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Organizing Content: External Runtimes for Poser and DAZ/Studio

Author: judee3D

Tools Needed

* Your Operating system

* 3D Bridge Starter Pack

* Two support files.

Support Files

* A3_BabydollTx_Right_j3D.zip * A3_BabydollTx_Wrong_j3D.zip

Introduction

Do you have so much content for Poser and DAZ/Studio that you have lost count of what is installed and where to find it? It doesn't have to be like that. This tutorial will teach you to organize your files. Starting with the careful organization of downloads, it will take you through the creation of external runtimes, and how best to install and further organize the files within those runtimes.

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Step 1 - Organizing your Content

You may already have a number of downloads in a folder somewhere. Some may even be installed in your Poser or DAZ/Studio programs. For now we are going to ignore these. What we are doing in this tutorial is an exercise that will help you better understand how to organize your files. If you are already familiar with Poser file structures, just read through, but if you are new to this, the best way to learn is by doing, so for the sake of continuity you will need the files used for the tutorial – the Bridge Starter Pack available from DAZ Productions. The folder names I will be using are suggestions. Use them for this tutorial, as it will help you to understand, but once you know the how of organizing, you can, of course, rename your files and folders as you wish.

Keep in mind that most of the files you download from DAZ Productions and other stores, including freebies, will be formatted for Poser. DAZ/Studio can and does use most Poser formatted files, with a few exceptions. Because the majority of files are available in this format, this tutorial will focus on Poser formatted files, with a further explanation of DAZ/Studio formats at the end.

Start by creating a new Downloads folder for this exercise. Open your file Explorer. Go to My Documents and create a new folder, naming it !PzDz_Downloads. Notice the exclamation point in front of the name – this is to make it appear at the top of the list, for easy finding.

Open your new folder, and create five new sub-folders: Aiko3, Animals, Hair, Sci-Fi, and Toons. It should look like the example image here.

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Now you are ready to download the Bridge Starter Pack.

If you don't have it already, go to this link:

http://www.daz3D.com/i.x/shop/itemdetails/-/?item=5504

Add the 3D Bridge Starter Pack to your cart and go through check out. (You must be a registered member at DAZ Productions – registration is free.) You will probably be asked to sign in again as a precaution. It may also at one point ask for a payment method if you have never purchased before. If so, just pick PayPal – it won't ask any other information, it just needs a method of payment recorded in order to proceed. Once you complete the 'purchase,' you will find the content in your Account, under Available Downloads.

Renaming files at the time you download is an important step toward keeping them organized. Organizing folders and subfolders can be a great help, but if a file is then named RD_1539, you won't know what it is. Look at the examples below, showing specific information for each file:

MilDragon01_DzO.exe : ProductName_DAZ/Original

A3_MechGirl_The3DWizard_DzO.exe: Character_OutfitName_Creator_Store/Original.

MitsuHair-A3_3DUniverse_DzO : HairName-fit(character)_Creator_Store

The files you will see in Available Downloads are noted here along with which folder to download them to:

Millennium Dragon - Animals

Mitzu Hair - Hair

Mech Girl A3 DS - Aiko3

Mech Girl A3 - Aiko 3

Aiko 3.0 Base - Aiko 3

Millennium Cat LE - Animals

Stinger - Sci-Fi

Emotiguy - Toons

African Elephant - Animals

Millennium Dog LE - Animals

Either use the described naming method, or something similar that fits your preferences, and then download the files, renaming them as you go. If you already have them, rename them and move them into the folders you created. Be sure to keep the file marked with a DS identified – add the DS wherever you wish, perhaps just after the name.

To further help in organizing, you will create sub-folders as needed. In your Aiko3 folder, you should now have 3 files – one with the Aiko3 Base, and two with the Aiko3 Mech Girl Outfit. In order to keep the Base separate from the clothes, create two new sub-folders in the Aiko3 folder, and name them Base and Clothes. Sort the files accordingly.

Take a look at another example with the Animals downloads folder:

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Add three sub-folders under Animals: Domestic, Fantasy, and Wild. As you can see, these correspond with the 3 kinds of animals downloaded. Once you have your sub-folders, place the files in the correct folders. Notice the renaming of the files in the example.

Although Hair, Sci-Fi, and Toons each have only one file in them, you can still create subfolders. The Stinger is a space vehicle, so create a sub folder under Sci-Fi called Transport. Under Toons, create a sub-folder called Emoti. In Hair, create a sub-folder called LongHair. Your folder structure should now look like this:

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You should now have an idea of how to begin creating categories and sub-categories for your downloads, keeping in mind that the main download Categories will be the names of your new External Runtimes.

Step 2 - Creating External Runtimes

For this exercise, go to your Hard Drive's root directory (C in the example) and create a folder called ALLRUNS.

Open your new folder, and create a sub-folder called “XtraRun”. Note that it is called Xtra instead of Extra. This is so that later it will appear at the bottom of the list and thus be easy to find. If you prefer it at the top, use a ! or a _ in front of it.

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The XtraRun folder will be set up to contain a blank set of folders equivalent to the Poser runtime structure. Check the example picture below:

The first folder you add under XtraRun is “Runtime”

Next, open Runtime and create three new sub folders as seen in the blue circle:

Geometries

libraries

textures

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Now open the folder called libraries and create another series of sub-folders as seen in the red circle:

Camera

Character

Face

Hair

Hand

Light

Materials

Pose

Props

Just a note here: Creating a sample runtime is not absolutely necessary. When you install content into your external runtimes, the correct folders will automatically be created. However, I feel that it is helpful to do it this way, because it teaches you a certain familiarity with the runtime structure. This can be very helpful when you run into misplaced files, etc.

Close your new sample runtime and return to ALLRUNS. Create 5 new folders within this folder, one for each category we placed in the !PzDz_Downloads folder:

Aiko3

Animals

Hair

Sci-Fi

Toons

It should look like the example image here. You will see that XtraRun is at the bottom and easily accessible.

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Open this XtraRun folder. You will see the sample Runtime folder just within.

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(1)Right-click and hold the Runtime folder, dragging it upward (2) to the Folder you wish to put it in. (3) then 'drop' it onto the folder. A box will pop up - be sure to choose Copy Here and not Move Here. Do this with each of your Categories and they will now be transformed into External Runtimes.

Step 3 - Adding External Runtimes to DAZ/Studio and Poser

DAZ/Studio:

Open DAZ/Studio and go to the menu bar across the top. Click on Edit/Preferences/ and in the new window that pops up, click on the Directories Tab.

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In the long bar just under Directories, it will by default show DAZ/Studio Directories. But keep in mind that your new Runtimes are intended for Poser formatted content, so you must add them as Poser Directories. Click on the small triangle on the right (1) and choose Poser Content Directories (2). You will have to add your runtimes one at a time. First click on Add (3) and in the window that pops up, find the Runtime Folder you wish to add (4) and click OK. The Runtime will then show up in the main window (5) under Directories. Simply click Apply (6) and Accept (7) and you're done.

Do this for each of the Runtimes.

Once finished, you will see on your Content Tab a list of all of your runtimes.

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The Runtime called Studio contains your DAZ/Studio formatted content. The folder called Content contains any Poser formatted content that you may have previously installed into DAZ Studio. (It will not be there if you have not installed any Poser content.)

One thing to take note of – DAZ/Studio will give you a warning if you have more than 10 Runtimes loaded at once. You don't have to heed the warning unless you want to. Too many runtimes may slow things down, but they will still work.

However, you may wish to have showing only those Runtimes you are currently using for a project. In this case, you can simply return to Edit/Preferences and the Directories Tab. Click on the Poser Directories, and click on the Runtimes (one at a time) that you want to remove, and instead of clicking on Add, click on Remove, then again on Apply and Accept. The chosen Runtime will disappear from your Content Tab. Any time you want it back just re-do the instructions on adding runtimes, and it will again show up in your Content Tab.

Poser:

Both Poser 6 and Poser 7 allow you to link to External Runtimes. The process is the same for both, so I will show you from Poser 6 in the example.

First, Open Poser and go to your Library Tab. If it is not already showing, you can go to the upper menu bar, click on Windows, and put a check by Libraries.

Whatever Category you happen to be in, just click on the topmost Folder, (1) and continue to click until you'reach the Main Runtime Folders. The topmost folder will be either Poser 6 or Poser 7, and there will be a second folder called Downloads.

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Once you are at the top of the hierarchy, go down to the bottom of the Library Tab and you will see a small plus sign called Add Runtime. (2) Click this, and a new window will pop up (3) where you will search out and find the runtime you wish to add to Poser. Once you find it, click okay, and it will appear in the list under the Poser and Downloads folder icons.

Do this for each of your Runtimes and you will have all of your new categories to choose from when looking for your files.

Just as in DAZ Studio, you do not have to have all of your Runtimes loaded at once. You can choose to install only a few runtimes – whatever you need for a particular project.

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If you need different runtimes for the next project, just select the Runtimes you don't need (1) one at a time, of course, and click on the little minus sign (2). The Runtime will disappear from your list of active Runtimes. Don't worry though, it will still be where you first created it, and any time you want to add it again – just repeat the instructions above.

You now know how to create the Main Categories you want, turn them into Runtimes, and add/remove the Runtimes in both DAZ/Studio and Poser. But of course, runtimes aren't really runtimes until they have content in them.

Step 4 - Installing Content

Return to your Downloads folder, and find the files to install. Start with the Aiko3 Base. Like the others, it is an .exe file, which means it has a self-installer. Follow the install instructions below, as we will not be installing to the default path.

Click on the Aiko3 Base exe file. It will ask if you want to include an uninstaller – choose yes or no as you wish, then continue past the license agreement. When it asks for a Target Application, choose DAZ Studio or Poser, whichever you use most – it really does not matter. What is important in the installation is the final file path.

Note that different installers follow different sequences, If you are asked to search, say no; or if it starts searching, stop it. There is no need for this when you know your destination folder.

You will reach a page similar to this one:

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Choose 'Specified Directory' (1) then Browse (2) for your chosen runtime directory, in this case, C://ALLRUNS/Aiko3. Once you have selected and okayed it, be sure that the correct path is showing (4), then continue with the installation. Your Aiko3 Base files will now be installed in the Aiko3 Runtime Directory.

Do the same with the other files, remembering each time to choose the file path that corresponds to the folders you set up in ALLRUNS. The only exception is the MechGirlA3DS file. This file is for DAZ Studio only so we will not install it at this time.

Another kind of installation that you will be running into often, especially if you download freebies, is the Zip file. Most freebies, and purchases made in stores other than DAZ will have their content packaged as Zip files that must be extracted into your runtimes. This is a fairly simple process, but there are a few things to consider before extracting the files, one of which is whether the zip file has been set up correctly.

To show some examples, I have prepared two downloads for you which are included with this tutorial. They are texture sets for a free dress created by Lulu, available at Deviant Arts. (The link is in the readme). Though this is essentially one texture set, I have made two files for the sake of illustration. If for any reason you are unable to download them from here, you can pick them up at the following addresses:

http://tuitzone.com/AllTut/OC_Download/A3_BabydollTx_Right_j3D.zip

http://tuitzone.com/AllTut/OC_Download/A3_BabydollTx_Wrong_j3D.zip

Download these into your !PzDz_Downloads folder, in the Aiko3 Category's sub-folder Clothes. I created these two files as examples of what you might find in zip files. The first one is correctly formatted; the second one is not, but is easily fixable.

Before anything else, be sure you have a zip extracting program. Win Zip has a free demo, and there are many other free extractor programs available, so if you have not yet found one, do so now.

When you are ready, click on the 'Right' zip file for the BabydollTx. This will show you what a zip file should look like when correctly formatted.

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The first thing to do before extracting your files, is to be sure the file path is correct. Remember the sample runtime you created in XtraRun. Correctly zipped content should always begin with Runtime as the first folder. Occasionally there will also be a readme folder or file at this placement, but the majority of your file paths should begin with Runtime. The same sequences as the Runtime sub-folders must also be respected. Notice in the example, after Runtime, there is a folder called libraries. You might also see Geometries or Textures folders at this level. Next, as should be expected, after libraries, come library categories, such as Pose in this example. These could be any of the library categories, Cameras, lights, props, etc.

You don't have to check every little thing, but pay attention. You may have to think about what you are seeing in the beginning, but soon enough you will know at a glance if the files are correctly bundled.

Since this file is okay, go ahead and unzip it into the ALLRUNS/Aiko3 folder:

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Be sure that All files/folders is checked (1). This may also be called something like 'maintain file paths' or 'keep file paths intact'. Also, (2) check use folder names. You may or may not have the option to Overwrite existing files (3) – this is optional. If you do not check it, or if your Extractor Program doesn't have this option, then when you click on Extract, you should have a pop-up that warns you about overwriting files. Continue anyway, say yes to overwrite because nothing will be lost, it will only overwrite the folder names. This is only on Windows PC. If you are using a Mac, do NOT allow overwrite! Unzip to a separate folder and move the files by hand.

IMPORTANT: Though I am not familiar with the Macintosh system, I have been told that if you are using a Mac, you must NOT allow overwriting as it will replace everything in the folders with the new folders. I can only suggest that Mac users install into a temporary folder and then move the files by hand or by whatever other method they may have learned for handling zip files.

The next file, A3_BabydollTx_Wrong_j3D, is an example of what is probably the most commonly made mistake in packaging Poser files. So here is how to spot this kind of zipped content, and what to do about it. Open it now and take a look.

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As you can see, the file path begins with a folder called “BabydollTextures”. If you extract this into your runtime, it will extract a folder of that name with its own runtime rather than incorporating the runtime into the one you wish. What can be done? Go ahead and extract it into your Aiko3 runtime, as it will be easy enough to fix.

Notice in the example below that you now have the BabydollTextures folder at the same level as the Runtime. (Green circle) If you click on it, you will see its Runtime as a sub folder, either directly below it or in the view pane to the right. (Blue circles)

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Remember how you pulled your XtraRun Runtime folder up onto the main categories? Well this time instead of right click, you will left click and hold on the Runtime within the Babydoll folder, either under it or in the view pane at the right. Drag it, and drop it onto the Aiko3 folder. Not onto Aiko3/Runtime, but onto Aiko3, the folder that contains the runtime. You will be warned again about overwriting files. Again, if you are on a Windows PC, say yes. The files will then find their place in your Aiko3 runtime.

Don't forget the readme. Though it doesn't show under the BabydollTextures folder, it does show in the view pane to the right. (Always check the view pane!)

As you can see, the readme file is named simply readme.txt, with no other distinction. Rename it A3_BabydollTx_Readme.txt. Notice that there is a ReadMe's folder already in the Aiko3 Folder, so just pull this renamed readme into that folder.

Everything should now be installed into the correct Runtimes. However, you may notice already, and certainly will notice once you add more content, that there is still some disorganization in the files. Certainly you have made them easier to find by putting similar categories of files together. But there is more to do.

Step 5 - Organizing Content - Rules

When it comes to organizing your Runtime folders and the files within, there are a five basic rules to follow:

1. Find the Readme and/or Template files and get them out of the way.

2. Do NOT touch or change anything within the Geometries or Textures folders.

3. Do not move or rename 'special' folders that may appear directly under Libraries.

4. Do not move or re-name the Categories found under Libraries and do not move files from one Library Category to another.

5. DO arrange, rename, and reorganize any files and folders found within the Nine Basic Libraries Categories.

Let's look at these rules in a little more detail.

Rule #1: Find the Readme and/or Template files and get them out of the way.

Make a habit of cleaning up your readme files as soon as you install. If not, as you install more and more files from different places, you will eventually run into the 'readme syndrome' where you will end up with readme files scattered all through your folders as you can see in this example. So keep just one ReadMe folder in each runtime and use that for all of them.

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You will also see in the example two other folder types that can be found after installing. Templates are only needed if you intend to use them as guides for re-texturing. They do not need to remain here, but if they do, put them all in one Folder. Weblinks is put there by DAZ Productions. Keep it for reference, or delete it, as you wish.

Suggestion: Since both Readme files and templates are not visible from within the Programs, you might want to create a Templates and a Readme folder in each of your Downloads Categories and move them all there.

Rule #2: Do NOT touch or change anything within the Geometries or Textures folders.

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Two folders that must not be changed or rearranged are the Geometries and Textures folders. These folders contain important files that the program must be able to find.

Geometries contains object files that are called on from figures and some props. Textures are usually jpg files that are used to create different texture patterns and effects. The files that use these will not be able to find them if they are renamed or moved.

Rule #3: Do not move or rename 'special' folders that may appear directly under Libraries.

You may run across some extra folders listed under your Library that do not belong to the nine regular categories. These too should not be moved or renamed.

These extra folders will likely be found in those runtimes that contain morphable or poseable figures such as people, animals, morphing landscapes, etc. As you can see, there is no particular naming convention for these folders. But what these folders have in common is that they contain information needed by the other files, usually information about injectable morphs.

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In most cases these folders will be found within the Library folder, as you can see circled in red in the example image. Occasionally you will find similar folders under Runtime at the same level as the Geometries and textures, or even just below the runtime folder name. These folders contain the information needed by other files within your Pose folder.

Do Not move or change these files. As with Geometries and Textures, the program has specific directions where to find them – so if you move them, or rename them, you won't be able to use the characters or morphs they belong to.

Rule #4: Do not move or re-name the Categories found under Libraries and do not move files from one Library Category to another.

As you can see in the example chart below, each Library Category has a particular file extension associated with it. If you put a file with one extension into a folder associated to another, it will not show up in Poser.

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There are a few things to keep in mind when searching for your files. Hair, for example, can have a CR2 extension or a hr2 extension – or both. So you may find hair in the Hair Folder, but you may also find it in the Character / Figures folder. As you may have noticed, the Characters Folder in your File Manager is actually called Figures within the Programs.

Character, or CR2 files, can also be similar to the props, pp2 files. The main difference is that props do not usually have any moving parts. A house or room with 'articulate' portions, such as doors and windows that open, will likely be found in Characters folder, whereas a house or room with no moving parts will likely be in Props. The only way to really tell is by the file extension – so if you end up with a loose file somewhere, just go by the guide above.

Two other file format you will find in here:.rsr and/or PNG. A PNG is basically a thumbnail image of the file whose name it matches – these are the thumbnails you see when you open Poser or DAZ/Studio – the pictorial representation of the file. They should always have the same name as the associated file. Though the default format in newer products is PNG, some of the older products still have rsr files – don't worry, as soon as you open the file in Poser, it will transform the rsrs into pngs – after that you can delete the rsr's if you wish.

Rule #5: DO arrange, rename, and reorganize any files and folders found within the Nine Basic Libraries Categories.

When it comes to organizing the files and folders in your runtimes, the nine basic Library Categories allow you to arrange as you wish. This is where you can begin to put your own personal concept of order into it all. You can set up folders and sub folders in any way you wish within each of these categories. The only thing you must not do is to change the names of the categories, or switch files between categories. It's as simple as that. So let's take the files we have installed and see how they might be arranged.

Step 6 - Organizing Within the Library

For this next part, open two separate document windows from your file explorer – one with your !PzDz_Downloads folder, and the other with the ALLRUNS folder. If you look at these side by side you will see that they each have the five original categories, with the exception of ALLRUNS which has the XtraRun folder. Keep the downloads folder open and accessible, as it will help you when organizing your runtime folders.

Start with the Aiko3 Downloads and notice that under Aiko 3 you have two sub-categories: Base, and Clothes.

Now go to the AllRuns, and open your Aiko3 Runtime.

Click on these categories: character, face, hair, hand, pose, and props. Look in the folders in each category and check what is in them.

Starting with the Character category, you will find that the “DAZ Aiko 3” folder contains the Aiko 3 base CR2. The “Aiko Morphing Clothes” folder contains the Mech Girl outfit.

Take a quick glance at your !PzDz_Downloads Folder. Notice that you have two subfolders there, Base and Clothes. Now go into the Aiko 3 Runtime and create these two folders within the Character folder. (Blue Circle)

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Open the DAZ Aiko 3 folder where you will find the CR2 and rsr files. Shift-left click to select both of them, and drag them over and drop them into the Base folder. You can then delete the DAZ Aiko 3 folder. Remember that this is just an example of what you can do. Ultimately you will choose your own names for files, and may even choose to leave some of them as they are.

In the 'Aiko Morphing Clothes' folder you will find the Mech Girl outfit for Aiko. The easiest way to keep from getting lost amongst the many clothes available, is to give each clothing item or clothing group its own folder. In this case, rename the designated folder to MechGirl, and then drag the whole folder and drop it into Clothes. It should then look like this example.

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You will find a DAZ hair folder under the Hair category. This is the free nyoko hair that comes with Aiko 3 – you can either leave the folder name as is, or rename it to nyoko hair. Most of your hair will be going into its own runtime (in our tutorial example) but if you decide to keep hair in with individual characters, it will be important to classify them in some way.

The Hand Category also has a folder that contains one hand pose. Since this is a hand pose specific to the Mech Girl pistol found in Props, re-name the folder MechPistolGrip or something similar.

The Pose Category often holds a variety of files – in this case you can see it already has 5 folders. Create the following folders within the Pose Category: Characters, Clothing Mats, Hair Mats, Morphs, Poses, and Skin Mats.

Open the ”!DAZ's Aiko 3” folder. You will see it contains mostly Poses. Since you are likely to have more than one pose package, re-name this folder to Basic Poses. The Basic will tell you these are the poses that came with the Base Pack. Pull this Basic Poses folder down and drop it into the Poses folder you created.

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Pay attention to the next two folders. ”!MAT Aiko 3” contains what is essentially a 'wetsuit' or second skin with options to change different material zones. Rename this folder Wetsuit or 2nd skin and pull it into the Skin Mats folder. ”!MAT Aiko 3 Maps” contains a full body and head skin map, lo-res version for Aiko LE. Re-name this folder FullSkin-lo and pull it also into the Skin Mats folder.

Now change the MAT Aiko 3 Hair into MAT Nyoko Hair and put it in the Hair Mats folder. MAT Mech Girl is a clothing mat folder – no need to rename it, just pull it into the Clothing Mats folder you prepared. You will notice that you don't have anything in the Character or Morphs folders – these are prepared for future use.

Check the example of how the Pose folder should look by now.

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If you installed the Zip files with the textures for the A3 Babydoll dress, these will also be found under Pose - so move them into the Clothing Mats folder - but be aware that they will not work unless you also download the original dress.

You should be getting an idea of how files can be organized. Of course, the sub-folders will be different for other Runtimes.

The next exercise is to go into the four other Runtimes – Animals, Hair, Sci-fi, and Toons, and re-arrange your files in each of these. Use the Downloads sub-categories as hints. For example, in Animals, under Characters, you may want to put sub files for Domestic, Fantasy, and Wild.

Try to keep the main Character sub-folders similar to those in the Downloads. It will help in the long run.

Step 7 - Never Too Late

Though it is a great idea to start your file organizing from the beginning, most people who read this will have already accumulated many downloads, and may already have overstuffed runtimes. The exercises in this tutorial are meant to give you a clear idea of how files can be organized into external runtimes. Unfortunately, this will probably mean re-installing from scratch. It may sound like a lot of work, but it is much more work to try to move files from one huge runtime into several smaller ones, than it is to simply start fresh.

You probably have downloads stored somewhere, either still on your hard drive, or on a backup disk. If you don't have backups of your installers, you will want to ask the stores where you purchased them to reset your downloads

If you have not yet downloaded many files, just find logical names for what you do download, creating categories and sub-categories as you go. Sub-categories can go as deep as you wish. Clothes, for example, might again be divided into sections such as Casual, Evening, Fantasy, Summer, Winter – whatever. The important thing is that it make sense to you.

If you do have a large amount of downloads, start by creating a new downloads folder as shown at the beginning of the tutorial. Look through your downloads and give some thought as to categories, sub-categories, etc. Make a list on paper of how you want the downloads organized, keeping in mind that these will become Runtime Categories. Your list should work for you, not against you. Think about what projects you have, find a system of organization that makes sense to you.

Once you have the downloads organized, create the external runtimes as suggested here, again, creating categories that you will remember easily. Above all, keep your current runtime in place until you have the new ones set up. . You might be tempted to try to move things by hand – easy enough on the Library level, just a matter of dragging and dropping – but when you get to the geometries and textures it will be almost impossible to find which files go with what figures and props, etc. It is much easier to install fresh.

Once you do have all of your Content installed into the External runtimes and organized as you wish, you can delete that huge Poser or DAZ/Studio runtime. It would then be best to uninstall the program, and re-install from a fresh start. Don't forget any Service Release updates, and to re-install your plug-ins. Again, it's much easier than trying to figure out what you can safely delete and what to keep. If you use Poser, simply keep the Poser figures in the Poser Program Runtime, but organize the files in the Library categories to make things easier to find.

Above all, don't stress it. Take your time, think about what kind of order makes the most sense to you – experiment a bit if you wish. Your bulky runtime will still be there until you have everything organized.

Whether you are just beginning, or a seasoned player, you won't regret any of the effort put into this. There is nothing greater when you are in the midst of a creative streak, than to be able to find your files effortlessly, and get on with the creating.

Step 8 - Installing and Organizing DAZ Studio Content

Most of the content you purchase or download for free will be formatted to work in Poser. DAZ/Studio can read most of these files, but not all of them. The exceptions are Poser dynamic hair and dynamic clothing, as well as some of the more complex procedural material poses that can be created in the Poser Material Room. In addition, although Poser Lights can now be imported into the latest version of DAZ/Studio, the lighting system is very different from that of DAZ/Studio and you may get some unwelcome results!

If you use DAZ/Studio, you will want to take advantage of the support given by those merchants who include extra files formatted specifically for DAZ/Studio. These files are optimized for things like degree of shininess, bump maps, and transparency settings. In many cases these files will replace the procedural textures of the Poser Material room with DAZ/Studio's own native Shader system. When offering DAZ/Studio formatted files, the merchant will usually separate these files from the Poser files by putting them in a separate zip or installer. These are often named with the letters DS added to the file name.

Installing goes much like with a Poser file, the only difference is that instead of pointing the file to an External Runtime, you point it to the Content Folder inside DAZ Studio. Default path is C://Program Files/DAZ/Studio/content. This is the correct file path for most installers. However, zip files may be different.

When you'receive a Zip file that contains DAZ/Studio formatted files, you will need to open it and look at the file path to be sure where to install it.

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As you can see in this example, the file path begins with a Content folder. Therefore, you will install into the folder that contains the Content folder, which in this case would be (C://Program Files)/DAZ/Studio. If you see that the zip does not contain a content folder at the beginning, then you will need to install it into (')/DAZ/Studio/content.

As with the Poser files – there are some folders that must not be changed are removed.

Do not touch the data folder. The data folder contains everything. It is DAZ Studio's way of interpreting all of the other files and turning it onto a kind of database that can quickly be read by the program. It is listed directly under Content. Some DAZ/Studio formatted purchases or freebies may already have these data folders in them. This is one reason why it is preferable to install DAZ/Studio formatted files directly into DAZ/Studio.

While it is conceivable to create External Runtimes for DAZ/Studio formatted content, it is not suggested, as some of the installers may contain important data files that need to remain in the Studio content folder, and not an external one. Until such a time as you understand fully the nature of the files, and what can and cannot safely be put into an external runtime, you should keep your DAZ/Studio formatted files safely installed within the DAZ/Studio Content Folder.

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Do not touch the Runtime folder. In addition, note that you may eventually find a Runtime folder in your Content folder even though these are DAZ/Studio formatted files. This is because some products that are set up in DAZ/Studio format may still use geometries (OBJ files) and texture resources –(JPG files) Since most merchants also make their files in Poser format, it is much easier for them to leave the textures and geometries in the same folders as were used for Poser. So, just as with the Poser runtimes, you must not change or move or rename anything within the Geometries or Textures. Nor should you move the Runtime folder itself.

Once your content folder begins to fill up, you will probably choose to arrange the files and folders according to your wishes. As a general rule I would say to ignore anything that is outside of the Content Folder, except perhaps readme files and templates, which you can put where you want. All other files and folders found within the Content Folder (except for the Data Folder, and Runtime folder) can be re-arranged and re-named in any way you wish. Just remember if you'rename any files, be sure to rename the corresponding PNG that goes with it.

Finished

I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you. I know you will find that if you take the time to organize your files and Runtimes, you will benefit greatly when you are at work within the programs.

If you have any questions or need to get in touch with me, feel free to contact me, judee3D, using the site PM system.