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Lewis
01-24-2006, 09:45 AM
Hi !

I'd like to have multiple content directories to choose from instead just one we have now. Is it such problem to let us choose say 5 directory paths in modeler/layout instead 1?

Thanks

jeremyhardin
01-24-2006, 11:24 AM
i'd like this too.

XSI has as many project directories as you want, but you can't load outside of those structures. i like it that way.

so that's my request/ support of your request.

Lewis
01-24-2006, 11:43 AM
I like this way how LW handle it but alow us more folders to choose :). I said 5 just as example but actually i wouldn't like to have such "small" limit 'coz even now i have 6 main dirs/folders for my projects which are around 27GB total so far :). Maybe that restriction in XSI isn't bad idea (sometime you need to check are all files from scene in director) but in LW from what i know it works that if file isnt in content directory LW will aks you to find it or skip so you then know that not all files are where you want them to be :).

If content manager gets some facelifting that would be easier to solve ;).

cheers and thanks for feedback

RedBull
01-24-2006, 12:58 PM
Hmmm i agree with your thoughts, as this issue has annoyed me for years..

But how would multiple directories work?


If choose Load Scene or Load Object, which of the 5 content directories
is meant to open?



I think LW must have a better Loading Routine of Scenes and Objects and Textures...... I'm so sick of LW telling me "Can't find objects - Select an alterantive file?"

LW should search the Objects Directory, and failing to find a file
it should recursively search any folder under the root content folder and find
the referenced file name..... It should not complain and say it can't find it, just so i have to manually hold it's hand on every load scene....

I would also like it to search a single root directory.....



i.e If i fail to have a Objects/Scenes/Images layout in my content....
LW should Automatically try and load the Scene/Object/Images from a single
directory, rather than looking for images only in Images, Objects only in Objects and Scenes only in scenes......

At the moment even when i do have stuff in the correct directories...
Often LW will still tell me it can't find an object, and ask me to manually find it... So i click on the filename in the directory and click okay and it works fine.. But why it could not load the file itself is still a mystery...

Anyway.... LW's content management is a pet peev since LW5.x
I hope it gets better.....It would be seemingly simple to make sure it handles this much better.

jeremyhardin
01-24-2006, 01:09 PM
Hmmm i agree with your thoughts, as this issue has annoyed me for years..

But how would multiple directories work?


If choose Load Scene or Load Object, which of the 5 content directories
is meant to open?



it opens up whatever one you were working in last. you can always switch to a different one when loading. if you try to load from a folder, even a scenes folder, outside of your project, it says no.

Like LW, it still works with images/models from outside the project structure, though it gives the option to copy external files into the current working project.

I suppose it's just a matter of preferences, but i like it and would like to see LW work this way.

Lewis
01-24-2006, 06:49 PM
Hi guys :)

Ok i made simple Graphics to show what i had in mind :).

I made TWO versions.

Version #1 - Multiple folders each on it's row, this way we would need to be limited to certian number 3,5,10 or something due interface resolution (btw RedBull - It's meant to SEARCH in all content directories and open files if it finds them in any of selected - no real math here :)). That's just to have more dirs a tonce. For instance when i work with new models and i want to put them in some testing scenes from previous work, this way how LW works now if i want to have it clean and tidy (all files in one project folder) i'd need to double my files for each project or find files manualy when LW says it can't find them. This way i'd be able to work in new content dir i made recently and to load files from content folder years ago if i want :)).

Version #2 - Same logics but like Arbitrary rendering we have now in Layout (when you want to render frames 1 5 an 7 you just set arbitrary and type in 1,5,7 instead rendering Single 1-7). This way we could have virtualy unlimited number of folders. downside ist hat this way it's not realy clean and tidy and it's preoblematic if you want to change (clean current and add new again), but we could have *cfg file for it or SAVE option for multiple contents so loading them quickly would be faster than finding files manually (i didn't add save button in graphics but that's just idea)

here are graphics

cheers

Chris S. (Fez)
01-24-2006, 11:05 PM
Great request!

Nitisara
01-24-2006, 11:17 PM
And why you don't put files from different Contents into one?
What is behind your idea to keep defferent contents separately and at the same time use them simultaneously?

What I personally do is separating not Contents, but Scenes, Objects and so on into different subfolders.

Example. Instead of:

Content_1
-- Scenes_1
-- Objects_1
Content_2
-- Scenes_2
-- Objects_2
Content_3
-- Scenes_3
-- Objects_3

I have:

Content
-- Scenes
---- Scenes_1
---- Scenes_2
---- Scenes_3
-- Objects
---- Objects_1
---- Objects_2
---- Objects_3

jeremyhardin
01-24-2006, 11:30 PM
And why you don't put files from different Contents into one?
What is behind your idea to keep defferent contents separately and at the same time use them simultaneously?

What I personally do is separating not Contents, but Scenes, Objects and so on into different subfolders.

Example. Instead of:

Content_1
-- Scenes_1
-- Objects_1
Content_2
-- Scenes_2
-- Objects_2
Content_3
-- Scenes_3
-- Objects_3

I have:

Content
-- Scenes
---- Scenes_1
---- Scenes_2
---- Scenes_3
-- Objects
---- Objects_1
---- Objects_2
---- Objects_3
i like my projects to be self contained, separated, and deliverable at any time by grabbing one folder and zipping it up.

subfolders aren't condusive to this.

Nitisara
01-24-2006, 11:35 PM
i like my projects to be self contained, separated, and deliverable at any time by grabbing one folder and zipping it up.
subfolders aren't condusive to this.
Yes, separation is the main idea of Content structure.
And using scene from one content with model from another content, even if you will specify multiple Contents in LW interface (as Lewis suggested), will not save you if you will fail to supply all Contents at proper time.

Kuzey
01-25-2006, 05:36 AM
Wouldn't it be better if LW changes the content directory on the fly?

Say you load an object from the load or recent project menus. LW checks the path to the project and says this object belongs in this directory let's change the working dierctory to match.

Since everytime you add/change a content directory, LW saves the path to it's preference file...it would be easy to compare the path to the object with that list and change directory. Something like that :)

As for saving projects within subfolders that is easy to do, I've already done it in my program:

Content
--Objects
----Project1
----Project2
--Scenes
----Project1
----Project2
--Images
----Project1
----Project2

You select any project folder from any subfolder an it'll copy all the others for you and it'll end up like so at a new location:

Content
--Objects
----Project1
--Scenes
----Project1
--Images
----Project1

But that's still in :beta:


Kuzey

dballesg
01-25-2006, 07:42 AM
Hi,

Sorry Lewis, but I think your idea would screw more Screamernet! :(

Best regards,
David

Lewis
01-25-2006, 09:35 AM
And why you don't put files from different Contents into one?
What is behind your idea to keep defferent contents separately and at the same time use them simultaneously?

What I personally do is separating not Contents, but Scenes, Objects and so on into different subfolders.


Multiple REASONS for my request :)

1. I use separate folders for backup reasons. If my projects folder exceeds 5-6 GB i can't compress it to 4 and burn DVD-R. SO i tend to don't go over that file size in one project directory and there it's answer why i have 5,6,7 or more content directories (currently 27GB)

2. I want that each of my projects be in it's own folder and not all scenes in scenes floder and so on. Lets say I work on airplane named "BOIENG". MY structure would be D:Lewis_projects2/Boieng and inside of that boieng i'd have folders named - scenes, images, textures, objects, wip... Next project would be maybe DODGE car with same structure but possibly on G:lewis_projects3/Dodge or other projects folder (i like to separate them by years of made also) and so on.

3. This way how i suggested I wouldn't need to worry where are files located for test renders and i could load BOING.lws and replace BOIENG object with my DODGE in already SET scene and then I'd save that as BOIENG.lws in boeing scenes folder. Here is where problems occurs in current version. If my DODGE folder isn't in current content folder (one where is BOEING files from where i loaded all scene setup (all HDRIs, floor planes, dome sky objects...) LW wouldn't find files and it'll ask em to find them manually. BUT if i could set multiple content folders i'd solve that quickly and wouldn't need to multiple general/usuall scene objects I use for test renders and sometime for stage renders/presentation of my models :).

4. This "simple" request is something like what Photoshop uses for SCRATCH disk. If you take look at PS settings (if you use it) you'll se that for scratch disk PS lets you to choose "First", "Second", "Third" and "Forth" which is exactly same idea as i have but for content folder. Your idea/way of work isn't bad but it doesn't suits my needs and IMHO has one problem/flaw :(. What if you exceed your disk space :)? Would you buy new HDD just to REPLACE older one or you will ADD new HDD and use it also ? I have 3 HDDs on each machine (i have two machines) and i can tell you that disk space is never enough :). Either way your way of work will still work normally as it's working now and you don't need to set all content folders if you don't need them (same as in PShop for Scratch).

I hope it's more clear now.

P.S. This request isn't solving/repalcing CONTENT MANAGER problem , it's just expansion to current content directory loading structure :). I'm all IN for new way of content handling but I think that NT have bigger problems/issues to solve first and this one shouldn't be too hard to incorporate.

Lewis
01-25-2006, 09:39 AM
Hi,

Sorry Lewis, but I think your idea would screw more Screamernet! :(

Best regards,
David

WHY ???? You'd still be able to use ONE content if you want, no change there but posibility for expansion for me who don't use Screamernet :).

BTW just out of couriosity can you explain me why would that screw Screamernet ? Isn't *.LWS responsible for holding file location links ? If in LWS is written where each file is why wouldn't work even with multiple (which you don't need to use - I'll repeat myself) choosen locations in screamernet ? Why wouldn't scremaernet also be able eto see all those content folders set in layout or modeler ?

cheers

dballesg
01-25-2006, 10:41 AM
WHY ???? You'd still be able to use ONE content if you want, no change there but posibility for expansion for me who don't use Screamernet :).

BTW just out of couriosity can you explain me why would that screw Screamernet ? Isn't *.LWS responsible for holding file location links ? If in LWS is written where each file is why wouldn't work even with multiple (which you don't need to use - I'll repeat myself) choosen locations in screamernet ? Why wouldn't scremaernet also be able to see all those content folders set in layout or modeler ?

cheers

Hi Lewis,

Well I am becoming a bit of well versed on screamernet since at my work we bought a small renderfarm.

One of the biggest problems IMHO is the Content Directory. NOT many people know what it is used for, even when it is really well explained on the manual.

I've seen many people do not setting up the content directory BEFORE start any project (i.e: that includes one of my coworkers, and several of my students over the last 5 years, even when I repeated to them millions of times).

If you set up your content directory for example to C:\MyProjects, and create inside the Objects, Scenes and Images folders, NOTHING stops you to create for example a Project1 folder inside of Objects, same inside Images and Scenes, and store inside of each of those folders the objects of every project. Change the content directory and Lightwave and Screaernet would found them.

Screamernet tends to be REALLY PICKY searching for objects OUT of a directory content, not to mention Images that belongs to an object surface, and someone has loaded them from a directory outside of the content directory, instead of copy the image to the images directory inside the content. LightWave would store the route ABSOLUTE inside the OBJECT FILE not the scene file, and then Screamernet will not found it.

I would like that screamernet would work as easily the HyperVue in VueInfinity. It transmits everithing to every cow and they only limits themselves to return the finished frames to the main machine controlling the rendering.

If Newtek or many other users think that yours it is a good idea and would NOT mess up the searching of images and objects on ANY case, I would support it.

But I think I am not wrong, and implement multiple content directories would ess up much more the transfer of scenes for network rendering or even from one computer to another.

Best regards,
David

Lewis
01-25-2006, 11:04 AM
Hi Lewis,
If you set up your content directory for example to C:\MyProjects, and create inside the Objects, Scenes and Images folders, NOTHING stops you to create for example a Project1 folder inside of Objects, same inside Images and Scenes, and store inside of each of those folders the objects of every project. Change the content directory and Lightwave and Screaernet would found them.


First thanks for your imput :)!

This way you suggest (many project folders inside of one "main" folder)still doesn't solve file/folder problem/issue (when you have dozens of GBs) and HDD space when it's exceeded and you need new project folder at other partition or new bigger HDD ...



But I think I am not wrong, and implement multiple content directories would ess up much more the transfer of scenes for network rendering or even from one computer to another.


I think it wouldn't 'coz you will still be able to set ONLY ONE content folder as is now (in current LW) so i don't see any difference for Screamernet if is only one folder set instead multiple :).

cheers and thanks for participating ;). New ideas and more user opinions are always good :).

jeremyhardin
01-25-2006, 11:30 AM
one think i don't understand is why people disagree with feature requests.

we all use LW in different ways and for different purposes. So Lewis and myself may agree on a feature and request it. if you don't work that way, why try and discourage the request? what does it accomplish?

are you afraid that Newtek will add this and scrap your workflow?

on the topic of screamernet, it wouldn't cause errors because every asset is still using the content directory structure. it's just that LW has access to more than content paths at a time. but once the scene is loaded from that content directory, the workflow is exactly the same. screamernet will require the same diligence with file locations it requires now; no less and no more.

dballesg
01-26-2006, 02:48 AM
one think i don't understand is why people disagree with feature requests.

we all use LW in different ways and for different purposes. So Lewis and myself may agree on a feature and request it. if you don't work that way, why try and discourage the request? what does it accomplish?

are you afraid that Newtek will add this and scrap your workflow?

on the topic of screamernet, it wouldn't cause errors because every asset is still using the content directory structure. it's just that LW has access to more than content paths at a time. but once the scene is loaded from that content directory, the workflow is exactly the same. screamernet will require the same diligence with file locations it requires now; no less and no more.


Hi Jeremy,

Sorry if I sounded as discouraging (English it is not my native language).

I only tried to point that a feature like a Multiple Content Directories would screw up Screamernet. And I think Lewis and myself where trying to have a "civilizated" agreement of pros and cons. If you read me I said that if the majority said yes to it, i would support it.

Anyhow consider my opinion out of this, I am not here to upset anyone.

Best regards,
David

Nitisara
01-26-2006, 03:01 AM
one think i don't understand is why people disagree with feature requests.
I just suggested the better way (in my understanding) of organizing Content without necessity to use multiple contents for one project. Good example is how NewTek organized their Content.
I did not want to oppose Lewis' request - if this feature will be implemented, it will not harm my workflow.

Lewis
01-26-2006, 10:06 AM
I just suggested the better way (in my understanding) of organizing Content without necessity to use multiple contents for one project. Good example is how NewTek organized their Content.
I did not want to oppose Lewis' request - if this feature will be implemented, it will not harm my workflow.

Hi Nitisara !

I still think you didn't answer me to my question in your workflow idea :). What when you fill your HDD space with your idea of holding ALL in one big directory ?

My suggestion as you admit wouldn't hurt anything in your workflow so i still don't get why would this multy content be big deal. I also think it isn't required from NewTek DEV team too much of code rewrite/add :). Maybe your idea is better for you but it isn't working for all of us (obviously I'm not only one who works this way). Your idea of copying all content in one directory would mean workaround for my way of working and i don't think it's good for my backup habits :). Not that it won't work 'coz it will and i know that 'coz it's always been that way in LW (IIRC when i started in LW 3.5 it was that way also) but why not alowing us more options :).

Thanks for ideas and other side of coin :).

Nitisara
01-26-2006, 11:54 AM
Ok, now I understand your concern :)
Necessity to split data to different volumes will eventually bring us to your idea :)

jeremyhardin
01-26-2006, 12:04 PM
Ok, now I understand your concern :)
Necessity to split data to different volumes will eventually bring us to your idea :)
indeed. or if I need to copy all of my files for 'project A' to an external location for a remote renderfarm, i'd have to go into images, objects, scenes, motions, previews, etc. and copy the project specific folders to one consolidated location before delivery. if it's already segmented according to project, i don't have to do this. :D

vbk!!!
01-26-2006, 12:12 PM
120 % agree with this request.
It's the best (the only ) way to deal with database of files.

Lewis
01-26-2006, 05:43 PM
Ok, now I understand your concern :)
Necessity to split data to different volumes will eventually bring us to your idea :)

Great :), Thanks for reading my long explains ;).

I forgot to mention another reason and jeremy now reminded me to it :).

When you download some user scene setup to test or help another user (i.e. member of this forum who is in toruble wiht soemthing) about testing/debugging his scene, you sure wouldn't like to put each of images, objects, textures and scenes into your private directories - right ? With my idea you will just point LW to some of your temporary directoryes where you stored that scene setup and your personal content folder will also stay untouched :).

JML
01-26-2006, 07:57 PM
in layout, if you go to the 'Edit' menu, there is 'recent content directory'
it let you quickly change content.. does this help you?

at work and at home, our content is set like this :

Content\
--------Project_1\
-----------------User5\...(objects/textures/scenes there)
-----------------User2\...
--------Project_2\
-----------------User5\...
-----------------User7\...

our content is on a windows file server, on a large drive (raid).
it works great.
easy to back up projects and have multi-users working inside 1 project.
we never waste time changing content folder.

multi content would be no use for us, but why not, I understand not everybody work the same way..

Nitisara
01-26-2006, 09:54 PM
multi content would be no use for us, but why not, I understand not everybody work the same way..
we also store everything on dedicated server and never change Content directory, but if resources are limited and you cannot put all of your models/textures on one volume then this multiple contents can be an option

Nitisara
01-26-2006, 09:57 PM
When you download some user scene setup to test or help another user (i.e. member of this forum who is in toruble wiht soemthing) about testing/debugging his scene, you sure wouldn't like to put each of images, objects, textures and scenes into your private directories - right ? With my idea you will just point LW to some of your temporary directoryes where you stored that scene setup and your personal content folder will also stay untouched :).
for this purpose i create new content for this user and test his examples.
using "Recent Content Directory" is a very useful feature in this case

Lewis
01-27-2006, 04:28 AM
in layout, if you go to the 'Edit' menu, there is 'recent content directory'
it let you quickly change content.. does this help you?

multi content would be no use for us, but why not, I understand not everybody work the same way..

This under EDIT menu doesn't help much 'coz problem isn't to change content , problem is to have more folders under various Disk DRIVES :). Also that quick change content works ONLY (it's greyed in start) if you previously change them all manually so it's agian too much work and not quickly anymore if i first need to select 6-7 folders manualy to use it quickly later :).

As you mentioned my suggestion wouldn't hurt your way of work so that's good and thanks for agreeing on that :).

P.S. I see that people contantly trying to change others people way of work (offering different workflows) but this isn't that type of problem here 'coz i knwo all workarounds and grouped content folder "trick". Thing is that type of work doesn't suit me as home/freelance user (i don't have server with TBs of space and i don't want that all my work be contained at one folder) :).

Lewis
01-27-2006, 04:35 AM
for this purpose i create new content for this user and test his examples.
using "Recent Content Directory" is a very useful feature in this case

But for that you need manually making those folders and copy/move all his content into that one and later if you don't want it anymore agian deleting it from content folder. I have answer/reason for that also :) - I use automated backups to 3 drives and it's set to "ANY change" so if i put any temporary directories what i would delete later (when i test that scene) my backup software will back up that folder also and then i'd need to delete it manually from several disks/locations since i dont' need it in my projects and it would be already sent to backup drives :).

It's really difference in way of work and i did thinkitover much before I posted this request. I can say that i know (learned through years) many LW tricks and workarounds but in this situation I'm still convinced that my suggestion would benefit many users and wouldn't have compatibility issues for users who wouldn't use it nor will require lot of work from DEV team :)

Nemoid
01-29-2006, 12:49 PM
i like your idea. :) i like the 2nd proposal. maybe could just be added the classic little triangle in content directory button, so that you can see the list of all your content directories. the list could be the classic list Lw, (but a scrollbar could really help here)in this way, UI will not limit anyone.
under that, add directory and save directory buttons.

done! :)

Lewis
01-29-2006, 02:43 PM
i like your idea. :) i like the 2nd proposal. maybe could just be added the classic little triangle in content directory button, so that you can see the list of all your content directories. the list could be the classic list Lw, (but a scrollbar could really help here)in this way, UI will not limit anyone.
under that, add directory and save directory buttons.

done! :)

Hi Nemoid !

That would be nice expansion for my idea and i think it would work very well, thanks for suggestion. It'll probably require little more work from NT but it'll make LW better so why not try ;).

Nemoid
01-30-2006, 12:33 AM
yeah, why not? :agree:
Maybe someone will create a plug or something. but i'd like Nt make it, actually.

Lightwolf
01-30-2006, 02:37 AM
Hm, to be quite honest... I still don't get it.
The problem seems to be not multiple content directories, but multiple search paths when loading a scene from another content directory... right?
After all, which of the multiple content directories should LW actually write to when you save a scene?

One way around it would be to note the content path in scene files (which I'd prefer to a multiple content directory request), so that you could load any scene... and if LW doesn't find the objects/images it would prompt for a different content directory.

Cheers,
Mike

Panikos
01-30-2006, 06:56 AM
Multicontent breaks SN concept unless you manually place the files correctly.
8~

jeremyhardin
01-30-2006, 09:46 AM
Multicontent breaks SN concept unless you manually place the files correctly.
8~
of course it breaks SN concept if you place files incorrectly. that has nothing to do with multicontent though. any time you place files incorrectly, it will break SN. but multicontent won't, since each of the muliple content directories would still be set up according to standards.

Lewis
01-30-2006, 10:31 AM
Hm, to be quite honest... I still don't get it.
The problem seems to be not multiple content directories, but multiple search paths when loading a scene from another content directory... right?
After all, which of the multiple content directories should LW actually write to when you save a scene?


YES LoghtWolf i want to be able to LOAD files form mulitiple locations without LW question where are files when they aren't in same location as current content but i don't see how to do that untill we get multiple content lines offered in LW :).

LW will write to SAME content directory from what you LOADED file. If you made new file which is unsaved yet LW will anyway ask you as "save as" as he does now so i really don't see what would be confusing there ? This is just for easier LOADING and storing files wherver you wont and not just for sake of same pattern you must use now in order to LW find files. I already mentioned it doesn't suits my needs and i offered few reasons - hint disk space is one of them :).

IN WHAT scratch disk Photoshop saves his Vitrual Memory if you choose all 4 locations ? Is that destorying funcionality if you have only 2 disks instead 4 what PS offers :)? NO it doesn't and you still can choose ONE and only ONE so why it wouldn't work in LW also? People constantly think this would destroy compatibiliti or whatever ? It WONT 'coz nobody forces any of us (users) to use multi content. If you use ONE content (and think this is better for your workflow) it'll work same as it works now but why not alow users more if is possible ? I'd sure need more locations so please don't try (not you LightWolf specificaly, just general remark :)) to convice me in workarounds or different way of work 'coz i know how LW content works now and like i said earlier i'd like more options :).

Thanks for listening :).

cheers

Lightwolf
01-30-2006, 11:24 AM
YES LoghtWolf i want to be able to LOAD files form mulitiple locations without LW question where are files when they aren't in same location as current content but i don't see how to do that untill we get multiple content lines offered in LW :).
Why don't you just _not_ use the content directories at all?
After all, your concept will basically break the only reason to use them in the first place... to have one centralized place of storage for your complete project.


LW will write to SAME content directory from what you LOADED file. If you made new file which is unsaved yet LW will anyway ask you as "save as" as he does now so i really don't see what would be confusing there ? This is just for easier LOADING and storing files wherver you wont and not just for sake of same pattern you must use now in order to LW find files. I already mentioned it doesn't suits my needs and i offered few reasons - hint disk space is one of them :).

Create a symbolic link on your harddisk and you're set: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html

It is confusing since it doesn't allow you to just backup one directory and have your project safe.
This is a bit like search paths in other apps (i.e. C4D and Max) that seem to work in a similar way. I don't mind you requesting the feature, I'm just against it ;)


IN WHAT scratch disk Photoshop saves his Vitrual Memory if you choose all 4 locations ?
That is a moot point and can't really be compared... virtual memory is temporary and will be deleted when PS exits. Would you like LW to delete your additional content directories on exit too? ;)

Cheers,
Mike

jeremyhardin
01-30-2006, 11:36 AM
Why don't you just _not_ use the content directories at all?
After all, your concept will basically break the only reason to use them in the first place... to have one centralized place of storage for your complete project.

Create a symbolic link on your harddisk and you're set: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html

It is confusing since it doesn't allow you to just backup one directory and have your project safe.
This is a bit like search paths in other apps (i.e. C4D and Max) that seem to work in a similar way. I don't mind you requesting the feature, I'm just against it ;)

That is a moot point and can't really be compared... virtual memory is temporary and will be deleted when PS exits. Would you like LW to delete your additional content directories on exit too? ;)

Cheers,
Mike
lightwolf, this request is still working from one content directory at a time. it just makes working on more than one project easier to manage, since you just navigate to the scenes folder you want, and LW detects which of your multiple content directories you're loading from.

at the same time, it keeps separate projects separate and self contained.

again, i don't see the reason for opposing a request that doesn't harm your workflow. if you don't want it, don't use it if it get's added. :D

Lewis
01-30-2006, 12:57 PM
Why don't you just _not_ use the content directories at all?
After all, your concept will basically break the only reason to use them in the first place... to have one centralized place of storage for your complete project.


Now i'm really worried that you don't understand what I'm asking for :(. HOW it can break any reason if you still can use it same as now if you want ???? Did you read any of my reasons i posted before in 2nd or 3rd reply? I don't want to BUY new bigger HDD when i fill 50GB of one disk/partition wher emy content is now just to be sure I can have all my project files in one folder/disk. I WANT them on various disks/partitions and that's valid point you can't put it down with ANY of remraks you've made - I hope you atleast agree to that :)? If you do agree why you would be against it - I simple don't understand that logic :(.



Create a symbolic link on your harddisk and you're set: http://www.sysinternals.com/Utilities/Junction.html

It is confusing since it doesn't allow you to just backup one directory and have your project safe.
This is a bit like search paths in other apps (i.e. C4D and Max) that seem to work in a similar way. I don't mind you requesting the feature, I'm just against it ;)


This is just WORKAROUND and I stated i don't need them :). I know how it works in current LW and if I don't have enough space on my HDD anymore i need to sav emy projects at other HDD i have. I sure won't throw older 120GB disk out of window and buy new bigger to store my projects in one folde/disk just because LW works that way , especially if we can change it :).



That is a moot point and can't really be compared... virtual memory is temporary and will be deleted when PS exits. Would you like LW to delete your additional content directories on exit too? ;)


I made this comparison in sense of way how it work in PS and it's obvious that isn't working with same files (temp vs lwo) but main thing is that it WORKS same if you select ONE disk or TWO or THREE or FOUR. It works in either way same so this my multy content proposal would also work completely SAME for you (who wish to use one folder for all content) as it would work for me who would choose to have more than one. So i don't get that logic behind your words that it would be bad to have it ?

It doesn't break anyones workflow, just offers more flexibility for me and other users who would like it that way. I could say that I don't need certian function/tool in LW 'coz it deosn't help me in my workflow but why would I say that if ANY of LW users would benefit from that function/tool and it won't affect my workflow ? Care to explain me that logic :)?

cheers and thanks for participating :).

Lightwolf
01-31-2006, 03:20 AM
lightwolf, this request is still working from one content directory at a time. it just makes working on more than one project easier to manage, since you just navigate to the scenes folder you want, and LW detects which of your multiple content directories you're loading from.
That's not how I understood it, since Lewis' problem seems to be content directories that are too large for a single disk, thus his need to split them up onto multiple hard drives.
Again, Junctions / Links on a file system level can solve his problems _now_.


again, i don't see the reason for opposing a request that doesn't harm your workflow. if you don't want it, don't use it if it get's added. :D
I just wonder how it is supposed in a more complex set-up, lwsn was mentioned before.
I also wonder if a feature request in the core app is needed if a problem can be solved on the OS level already.
Cheers,
Mike

Nitisara
01-31-2006, 03:23 AM
... if a problem can be solved on the OS level already.
Can you please explain little bit more about linking directories. Sounds very interesting...

zardoz
01-31-2006, 03:25 AM
I haven't read all the posts here because I'm at work now and I don't have the time to read everything, so I'll leave here a simple tip for the thread starter...

I know that this doesn't have anything to do with what is being discussed here now but it may help.

I use a plugin called Shift_CDChanger that lets you make a list (no limits) of different content directories; it creates a config file that you can save anywhere (for different machines and different users for example). Then I insert it in the left mouse button + shift + ctrl menu...so it's really easy to change the content directory with this plugin.
And you can give to each content dir a name so it's easier to select the one you want.

I leave here the link with webarchive because the site seems to be down...for long.

http://web.archive.org/web/20040602213730/http://www.shift.gr.jp/html/staff/plugin.html

Lightwolf
01-31-2006, 03:30 AM
Can you please explain little bit more about linking directories. Sounds very interesting...
Basically, it creates a pseudo directory that points to another directory on another drive. To the application the path stays the same, but the files are actually located on a different place.

I.e.

c:/content/images/common_reflection_maps
where
common_reflection_maps points to d:/myassets/images/reflections

Everytime the app looks into c:/content/images/common_reflection_maps it sees the content of d:/myassets/images/reflections.

Un*x has hard support for those for a long time (links), so does the mac of course. NTFS on Windows supports them as well, but they are only exposed via command line tools. Then again, Windows also gives you the option to mount a complete hard drive not only with a drive letter, but as a sub-directory as well. (Computer Management, the part where you can partition and format your dirves, chencge drive letter and you will see the option... at least on XP - sorry, the XP I use here is German, so I don't know the english names of the options).

Cheers,
Mike

tischbein3
01-31-2006, 05:26 AM
Couldn't resist to made up a mind a bit about this....



After all, which of the multiple content directories should LW actually write to when you save a scene?

to the primary.

+ (optional) BIG warning sign:

"Some of your files are outside your content directory, saving outside can lead to inconsistent behaviours."
plus three options:
"keep path" "copy files to main content dir" and "cancel".


In fact this would allow you to start up with a quite clean content directory,(wich is only used to store your current projects) and keep partially used stuff on seperate dirs. (And only be copied to primarly if you really want it to have it there)
So its somehow an option to do it the other way round of the current content philosophy...



One way around it would be to note the content path in scene files (which I'd prefer to a multiple content directory request), so that you could load any scene... and if LW doesn't find the objects/images it would prompt for a different content directory.

I'm not sure about this....would this solve the screamernet problems ?
and I don't see any real profit from the current way doing things (store absolute paths, when outside of content dir).
But prove me wrong.

Lightwolf
01-31-2006, 05:33 AM
I'm not sure about this....would this solve the screamernet problems ?

Yes, but it would be a different point. You could just dump a scene out to be rendered and wouldn't have to tell lwsn where the actually content is... something that you have to do more or less manually depending on the controller you use.
It makes sense if you have multpile render jobs from different content directories rendering on your farm.
You could also just load a scene and LW would automaticall change the content to accomodate it.
You're quite right though, mocing the content to another location would break that concept, unless LW would check for the existance of the new content dir and ask for a new one if it can't find it.

Another issue would be third party plugins of course, especially since LW has no idea of the file assets that a plugin may use.

Cheers,
Mike

tischbein3
01-31-2006, 06:55 AM
Ok, didn't thought about the render controlers.....

Adding content directories in scene files would be a nice contribution to the request. And why not ? If you got a multi content solution, this would be perfectly fit into (and solve some issues):

If your scene file contains such a path, it will be added to the search paths. (with a high "loading preference", but more on this later).
Object paths will then be written with referenced to these.

A controller simply has to do a simple check if the relative or absolute path exists, and load the object.

As for the other issue:
No question you need a primarly/default content dir, to keep up backward compatibility / not forcing people who are satisfied with current solution to switch and to keep loading times low, when you are rendering image/object sequences.

One problem wich has to be solved is, to make certain, wich files are loaded when you encounter the same relative paths / filename in different content dirs.
(So my proposal would be to check paths from scene file first, and then default dir->other directories)

hope this makes sense

Nitisara
01-31-2006, 07:24 AM
One problem wich has to be solved is, to make certain, wich files are loaded when you encounter the same relative paths / filename in different content dirs.
Earlier content dir in list can have precedence over later ones.

dballesg
01-31-2006, 07:28 AM
Yes, but it would be a different point. You could just dump a scene out to be rendered and wouldn't have to tell lwsn where the actually content is... something that you have to do more or less manually depending on the controller you use.
It makes sense if you have multpile render jobs from different content directories rendering on your farm.
You could also just load a scene and LW would automaticall change the content to accomodate it.
You're quite right though, mocing the content to another location would break that concept, unless LW would check for the existance of the new content dir and ask for a new one if it can't find it.

Another issue would be third party plugins of course, especially since LW has no idea of the file assets that a plugin may use.

Cheers,
Mike

Hi again,

I promised myself not enter on this disscusion again, but here i go.

Talking about the ScreamerNet point of view. One scene with multiple content directories:

D:\Content1\Scenes\example1.lws

that load ONE object from:

E:\MyGeneralObjects\objects\house.lwo

You try to render that on a renderfarm with 10 nodes. ALL the nodes need a LOCAL copy of the scene file and object so they can get the data OR have access to those directories, meaning you have ALL THOSE DIRECTORIES SHARED across the network.

There are controllers that solve that transferring ALL the scene and object from a Directory to temporal directories on all the network nodes. Like Amleto.
Other simopy want a shared directory for ALL the nodes.

Can you imagine the nightmare to Screamernet if the scene instead of beign the one object was a scene with 250 objects on diferent directories across several disks?

How the network controller pass all this objects to all the nodes on the renderfarm? Automatic sharing of directories in Windows at least it is a BIG nightmare.

VUE does this passing ONE big file that contains everything on it, meaning sometimes transfer 30 mb or more of information to each node. LightWave do not have a format file for scenes that contains everything, in fact having it would kill a few third party plugins around.

I understand the worries of Lewis wanting to have several content directories. EVEN when it is a workflow that I wouldnt adopt on a million years. I like to have every object under its own project folder, even when I need this object on several projects, I copy it to the new folder project, in that way I am sure I do not screw up one object from one project, because I used it on another one and for example and I changed its color to red.

So that gives me the impression that we need a kind of Asset manager that can track all the objects that an scene is using, even when they came from multiple directories. In case you need to render on a network that project, the asset manager would export your scene and objects to a common directory striping any EXTERNAL reference to the objects and paths used, mantaining them as relative. Kinda of the Content Manger that we have now, but quite more powerful, because need to control even the files needed by plugins as LightWolf said (one example, the pfx files).

I think it is not an easy task :(

Best regards,
David

vbk!!!
01-31-2006, 10:14 AM
plug ins and content are two differents things
if you put your plugs in a shared folder it's cool with SNet even if you have different shared directories for that. Actually the LW's plug-ins are classified in differents directories so ...
The problem of the LW scene file is the path written to find objects, images etc ... The root is the content directory you choose. For me it's a huge mistake.
Why not to write the complete path to make your scene to get the content ?
I mean ... why a content directory ? It could be easier to take what you want where you want ( i mean in any shared folder you want) ?

dballesg
01-31-2006, 11:48 AM
plug ins and content are two differents things
if you put your plugs in a shared folder it's cool with SNet even if you have different shared directories for that. Actually the LW's plug-ins are classified in differents directories so ...
The problem of the LW scene file is the path written to find objects, images etc ... The root is the content directory you choose. For me it's a huge mistake.
Why not to write the complete path to make your scene to get the content ?
I mean ... why a content directory ? It could be easier to take what you want where you want ( i mean in any shared folder you want) ?

Of course plugins and content are different, but where you think a plugin search for an image that it needs? (well not all of them, look the horrile flowtracer from NextLimit, stores absolute directories for the particles, not relative).

And if you load an object outside form the content directory on one scene and save it, LightWave would store the ABSOLUTE path. You can check it opening the scene on NotePad and looking at the path of that object. In fact it is one of thebest things explained on the manual.

Best regards,
David

Lightwolf
01-31-2006, 12:17 PM
Why not to write the complete path to make your scene to get the content ?
I mean ... why a content directory ? It could be easier to take what you want where you want ( i mean in any shared folder you want) ?
Networking. The same directory may have different paths on different machines in a network.
It would also break if you took a scene from your workstation on, let's say e: to d: on your laptop.

Oh, and a content directory is of course a decent way to organize your work. I even extend them to include other assets, depending on the project (i.e. a directory called "flows" for Fusion projects).

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
01-31-2006, 12:20 PM
(well not all of them, look the horrile flowtracer from NextLimit, stores absolute directories for the particles, not relative).

See, that's why I made double sure that infiniMap Pro is content directory aware. Not all developers do, and once you use a content manager to move a scene to a new directory just about _all_ external assets that LW doesn't know about won't be moved.

Cheers,
Mike

Matt
01-31-2006, 12:33 PM
One way around it would be to note the content path in scene files (which I'd prefer to a multiple content directory request), so that you could load any scene... and if LW doesn't find the objects/images it would prompt for a different content directory.

Yep, that's what I need! Instead of having to re-link a zillion images from a moved project, being able to tell LW to "go look here you idiot!"

;)

Lightwolf
01-31-2006, 12:58 PM
...being able to tell LW to "go look here you idiot!"

Well, hey, that feature is already present in LW, you can already tell LW that exact same sentence...

... it just won't listen to you ;)

Cheers,
Mike - at least my copy doesn't when I try...

Lewis
01-31-2006, 01:07 PM
Well, hey, that feature is already present in LW, you can already tell LW that exact same sentence...

... it just won't listen to you ;)


ROTFL, that's so TRUE ;).

RedBull
01-31-2006, 02:14 PM
Yep, that's what I need! Instead of having to re-link a zillion images from a moved project, being able to tell LW to "go look here you idiot!"

Hmm i don't agree with Lightwolf on that one....
If LW can't find the image or object, it does already prompt you....

That's the problem for me.... It asks me where i left that texture, or object.!

$#@^#*&$^&# How do i know without doing an F3 search of 500GB's
of textures and objects, and then i have to point it manually to the correct places.....

I wish it would just look in every directory underneath the root content directory for the named files..... Problem solved....

For example:


C:\Content\

Scenes
----- Lighting
----- Environment

Objects
----- Lighting
----- Environment

Images
----- Lighting
----- Environment



So i hit Load Scene;

It takes me to the C:\Content\Scenes\
I navigate to the sub folder Lighting....... And choose 3PointLight.lws

File Not Found:
Can't find C:/somethingstupid/objects/3point.lwo
Select An Alternative File? Yes/No/Cancel.........

@#^%#@^% Now if LW were actually thinking it would know it's in the sub folder called C:\Content\Objects\Lighting\3Point.lwo.....

And there lies a lot of my troubles, i spend most of the day navigating looking for scenes or textures.

If LW should fail finding the file in C:\Content\Objects\3point.lwo
it should continue to look in every sub folder, and then from the root directory
and images directory to find the offending files, without me being asked to find the file manually.....

It does learn though, if i tell it where it is, reloading the scene a 2nd time...
LW remembers to check the subfolder... #@*^#[email protected]$

And because sometimes you will download a plugin or be sent a zip with all of the files in a single directory, and to have to copy everything to a Images/Objects/Scenes folder, just to look at it....

So multiple content directories would be a huge workflow improvement for me.

But i think the same thing could be done if LW just read from the directories
recursively, until it finds the actually referenced file...
Not just going to the first directory and saying, nup it's not there!

It doesn't bother me from day to day, but over the years this really gets annoying.

Anyway that's my 02cents....

So i don't care how it's done, but i've been thinking of writing a scene loader
that will do what i want, just cause it's getting annoying! Grrrrrr!

Lightwolf
01-31-2006, 02:46 PM
But i think the same thing could be done if LW just read from the directories recursively, until it finds the actually referenced file...
Not just going to the first directory and saying, nup it's not there!

Now see, that I'd agree with completly.
If it finds a file with the same name, it should still ask you if you want to use it (and if it doesn't show the current requester). Of course, if it finds multiple files it should ask you which one to use, i.e. it should do a complete directory scan and _not_ stop at the first file found (since the criteria LW uses are likely to be different from what you expect). Then open a list of found files and ask.
Hm, maybe open a complete list once it parsed the complete file, so you only have one list to go through instead of answering a prompt every time LW doesn't find an asset.

Obviously, this won't help if you not only like to shuffle your assets around... but like to rename them as well ;)

Cheers,
Mike