Struggling to understand Runtime file structure and content...


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Here's a tip regarding downloads. Most come with the proper runtime structure and can directly be merged into an existing runtime. But for me, quite often, after trying out the freebie, I hate it and want to remove it.

    Only - if I merge right into an existing runtime that's very difficult.

    So I don't merge! I extract the zipped runtime into an empty folder, one dedicated to experimental downloads. That folder gets added to my Poser as an external runtime. All that I see in there is from the downloaded item. If it's crap I just blow it away. If it's not crap, I move/merge that into one of my permanent runtimes.



  • That's something I inadvertently did last night! Having previously failed to get the clothing prop installed, I created a completely new folder as you describe, added it to Poser and it worked. I'll now merge as you suggested.

    One other point that brings me back to an earlier question I had: the prop I installed is a DAZ Sweater that conforms to V4. One of the reasons it was confusing me is that the sweater itself appears in Characters, whilst the 4 colour options all appear in Poses.

    Call me picky but a sweater is neither a character nor a pose! I was rather expecting it to appear in Props!!
    I'm guessing that it's because there are so many morphs on it to make the sweater fit, it's treated more as a character than a prop, right?

    Either way, I'm still hoping for 'Poser for Dummies' :) :)



  • @rsk Hi, the sweater is in in characters because it is "conforming", i.e. it has the same bones as V4 so when you add it to the scene and choose conform, the bones in the sweater mirrors the movements of V4s own. Props do not have bones and cannot be conformed. If a prop, say a bracelet only covers one bone, it can be parented to that bone but you can only parent to the one bone.

    The material sets in the Pose is just a convention, sometimes they are in the pose folder, sometimes materials it doesn't really make any difference.



  • Basically Smith micro puts all its clothes in props, virtually everybody else puts conforming clothes in characters and dynamic clothes in props.

    As for skin textures and clothing, they can be two types of file.

    They can be .pz2 files. As it suggests these are pose files., and this is an older way of letting the user to automatically apply textures to a character.

    The other type of files are .mc6. These are material collections. If the vendor supplies pz2 files these are put by them in pose. If they supply .mc6 files these are normally in the materials folder, however I've come across at least one case where mc6 files have been put in pose. (There are other files in materials .mt5. These apply a single material, so while an mc6 file would apply textures to a complete item, the mt5 file only applies it a single material zone so for example on a piece of clothing you might be able to apply it to the main body, or the lining etc. Mc6 files only work properly on the items for which they have been made, mt5 files can be used on any item.)

    I would suggest if you are using Windows to get it to display file extensions if you don't have it this way already. This really helps when you are trying to sort out where files go from some freebies which are not properly structured.



  • @rsk said in Struggling to understand Runtime file structure and content...:

    That's something I inadvertently did last night! Having previously failed to get the clothing prop installed, I created a completely new folder as you describe, added it to Poser and it worked. I'll now merge as you suggested.

    One other point that brings me back to an earlier question I had: the prop I installed is a DAZ Sweater that conforms to V4. One of the reasons it was confusing me is that the sweater itself appears in Characters, whilst the 4 colour options all appear in Poses.

    Call me picky but a sweater is neither a character nor a pose! I was rather expecting it to appear in Props!!
    I'm guessing that it's because there are so many morphs on it to make the sweater fit, it's treated more as a character than a prop, right?

    Either way, I'm still hoping for 'Poser for Dummies' :) :)

    Until relatively recently, Poser originally filed conforming clothing under the heading of characters, as they were considered "figures", not props. The program still regards them as figures, in fact. However, the programmers apparently want them to be regarded as props. Most users and content creators still regard them as figures and put them in the characters library.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Another point about the pose files for material collections.

    Before Poser 6, it was discovered, by users, that you could combine many materials into a "pose" file and even though the file was officially for poses, the Poser 4 and 5 code worked correctly to load ANYTHING that affects figures, not just the pose. The expressions, materials, scaling, etc. could all be packed together in a "pose" file.

    The developers thought that packing materials together was cool (it had not occurred to them) but made it official by introducing a dedicated file type for this, the .mc6 and added this as a new feature in Poser 6.

    The vendors, who didn't want to do pose files for Poser 5 AND material files for Poser 6 were all like "well why should I do both - the pose files still work".

    And here we are 12 years later and vendors are still refusing to make mc6 files, or, as noted, they're making them but then foolishly putting them in the Pose folder.

    Poser vendors are a strange lot.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Poser developers started doing what new users expect about 9 years ago. They officially abandoned the antique idea that content that has bones and can be posed is called a figure and must be located in the "character" part of the content library. This astonishes new users and makes little sense.

    So a sweater, officially, should be in props now, but again the old vendors refuse to listen to how things are done and are still placing sweaters in where humans and horses go.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    The moral of the story:

    Unzip new content into a fresh runtime.

    Browse the FILE SYSTEM before you even load into Poser so you have some idea what's there and where.

    Only after you already know what to expect do you go into Poser's library and start visiting the various folders. Go in knowing already that you're going to find the materials in the pose folder, the clothes in the character folder, the hair in the lights folder, and the cameras in the materials folder. (Note that modern Poser lets you do nonsense like this.)



  • Thanks everyone - that all makes me feel slightly less dumb... :)



  • @bagginsbill said in Struggling to understand Runtime file structure and content...:

    Poser developers started doing what new users expect about 9 years ago. They officially abandoned the antique idea that content that has bones and can be posed is called a figure and must be located in the "character" part of the content library. This astonishes new users and makes little sense.

    So a sweater, officially, should be in props now, but again the old vendors refuse to listen to how things are done and are still placing sweaters in where humans and horses go.

    Well, in fairness to the vendors, the only thing that really changed was WHERE the programmers told you the clothes props should go and the file abbreviation to use. I get it, it made sense to the programmers, for some unknown reason, which they still haven't fully explained to anyone.



  • Hi

    I'm going to reply because I was working on this myself a few days ago, after not using Poser for a while, and having to get with it again.

    I have a suggestion if someone else didn't already suggest this.

    In your Smith Micro or Poser Directory create a new folder named My Poser and a subfolder named Runtime 2.
    In Poser go to the Library and import the new Runtime into it, you should now see both Runtime and Runtime 2 listed as well as a downloads folder. The Downloads Folder can be used as a Runtime but I'm going to ignore that for now because to the termanology.

    Try adding new content to the Runtime 2 folder instead of the original Runtime and see how it works.
    You won't mess up your original Runtime and if you screw up the new one you can just fix it or delete it.

    That's pretty much the way I add new content having it seperate from my master Runtime, and it also makes it easier to find the new stuff.

    This is important...

    When you download some addon for Poser and it contains a Runtime folder with all the sub files in place, place the Runtime in the My Poser folder, Not the Runtime folder that's already there. This is one of the most common errors that people who are new to this make.

    Don't paste the Runtime Folder into the Runtime Folder, it has to go into the parent folder.

    When you paste the new Runtime in the My Poser Folder it will merge the Runtime with the one that is already there and not just paste it into the existing one, putting all the content in it's correct place automatically.

    If you used the default settings when you installed Poser you probable have your real Runtime Folder in your Users folder but the new one you create can be anyplace, I prefer to put mine in the Smith Micro or Poser folder where it's easy to find.

    So installing new stuff that's correctly packaged is an easy one step process.

    But if you get a bunch of sub folders i.e. Characters, Textures etc, paste the folders into the Runtime folder and they should merge into the correct setup inside the Runtime folder.

    I hope this helps a little I remember how much trouble I had with this when I first started using Poser many, many years ago.

    Mike


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @bagginsbill
    The reason why content developers make mt5/mc6 and pose files, is that DS users can also use our content.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @Biscuits
    This is a DS : LOL.
    0_1522510545627_Citroen_ds.jpg



  • My preferred setup is to have all information related to a piece of content, geometry, texures, poses in one folder in a location relevant to the type of content.
    I started to arrange things this way with hair. Prop hair or figure hair go under hair in the library, folder per hair type.
    Hair colors go in a folder or folders with the hair. Hair versions as generated with HCS are side by side.
    Geometry preferably goes there also, as go textures.
    From my user's viewpoint this very convenient. If I want to use hair X everything I will need is in that folder. I really got sick of searching in 4 different sections of my libraries (Is it charecter hair, hair hair or prop hair, and are colors in poses or in materials), and under which name? the vendor's? the item's? the name of the figure for which the hair was made? Admitted I need not look under the hands, faces, cameras or lights sections of the library, but otherwise stuff could be anywhere.

    The diffusion that is now 'Rule' was useful back when Poser was conceived. Content was scarce in volume, disk space and memory space were at premium. Geometry or textures were often re-used. A file already loaded needed not be loaded a second time. Times are different now. We have Gigabytes of core memory and Terabytes of disk space.
    Separation of the geometry and texture info may make sense if it is expected the content is base reference core stuff like V4. For most items in the stores this is not the case.

    If the system were set-up today one probably would pack all relevant stuff into a zipped archive and give it a fancy extension like .phz (Poser Hair Zip). Addons install would mean merging the extra content into the .phz. No need to say that relevant info (help, rights, purchase) would find a place too.
    No more need for the item (too old/outdated?) delete the .phz and no rubbish left.
    External reference, when needed could be achieved by a call to use 'the geometry definition of xxx.phz'

    Part of this is already accomplished. Poser saves a character with Poser geometry file along with the character definition.