Gergely Wootsch

GWBrowser: A custom asset-browser

Trade document for GWBrowser

GWBrowser is a file and asset browser designed to make navigating projects little less cumbersome.

You can think about GWBrowser as a project-focused addittion to the file-manger. It was designed to help you find files as easy as possible using descriptions, filters and flags.

Bookmarks, Assets & Files

GWBrowser separates projects into three distinct parts: bookmarks, assets, and files.
Bookmarks are containers for assets and assets are containers for files. Simple enough! It is worth noting bookmarks and assets are just regular folders but we can annotate them with thumbnails, descriptions and task-lists.

Add a bookmar to get started…

Add a bookmar to get started…

Use filters to find files relevant to you

By design, GWBrowser will find and list all files from all sub-folders. Depending on the task-folder, the resulting list can look intimidating. For instance, the scenes folder had more than 100.000+ files in one recent job!

Filters can help you find files relevant to you but you will have to set them up manually. You can solo items by saving them as favourites, archive obsolete items, and use thumbnails and viewport captures to visually describe them.

Filter examples

gwbrowser_filters01.gif

Search filters are important. Use them to find items by description, tags, task folder or file extensions. Enter it by pressing ALT+F or clicking the small magnifying glass icon above the list. Press ENTER to apply it.

Given the scenes folder setting FX HIP you will get all Houdini projects in the FX task folder.

Setting FX BUILDING_A HIP will find Houdini projects in the FX/BUILDING_A subtask folder.

Setting FX BUILDING_A HIP --backup, notice the “--” preceding backup, will find the same Houdini projects except backup files.

You can also use a filter to compare render versions. Setting RENDER HELMET 0001 EXR will let you see all “EXR” sequence files of frame 0001 found in the render/helmet subtask folder.

DO & DO NOT

Do add thumbnails and descriptions. They’re important for making it easy for your team-members to understand what your project, render or cache files are about.

gwbrowser_description.gif

Do add thumbnails and descriptions. They’re important for making it easy for your team-members to understand what your project, render or cache files are about.

DO NOT nest important files into too many subfolders. GWBrowser prefers to keep things shallow, eg. anything deeper than 3-4 subfolders will become difficult to read.

DO name you files and subfolders clearly. Folder names should be clear and short. Eg. FX/HELMET is an easy to understand name. On the other hand, FX/TEST_WIPS/HOUDINI02/HELMETSIMULATION is ambiguous and difficult to read. Keep things simple and short, and above all, be descriptive!

Shortcuts

Ctrl+N Adds a new item (eg a Bookmark or a File)
Ctrl+R Refreshes the current list
Ctrl+M Toggles the automatic creation of thumbnails
Ctrl+T Shows the Notes and Task editor
Ctrl+F Shows the Filter editor
Ctrl+G Groups / ungroups sequences

Ctrl+Shift+A Toggles archived items
Ctrl+Shift+F Toggles favourites favourites
Ctrl+Shift+S Opens Slack in the web-browser

Ctrl+1 Shows the Bookmarks tab
Ctrl+2 Shows the Assets tab
Ctrl+3 Shows the Files tab (double-press to reveal the task-picker)

Ctrl+C Copies the current item’s path to the keyboard
Ctrl+S Reveals the current item in the Explorer/Finder.
Tab / Shift+Tab Open the description editor for the next/previous item
Ctrl+A Archives the selected item
Ctrl+B Saves the selected item as a favourite

gwbrowser_draganddrop.gif

Drag and drop is also implemented. For sequences we can decide to drag and drop the beginning, end or all the sequence elements:

Drag Grabbing a sequence will grab the last element of the sequence
Alt+Drag Grabs the first element of the sequence
Shift+Drag Grabs all the elements of the sequence
Alt+Shift+Drag Grabs the parent folder of the sequence and all files inside it.