By dsr
#373957
This is such a basic issue to workflow, I am sure we must be missing something simple, but here goes...

Having created multiple projects with multiple views, we now have a large amount of 'presets' in the Scene Manager.

Three questions:

1. While we try to give them unique names, etc., is there a better way to manage these unique presets? For instance, why is there no way to file them in sub directories? Per view? Per project? Or Whatever?

2. Why is there no MASTER preset that can control for Camera, Location & Time, Environment, Output, etc.? We find ourselves having to spend a lot of time managing the presets and making sure they are all set perfectly prior to rendering. This can be time-consuming and lead to mistakes -- especially when we are trying to put out a series of similar "design studies" from separate models.

3. Finally, we work in a network environment so the inability to share 'presets' between our machines is pretty frustrating. When we work as a 'team' it really limits our ability to network our workflow. Is there a way to share these presets?

How are others handling these issues? What are we missing here?

Thanks.

Best,
dsr
By JDHill
#373962
I don't think you're necessarily missing anything, it just sounds more like you have the idea that the presets are more than they are actually intended to be, which is simply a convenient place where you can store, say, a camera setup that you find yourself using often. To address your questions one-by-one:
dsr wrote:1. While we try to give them unique names, etc., is there a better way to manage these unique presets? For instance, why is there no way to file them in sub directories? Per view? Per project? Or Whatever?
They are stored globally, in an xml file, located under your roaming user folder. They are not meant to be shared between users -- that would be possible, using a different design, but it is not the case, as things stand.
dsr wrote:2. Why is there no MASTER preset that can control for Camera, Location & Time, Environment, Output, etc.? We find ourselves having to spend a lot of time managing the presets and making sure they are all set perfectly prior to rendering. This can be time-consuming and lead to mistakes -- especially when we are trying to put out a series of similar "design studies" from separate models.
Presets are not a stateful thing; they are simply saved data that you apply to your camera, environment, etc. Meaning, I don't quite understand how their use can lead to mistakes: you have either applied values from a preset, or you have not; when you have, there is then the question of whether you've subsequently altered values. Given the scenario you describe, I would think it should be better to use worksessions, or to create a set of 3DMs (each set up for one specific "design study") from which you reference and render (as block instances) the actual models.
dsr wrote:3. Finally, we work in a network environment so the inability to share 'presets' between our machines is pretty frustrating. When we work as a 'team' it really limits our ability to network our workflow. Is there a way to share these presets?
As mentioned in point 1, they are not designed to be shared. They are a lightweight convenience tool, and are not intended to replace the use of worksessions, blocks, or a suitable set of template 3DMs.
By dsr
#373965
Now I am sorry I was not missing anything.

This really comes down to a workflow issue. We could, as you suggest, manage the view characteristics (camera, lighting, visual settings, etc.), by just creating a new 3dm every time. We do create these master reference files and call them "scene" files. We are dealing with multiple files, however, given the size of each reference files. We might have 6-10 reference files in a given scene AND 3-4 variations of our design. In total then we may be dealing with 20-40 files for a given "study". If we want to show 5 or 6 views then, you can imagine the enormous amount of both data and time we would need to put into inserting references and managing versions.

Rather, we would prefer to work with Saved Views within our scene files and then manipulate the view characteristics within that file as Presets (were we able to do that) simply because, as you say, at that point we are just changing the data of the parameters. And, we often need to tweak these parameters in which case without a way to share these preset data files we are needing to reset them in multiple files.

Ideally, the system should allow for two things. Like with views, you should be able to Import the presets from other files. Also, you should be able to create sub-directories for the presets which would already give you the ability to manage the presets in a reasonable way (by project, by study, by view or what have you).

My more fantastical wish list includes a larger "dashboard" option that takes all (or most) of the parameters in Scene Manager and puts them all in one place -- allowing them to be managed together with their own presets. This is the Master Preset I referred to earlier. I do not know about other, but I have very few renderings where I do not need to change camera settings, time of day settings, environment settings all at once to get the right image. That they all have separate presets does not make a lot of sense to me unless they are being used "lightly", as you note. To me that is another way of saying that they are not very robust in their functionality. I wish they were :idea:

Best,
dsr
By JDHill
#373966
I would tend to think the simplest and most robust way of handling that (3-4 variations referencing multiple other files), currently, would be to export an MXS for each of those variations, where you do your camera/scene setup for rendering from another 3DM, which references the MXS. This pulls all the camera & scene (env, etc) work up out of the working models, into rendering-specific ones. Each 3DM (you have one for each of the 3-4 variations) is just a copy of the previous one, where you have swapped in the desired MXS reference, and tweaked whatever else (camera values, etc) is supposed to be different from the last, so it does not take much time to set them up. This also has the non-trivial benefit of reducing export time to about zero as you do your setup & rendering.

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