View Full Version : Asset Management Software supporting LW files

12-01-2005, 05:57 PM
Hi all,

hopefully someone has a suggestion on that topic.

Our company would like to utilize an asset management tool like alienbrain studio to streamline our productivity. Unfortunately - as for alienbrain - Lightwave is not supported natively nor do I know of a plugin for Lightwave.

Basically what we need is a tool to speed up times spent on organizing project structures and especially on searching files.
We have a huge collection of Models that we use for all kinds of different projects. So it would be good if that asset management supported to view the actual models or scenes.
Deep Exploration or 3d Photo Browser support the model viewing but lack the management tools.

Any hints or suggestions would greatly appreciated.

12-01-2005, 06:06 PM
I have nothing to offer -- merely subscribing to this thread to see what kind of Asset Management conversation occurs.

Hmm, there was a thread about some such tools recently, though. If I find it, I'll share the info.

12-01-2005, 06:25 PM
i searched for something like this a while back and didn't come up with anything lw specific. so I started on concept and development myself. the company I was working with never implemented anything, but I still have my preliminary concept notes and ideas. I'll email them to you if you want.

They were mainly to be developed as Lscript and simple HTML. I also suggested a web based Producer Control Panel and Assignment system that, with some cgi, php, etc. scripting, would track Personnel Assets in a database as well (all tied in with the html/lscript of course). It could be built to include dependency trees, so that when a client wants a change and wants to know how much it costs, you can input the change assignment on the applicable branch and immediately have updated timelines/cost/assignments calculated through the proceeding branches.

If you're looking for someone to dev something along those lines, let me know and I'll see what timeframes allow. IMHO, it had the potential to be rhobust and eliminate a lot of the lost time and verbal communication. but then again, that makes sense as it was my idea ;) .

12-02-2005, 11:47 AM
Thanks for the quick replies
Well, html and lscript... I wouldn't mind developing something in Java / PHP for my final exam in University ;) I would be really interested in your notes on that topic. My adrerss is [email protected] (without the nospam).
What would the lscript part involve in that project? Since I never even looked at the SDK I don't really know of the capabilities.

Because the company I am currently with doesn't want to spend several thousand Dollars on developement but wants more of a solution to catalogue and manage their current assets in the short term, the developement would be more of a hobby project for me.

12-02-2005, 12:18 PM
I work for a company who writes document management software www.hummingbird.com

It's designed for an enterprise environment, but it's pretty slick. We have a method of integrating with pretty much any app by intercepting save and open dialogs.

12-02-2005, 06:05 PM
Alienbrain will support Lightwave. It is just not intergrated. So you'll have to launch the client to check in/out the files you wish to use.

12-02-2005, 06:08 PM
There was another asset management software that was 100 bucks... need to hunt it down.

12-03-2005, 09:15 AM
I know that alienbrain supports virtually everything - you just have to imolement it. And as I got to know on the alienbrain Forum, there is a script to attach screenshots of your models/scenes to the respective file like 3dsmax or autocad do it natively - so you have a thiumbnail preview.
Our concern was more the catalogueing (wonder if this is spelt right). It would be nice if there was a plugin to view 3d objects/scenes directly within the alienbrain client, without the need to open it in Lightwave, Max, utocad or whatever to look more closely. Much like the way 3d Photobrowser or Deep Exploration do it.
I know that there would be a way to write a browser program in java for 3d objects, but this would get slow beyond the first 20000 polygons.

Okay, here is a little description what is actually our problem that we need to solve:
We have a huge library of Objects, say 500 dfferent plants with pretty similar names like 10 times "big_plant_##.lwo". Tha would be the same for living room stuff, dining, rugs and other things...
So we have thousands of objects to chose from when we build a new scene. We want a certain look but we have to open each file in Lightwave to examine it or use deep exploration.
And here is the point.
You could look at all the files in Deep Exploration, the object you need would be in the 7th sub folder and have one of these common names.
Since you can have references in Alienbrain it would be just nice to search for the right object and then reference it with one click. Then it would be just a matter of two or three clicks more to chose the appropriate object from the NXN Menue. That would be a huge timesaver.

Okay, that was an in depth explanation of what WE need. I understand that needs vary here. Any comments or hints are greatly appreciated.
(BTW I am sure I won't be the only one learning something out of this)

Thanks a bunch,
Torsten (Misha)

12-03-2005, 07:31 PM
This is really interesting, I am though at a slight loss at what exactly you are trying to accomplish, after half a year of hobby/free lance LW use I am not much of an expert on pipelines. Seeing the 3D photo browser beeing brought up though, I would like to mention this thread (http://www.spinquad.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9335), and also the linked thread at this forum. Last I mailed with the developer he was having a good look into the SDK. His program have metadata support, and he is looking at extending that as well.

If what you are looking for is something akin to google picasa for .Lwo's and .lws's, I think the engine in that program is capable of it though it maybe aint featured.

I personally think it would totally kick bollocks to have this integrated in LW, I am suspicious the next version could be insanely cool!

12-04-2005, 09:30 PM
Thanks for mentioning that.
I already posted a reply over on the other thread, telling my suggestions / wishes. I think something like "picasa for .lwo's and .lws's" would be exactly what my company has in mind. Though, personally I would prefer a solution that is more project management oriented.
I would love to get an insight in Jeremy's thoughts and suggestions as he mentioned above and maybe this would result in a project to combine the viewing capabilities of 3DPB and a PM engine like Jeremy mentioned.

12-06-2005, 07:50 AM
I posted some comments on using that as project tool over the other thread (http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?p=320161#post320161)

It is still not entirely clear to me what particular combination of functionality you need, but the only thing I use picasa for is searching my image library that has deep folders, it is faster to type the folder name into picasa that has index base than in the 3dpb but it is obviously only good for jpgs etc, it is useless in a project folder and if it wasn't I imagine it would be quite the resource hog. I mean for a project I don't have that big a need for indexed search, then the information is in one place. Is version management the problem? I'd have to agree that isn't extensively supported though there are good opportunity for writing changes to metadata.

At least about everything that I wan't to do is feasible with that program, and it looks like it might be even more powerful soon! I haven't gotten to it yet but the web page template looks very promising as well, supports php, Js etc. in templates. Having it integrate with PM software would be avesome!

12-06-2005, 09:37 AM
Yes, that would be truely awesome. I just quoted you with the "picasa for lwo's..." stuff, meaning that my company basicly wanted a search engine to catalogue their assets and hava visual browsing possibility. Now it is my job to make templates for 3dpb ;)

The project management would be a personal favour of mine and given that I am a Student involved in technical as well as design related studies it is more of a "scientific" interest in Asset Management.
I see how time consuming it can be to bring assets into a project. If we have a interior to design and I want a chair, I have to search all the 300 chairs, cause I am not familiar with what is available.
So right now I search the files on the server and once I found one I have to search the path in Lightwave again.

Again, this is just my own personal interest.

I would love a PM Software where I can browse the catalogue and have a button or Menu to say "make reference" and that file is in my List of files for my project. Like a virtual Content folder / or automatic copying to the content folder in the background. the PM Software has other benefits as well, like Versioning, check out/in, visual comparison, and so on...

I hope I could make myself clear this time. Sometimes I have an idea in my head, the problem is just to describe it to others...

Regards, Misha