Find Your Content - Get Organized

3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
edited January 2017 in The Commons

It's the new year, and for some that means a new commitment to getting organized. If you've ever spent far too long finding the 3D content you want to use or had trouble finding that specific thing that would help make your scene better, you've probably thought about buckling down and getting your content arranged in a more user-friendly manner. That is where Custom Categories in Daz Studio can be a HUGE help.  

I've spent a while getting my content organized this way and it's been a MASSIVE help to me. I now can find everything that I want with ease. Don't get me wrong, the organization process can take quite a while (depending on how deep you want to get with the organizing), but once done, it's well worth it to have at your fingertips the ability to find all of your favorite content within seconds. 

If you're interested in custom categories but have never used them before, what I recommend, is to start small. Maybe just start with categorizing your favorite and most used content. Once you get used to organizing and using custom categories you can always expand from there if you choose to. 

I thought I'd share with you guys the way I, personally, do my categories - so here are some screenshots of my organization system. That's DEFINITELY not to say that this is the only way to get organized, or even the best way to do it, it's just the way that has been working for me. So I'm posting these screenshots to, hopefully, help give those who are planning on getting organized some ideas on where to start.

Now, of course, everyone is different and everyone finds different things helpful, and different ways of organizing helpful. I've made this post in the hopes of helping those who have perhaps not delved too far into custom categories, but who may want to start giving their 3D content some organization through custom categories. This is how I was able to put all of my content into the categories where I could find them with ease.

I hope some of you find these screenshots helpful as a starting off point - or even just to give you your own ideas on what categories you want to make or how you want to go about organizing your content. :) You don't have to go about organizing the way I do, or even to organize at all. But if you're tired of taking too long finding the content you want to use in your scenes and have been interested in creating custom categories - I hope you seriously consider taking the time to do it. To me, it's been well worth it! :) 

If you guys have any advice on getting organized or even want to share the screenshots of the way you create custom categories or of the way you get organized, please do! I'd love for the community to share the way they do their categories and give the community members ideas on getting their own content organized! :D

Post edited by 3Diva on
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Comments

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468

    I'll work on some screen shots of mine and post them in the next day or two.  I do mine completely different than yours lol.

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    edited January 2017

    I'll work on some screen shots of mine and post them in the next day or two.  I do mine completely different than yours lol.

    Awesome! I'm looking forward to seeing your organization system! :) The more screen shots the community shares the better. We can always use better ideas on getting organized. :D

    Post edited by 3Diva on
  • FSMCDesignsFSMCDesigns Posts: 10,424

    Wow Diva, that makes my brain hurt looking at all that organization, LOL

    I install everything manually which allows me to know where everything is. Anything more would be more work than I would like, LOL.

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    edited January 2017

    Wow Diva, that makes my brain hurt looking at all that organization, LOL

    I install everything manually which allows me to know where everything is. Anything more would be more work than I would like, LOL.

    To be fair, I don't think most people manually install everything, so Custom Categories are probably going to be helpful for those who don't. Also, my categories are a lot more complex than what someone who maybe just wants to organize their favorite things might want to do. Really there probably only needs to be a small handful of "base" categories:

    • Actors
    • Clothes and Wearables
    • Environments and Props
    • Lights and Cameras
    • Poses and Expressions
    • Shaders

    Everything else could probably be put in sub categories under those. :)

    Post edited by 3Diva on
  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 7,249

    That's an excellent system! Does that mean you go to "categories" as soon as you open DS to render?

    I use Smart Content - I like having the visual icons to see what products are. When Smart Content is done right, it's absolutely brilliant. When the metadata/categories is done wrong, it's a nightmare (hellooooooo Lost and Found). But I tend to edit the metadata for a LOT of daz products cos they're woeful - and I use categories very similar to the way you do!

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    jakiblue said:

    That's an excellent system! Does that mean you go to "categories" as soon as you open DS to render?

    I use Smart Content - I like having the visual icons to see what products are. When Smart Content is done right, it's absolutely brilliant. When the metadata/categories is done wrong, it's a nightmare (hellooooooo Lost and Found). But I tend to edit the metadata for a LOT of daz products cos they're woeful - and I use categories very similar to the way you do!

    Yeah, I go straight to categories. I don't even bother with the other areas. 

    BTW, you don't sacrifice visual icons when you use custom categroies - you still get the icons with the categories. :)

  • Stryder87Stryder87 Posts: 899
    jakiblue said:

    .. I tend to edit the metadata for a LOT of daz products cos they're woeful...

    How do you edit the Metadata?  I'd love to reorganize my Smart Content!  I, also, really appreciate the visual picture of the item.  I sometimes even wish I could make the icons bigger as my eyes aren't what they used to be.

     

  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 7,249

    No I meant the product image so I can see what it is - rather than just relying on the title of the product.  

    jakiblue said:

    That's an excellent system! Does that mean you go to "categories" as soon as you open DS to render?

    I use Smart Content - I like having the visual icons to see what products are. When Smart Content is done right, it's absolutely brilliant. When the metadata/categories is done wrong, it's a nightmare (hellooooooo Lost and Found). But I tend to edit the metadata for a LOT of daz products cos they're woeful - and I use categories very similar to the way you do!

    Yeah, I go straight to categories. I don't even bother with the other areas. 

    BTW, you don't sacrifice visual icons when you use custom categroies - you still get the icons with the categories. :)

     

  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 7,249

    It's actually kinda easy, believe it or not. I do metadata and categories for any non-daz products i buy too. I did do up a tut for it, but just got told I missed a couple of steps LOL so I'm having to add them back in. I'll send you a link to it when it's done if you want. :D 

    Stryder87 said:
    jakiblue said:

    .. I tend to edit the metadata for a LOT of daz products cos they're woeful...

    How do you edit the Metadata?  I'd love to reorganize my Smart Content!  I, also, really appreciate the visual picture of the item.  I sometimes even wish I could make the icons bigger as my eyes aren't what they used to be.

     

     

  • That is what is sadly lacking in Daz studio an easy way to edit Metadata. Now if there is a enterprising script writer out there who wants to make some money this would be the must buy item to get. I am tired of models and clothes I don't need. Give us some tools to get things organizied and make things fit properly and not look like the model has had their clothes soaked in water at a wet tee shirt contest. Oooh and a memory indicator for Iray. So we don't drop out to cpu render.

  • HavosHavos Posts: 4,618

    That is what is sadly lacking in Daz studio an easy way to edit Metadata. Now if there is a enterprising script writer out there who wants to make some money this would be the must buy item to get. I am tired of models and clothes I don't need. Give us some tools to get things organizied and make things fit properly and not look like the model has had their clothes soaked in water at a wet tee shirt contest. Oooh and a memory indicator for Iray. So we don't drop out to cpu render.

    There is this product that gives you a better breakdown of your VRAM memory use:

    http://www.daz3d.com/iray-memory-assistant

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 11,220

    I'd give it a go but for the Database having DRM within it; not interested.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 11,220

    That is what is sadly lacking in Daz studio an easy way to edit Metadata. Now if there is a enterprising script writer out there who wants to make some money this would be the must buy item to get. I am tired of models and clothes I don't need. Give us some tools to get things organizied and make things fit properly and not look like the model has had their clothes soaked in water at a wet tee shirt contest. Oooh and a memory indicator for Iray. So we don't drop out to cpu render.

    +1

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,764

    Thank you, this thread really helps. I can't find anything lately!

  • Is there a way to back up custom categories so this user organisation isn't lost when Studio is upgraded?

     

  • Stryder87Stryder87 Posts: 899
    jakiblue said:

    It's actually kinda easy, believe it or not. I do metadata and categories for any non-daz products i buy too. I did do up a tut for it, but just got told I missed a couple of steps LOL so I'm having to add them back in. I'll send you a link to it when it's done if you want. :D 

    Stryder87 said:
    jakiblue said:

    .. I tend to edit the metadata for a LOT of daz products cos they're woeful...

    How do you edit the Metadata?  I'd love to reorganize my Smart Content!  I, also, really appreciate the visual picture of the item.  I sometimes even wish I could make the icons bigger as my eyes aren't what they used to be.

     

     

    That would be great.  I've looked at the area to edit the metadata, but it was unclear to me what it all did, so I chickened out and didn't play around with it.  I didn't want to blow my stuff up.

    I'd appreciate a tut for it.  There are screenshots, right?  Screenshots are awesome! wink

  • Export user data - Content Library pane option menu>Content DB Maintenance.

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 16,923
    edited January 2017

    I'm sort of the cateogry queen. I install and categorize everyhting, including the props. I find that I have too much stuff and frequently I overlook a set of earrings or a watch prop, that I could categorize and use for other characters. 

    Unfortunately, Studio doesn't handle categories too well once you start having volumes of content categorized the way you like it. I find nowdays I need to reset my database fairly frequently including reimporting meta data to get the items to show up in product view.. 

    DAZ software also gets fussy about the order of importation of the USER DATA. 

    I understand it better, and get it to work fairly well, but frequent backups of user data... Makes me think DAZ could handle categorization and organziation so much better.

    Of course most of this wouldn't be neccessary if content categories and naming standards were enforced by a copy editor. So much work is involved because of the lack of copy editor and standards, here and in other communities... It really could be so much better. It is ridiculous that there are typos in product names, content installed in the wrong directories, vanity for characters, making it tough to find the character by their actual name etc. 

    Post edited by Serene Night on
  • This looks interesting, as I spend too much time looking for items or forgetting I even had the item!!

    Can you catergorize a whole product at once I hope?   Or do you have to categorize every file with a product?

     

    That is what is sadly lacking in Daz studio an easy way to edit Metadata. Now if there is a enterprising script writer out there who wants to make some money this would be the must buy item to get. I am tired of models and clothes I don't need. Give us some tools to get things organizied and make things fit properly and not look like the model has had their clothes soaked in water at a wet tee shirt contest. Oooh and a memory indicator for Iray. So we don't drop out to cpu render.

    +1 on the script to edit Metadata

  • Export user data - Content Library pane option menu>Content DB Maintenance.

    Thanks, Richard. Added to my Word document of Studio snippets.

     

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,280

    We  (SereneNight and I) did this last year in my Art Studio thread (and the year before) with categories for sets and props, she is isn't kidding about her management of categories! I tend to do themes and parts of the world too. (Western, Australian, Egyptian, Southern, etc)
     

    I'm sort of the cateogry queen. I install and categorize everyhting, including the props. I find that I have too much stuff and frequently I overlook a set of earrings or a watch prop, that I could categorize and use for other characters. 

     

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,280
    twitch99 said:

    This looks interesting, as I spend too much time looking for items or forgetting I even had the item!!

    Can you catergorize a whole product at once I hope?   Or do you have to categorize every file with a product?

    You simply right click on the product name (Content Library) and Create A Category From>Selected Folder or Selected Folder and its Subfolders, then then put the file where you want it.

  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    twitch99 said:

    This looks interesting, as I spend too much time looking for items or forgetting I even had the item!!

    Can you catergorize a whole product at once I hope?   Or do you have to categorize every file with a product?

     

    That is what is sadly lacking in Daz studio an easy way to edit Metadata. Now if there is a enterprising script writer out there who wants to make some money this would be the must buy item to get. I am tired of models and clothes I don't need. Give us some tools to get things organizied and make things fit properly and not look like the model has had their clothes soaked in water at a wet tee shirt contest. Oooh and a memory indicator for Iray. So we don't drop out to cpu render.

    +1 on the script to edit Metadata

    Yes, you can categorize the entire product. In the content library "products" area (where the products are listed in alphabetical order) just right click on the product and select "Create a Category from" and that lets you select the category you want to put it into. 

  • Link to thread into snippets doc. Thanks divamakeup.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468
    edited January 2017

    I hate to say it but mine is a wee bit more complicated..

    So I basically just break everything down by category.  First picture we will go with Gen2F.  Those categories get broken down further as we go.

    Characters - each Actor goes directly into the Characters tab, this allows me to see all of my characters at a glance.  The materials, morphs etc go under the name of the Character making it easy for me to just scroll down the list and find what I'm looking for.

    Clothing - The outfit goes under dresses or outfits -dress, shoes, hat etc. whatever comes with the whole outfit.  Textures go under Mats or if there are both I split them into 3Delight and Iray

    Now comes the fun part lol.  To make it easy to kit bash, I have more categories.  My example shows Boots and Shoes - ALL of the props that are boots and shoes for G2F go here.  Now, I have an easy list to scroll through if I want a particular style for a kit bashed outfit.  The mats for each pair of boots or shoes go under the prop name.  So Piratess Boots get dropped into the main Boots and Shoes Category then sub categorize with the name Piratess Boots and drop the texture files into that.

    I do this with each entire outfit so I may have an outfit in Outfit, in Boots & Shoes, in Jewelry, in Belts (sub categorized under Accessories under Clothes) Hats, Jackets and Gloves. So I can see all of my gloves in a glance, all of my Belts, all of boots and shoes.

    This is really helpful with hair as well as anything else you may piece and part out.

    I also have a category under People that is also called Hair - It has every single hair I own, so that I can just scroll through the entire list to find something I think will work.  The subcategories are titled with the hair name and which generation its for so I know how to apply it. Materials and poses go under the hair name.

    Animals are categorized by broad categories then narrowing them down bit by bit. I have a category for Monsters and Fantasy creatures in the Animal category as well as the People category (for more humanoid items or items that use a human looking actor)

     

     

     

     

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    Post edited by IceDragonArt on
  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468
    edited January 2017

    But wait.... there's more!  lol

    Buildings & Scenes are all the major props that are scenes (not individual props).  Categorized partly by vendor The vendor categorization requires that I have a certain amount of items from that PA name but mostly by what kind of scene it is. If I want a scene that has a castle, I can go right to it and its broken down even farther, into exterior and interior scenes. Many of these are also broken down into other main categories for kit bashing - For instance - I may have a castle interior that goes into Castle Interior - but the pieces and parts would also go into PROP - and broken down even further into Furniture or Candles Lanterns and Lights and maybe Plants or Containers Vases and Pots...

    You can have a look at the rest as well, I've done a screen shot on my categorization for Poses, Shaders, and Weapons & Armour (and yes, I do like my weapons lol.)  Any questions feel free to ask.

     

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    Post edited by IceDragonArt on
  • 3Diva3Diva Posts: 11,018
    edited January 2017

    @Ice Dragon Art Dang girl! That's one complex system! lol 

    Thank you for all the screen shots - you've given me some great ideas! For instance, I definitely want to take a page from your book and further categorize my weapons. Right now they are all in one category, but I think I'll create a couple sub groups in my weapons category - one for fantasy weapons, one for historic weapons, and one for modern weapons. 

    Post edited by 3Diva on
  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,468

    No problem at all.  I'm glad you started this, I actaully get asked about my categories a lot lol. 

    When I upgraded from 4.8 to the then current 4.9 I lost them all.  I actually cried.  It took me close to two months to put them all back together and get all the content where it goes. Every night for 3 or 4 hours.  It was awful.  But I can't work without being organized, it stresses me out lol.  It was so worth the effort though I can find everything in a very short amount of time.  The trick is, once you have it set up, be vigilant about adding new stuff.

    Also, you can categorize your content from other places or freebies as well so no more floundering around in you poser runtime for hours.

  • Havos said:

    That is what is sadly lacking in Daz studio an easy way to edit Metadata. Now if there is a enterprising script writer out there who wants to make some money this would be the must buy item to get. I am tired of models and clothes I don't need. Give us some tools to get things organizied and make things fit properly and not look like the model has had their clothes soaked in water at a wet tee shirt contest. Oooh and a memory indicator for Iray. So we don't drop out to cpu render.

    There is this product that gives you a better breakdown of your VRAM memory use:

    http://www.daz3d.com/iray-memory-assistant

    Thanks Havos, I already bought it and it works but it needs more work. Thank you for producing this SimTenero great job. On the flipside this is something that needs heavy duty intigration into Daz studio so this plugin can take the guess work out of how much I can place in a scene and what needs to have the textures lowered in resolution or using a shader which is my personal preference. I am gratefull that it was created it was a sorely needed tool in Daz Studio, along with bigger fonts and better Meta data management tools.

  • nicsttnicstt Posts: 11,220

    I've have to enable stuff (in effect allowing DRM onto my system).

    This is what has put me off it. And will continue to put me off.

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