View Full Version : Custom content directory?

12-08-2004, 05:22 PM
I am currently evaluating a number of 3D packages and Lightwave is one of them. I would like to know whether it is possible to customize the content directory structure of lw such that it more closely fits into our pipeline. (I last worked with lw a long time ago and no longer actually own the application).

I understand the need and benefits of using *a* content directory, but would like to modify it such that it has different subdirs. Or does it have to have the scenes, objects, images structure?


12-08-2004, 06:39 PM
You can restructure your subdir's any way you like.
If you open a scene file after moving stuff around, you'll get a pop-up saying the object isn't there anymore, and do you want to use a replacement? So just browse to where that object now resides and you're good to go. From that point forward (after saving the scene file, of course) you won't have to do that again. Just the first time.

12-08-2004, 06:52 PM
Thanks for the reply.

If I move stuff around, though, will lw then record the absolute path, or will it still be a relative path as long as it is still inside the "content" directory?


12-09-2004, 12:27 AM
Your models, scene files, images, everything... put them anywhere you want. Doesn't have to be in the "content" directory. It could even be on a back-up CD. You just have to tell the program where to find what it's looking for, the first time after you move it. If you never move it again, it will be found.
The "content" directory doesn't mean content has to be in it. It's just the first folder Lightwave looks in. If it doesn't find something on it's own, it will let you know. You can also set the content directory to any folder you want.

12-09-2004, 10:16 AM
Thanks again for the reply.

I am still concerned, though, that if I move files around (especially if they are outside of what I designate as the content directory) that lw will record the absolute path to the file instead of a relative path. This will then most likely break any render farm activity that we engage in.

For example lets say I have the following directory structure


Lets say I designate as the content directory:

and my scene is in:

Say I put my textures in:

environment maps and hdri images in:

and set my renders to:

I understand that if I refer to an environment map in c:\show\seq\elem\environments then lw will record that as an absolute path. However, will lw record the others with the leading c:\show\seq\shot? or will it record all of these as relative paths because they are all subdirs of the content directory?

A second, and related, question is: How does lw handle links (shortcuts on windows, alias' on the mac)? Specifically, if the c:\show\seq\shot\objects directory listed above were actually a link/shortcut/alias to the c:\show\seq\objects directory, does lw resolve it to the actual path?

Thanks again for your help.


12-09-2004, 10:52 AM
Lets say I designate as the content directory:

It doesn't matter what the content directory is. That has nothing at all to do with your actual content. The name should maybe be changed, as it seems to be misleading.

All the content directory does for you is, when you load any object or image into a blank scene, the content directory you set is the first place LW will look for an object.
Basically you're just opening a browser window, and you're starting at that point in your dir. structure, nothing else.

When you load an image, you browse to it from the "load image" button, thus setting the path for that image. LW will retain that path. If you move that image file later, IE change your dir structure, that path will be broken. The next time you open that scene, LW will tell you the image is no longer where it used to be, and ask you to replace it or reload it. Once you browse to it from there, you're setting the new path.
I believe that the path is saved in the scene file itself, and has nothing at all to do with the content directory.

Is there anyone else out there who can confirm this? Where's Larry or Proton when you need 'em...?
Maybe I'm not reading your questions right?

I guess I'm only answering your first question. Question 2, I have no idea... sorry.


12-09-2004, 01:18 PM
You can have your own subdirectories under your chosen Content Directory, and Lightwave will save the extra path info such as : images/environment/sky.png - if you were to move it anywhere you'd have to browse for it again, but you'll be able to move the Content Directory anywhere you want without problems. The scene files are more flexible, it doesn't matter where they are, within reason...

12-10-2004, 11:33 AM
Toby, James,

Thanks. That was the info I was looking for...