File management

Just curious, I’ve recently done a clean install of ubuntu again and I’m in the proces of moving backuped files (only important ones, stuff I find I don’t really need, I dump it) back into my home directory.
I used to have a “scenes” map there, with all my blender files in it, no subdirectories. The name comes from the time when I was still using max in school.
In fact, I’m starting to get so many files now that I’m starting to get that exact same problem I had when I was about to leave max: Organizing my files.
I have so many blends nowadays, I’m sifting through them, and can’t really make out how I should order them… or even if I should rename the “scene” map altogether.

So I was wondering, how do you people manage your files and projects?
You know files for characters, houses, spaceships/scifi, technical stuff, textures, library files(materials meshes), tutorial files etc…

In the cad world, it’s common to have another software managing your files, the versions, different rights for different people accessing them etc. For instance, some use automanager teamwork to manage all kind of files. There’s bound to be some open source alternatives, but what are those?

What are your thoughts on this?
How do manage your files? There’s plenty of nautilus I haven’t learned yet, tons of additional options…

How do you manage your files?

Maybe a shameless BUMP, but this is becoming relevant again, if not for myself, then at least for work.
I’m still thinking about the best ways to organise my files at home, but at work it is slowly becoming a valid problem.

You see, we are using a content management system called teamwork, and we’re supposed to be managing more and more kinds of files from it.
It works like this, it runs a (few) servers on which it stores its data.
You import a file into it, drag 'n drop or menuwise.
A document card get’s assigned to that file. In fact the file kinda becomes part of a “container”
This document card hold various information, as well as earlier revisions/files, opening/editing rights, document type, revision date, modify date, who created it, the status of the document, comments, descriptions and some more info.

Problem is this: the way blender saves it’s files. it doesn 't create a backup and save the original file. No it renames the original file into the backup file and creates a NEW file with the original file’s name.
Now I have no problem with this behaviour, in fact it may seem safer to me.
But the problem is: the document container in teamwork keeps the original file, which is now the backup file, and since blender creates a new file in a protected directory, teamwork has to assign a “card” to it, but it of course doesn’t know what info to put into that card. So it picks the first info it can find, the first options you could choose from.
This way I keep getting one original file which keeps renaming to blend.1, blend.2 etc, and a lot of new files jumping all over the place.
If I set save versions to 0 (and I might wanna disable autosave as well) in blender, blender removes the original file, so it removes the entire “document container” within the content management system and creates a new one with empty data which DOES hold the correct file, but it is placed at an almost random location.

So two questions:
The first one still applies. I mean come on people, is it really so hard to share how you manage your blends and related files?

The second one is:
Is there a valid workaround/solution to get around the save-the-wrong-file-in-the-right-place problem with the content management system?

If you look at Verse for instance, BOTH of these questions would be very valid.
There are/have been some mayor projects which use blender as (one of) their apps, so how abou the content managing?

My tree from home

I put everything anywhere. I have over 50 copies of blender, each with some files in the directories, files in each of the 20 or so copies of indigo (various versions & backups), some specific 3d folders, some just anywhere that seemed obvious at the time.

Don’t do what I do, unless you can think like I do. Even then it’s not actually a good idea, it’ll just not be such a bad idea.

[… Animations
[… Documents
[… Sketchbook
[… People
[… Mechanical
[… Aircraft
[… References
[… Renders
[… Animals
[… Dogs
[… Renders
[… Scrapbook
[… Indoor
[… Outdoor
[… Animals
[… Reference Photos
[… Celtic Cross
[ … Dandelion
[… Musical Instruments
[… Soda Can Top
[… Textures
[… Buildings
[… Cloth
[… Ground
[… Pavement
[… Wood
[… Tutorials
This is nowhere near complete, just a look at the level of detail. Basically, if I get it off the web, it goes in the scrapbook, if I do it myself, it goes in the sketchbook. When I use a texture or a reference photo from the scrapbook on a project, a copy goes in the sketchbook in a “references” folder

[ HDA 5 ] is the special partition for different projects( eg. i have a special ‘root’ folder here for CG[CG Tree] and a Coding Tree[for coding projects, obviously] )

[ CG Tree ]

  • [ Artfolio_Portfolio ][LIST]
  • [ Characters ]
  • [ Concept art ]
  • [LIST]
  • [ Characters ]
  • [ Weapons ] [/LIST]
  • [ Doodles ]
  • [ Landscapes etc. ]
  • [ Vector ]
  • [LIST]
  • [ Icons ]
  • [ Logos ] [/LIST]
  • [ web-design ]
  • [ Blend files ]*
  • [ Projects ]
  • [ Blender ][LIST]
  • [ each project has its own folder ]**[/LIST]
  • [ Houdini ]
  • [ Wings ]
  • [ Reference ]
  • [ Hard Surface ]***
  • [ Organic ]***
  • [ Textures ]
  • [ Stone ]
  • [ Wood ]
  • [ Etc. ]
  • [ Tutorials ]
  • [ Blender ]
  • [ Maya ]
  • [ Etc. ] [/LIST]* ( ‘arhive’ of old blendfiles im not working on, legacy stuff! )
    ** (can have sub-folders too, if theres need )
    *** ( special sub-folders for Hard surface[eg. blue-prints] and Organic things respectively )

well thats the basic ‘picture’ of mine. :slight_smile:

I organize them by time, sort of.
I started out way back with a folder called “Blender”. Then, for each project I had a seperate folder in there, i.e.


When there got to be too many project folder to sort through I mad a ‘blender2’ folder. And so on. (Now I’m on blender8:p)
So as long as I know when I did something relative to other things, it’s easy to find stuff.

most of my file system is organised in a simaler way to the ed production files

main file called ALL, witch has all my data in it.
inside that eatch project has its own separate file, witch contains everything relating to that project.
i started doing this when i constantly forgot where i put things:o

Look NOW we’re getting somewhere, this is good info.
My old setup was (on windows) like this:

-\scenes (remnant from using max)
----\1st person
----\3rd person
---\1st person
---\3rd person
--\other_peoples stuff
---\kewl thingies (a few models from turbosquid or something)
---\kewl blender stuff

Since my fresh install of my OSses, I’ve only had one folder with only a few files from everywhere I thought cool enough to keep on hd, and discarded everything else because I didn’t think I’d need it anytime soon.
I made a new folder in my home dir so I knew which files where “fresh” and new.
But now that folder is getting a little full as well.
So I’m looking for better ways to organise my files.

I like orrinoco’s and felix’s approach for sure.
Suppose you have different projects that use the same texture though, lots of different projects. Or there are a lot of blend files (for props or such) used in a lot of projects.
With the current setups you would probably just copy those files to the projects folder/subfolder right?
But what If you found out you should edit something in a file. How would you keep all those other files up to date. Manually keep track and keep copying files over?
How would you keep revisions?

(EDIT: I added the --\guns example, how do you choose if some of those ww2 guns for instance shouldn’t be in the normal guns folder?)

How do you know you don’t accidently overwrite a newer file, or a better file if you have a lot of stuff?
Is it possible to make some kind of smart links or something?
teamwork manages a lot of the revisions around here.
Inventor sorta automatically updates the links to the seperate parts when you start moving files around, or in combination with teamwork, I dunno.
Kind of like when you make a lot of constraints/parenting/driven stuff(shapekeys)
and change the name of the target object. like changing a name of a bone.
The constraints automatically update, the drivers in the ipo window update, the parent/child relation updates, etc.

How would you achieve something like that on a folder/file level?

mine is simple.



  everything else

but i need to reorganize:p