I remember starting with Daz3D and loading in my content. My files ended up all around my runtime folder, unorganized and sometime undecipherable. Character folders, pose folders that hold more than just poses and then there was the material folder. Sometimes the files worked in Daz Studio and sometime they didn’t. Daz has done some really good work starting with DS4 in organize the endless amount of content a person accumulates over the years with the Content Management System. We will discuss this later in the installing content series.
Just realize that Daz Studio 4 and ALL 3d programs are VERY file intensive. You are going to have folders inside of folders inside of folders all around your computer and after awhile, numerous external drives. Be organized, deliberate and have a strong file organization system.
Right now you will have a Poser Runtime folder system and with a newer Daz Studio folder structure. After reading the next 3 posts you will understand as well as anyone can where all the files go, what they do and more importantly get rid of them if need be.
There are hundreds of posts of people saying they had to rebuild their Runtime folder and spent days doing it.
The best starter advice I can give anyone is to go slowly when loading content into the Runtime folders. Down just throw 20 products into your Daz Library all at once. You will spend more time trying to locate associated files in the Library system than it would take you to slowly unpack one product at a time, look at the files in an alternate folder then commit them to your Library. Adding to the complexity, Daz has decided to start a different file system (Than Poser) with the advent of DS3/4.
I have “Unpack folders” all around my external files. I suggest you make at least one empty folder, someplace near the Daz Studio folder and name it whatever you want. Like I said, mine is called unpack. Anytime you run a Daz installer, point it to this empty folder so you can peek inside and look at the files before committing them to a Runtime folder. If you don’t know the file structure and what each file does then removing a product is very difficult at first. I know Daz includes “uninstallers” for every product. But I don’t want hundreds of uninstall files on my computer. After awhile you will pend more time looking through the uninstall list and once again, waste time. If you know the system then you can do it manually and gain important insight into how a product works.
The basic Poser Runtime file system goes like this.
—-> Geometries Characters
Runtime —-> Libraries ————————-> Pose
—-> Textures Props
We will start with the folders listed above. When you open a product these days (older products might not have exactly the same system) you should have these folders.
Geometries Folder holds the 3D models mesh information. All 3D programs read OBJ files. When you model something in a modelling program and you want to send the mesh or geometrical information to another program you can create an OBJ file.
Texture Folder Most products have textures. of course it does not have to have a texture. There are other ways to code surface information onto an object but most products will have textures. This is graphical information a 3D program can will read and project onto your mesh. A leather shoe mesh (OBJ) will see if there is a picture of leather in this folder to project onto the surface.
Libraries Folder Libraries can have numerous folders inside that direct the mesh (OBJ file) program to do something with the mesh. This is where the folder structure can get messy.
For instance, you would think that a pose folder would be only poses. Nope. it can hold all kinds of different information. And, it can also have a different folder name than the product. Sometimes it is the product name, sometimes it is a folder called MAT and sometime the creator uses their name and then places the products pose folder inside as a subfolder. So if you have 100 products in your runtime, matching up your CR2 Figures folder to the materials in the pose folder can become very frustrating.
I am not going to list the types of files (file extension) that can be in the Libraries Folder but the function of the files.
In the Characters Folder you are going to find the CR2 file. This is a text file that the program reads in order to do something to the mesh. It is the master command file for the object. Something that can be confusing about the folder system is that there is no Character Folder in your Content Library. You will see these CR2 files in the Figures Folder.
So if you want to load a Victoria 4 figure mesh, you go to the Figures Folder in the Content Library Tab – which of course has subfolders – so open the People Folder and look inside the Victoria 4.2 folder. If you want to load an object you find the CR2 in the Figures Folder (unless the object is listed in props) which corresponds to the Characters folder in your Runtime. Yes I just said there is actually another folder to open if you want to find an object to load.
In the Pose Folder you are going to find numerous types of file that do many different things. Essentially this is a catch all folder. You will find:
Materials (Poser name) or MATS folders : these are going to tell DS4.5 the objects surface information. The settings after you run one of these files will be found in the Surface Tab. If you load an object from the figure or prop folder you will normally find the surface information files to load onto an object in here (but sometimes not – we will cover that later)
Morphs – yes morphs will be in here too. If you load a Victoria 4 figure then you will open the pose folder and look for the subfolder that holds the V4 morphs.
Poses – yes there will actually be poses in the POSE folder. These files hold pose settings. You want Victoria 4 to sit down, look through some pose folders for a sitting down pose.
In the Props Folder you are going to find, you guessed it, Props. If your product is a clothing set you can find anything from shoes to earrings in here. But more importantly, the Props Folder hold sections of a scene.
Many times you will find one CR2 file for a scene in the Figures Folder. If you open the products Props Folder there is a good chance you will find different sections and items to load individually. You may find a basic room setup, without furniture. You may find individual objects such as chairs, vases or a fireplace. It all depends on the products creator. These are usually PZ files. Short for Poser Scene files.
The type of file extension is less important than understanding what is in the Props folder. Always take a look inside of a products props file.
In the next post (Part 2 link) I am going to walk through other folders that are in the Libraries Folder and what is inside of them.