This is why we can't have nice things in Poser........
Dear Poser Vendors,
I love you guys and gals, but I swear to god, some of you are your own worst enemies. Making your products hard to use means I am less likely to buy your products in the future. That sounded important, so let me repeat it:
Making your products hard to use means I am less likely to buy your products in the future.
That sounds a little nebulous; so let me get down to specifics.
Let's start with a little background material and what started this……
Every single product that I have purchased over the past week for Dawn (A product that ONLY WORKS IN POSER 9+ and DS 4.5+), was designed for Poser 4 compatibility.
When I question vendors about this, I get a song and dance over "backwards compatibility". Apparently, many vendors out here in Poser/DS land are unsure of what level of "backwards compatibility" is necessary in 2013 – specifically in regards to material files (.pz2 vs .mc6). I have been told repeatedly by vendors that this is necessary because not everyone has updated to the latest version of Poser –
"I have to make .pz2 for materials because the product is for Victoria 4."
This is incorrect.
The earliest version of Poser that will support DAZ's Gen 4 figures (V4.2, M4, K4, Aiko 4, The Girl 4, Freak 4, etc.) is Poser 6, according to DAZ.
Understanding Content File Types - Supported Applications:
If you are a vendor, bookmark this page - this will show you what file types can be read by both DS & Poser - don't guess, know.
The earliest version of Poser that uses the .mc6 file format is Poser 6. In addition, DS4.5 and later can read .mc6 files - from the above webpage:
Studio 4.5 also supports the following Poser formats (.cr2, .pz2, .pp2, .fc2, .pp2, .mc6, .lt2). It does not support .pz3 (Poser Scene) format or Python Scripts. So, what does this mean? It means that Poser 6 (not Poser 4) is the de facto, if not de jure, baseline for compatibility purposes between Poser & Daz Studio.
Knowing this, why in the name of all that is holy are vendors still making materials as g(##!&##@% .pz2 files instead of .mc6 files? That was a hack for Poser 4. There hasn't been a need to do it for almost a decade now.
If you are only going to make 1 file, make it an .mc6 – let the luddites get a conversion utility. In all honesty, it's like saying that even though we now have 64-bit computers and modern operating systems, we should still use 8.3 file naming conventions because there are still a few CPM and DOS holdouts running an IBM 8088 pc. Let Poser 4 go.
Moving right along to file/folder names & conventions or Wherein my luv for vendors turns to "Flames, on the side of my face, breathing-breathing - heaving breaths. Heaving breaths... Heaving...."
Thereisnoneedtoramallofthefilenamestogether - Poser 4+ and Daz Studio can't run on DOS or OS9, so there isn't a need to do this anymore. Not only is this unnecessary, it is hard to read. Hard to read means I am less likely to buy your products in the future.
Nor_is_there_any_need_to_use_underscores - We have been able to use spaces for about a decade now, leave the DOS naming convention behind already.
ALLCAPS - why are my folders and file names shouting at me? When I am fixing things like this, I am saying a lot of things about the vendor – none of which can be repeated in a family-friendly forum.
Consistency – It may be the hobgoblin of little minds, but when the product has one folder name in the Character folder, a slightly different one in the Material folder and a third variation in the Pose folder, you go directly to my DO NOT BUY FROM list. Vendors that do this show an incredible lack of attention to detail. If a vendor screws up something a simple as this, I have to wonder what else have they messed up.
Figure's name (or your name) as the lead for a file name - If I have a dozen dresses named Dawn Dress #01, Dawn Dress #02, Dawn Dress #03 search function becomes useless, whereas Dress#01 for Dawn, Dress#02 for Dawn, Dress#03 for Dawn, is better for the end-user, regardless of whether they have 1 runtime or 60 runtimes. As far as your name going first, please check your ego at the door. It isn't about you, it's about the end-user. The only place I should see your name is in the Geometries folder and the Textures folder, so that you don't accidentally overwrite obj and png files that some idiot vendor decided should be in the root geometries or texture folders. (See what I did there?)
01, 02, 03, as leading file names - you are rendering the search function useless. Don't be that vendor. If I have to go & spend half an hour to rename dozens (or in one case, over a hundred) file names, yeah, I'll remember who you are, and not in a good way.
Leading !!!! characters - yeah, real cute, getting your folder to the top of the list. Guess what, YOU AREN'T THE ONLY ONE DOING IT. So stop it already.
And the worst offender - Naming material files MAT_name, MAT_name, MAT_name. Again, this makes your product harder to use and find - try name_Material, name_Material, name_Material, this makes it easier to find. Better yet, move to the 8+ year standard of an .mc6 - If it is in the Materials subfolder, as it should be, we know it is a material.
Poser 9+ issues……
Poser 9 and later comes with a scene folder to hold your .pz3 files - please start using it. In addition, would it kill you to add a .png file to go with it? You're going to make a render at some point – resize it to 91x91 and make the "Shruggy Guy" go away – Not adding a .png shows a lack of attention to detail. It also makes me wonder if you have cut corners elsewhere.
I have noticed that starting with Poser 9, smarter vendors are adding a Morphs subfolder to the standard library to hold things like .pmd files and .pz2 files that the customers should not be fooling around with. This is a really, really good idea. It means fewer custom folders cluttering up a runtime (Note to end users, don't move those legacy folders like !DAZ into a Morphs folder – those files have hard-coded locations in them.)
From the aforementioned "Understanding Content File Types from DAZ". Submitted without comment:
'Metadata': These files are not needed for any application. They were originally intended for use with other applications outside of DAZ Studio, but this is no longer necessary. They may be disregarded.
Windows Follies: I don't run the windows version of Poser/DS, so someone else will have to address these.
OSX Follies: We haven't had to use Macconverter for over well over a decade now. Obviously, vendors that develop on Windows have no idea what this product is or did. It converted Poser 3 content to formats that Poser 4 could read. Now, not only do you know what it does, you should realize how pointless the program is in 2013. So please, stop sending your customers on a wild goose-chase looking for www.softrabbit.de. The website went dark about a decade ago. There is truly no telling how many sales some of you have cost yourselves by telling users this.
We don't use .rsr or .pict files anymore either - The software portion that could actually read them was chucked, along with a lot of obsolete code with the release of Poser 8.
If you lead off a filename with the # character, OSX can't read the .png or .jpg, so don't do that.
Ego Folders, or "Where's my brick…….."
I realize that getting vendors to dump their ego subfolders is a bridge too far, but I do want to point out that:
a. Your product isn't the only product in my runtime. Hiding your products in ego folders makes your products harder to find, harder to use, and me less likely to purchase your products. Especially if you are also doing some of the stupid stuff I mentioned earlier under file/folder names & conventions. I have a list of vendors I won't buy from even if they made the "rug that tied the room together" – why would you want to go on that list?
b. If you make a add-on pack for a product, put the name of the product in the folder, i.e. <Add-on pack name> for <Product name>. If you do this, it makes it easier for people who aren't anal-retentive about runtime structure to actually find and use your magnificent add-on pack. (I am not being sarcastic here – I have bought literally hundreds of items that I never would have purchased if it weren't for another vendor making a cool add on pack for a product. You are truly the value-added part of the equation.)
Note to the people that are too cheap to upgrade their computer/software - Right now, there are over 1,400 1st Generation Xeon Dell workstations over on ebay. (I just looked.)
You can pick one up for as little as $150 (including shipping). No, that isn't a misprint. Lots of them are coming off lease, and they are being dumped for pennies on the dollar - as an added bonus, they will plow through rendering faster than a new i3 or i5 computer will - just sayin'. Did I mention you could replace those dual cores for quad cores (giving you 8 cores for your render engine for about 80 additional dollars) and more performance than an i7?
If you are hell-bent on getting a new computer – a perfectly suitable one for Poser/DS can be had for around $250.Poser 9 is on Amazon for $60 - the price of about 4 good outfits – and you now have access to weight mapped figures and genesis too, if you are willing to deal with DSON.