Installing, Uninstalling and Updating

Installing Connecter

To install Connecter, click on the button above to download the zipped installation, then unzip, double-click the exe. file and follow the steps. It will just take a minute or so.

Uninstalling Connecter

To uninstall Connecter, go to Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features, locate Connecter in the list and choose to uninstall. It’s gone now but…

… your custom settings are still there for future Connecter installations. If you want to remove all Connecter files and settings from your system select that option when uninstalling.

Updating Connecter

There’s nothing to do! Connecter will automatically check for a new update and install it on the next start.

Working With Folders | Add and remove

Adding folders

With Connecter you will need to locate only the folders where your 3d models and related files are. To start creating your custom folders list in Connecter you can:

  • Just drag a folder (or multiple folders) and drop it in Connecter’s Folders panel.

  • Or use the “Add folder” icon in Folders panel’s header.

Now you have your first folder added – we call it “Root folder”, and you can add as many root folders as you like.

Removing folders

Only Root folders can be removed. To do so, hover your mouse over the folder, then hover over the icon that appears on the right and click “Remove” in the context menu.

Working With Folders | Hide and ignore

When you add a root folder in Connecter all its subfolders are added as well. In Connecter there are two options to get rid of any of the subfolders you don’t need to see:

Hiding folders

To hide a subfolder, hover your mouse over it, then hover over the icon that appears on the right and click Hide from the drop-down menu. The folder is no longer visible in your folders panel.

Show hidden folders

If you need to use your hidden folders, at a later date, simply click on Folders in the panel’s header, and check “Show hidden folders” in the drop-down menu. Now all your hidden folders are visible again.

Unhiding folders

To unhide an individual hidden folder, first make sure “Show hidden folders” is checked. Now hover your mouse over the folder you’d like to unhide, then hover over the icon that appears on the right and click “Unhide”.

Ignoring folders by name

In Connecter it’s so easy to filter out by name folders you don’t really need (e.g. “Temp”, “Work”, “WIP”).

To ignore folders by their name, go to the Folders panel drop-down, type the folder’s name you want to filter out and click the + button. A new folder will appear in the drop-down with the folder’s name you’ve just filtered.

All folders with that name will no longer be visible in your folders list.

To clear an existing ignore filter, go to the Folders panel drop-down, hover over a folder’s name in the “Ignore folders” list and click the x icon that appears.

Working With Folders | The materials folder

If you choose to install the Connecter plug-in for Autodesk 3ds Max/Design, a folder named “Materials” will appear in the Folders panel.

All materials exported from 3ds Max/Design via Connecter plug-in will appear in this folder.

By default, materials folder is located in: C:\Users\username\Documents\Design Connected\Connecter\Materials

You can change the path to the materials folder from Settings > Preferences

Working With Assets | Files types and formats

File formats

For ease of use, by default, Connecter is showing you only the most common 3d industry’s file formats.

You can find and manage a list of all default file formats organized by type (3d files, Materials, Images and Others) in Settings > File types.

You can also add any other file format you’d like Connecter to display by adding its extension and pressing the + button in Settings > File types > Others.

File types

You can quick filter what file types (e.g. 3d files, Materials, Images) are displayed in Connecter by using the Files drop-down. Check or uncheck the options you need and press “Apply”.

Working With Assets | Hide and remove

Hiding files

Another way to make files you don’t need disappear is to hover your mouse over a file and select “Hide” from the file context menu that appears.

By default the files you hide are not visible. To see your hidden files, go to Files drop-down, check “Hidden files” and press “Apply”.

To unhide a hidden file, first make sure “Hidden files” option in Files drop-down is checked, then hover your mouse over a hidden file and click “Unhide” option from the file context menu.

Removing files

Sometimes you just need to clean up unnecessary files from your folders (e.g. old files, wip files).

In Connecter you can remove such files and keep only the files you actually work with.

Working With Assets | Showing files in subfolders

For a faster and more efficient way of browsing files, Connecter has the convenient feature of showing you all files contained in a folder and all its subfolders. That’s pretty helpful when you’re looking for a file but don’t know in which particular folder it is located.

To use this feature, hover your mouse over a folder, then hover over the context menu icon next to the folder’s name and click “Files in subfolders”. This will list all files in the selected folder and all its subfolders.

 

Working With Assets | Custom file previews

In Connecter you can add your custom image preview to a file.

Have an awesome render of that 3d model? Just drag and drop it over the file in Connecter. Now it’s much easier to spot the file you’re looking for without needing to open it.

To make things even more versatile, Connecter lets you add multiple images to a file to create a preview gallery.

You can now add previews for all different variants or materials for a 3d model contained within a single 3d file or see references of how you’ve used it in different projects.

Another way to add more images is by clicking  “Add pictures” in the gallery lightbox.

Working With Assets | Missing files

Connecter will show you a file as missing if you’ve added a custom preview(s) to that file or you’ve linked it with a product and:

  • You’ve renamed the file.

  • You’ve deleted the file.

  • You’ve moved the file to a different folder.

  • You’ve deleted or moved the folder in which the file was located.

To add a missing file back you’ll need to restore its original name and location.

By default, missing files are hidden. You can show missing files if you go to the Files drop-down menu and check “Missing files” option.

Assets Previews | Assets previews

No preview

Not every asset needs a preview.

Viewport previews

For fast and quick previews just use this option.

Current render settings

Use this option to render previews using the currently opened scene render settings.

Render preset

You can add one or more render presets to use to render your previews.

Render studio

Add one or more render studio files to get the best previews for your assets

Existing preview

You can add one or more existing previews if you already have some.

Assets Previews | Preview gallery

You can add as many previews as you want to a single asset to form a Preview gallery. For example, some files are consisted of multiple assets (e.g. variations, different modules, different levels of detail, etc.) and you might want to have a preview for each of them.

Assets Previews | Advanced settings

From advance settings rollout you can choose where and how the previews are saved. By default Connecter will just add all previews to you current workspace database so you won’t need to worry about accidentally deleted preview files. However, you can choose to save previews in another location: along with the 3d asset itself or in a custom folder.

Design Connected | Linking your Design Connected account

To link your designconnected.com account and display your products in Connecter, click on the connection indication in your Products panel, click “Sign in” from the drop-down menu that appears and then type your member’s name and password.

All products you’ve purchased as well as all the free products you’ve downloaded on designconnected.com will appear in the Products panel shortly.

If you don’t have a designconnected.com account yet, you can create one by clicking on “Don’t have an account?” from the accounts dropdown, or simply click here.

Design Connected | Working with Design Connected Products

Product files.

A complete list of files that come with each particular Design Connected product is located in the Files tab within the product’s pop-up. To show it, hover your mouse over a product, then hover over the icon that appears in the top-left corner and click “Files”.

The list indicates which product’s files are found on your system and which are not.

Matching files to a product.

Once you’ve logged in to your Design Connected account, Connecter will automatically scan the folders you’ve added for files that appear to be part of your Design Connected products (e.g. 3d files, textures, different file formats). All such files will then be highlighted in the Files lists of your products.

Now all your Design Connected files are conveniently matched with the corresponding products and are just one-click away. Simply search or browse for a product in Products panel and then just click it – all matched files are here!

To match files located in a folder you don’t want to add to Connecter, go to the Files tab in product’s pop-up and click on the “Match more files” button, then select a folder and let Connecter match the files.

Adding custom files to a product.

If you appear to have changed or updated a genuine Design Connected file or you’d like to link other files (e.g. more textures, references, file versions or other formats) to a particular product, just click the product and then click “Add files” button from the Files container.

If you want to remove a custom-added file, hover your mouse over the file, then hover the icon that appears in the top-left corner and click “Remove”.

Managing Workspaces | What’s a Workspace?

The “Workspace” is where Connecter keeps a bunch of information, like:

  • All custom previews of your assets.
  • All root folders you add to Connecter
  • Starred, hidden and removed files or folders
  • All kinds of cached data like files thumbnails, indexed files and folders, etc.
  • Your individual settings like Connecter UI layout and size, supported file types and other preferences.

When you start Connecter for the first time you’ll need to create your workspace. You can choose to create a Personal or Team workspace.

To see where your current workspace is located and its status go to Edit > Workspaces

Managing Workspaces | General guide

When you start Connecter for the first time you’ll need to create your workspace. You can choose to create a Personal or Team workspace.

If you have an existing workspace left from a previous installation of Connecter, you can activate it by clicking the “Browse” button an selecting its location.

Once the workspace has been successfully created (or activated) and Connecter launches, you can access and manage your workspaces from Edit menu > Workspaces:

Managing Workspaces | Missing workspace

If for any reason Connecter is not able to load its workspace it won’t start. Instead, you’ll get this interface with an information about the missing workspace plus options to create a new or activate an existing workspace.

Your workspace could be missing due to the following reasons:

  • The folder where the workspace is located is missing or Connecter is not able to access it
  • Some workspace files or/and folders has been deleted or removed and Connecter in no longer able to initialize the workspace

Managing Workspaces | Team workspace

Team workspace allows multiple users within a team to collaborate by using a single shared workspace. All changes made by one user will be synchronized in real time with the rest of the team members.

When you create a new Team workspace you will need to select a network or a shared folder so that all other team members are able to connect to the workspace. If you choose a local and not shared folder Connecter will not create the workspace.

When you create a new Team workspace you’ll need to assign a password which will be used to manage the workspace. You’ll also need to type in a name (alias) you’ll use to connect to the workspace with.

Though both username and password are grouped in a single interface, they are not related with each other. The username is the name which each Connecter (installed on different PCs) will use to connect to the shared workspace. So if you’re a team of four, there will be four Connecter instances each having its unique name for accessing the Team workspace.

In order to manage team users and their access rights within the shared Team workspace, you’ll just need this password and a Connecter which is connected to the workspace. This means that you can set up a Team workspace from one instance of Connecter and then manage it from every other Connecter.

To manage a Team workspace go to Edit menu > Workspaces and then click Manage button and then type in the password used to create the workspace.

In the “Manage team members” interface you will see all members who have successfully connected to the shared Team workspace. You can grant a selected member full permissions (read, write and edit) or just a read access. A member with read-only access will not be able to make any changes in the workspace (add custom previews, categories, remove or add folders, etc.) but will still be able to personalize by using options like: starring and hiding of files and folders, filtering folders, change Connecter settings and others.

Managing Workspaces | Personal or a Team workspace?

Personal workspace is designed for individual 3d artists while Team workspace lets teams collaborate within a single shared workspace and have all data synchronized between all members of the team. So:

  • If you’re a freelance artist or a one-man studio you most probably need a simple Personal workspace environment.
  • If you’re a team and need to share a single workspace among multiple computers/users then you’ll need to set up a Team workspace.

Managing Workspaces | Shared workspaces visual guide

We’ve illustrated the most typical use cases of using Connecter on multiple machines or in a Teamwork environment.

The most simple setup is to have all your assets plus Connecter’s workspace on an external drive. It’s important to have the external drive under the same name (e.g. D:\, E:\, etc.) across all your computers (desktop PC and laptop for example) so that all paths to folders and assets in Connecter stay intact. If for examples on your laptop the assets are in D:\assets\ but when you attach the external drive to your other computer it’s E:\assets\, Connecter will show all added folders as missing. In this case you can use the relocate option (right click on a missing folder) to show Connecter the new folder’s location.

Another option is to store all assets and workspace on a shared local network device (network drive, NAS, File server, etc.).

Another good option to share assets and workspace across multiple computers is to use Dropbox (or Drive or other similar service). It’s important that if you use Dropbox you must not use Connecter simultaneously on multiple computer as there’s a big risk to damage your workspace when Dropbox synchronizes the changes.

If multiple users will use Connecter simultaneously in a shared team environment you must create Team workspace and share it on a local network device (network drive, NAS, File server, etc.). The assets can be shared on the same(or other) location or via Dropbox (or Drive or other similar service).

 

If one or more team members are not part of the same local network they will need to access the shared Team workspace via VPN connection.

· ·