Beta for DazCentral, your new Content Manager

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  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 19,013
    gitika1 said:
    SimonJM said:
    From the one-click load option this is, presumably, able to run alongside Daz Studio, but unlike DIM can also be used for downloading and installing whilst Daz Studio is running.

    DIM can install while DS is running, PostgreSQL is much more robust than Valentina was.

    Wait, what?  I read a post in the forums that clearly stated that DIM and DS should not be open at the same time, as it would mess up the database.  I don't have to make sure one is closed and leave several seconds before starting the other?

    Not any more.

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 5,855

    I can't even get DIM to update itself without breaking it. I'll wait until it's out of beta :/

    Laurie

  • xyer0xyer0 Posts: 4,404

    Yup. No, thanks. DIM ain't broke, unless you guys start "fixing" it.

  • mrinalmrinal Posts: 620
    Sevrin said:

     

    mrinal said:

    Plugin installation/update support could have been added to SmartContent. V4/M4 capability and content development is pretty much frozen wrt Daz store, so once installed via DIM/manual don't require further maintenance. Doesn't justify building an entire "parallel" product for it.

    Yeah, I don't think ease-of-use is the point of this, but rather DRM.

    Smart Content works on metadata from the CMS which is managed by both the DIM and Connect installation process or if someone has manually added metadata for external items. So it is already decoupled from Connect to a large extent. But the de facto installation method with Smart Content is Connect and thats where the concerns are wrt to its reliance on DRM. If we can make it optional for Smart Content so that it could install using DIM paths then a lot of public perception around it could be improved and its barrier of adoption lowered. But a significant drawback with that option would be that it would no longer be able to do differential updates (a feature of Connect that saves bandwidth and time while downloading content updates of only updated files/metadata instead of the entire package all over again) and content installation in discrete directories. If we keep aside the concerns for DRM for a moment, Smart Content and Connect seemed a step in the right direction for content management.

    mrinal said:

    I am a bit confused with the overlapping funtionality of DazCentral with SmartContent. Is there anything, even a prospect, in DazCentral that is not already there/possible with SmartContent? Or, is this just an attempt to bring SmartContent functionality by replacing the underlying Connect? In the present state, I feel SmartContent to be more cohesive, intuitive, stable and feature rich than DazCentral, so what is the business direction and prospects with DazCentral in the light of SmartContent?

    In my initial queries, which still beg official answers, I did not intend to make any forward looking statements towards Connect. Daz has not released any Connect exclusive content for a while now and I would prefer it remains that way. Since Daz Central uses DIM paths instead of Connect path (which are clearly distinct in how and where the content is mapped), I would assume that this is going to be a replacement/upgrade over the existing DIM once the missing functionalities get ported either as core features or plugins. Plugins support being the carrot on the stick for existing DIM users.

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 15,912
    edited May 2020

    Ok, I gave it a try. Currently it's a good start but not really useful enough until it gets more features & flexibilities.

    1) It took quite a bit of time for it to configure itself using my settings for DS & DIM. I'm guessing a new user would get a dialogue with which to download & install DS and DIM?

    2) It updated a couple of products fine (eg installed the DAZ Studio 4.5+ SDK)

    3) Needs more sort options.

    4) Needs more choices for icon sizes

    5) Needs tab for Smart Content (would be so nice if this tab also included to Product & Category Listing)

    6) Needs tab for Content Library (including the Product & Category listing)

    7) Needs tab for DAZ Connect

    8) A nice editor to create Smart Content tags (hiearchical categories, nested categories, mutually exclusive categories and adding product presets to those Smart Content categories with warnning if trying to add the same preset to mutually erxclusive categories/tags) that would distinguish when we were looking at tags those created by DAZ 3D and those created by the user. Those created by the user would show the creation date & modify dates for those tags.

    9) The 3DU Squirrel, Big Bad Wolf, & 3 Bears are installed but keeps saying they aren't installed. I can't hide products that I know I don't want to install.

    10) I opened the Toonimal Hatching Pheonix & it open DAZ Studio Release with the DS search function having selected that product. I was more expecting that the toon hatching phoenix would be opened in a scene in DAZ Studio. In hindsight that wouldn't make sense though since most DAZ products have multple components.

    I like that it's using QT5 so many this is the start of the initial migration from QT4 to QT5 in DAZ Studio? In that case I'd like DAZ Central's feature set to be updated to match DS's Smart Content, Content Library, and DAZ Connent feature sets. I think it would be nice one DAZ Central is out of beta to remove Smart Content, Content Library, and DAZ Connect from DS or really those features would be hosted in DAZ Central. DAZ Central needs a lot of feature expansion and testing before that happens though. I guess if the goal is to migrate to QT5 and cleanup old code migrating feature set by feature set from DAZ Studio and Hexagon to DAZ Central might work out well if all of it was kept better modularized. Add Cararra's feature set to the migration too.

    This is more a DAZ Studio feature request but in the future I'd like to see multiple scenes able to be opened in seperate viewport tabs. It would probable overwhelm some computers though.

    So I like it and if I was to ask for one feature set, absent any intent by DAZ 3D to migrate DAZ Studio piecemeal to DAZ Central, it would be to expand it enough to be a Smart Content tag editor, which I guess means giving it all the features of Smart Content & Content Library & DAZ Connect tabs.

    Post edited by nonesuch00 on
  • Robert FreiseRobert Freise Posts: 3,452

    When and if it gets the ability to not automatically decide where to install everything and can find my existing content I might give it a try until then it doesn't sound good

  • So, Daz, while DIM and DazCentral can work in parallel now, is there a medium-term or long-term plan to phase out DIM?  

    Is DazCentral merely an attempt to discourage third-party content or tighten up DRM?   Both are understandable motives.  As it stands, they have presented a beta for an installer which, from their description, has negligible benefits for me.    

    More transparency would be appreciated.  

     

  • MisselthwaiteMisselthwaite Posts: 891

    I hope they are not phasing out DIM- I have not updated DAZ from 4.10, and have no intention of doing so, since everything I own works right now, and there's no guarantee an update wouldn't break my stuff.

  • jestmartjestmart Posts: 4,379

    Don't like it, don't need it!  Kill it, kill it with fire!!

  • WonderlandWonderland Posts: 5,861

    Are there screenshots to see what this actually is? I really don't understand the improvement over DIM, unless it's faster. DIM takes over 15 minutes to populate with all the products I have. 

  • KharmaKharma Posts: 3,169

    Is their a video showing the features and how to install and use it?

  • hjakehjake Posts: 539

    that answer is soooooo typical.  :-)

    namffuak said:
    DAZ_Rawb said:
    namffuak said:

    My Studio system does not have internet access; I currently use Install Manager to download to a USB drive, move the drive to my off-line system, and use Install Manager to do the product installs. Is there a way to get content to an off-line system with DazCentral?

    Nope, keep on using DIM.

     

    DazCentral's feature set is trimmed down to make it more streamlined for typical usage.

    OK - I will admit that 'typical' has never been a description that fit me. laugh

     

  • MelanieLMelanieL Posts: 6,079

    I hope they are not phasing out DIM- I have not updated DAZ from 4.10, and have no intention of doing so, since everything I own works right now, and there's no guarantee an update wouldn't break my stuff.

    I hope so too - my DS PC is not internet-connected, so running DIM on laptop to download only then running it in offline mode on my desktop is my only way to install new content. If DIM support goes I won't be buying very much!

  • PetraPetra Posts: 970

    I tried it, and it uninstalled my Daz Studio.

    I opened DIM to reinstall it and uninstalled this thing.

    I like to manually install my content, but I like to install Studio with DIM.

     

     

  • marblemarble Posts: 6,011

    Right now, I don't see much of an advantage over DIM - in fact DIM is still the better option for me as it gives me more information. The new app looks pretty but it seems to be dumbed down and I have this uneasy feeling that it is DAZ attempting to re-introduce Connect in some way. If so and if there is some kind of phone home backend to this, there will be resistance.

  • MalandarMalandar Posts: 599

    Yeah, glad I read this thread before I even considered installing that thing, a LOT needs to happen before that thing will be welcome on MY system.

    1. Needs to be able to find my content and be able to tell me EXACTLY what version of Daz Studio I have installed and NOT try to tell me I HAVE to update it.
    2. When installing it, it needs to have an option to tell it that NO I don't want to reboot my system NOW.

    3. It needs to not try to download all 119 pages of my content, who the hell has the connection for that? Not me.

    4 Needs to have an option to NOT auto-update all the time and not freak out if I am not connected to the internet.

    Remember people not everyone has good broadband internet even these days in the U.S. In fact compared to Europe and other countries our internet speeds are utter garbage.

  • WolfwoodWolfwood Posts: 673
    edited May 2020

    Are there screenshots to see what this actually is? I really don't understand the improvement over DIM, unless it's faster. DIM takes over 15 minutes to populate with all the products I have. 

    It's not so much an improvement over DIM as this is something different.

    This is more of a product navigation outside DS. It looks and feels like a web UI of an online shop. It does not sell you inside yet, but is very likely that will be added in the future.

    The one thing i do consider an improvement is the search engine compared to search inside daz. Granted i have a very small library, but its instant search filter. Partials and multiple words works fine. It's probably all done in RAM, if that is the case then its memory footprint may be high for bigger libraries if it does not scale well. My library is very small (< 600) and memory was only 176 MB. (DIM is 32MB).

     

    DAZ_Rawb said:
    Wolfwood said:

    Well i don't know if you are after feedback in general or only bugs. HEre is both just in case:

    * Compared to DIM i kind of miss multi selection install.

    Noted, I can't promise it will get in there but I like the idea. Thank you for the feedback.

    Wolfwood said:

    * The fact that in dashboard only shows recent purchases to install may be a good thing. But what is exactly the criteria? If i did not open central in over a week and have purchased but not installed some products, will they not show in the dashboard?

    The recent purchases just shows the last few products sorted by when you purchased them. If you make a bunch of purchases over the course of a week they would not be visible.

    Wolfwood said:

    * What does "Update assets automatically actually mean?" Only models but not main software and plugins gets updated?

    Just content is updated, no plug-ins or applications.

    Wolfwood said:

    * What is the criteria for Asset/Pluging? I have "Look at Me II" in assets and Michael 4 base in plugins. Some things do not get shown at all? I'm not finding scene optimizer

    I'll have someone look in to that, DazCentral attempts to sort things a little bit differently than DIM so some things may need a little updating on the store's database to get them to appear in their correct locations.

    Wolfwood said:

    * Search so far seems really good. Search response is instant, partials and multiples words have no issues. I think it can still be improved by adding more info: specially thinking in artist and also "tags". If its just too many columns, maybe add  the ability to choose witch ones we want to see, but index all by default.

    Once again, thank you for the feedback. This will probably have to wait for the refreshed store software in order to get the data in the right places at the right time to make this happen.

    Wolfwood said:

    Possible bug: I get error when trying to open a base character from central. Daz do open, but i get this:

    Are you running the latest version of Daz Studio? It had fixes in it to solve that bug (and also a newer version of Iray with a bunch of fixes and improvements in that as well).

    The open DAZ from central directly from a product do works for me now that i updated to latest DS. But i'm not sure about it yet. I will describe for everyone who has not tried it what it does:

    It Open DS (with a clean scene) and start a small step by step to point you to the product in Smart Content (product, no files). It's basically start a step by step tutorials, same looks. If you have context filter select, it will point to uncheck it, then to the product tab and then will show you the page where it is, highlight it and you have to say "i see it", then close the "tutorial".

    So if there is that elusive product you know you have and inside daz search do not help but you find it with central; then it may help pointing you to it in DS

    So, personal opinion, as an "Open DS from the product installer" is overkill. An small corner button to open DS would be the solution (Both Central and DIM need that). As a "point me to the product inside DS", seems useful. I do wonder why not just rework the search inside daz, that would be even better.

     

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    Post edited by Wolfwood on
  • GoggerGogger Posts: 1,966
    hjake said:

    that answer is soooooo typical.  :-)

    namffuak said:
    DAZ_Rawb said:
    namffuak said:

    My Studio system does not have internet access; I currently use Install Manager to download to a USB drive, move the drive to my off-line system, and use Install Manager to do the product installs. Is there a way to get content to an off-line system with DazCentral?

    Nope, keep on using DIM.

     

    DazCentral's feature set is trimmed down to make it more streamlined for typical usage.

    OK - I will admit that 'typical' has never been a description that fit me. laugh

     

    As is typical for me, I'm pointing out your "typicalocrisy" in pointing out namffuak's typical disclaimer.   :) 

  • WonderlandWonderland Posts: 5,861

    Interesting, but I just don't see the purpose of it... You can check your purchased products through the website & DIM already...  

  • iMacabreiMacabre Posts: 19
    mrinal said:

    I am a bit confused with the overlapping funtionality of DazCentral with SmartContent. Is there anything, even a prospect, in DazCentral that is not already there/possible with SmartContent? Or, is this just an attempt to bring SmartContent functionality by replacing the underlying Connect? In the present state, I feel SmartContent to be more cohesive, intuitive, stable and feature rich than DazCentral, so what is the business direction and prospects with DazCentral in the light of SmartContent?

    Same here, never understood what's the point of DIM ever since DazConnect was introduced inside DazStudio itself and now this...

    And then I get:

    "You don't have Daz Studio!" - YES I DO!!!!

    Sorting options are extremely limited, I don't really see this helping me find anything any easier...

    For some reason seeming random items are listed as Plugins - "3D Bridge for Photoshop" makes sense, but "Frosty Dress for Genesis 2 Female(s)" ??

    Clicking almost anything in Daz Central just opens a web page in your browser - Did I just install a program to open links for me in a web browser?

    I have almost 200GB and over 2000 products installed via DazConnect, this thing tells me there's nothing installed.

    Wait it gets better: Just started DazStudio, it did some metadate update, but everything is marked as not installed. 200GB... HOW DO I FIX THIS?

     

  • DAZ_RawbDAZ_Rawb Posts: 806

    Just to clear things up for everyone: DIM isn't going anywhere. DazCentral actually shares the same core as DIM, so updates to its core will also mean updates to DIM's core and vice-versa. 

     

    DazCentral is designed to be the method that new users have their first introduction to Daz and its world of content. DIM has a lot of functionality that makes it a bit confusing for new users. For example, having the products spread across three tabs makes sense to all of you because you have learned why it's split that way, but for someone just coming having a product disappear after it finishes downloading but before it's installed is confusing. Additionally, mapping a bunch of paths and being able to download on one machine and install on another are useful functionalities for more advanced use cases, but having all those options give a fresh face a lot of options that don't lead to good results until you learn what all the controls do. DazCentral is an optimized user experience for new users, to help them get started and giving them the best chance of success.

     

    For the power users that have things setup just the way they want or a slightly different method of doing things DazCentral isn't the correct software for you. But hey, that's why DIM is staying around.

  • Dark-ElfDark-Elf Posts: 943
    It's a nice idea but as my DS is installed on a drive that's not 'C' drive, it tells me to install DS!!!
  • zombietaggerungzombietaggerung Posts: 2,957

    Yikes, hard pass. As a manual installer this does not solve a problem or fulfill a need for me. 

  • WonderlandWonderland Posts: 5,861
    DAZ_Rawb said:

    Just to clear things up for everyone: DIM isn't going anywhere. DazCentral actually shares the same core as DIM, so updates to its core will also mean updates to DIM's core and vice-versa. 

     

    DazCentral is designed to be the method that new users have their first introduction to Daz and its world of content. DIM has a lot of functionality that makes it a bit confusing for new users. For example, having the products spread across three tabs makes sense to all of you because you have learned why it's split that way, but for someone just coming having a product disappear after it finishes downloading but before it's installed is confusing. Additionally, mapping a bunch of paths and being able to download on one machine and install on another are useful functionalities for more advanced use cases, but having all those options give a fresh face a lot of options that don't lead to good results until you learn what all the controls do. DazCentral is an optimized user experience for new users, to help them get started and giving them the best chance of success.

     

    For the power users that have things setup just the way they want or a slightly different method of doing things DazCentral isn't the correct software for you. But hey, that's why DIM is staying around.

    That's great that Daz is supposedly making it easier for new users to find products they purchased (which was never my problem when I started with DS,) but how about an actual USERS MANUAL that even people who have been using the software for a while could use with full WRITTEN tutorials with screenshots of all the advanced capabilities of DS as well as the basics. New users will get frustrated when they can't even use the software. 

  • LeanaLeana Posts: 9,158
    iMacabre said:

    Same here, never understood what's the point of DIM ever since DazConnect was introduced inside DazStudio itself

    You do realize that there are people who use Daz Content outside DS, right?

    Besides there are things that Connect can't install even for DS, like plugins.

  • mindsongmindsong Posts: 1,616
    Sevrin said:

     

    mrinal said:

    Plugin installation/update support could have been added to SmartContent. V4/M4 capability and content development is pretty much frozen wrt Daz store, so once installed via DIM/manual don't require further maintenance. Doesn't justify building an entire "parallel" product for it.

    Yeah, I don't think ease-of-use is the point of this, but rather DRM.

    ding ding ding...

    exactly who asked for this? anyone?

    I could see this as a good long-term strategy for DAZ and its future customers, but I honestly don't think the voices in these forums were asking for this 'feature' over other improvements  - e.g. clean DS shutdowns, animations that load the way they were saved, BVH loading/saving that works, etc...

    Of course I understand that priorities are likely to differ and the future is not the past, even if for its own sake. The natural tension of the marketplace continues. Vote accordingly.

    I would recommend to the mothership that manual downloads and DIM remain enabled over the long-term, else another 'connect'-like event is likely to be looming should that change.

    Never did see an answer to the multiple questions about Daz Central and ... 'foreign' content. This continued silence is likely to become an answer in itself.

    --ms

  • mrinalmrinal Posts: 620
    iMacabre said:
    mrinal said:

    I am a bit confused with the overlapping funtionality of DazCentral with SmartContent. Is there anything, even a prospect, in DazCentral that is not already there/possible with SmartContent? Or, is this just an attempt to bring SmartContent functionality by replacing the underlying Connect? In the present state, I feel SmartContent to be more cohesive, intuitive, stable and feature rich than DazCentral, so what is the business direction and prospects with DazCentral in the light of SmartContent?

    Same here, never understood what's the point of DIM ever since DazConnect was introduced inside DazStudio itself and now this...

    DIM has its own usage scenarios (like simultaneous downloads as vanilla DRM-free zipped archives, many user preferred to use DIM to backup their content for fear of getting locked out someday, offline installation for PCs with Studio not connected to the internet etc) which were not covered by Connect. Though Connect did try to address some of those concerns like offline installation with .sep and .sea files but not all scenariuos were covered. For example, in Connect there is no way to download simple DRM-free zip files that you can open in any zip application. So it cannot not be used for mass backups of content without involving the DRM in Daz Studio since the .sep and .sea files are encrypted.

    iMacabre said:

    And then I get:

    "You don't have Daz Studio!" - YES I DO!!!!

    Sorting options are extremely limited, I don't really see this helping me find anything any easier...

    For some reason seeming random items are listed as Plugins - "3D Bridge for Photoshop" makes sense, but "Frosty Dress for Genesis 2 Female(s)" ??

    Saw several such anomalies, probably a metedata error in their package manifest or something that needs to be fixed at their end.

    iMacabre said:

    Clicking almost anything in Daz Central just opens a web page in your browser - Did I just install a program to open links for me in a web browser?

    I have almost 200GB and over 2000 products installed via DazConnect, this thing tells me there's nothing installed.

    Wait it gets better: Just started DazStudio, it did some metadate update, but everything is marked as not installed. 200GB... HOW DO I FIX THIS?

    DazCentral uses DIM paths at the moment whereas Connect installs in a separate path similar to "<Daz Content Library>\Daz3D\Connect\data\cloud" where <Daz Content Library> is the path for the first Content Library entry in Daz Studio. Also note that Connect installs each item in discrete folders identified by their SKU. Daz Central uses paths configured under "advanced Settings > Installation" in DIM which is different from Connect path. That is why your products are shown as not installed. Check your SmartContent tab in DazStudio, that should still be showing your installed content correctly.

    That said, if you are uising SmartContent/Connect as your primary download option then not all items have the Connect install options and a quite a few of these content require DIM/manual download so they won't appear in SmartContent tab.

  • Thanks for the clarification, DAZ_Rawb.  I'm glad that DIM will be available for a while to come.  Reason #1 for my switching from Poser was that I was spending more time diagnosing and repairing manually installed content than making 3D art, and DIM has been a massive improvement over the chaos of manual installation

    If someone can't figure out DIM because it's too complex, what are the odds that they will ever be able to render anything in Daz Studio?  Three tabs for DIM, at least 25 tabs for my Daz Studio screen, with countless other clickables in the interface.

  • Ron KnightsRon Knights Posts: 1,500
    edited May 2020

    This is priceless. DAZ hasn't yet produced a good Content Manager. postgresql cms still doesn't work on a Mac. Now you're introducing DAZCentral which won't work on a Mac. Has DAZ stopped supporting Macs? Shouldn't you get one product working before moving onto a replacement?

    Post edited by Ron Knights on
  • iMacabreiMacabre Posts: 19
    mrinal said:

    That said, if you are uising SmartContent/Connect as your primary download option then not all items have the Connect install options and a quite a few of these content require DIM/manual download so they won't appear in SmartContent tab.

     

    How can I figure out which of my items are cannot be installed with Connect? I know about Victoria / Michel 4, but I don't use them and I don't care.

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