19min

Remote working file management

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This workflow uses the following SiNi plugins - IgNite. Unite. Forensic. DeSipher.

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Background

We developed this workflow before the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, in which most of the global computer graphics industry moved quickly to set up working remotely from home.

Everyone needed to shift data from one location to the other, fast and without error. For many, this has been temporary, but the flexibility of working from anywhere remains popular.

Typical scenarios include;

  • Remote login - using screen sharing technology such as Teradici or Teamviewer, artists log into their studio workstation and operate them remotely. All data stays on the work network.
  • Data transfer - artists transfer all the files they need from their studio server to their home workstation.

Both of these are common and widely used. However, depending on the type of work you're doing, they do have issues.

  • Licensing - are your software licenses work-from-home compliant?
  • Internet connection issues - is it stable to remain connected all day?
  • Loss of data - transferring files.
  • Project management - reconnecting linked files such as bitmaps, X-refs, simulations.
  • Daily backup - many client contracts enforce you to maintain a backup policy. Do you comply?

SiNi workflow

This works best for the following scenarios:

  • Working from home or remotely.
  • Working as an outsource supplier.
  • Sending a project back to the studio.
  • Sending projects to a render farm.
  • Archiving a project.

Flexible login

Depending on your SiNi contract type there are different procedures to check in your license if working remotely. Cloud-connected licensing

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Make sure you have an internet connection. Open Desipher license manager from the main menu SiNi Tools drop-down or toolbar. Enter your user email and password (if you haven’t already). Click on the Login User Dashboard. This will open your internet browser and log into the website. Open the Licenses and Users page and click on Reset MacID. This will disconnect the current PC (at work?). In 3ds Max open Desipher and click connect. If you have Auto-login enabled it will do this automatically. Network License Manager

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You will need to log into your company or school network to connect to the license server. Please consult your IT administrator to check domain login permissions. The license manager will check in/out licenses directly from the LAN server. For more information, check out the Education and enterprise license serverpages. In both scenarios above, if Desipher displays green ticks next to your licenses then you are connected. Alternatively, the studio may lend you a license. This will appear greyed out in your list on theLicenses and Userspage.

Part One - preparing to move data

When you want to move a file or project, the first thing you should do is run some checks. Open Forensic and check the file. Forensic (UI) - Scene Info Fix or clear any issues. Then open Unite. Unite (UI) - Relink On the Relink tab and check if any files are missing. If everything is connected, move on to the Archive tab. Unite (UI) - Archive Archiving is designed to package a project together with all its associated files, into a new project folder. It will create new subfolders for big maps, proxies, X-refs, Simulations etc, and save a copy of the 3ds Max file with everything re-pathed to it. You may not wish to collect everything or simply want to copy the latest scene and reconnect the bitmaps etc to the existing materials, you may have transferred previously. For re-pathing, see below.

Part Two - re-pathing

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Unite Repath Unite (UI) - Repath

Setting up the project locally.

Other considerations;

  • Re-path to proxy resolution bitmaps.
  • Re-path to full resolution bitmaps.
  • Re-path to alternative bitmaps.

Part Three - reverse the process

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Using Unite’s three-tab options allows you to keep a check on how and where you move and store 3D scenes and project data. This process was designed specifically to send files to cloud render farms and project archiving. Its aim is to reduce the headache of searching for lost data and costly mistakes of cloud rendering errors.

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Updated 13 Jul 2021
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