative paths -- when you re-import it has to check which absolute path is being used. But I have no idea how much difference that makes, it might be negligible.

    It's just a subfolder Support in your Runtime folder, it would be the first one you have listed since you have multiple content folders.

    Thanks I think you have answered my question.

    Just to clarify (hahaha):

    If I unzipped all 4000+ items into a single folder called "MY STUFF" and it contained the folder Content which in turn contained the folder Runtime. My unzipped files of Poser content into sub-folder Runtime and DS content into sub-folder Content (which contains the the sub-folder Runtime) would this impact performance for DS load times for materials/surfaces/shaders, CMS categories, and Load Item into Scene?

    Oh, that's no problem at all, I've currently got about 4000 products in my main content folder. Just make sure in that case that you list the content folder as ...\My Stuff\Content, not just as ...\My Stuff. The Data and Runtime folders need to be directly underneath the folder you've told DS to look in -- if they are 2 levels down DS won't treat them as special folders.

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,301
    edited December 1969

    hjake said:
    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    hjake said:
    Does DIM install and manage zips not sold by DAZ?Nope, but that's not the core point.

    I think that answer is no, since the unzipped DAZ files include a manifest document.

    It seems on initial review as if the updates you are speaking only apply to content purchased at DAZ? How does DIM handle product updates downloaded from other sites?

    It's not only about content purchased at DAZ. Believe it or not stuff sold at other sites also has updates occasionally, and the mental tax of categorizing occurs every time you update, or install new content, whether from DAZ or not.

    For myself, installing (or updating!) 'rosity content is: Unzip in the directory above Runtime or unzip in the directory above My Library if it's Genesis content. That's it. If I had to think more than that, I wouldn't be buying stuff anywhere but at DAZ. I don't download freebies for the most part, because they ALWAYS have screwed up paths, and 'free' is only free if your time is worth nothing.

    Spending time managing and paying attention to my content libraries feels like tool time, not task time. I'm all about optimizing task time.

    -- Morgan

    Hi Morgan,

    Thanks for the response :-)

    I am not sure what problem you have had with updating products prior to DIM but it has always been easy for me with Windows Explorer and just filing them away when I purchase them. I also made a spreadsheet with all kinds of info for each item. I can know at a glance in the spreadsheet if I already bought an item and what type of props/figures/textures it contains. The key has always been file when you buy it.

    I only had to re-download my DAZ content because they switched to zip (which is awesome btw).

    I am not sure why DAZ finds it difficult to just put a date in the product library saying when the file was last updated. Heck at Renderosity I can even sort by date updated.

    DIM seems to me to be a method to try an APPLE-ize DAZ customers. Their version of the Apple/Google Play store.
    I am not interested in that. I just unzip, file and forget about it.

    Don't get me wrong categorizing with DAZ CMS looks promising. I am very glad DAZ 3D switched to zip files. I wish Illusions Designs would follow their example.

    As someone who detests the Apple/Google model, DIM is nothing like them.

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    Oh, that's no problem at all, I've currently got about 4000 products in my main content folder. Just make sure in that case that you list the content folder as ...\My Stuff\Content, not just as ...\My Stuff. The Data and Runtime folders need to be directly underneath the folder you've told DS to look in -- if they are 2 levels down DS won't treat them as special folders.

    Thanks, I understand what you are saying. This is good to know. I will probably just leave folders categorized as they are. I think I saw a video on organizing your content in DS 4.5 and he mentioned you could use folders as a category.

    But being able to fine grain items into groups will be nice without adding dozens of sub-folders.

    Am I safe in assuming that you can have the same item listed in many categories?

    What about thumbnail links to addition documents I keep in the folder. Is that possible? If so, could you explain how?

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    As someone who detests the Apple/Google model, DIM is nothing like them.

    It is ENTIRELY possible I did not express myself clearly.

    I meant that it appears to me that DIM is designed to install and manage DAZ 3D purchased content in Daz Studio, just eliminating the need to unzip and copy paste the folder into your content/runtime folder.

    I do not see any option for installing and managing non-DAZ content into DS using DIM, therefore I would have to manually install half my library.

    Is there a way to tell DIM look in this folder and its sub-folders for zip files. Then have DIM examine the folder structure of the zip to see if there is a CONTENT and/or RUNTIME folder in the zip, if yes then add the file to an import list and use the zip file name as a content name. Allow the user to select which zip files to install or ignore and to rename them as desired.

    Also search a folder and its sub-folder for DAZ zip files which contain a manifest file and ask to import them instead of primarily downloading the files from the DAZ site first.

    I don't think DIM can do these things. It seems all it can do is download zip files from your account on DAZ and install them to the designated folder. It will also login to DAZ to check for updates. Does DAZ even provide the opportunity to non-DAZ store vendor to have their content instlled by DIM and updated by DIM?

    To me that seems like what Google Play and Apple Store do for you. They broker items to customers but do not actually prevent you from getting apps elsewhere just make it less convenient and more prone to incorrect installations by not providing a method/software to confirm that a product complies with what DS expects to use that product in DS.

  • CypherFOXCypherFOX Posts: 3,337
    edited December 1969

    Greetings,

    hjake said:
    To me that seems like what Google Play and Apple Store do for you. They broker items to customers but do not actually prevent you from getting apps elsewhere just make it less convenient and more prone to incorrect installations by not providing a method/software to confirm that a product complies with what DS expects to use that product in DS.
    Just to be clear, Apple does in fact prevent you from getting apps from non-Apple sources, on iOS. On the Mac, it's not as locked down, although by default recent versions of Mac OS X will claim an application is 'damaged' if it isn't signed by a key Apple recognizes.

    Google stopped allowing extensions for Chrome from anywhere except their store, unless you go through a semi-annoying installation process, but I suppose it's still possible at least. For their Android store, there are in fact competing Android stores, so it's pretty open.

    I actually believe you could generate DSX files for DAZ Install Manager, using a super-high item number as a base, but DAZ would not give you any assurances that those would always work. I manually created Install Manager packages for some not-yet-converted DAZ content a while ago (e.g. the Morphing Python, IIRC), and was fairly confident that I could build a Renderosity DSX that was numbered at like 1,000,000 + the Renderosity ID.

    But that's not likely to happen.

    Still, DIM is completely different than the Apple/Google way. You don't have to install it using DIM (although it is easier), you don't have to download it using DIM (although it is easier), you are not locked out of other store's content in D|S at all. It's just a tool to make things easier, not any kind of lock-in.

    -- Morgan

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,301
    edited December 1969

    hjake said:

    Oh, that's no problem at all, I've currently got about 4000 products in my main content folder. Just make sure in that case that you list the content folder as ...\My Stuff\Content, not just as ...\My Stuff. The Data and Runtime folders need to be directly underneath the folder you've told DS to look in -- if they are 2 levels down DS won't treat them as special folders.

    Thanks, I understand what you are saying. This is good to know. I will probably just leave folders categorized as they are. I think I saw a video on organizing your content in DS 4.5 and he mentioned you could use folders as a category.

    But being able to fine grain items into groups will be nice without adding dozens of sub-folders.

    Am I safe in assuming that you can have the same item listed in many categories?

    What about thumbnail links to addition documents I keep in the folder. Is that possible? If so, could you explain how?

    Yes, you can have the same item in multiple categories.

    Do you currently have the documents set up to display as if they were content? If I understand correctly, what you'd need to do is have a .dsa file that opens a document. I think that's doable.

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited November 2013

    Morgan / Cyberfox,

    You are correct in your summation and I agree with your points.

    But still I believe was not intended so much to help you install as it was intended to change the psychology of buyers to be dependant on Daz. To this day Daz refuses to put file last updated time stamps in the product library and to allow sortingby that date which makes manual install more difficult to update periodically.

    IMO it is part of the same mind set that refuses to put an expiry times on the ads they create which somehow seem to have no problem stating what is excluded from the promo but has no space left for when the sale ends?

    To be crystal clear (I was just clear as mud before hahaha),
    I am a PC member and have been for many years since 2006. I still buy Daz products, but at a fraction of the volume I use to.I think the drive to generate more revenue has pushed Daz in a dark direction. It may be necessary but I lament the loss.

    Even the October Anniversary sale was not as much fun as the old PC member sales with the voting.

    Oh well an old man grumbles about change, I should probably move to the Shire. :-)

    Post edited by hjake on
  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    Yes, you can have the same item in multiple categories.

    Do you currently have the documents set up to display as if they were content? If I understand correctly, what you'd need to do is have a .dsa file that opens a document. I think that's doable.


    Thanks that is most excellent.
    No they are not current setup to display in DS as content, but that would be the icing on the cake.

    Currently, I have a spreadsheet and windows explorer open with all my folders at the ready. When I am thinking about building a scene and need to see what I have at hand I use those tools to decide my items.

    Does Dimension3D or someone have a DSA creation tool? Is it a matter of a few clicks to create a DSA file that can point to an image for a thumbnail and a link to a document that causes the windows default program to open the document.

    If that can be done and backed up for re-use in future installs or on other computers, then sign me up that would be awesome.

    Where would the DSA file be stored in the folder with the item or DS main folder. The former is preferable. Would it also use relative paths?

  • icprncssicprncss Posts: 3,647
    edited December 1969

    We organize our runtimes based on workflow. Poser has a favorites category that gives you a short cut to permanently installed file. When the project or work is completed, you can delete the favorites folder without changing your runtime set up.

    DS3 had a folder favorites plugin. I don't generally use DS4 but I think it has something similar. Shaderworks over at RDNA has a DS plugin for his Library Manager 2.6.

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    icprncss said:
    We organize our runtimes based on workflow. Poser has a favorites category that gives you a short cut to permanently installed file. When the project or work is completed, you can delete the favorites folder without changing your runtime set up.

    DS3 had a folder favorites plugin. I don't generally use DS4 but I think it has something similar. Shaderworks over at RDNA has a DS plugin for his Library Manager 2.6.

    Ah man you got my hopes up! I thought semidieu had made the Shader Library to work with DS 4.5+ and PP 2012+.
    One Library to rule them all. :-)


    The free plugin allows you to open content in DS, save it as a duf and then import it directly into PP 2012+ without the need for DSON companion files.

    In any event I am very encouraged about using DS Content Library categories based on the responses I have seen here. I have also confirmed that keeping many runtimes and limiting each to less than approx 75 items each works best for me. Backup of my customizations to the DS library was very important to me.

    If I can create click on thumbnails in the DS Library for my own readme's and picture (or atleast to open the folder they are contained in would be great.

  • hjakehjake Posts: 360
    edited December 1969

    Can anyone tell me if this is going to do what I want based on the discussions going on in this thread?


    File Reference Editor - Dimension3D

    http://www.daz3d.com/file-reference-editor

    As I understand it, I can create a DSA file for a product put in a folder, maybe containing all these custom DSA files.

    Have DS Content Library add that folder to the categories library and then I can manually categorize them with each category folder I have created for my items.

    Then within DS the DSA file would provide a link from inside DAZ Studio 4.6+ Content Library to activate a windows file such as a JPG or PDF which Windows would then open with the default program, such as Acrobat for PDFs. This DSA file would contain a thumbnail of my choosing.

    Is that correct?

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