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skywalker113
07-31-2011, 05:16 PM
Everytime I open a scene file up I always get messages saying, cannot find xxx object select alternate file? Or it cant find a certain image. I belive this is the file route lightwave looks for.

Projects--->
scenes
images
objects

Ok but what if I have multiple projects with the same objects. Do I need to make copies of each object and put them in the objects subfolder in the projects folder? Or can I have all the projects referance the same folder. Here is an example of a folder hiarchy for some spaceships I made.

SPACESHIPS--->

Fighters(subfolder)
bomber
Bomber.lwo
Bomber.psd

stealth fighter
stealth fighter.lwo
stealth fighter.psd

Starships(subfolder)
BATTLESHIP
objects
battleshipv1.lwo
battleshipv2.lwo
battleshipv3.lwo
images
Mainbody
Front body.png
middle body.png
top body.png
rear body.png
bottom body.png
Structures
silo.png
forklift.png
sign.png
rust.png
wheels.png
clipmap.png

CRUISER
objects
cruiserv1.lwo
cruiserv2.lwo
cruiserv3.lwo
cruiserv4.lwo
cruiserv5.lwo
cruiserv6.lwo
Images
Mainbody
Front body.png
middlebody.png
bottom body.png
rear body.png
top body.png
Additional
laser cannon.png
turret.png
rusty.png
sign.png
barrel.png
cart.png

Is it possible for lightwave to referance more than one object, or image folder? Or do I need to keep changing content directories in lightwave whenever I want to switch from project to project. Or just open a single object that is not related to a project.

Thanks:)

nickdigital
07-31-2011, 07:51 PM
It looks like you have Content Directories embedded within Content Directories which isn't how the Content structure is intended to work.

So yes, you'll need to copy your recycled object across multiple project directories if you're changing between different ones.

Danner
08-01-2011, 09:43 AM
*Warning* confusing nerdy stuff ahead.

There are three basic ways you could have your content directories set up. Each one has it's own advantages and disadvantages.

1. Each scene or group of similar scenes has a unique set of content directories. Each scene and everything it uses in one place.

example:

E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Scenes/Flyby.lws
E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Objects/Xwing.lwo
E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Objects/Planets.lwo
E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Images/Earth.jpg
E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Images/Xwingbaked.jpg

Another scene near by:

E:/LWscenes/2011/CocaCola/Scenes/WaterDrops.lws
E:/LWscenes/2011/CocaCola/Objects/Can.lwo
E:/LWscenes/2011/CocaCola/Images/Canlabel.png

Advantages: Very easy to transport to other machines/render farms. Easy to back up and keep everything together.

Disadvantages: you must create and change to a new content directory constantly. You end up with a ton of duplicates of objects and images.

--------------------

2. Content directories are shared amongst scenes. All objects are in one place, same for images and Scenes.

Example spaceship scene as above

C:/LWscenes/Scenes/client/Flyby.lws
C:/LWscenes/Objects/cient/Planets.lwo
C:/LWscenes/Images/cient/Earth.jpg

Another scene might reside near it in:

E:/LWscenes/Scenes/TV14/logo.lws
E:/LWscenes/Objects/TV14/BlueLogo.lws

Advantages: You will have all your files separated by type, so they can be searched quickly. Not as many duplicates since you can load objects from other scenes and LW will find them along with their textures as long as you always keep the content directory at E:/LWScenes/

Disadvantages: It's so easy to load objects from older scenes you might mess up an older scene by modifying it's objects. The only way to port the scene to be rendered elsewhere is by packaging the scene. Backups also become tedious since you have to back the whole directory up not just the new stuff, unless a file managing system is used.
--------------------------------------

3. Scenes per client. For lack of a better name.

E:/LWScenes/2011/Cocacola/WaterDrops.lws
E:/LWScenes/2011/Cocacola/Can.lwo
E:/LWScenes/2011/Cocacola/Canlabel.png

E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Flyby.lws
E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Xwing.lwo
E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Planets.lwo
E:/LWscenes/2011/Spaceships/Earth.jpg

Advantages, As long as the content directory is E:/LWscenes (in this example), every object will retain it's images and will load without asking anything so it'ís easy to reuse them in many scenes. Things are in a logical and easy to find place since they are ordered by year/client (or similar).
Easier to back things up than method 2 since they are ordered by year/client.

Dissadvantages: If you reuse objects or images your scenes will lose their portability.

------

There are variations of the above of course, and some people go into much more detail an order, but I hope I shed some light into this mess

=)

skywalker113
08-01-2011, 01:20 PM
thanks for the help. What im getting so far is a individual object cannot have its own images folder with the textures it uses. So if a scene is looking for images, all of the textures for that scene needs to be dumped into one folder. So all of textures for all of the objects in the scene needs to be mixed together correct?

Are there any file managing programs that anyone can reference that may help?

thanks

nickdigital
08-01-2011, 01:41 PM
thanks for the help. What im getting so far is a individual object cannot have its own images folder with the textures it uses. So if a scene is looking for images, all of the textures for that scene needs to be dumped into one folder. So all of textures for all of the objects in the scene needs to be mixed together correct?


No, an object can have it's own images folder but the way you have yours organized is wrong. Your Content folder should look something like this:

Skywalker_Project

Objects

Cruiser
Fighter

Images

Cruiser
Fighter

Scenes

Cruiser
Fighter



You could even further break it down more to something like this:
Skywalker_Project

Objects

Vehicles

Cruiser
Fighter


Images

_Generic


Vehicles

Cruiser
Fighter


Scenes

Vehicles

Cruiser
Fighter




You could then add folders for Props, Sets, etc. If this was a show you could have a folder called Episode or Episodic. If you notice I put in a _Generic folder under Images. This would be where you store images that you think could be recycled. Maybe you have a favorite grunge map that you're always using.

Danner
08-01-2011, 04:56 PM
I once received a ton of collada files from a client. MOST of the objects came with textures named "texture1.jpg" "texture2.jpg" etc. so if you used a common image folder for all this objects the images would overwrite each other, and each image was unique... I had two choices, keep each object inside it's own directory with it's images, or rename each image by hand. I decided to rename all the images.. because I think I would run into trouble sooner or later with 8 images loaded into LW that were named the same.. not to mention the project would be impossible to package or render over a network. I don't beleive there is a "right" way to manage your files, as long as it's consistant and you understand how it works.


As for file management programs.. The biggest help here is the package scene command in Lightwave, just load objects and images from all over your hard drive and it will put them all toghether into neat little drawers. Packaging a scene could change your content directory (unless you use "load old scene" in lw10) which could lead to problems if you don't reset it to how you are used to working.