Go Install This
- On the HeroEngine Account System download list, you will find an installer file called HeroEngine Art Depot Directory Structure Installer.
- This will create the directory structure for the Art Depot in the directory C:\HeroEngine\ArtDepot
- The directory structure mirrors the HeroEngine Repository on the server.
- By creating your files and new directories inside this local structure, it will allow you to then copy them to the server Repository with more consistency and fewer errors.
- You should also place your HeroEngineArtPipeline download inside of the art depot. This will make following Max or Maya setup easier. And will result in a folder structure that looks like C:\HeroEngine\ArtDepot\HeroEngineArtPipeline.
Why You Need a Local Art Depot
Artists who are new to Max and Maya, or who are new to shared work environments, especially with the possibility for large teams, are frequently confused by the need to pay attention to directory paths and folder structures when creating, exporting, and uploading art to the server. This is actually a very simple concept. Folder Structures Matter. When you have a model in one folder, and a texture in another folder, after you finish exporting them, you have to upload both the model and the texture to the server, via the repository browser. But the model has the "path" to find its texture stored in its HGM file. So, if you upload the texture to a location on the server that is relatively different to the folder of the model, the model won't be able to find the texture. This means, that technically, you don't need to embrace the concept of the "Art Depot", since you could just manually drag and drop the model and the texture up to the server in the same folders as you made them on your local. But we recommend that you use the art depot default folder structure so that you can mirror the folder structure on the server, and easily sync your assets.
Using the HeroEngine Repository Browser, Artists will copy files from the Art Depot into their corresponding HeroEngine repository folders on the server. Having an identical folder structure on the artists local machine and on the server is critical, as Maya and 3ds Max can only reference files from DOS/Windows file paths.
During the loading of models exported by 3ds Max or Maya, HeroEngine translates the DOS/Windows path to the repository path by stripping off a user-defined portion of the file path.
So, the Texture files (.dds) on the Art Depot are what Artists actually use in 3ds Max or Maya when building their Assets. In this setup, you will not reference textures on your local hard drive (See Local Drive Alternative below). These texture files, just like the other game files, must be copied to the Repository Server via the Repository Browser to be accessed by HeroEngine.
The source files, such as the 3ds Max or Maya (.max) files, or Photoshop Files (.psd) can also be stored on the Art Depot. However, these raw Max, Maya, and Photoshop source files should not be copied to the Repository Server as it will bloat the repository and may cause problems during DVD building for your final product.
Do I really need an Art Depot?
Yes. Whether it is a dedicated NAS or a shared folder on a computer that the rest of the Art Team can access. Even if the team size is currently one Artist, you will absolutely want to use some kind of shared Art Depot so if you happen to add a second Artist they both will be able to freely exchange source files without having to make any changes at all.
Hero Engine Root Directory
HeroEngine will ignore anything above the \HE\ directory (seen above at C:\HeroEngine\ArtDepot\HE). The directory structure below the \HE\ directory mirrors what's on the HeroEngine server file Repository.
Any folder created after the
...\HE\ root directory will need to be duplicated in the repository via the Repository Browser. Any folder made in the repository must also be made on the Art Depot. 3ds Max and Maya can only communicate in a Windows network environment and can not communicate with the Repository Server. The exported Art files will have to be transferred to the Repository Server from the Art Depot via the Repository Browser.
- Note: The following information is only for teams looking to do more than simply mimic the file directory on their local machine.
There are multiple methods to setting up an Art Depot. The ideal method for your team will depend on the development environment. Below are a few ways to setup an Art Depot. Review all methods below before deciding how the Art Depot will work best in your work environment.
For mid to large size teams a shared network drive (or something like DropBox, Git, etc) is the most common configuration for an Art Depot on a LAN.
Simply install the HeroEngine Art Depot Directory Structure Installer, and then move the entire directory structure to the root of the drive you want to share with others.