Tutorial: Content Wizard by RiverSoft Art

This tutorial will show you how to use the Content Wizard script from RiverSoft Art to install content you’ve purchased from Renderosity and install it into Studio along with the Smart Content metadata.

This tutorial is designed for intermediate DAZ Studio users. It involves concepts such as manually un-zip’ing content into temporary folders, fixing any path issues that may exist, and then re-zip’ing the content back up in preparation so Content Wizard can then process it.

This tutorial does not cover separate Content Libraries and assumes all of your content is in one (main) Content Library for DAZ Studio.

Introduction

Content Wizard is a script produced by RiverSoft Art and sold on the DAZ3D Marketplace for DAZ Studio. Content Creators and PA’s can use the script to distribute their products outside the DAZ3D Marketplace and ensure their products include the necessary Smart Content metadata to make your customers’ user experience a positive one.

Customers can use the script to install content that has been purchased or downloaded from outside DAZ3D and install it with the necessary Smart Content metadata.

By creating and installing Smart Content metadata you ensure the content you have created or are installing can be found easily, and will show up in the Smart Content tab when an appropriate figure is selected in your scene.

Content Wizard does this by reading the JSON formatted DAZ Studio files that form the assets for the content you wish to install. The individual references to objects, textures, shaders, morphs, and other assets are analyzed and through a series of heuristics, educated guesses are made about the nature of the asset in the collection, and what figure the asset is compatible with.

This process is mostly automatic, but is not 100% accurate. Therefore, it is critically important that you verify the guesses that the script has made, and make any adjustments if necessary.

It has been my experience that the script is about 75% accurate. Accurate enough to save me a lot of time, but not high enough where I can just set it and forget it. If you get tired and lazy, this script will easily install bad metadata for a product.

The good news is this script will not permanently damage or screw up your DAZ Studio Content Manager Database. Simply uninstalling or removing a bad product is enough to “back out” any intentional or unintentional screw ups. Either by you, or the script. :slight_smile:

Using/ Launching Content Wizard

You can start the Content Wizard by using your Content Library tab and navigating to: DAZ Studio Formats 👉 My DAZ 3D Library 👉 Scripts 👉 RiverSoft Art 👉 Content Wizard

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Double-click the Content Wizard icon to launch it.

When you do, a new window will appear on your DAZ Studio Viewport:

Content Wizard Quick Start

Here are the Quick Start instructions that appear at the top of the Content Wizard window every time you launch it:

To use:

  • Click the PLUS (+) button to import all the zip files of the product you want to install or create Smart Content for.
  • Fill in the Product Name, Vendor Name, Store Name, and Product ID (if known). Note that it is very important to set the Product Name first as it is used in creating Smart Content metadata. Also, change the Product Icon . This should be a 380x494 image or smaller.
  • If you want to install the product content to multiple output directories, set Installation Directories in the Options page. Note that the script is not responsible for configuring Daz to use these extra directories. You must do that through the Daz Studio Content Manager
  • Click Analyze to make the script unpack all the zip files, scan through them, find the user facing assets, and assign initial metadata to them. You should use the Table View to verify and change the metadata. From the Smart Content and Content Library*, you can view what the assetswill look like in Daz Studio, as well as change their categories and compatibility targets (i.e., a material is compatible with a clothing wearable.*
  • Click Install Content to install all the zip files into Daz Studio’s Content Library.
  • Click Install Smart Content to install the product into Daz Studio’s Smart Content. It is very important to do this only when you are happy with the options in the Table View*. The script will change the Smart Content as often as you like (and it will work). However, Daz Studio will keep around some older data unless you delete the product and reinstall the Smart Content.*
  • Use Load/Save Configuration File to save the entire configuration of the product with its metadata to work on later or share with others
  • Use Export Zip Files & Self-Installer to create standardized zip files and a Self-Installer Script. This script can be executed in Daz Studio to automatically install the zip files in Daz Studio, including with their Smart Content metadata.

Gathering your Information

By this time I’m assuming you already have the product that you want to install with Content Wizard.

For my example, I’m going to use the DZ G8M FaZhion Set 13 by dzheng, available on Renderosity:

Renderosity does a pretty good job with QA with their products and ZIP’s so there’s a relatively low probability that there’s going to be misspelled folder names in the ZIPs but I’m not too fond of some of the directories that Renderosity stuffs some things in, so I’m going to tweak the folder structure just a little bit for my personal preferences only.

But one thing Renderosity does not do is distribute any products with DAZ Studio metadata, and now that they own Poser they probably are less inclined to do this going forward.

Before we can begin, we need some information that the Content Wizard script is going to prompt us for:

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We will need to gather the following:

  1. The product image (“ Product Icon ”). This will become the thumbnail for the product that will be installed into your Smart Content.

  2. The Product Name: DZ G8M FaZhion Set 13

  3. The Vendor Name: dzheng

  4. The Store Name: Renderosity

  5. The Product ID (“ SKU ”): 143901 (as visible here in my web browser’s URL bar for this product:) image-20200809122732554

  6. The Intended Audience: I’ll switch this to Adults if I’m installing anything from Renderotica , or otherwise leave it at Teens .

  7. The Input Files: These are the actual product files from the content you purchased or downloaded: image-20200809123143281

Preparing the Product Image

You definitely want to change the product image/ product icon for the content you are installing. If you don’t, then everything will have a default product icon which basically looks just like the Content Wizard product icon and will make finding your products in your libary very difficult.

As mentioned in the Quick Start above, the image must be 380x494 (or smaller). Larger images will be reduced, but smaller images will not be enlarged. If you don’t match the 380x494 aspect ratio then your image will appear distorted.

For my purposes I’m using the product page’s main image:

But I’m going to spend 2 minutes to crop and resize the image in Gimp so it looks a little better in my Smart Content.

I started by right-clicking on the product image on Renderosity and simply chose to save the image to my disk. Here was the filename (from Chrome): c:\temp\Full143901_1b58ce57cb5203e3075f9272d09e33ea.jpg

And that’s the image and path I’ll be loading into Gimp!

I start by taking the original 1600x1600 image and resize it to 494x494:

Remember, we ultimate need an image of 380x494. So, 494x494 leaves us with plenty of room to now crop the image to 380x494 when we’re finished!

And as you can see above, that’s exactly what I’ve done. By setting the canvas size to 380x494 I can simply slide the image within the new canvas boundaries so it looks good!

And I’ve now got an image that has been adequately resized and which has the right proportions!

Now all that’s left is for me save this back out as a JPG and I’ll be ready to load it into the Content Wizard script.

And now the image looks much better! (I’ve called it “product icon.jpg”):

image-20200809125641397

Preparing the ZIPs

Truth be told, this step isn’t always necessary. Content Wizard will tell you that it will happily deal with multiple ZIPs for you. But here’s something that RiverSoft Art doesn’t tell you:

If there are any problems with the ZIPs you are planning to install, then those problems will happily be transferred to your hard drive.

I know some Studio users are so OCD they refuse to even use DIM to install anything preferring to manually put the content where they want it and to be clear, this is one of the best things about DAZ Studio (and one of its worst things too).

The fact that DAZ Studio is so customizable in this regard means that it can be quite daunting to new users. It also means that those who have such a rigid workflow are going to increasingly have more problems with the content the purchase and download. The fact of the matter is, metadata is king ! (It’s one of the reasons why I can’t use Poser any more. I don’t have 15-20 minutes to scour through my library trying to find a pose or asset that works with a specific figure.)

So to give me peace of mind, and to make sure I’m not introducing any misspelled folders and paths into My DAZ 3D Content Library, I prefer to unzip everything first , inspect everything , and make whatever changes I might need to make before I give that new ZIP to Content Wizard.

I use 7-Zip on Windows. If you’re on Mac The Unarchiver works very similar and I can highly recommend both applications. Both are free, and both are open-source.

Since I have 7-Zip installed, all I need to do is right-click on the ZIPs:

And I’ll unzip all three files (2 product ZIPs, 1 Template ZIP) into a temporary work directory called D:\work\ . Say what you will about Windows 10 still using drive letters after 30 some-odd years, but I still like them.

For the most part, things look pretty good.

The Templates got unzip’d into the root folder. I prefer to have all my Templates under General so I’m going to create a new General folder and move those two JPGs in there, and then I’ll just make sure there aren’t any gotchas or surprises throughout the rest of the folder hierarchy.

And after having made that one change, and having inspected the rest of the folders in the ZIP, I’m happy now that everything is in order and I’d be happy to install this into My DAZ 3D Library .

And truth be told, I can do so right now. Since Windows Explorer merges files and folders by default, there is absolutely nothing stopping me from selecting those 5 folders under D:\work\ , copying them, and then pasting them into My DAZ 3D Library. But that kind of defeats the purpose if my whole reason for doing all this is to get some sweet, sweet metadata as well. :slight_smile:

So instead, I’m going to take those 5 folders: data , Documentation , General , People , and Runtime and zip them together into a new ZIP called work.zip .

Preparing Content Wizard

Now that we have the necessary information we need, we have our Product Icon, and we have a ZIP of the products we want to install with everything where we want them to be, we can move over to Content Wizard and start setting things up!

And this is how everything is supposed to look when you’re done:

Analyze

At this point I just go ahead and click on Analyze which will unzip the ZIP I created a few moments ago and will analyze all the files looking for relationships.

After clicking on Analyze, in a few moments a new tab will open in Content Wizard and you will see all the items that are in the product:

Table View

This is the main metadata window. This is where you can set what genesis figure an item is compatible with, and if an asset is a modifier for other products in your library.

Pay close attention to the Compatibilities column. I’d say this is the most important column in this entire script:

Take the first 2 rows shown as an example. The first row is a texture/ shader modifier for the clothing (shirt). It’s kinda hard to make out but you can see that the “compatibility” for the first row is set to “DZ G8M FaZhion Set 13”.

The second row shown is the pants, and the “compatibility” for the pants is set to “Genesis 8 Male”.

Content Wizard usually does a pretty good job guessing which assets are compatible with a given product or figure but this is where you need to pay close attention. Do yourself a favor and go through each line item here!

I went through all 20 rows in this tab and didn’t notice anything that needed to be changed.

Smart Content

The Smart Content tab will give you a preview of how the product will look and be referenced in your Smart Content pane when you install it.

Content Library

The Content Library tab will give you a preview of how your product will look in the Content Library pane of Studio:

Install Content

At this point click on the Install Content button in the lower right corner of the window. This will copy the files to your My DAZ 3D Library (or whatever you’ve called it on your system).

If everything was successful you will see the log file and a notice telling you:

Note, if any files might be overwritten you will be told and given the opportunity to skip or overwrite the files.

As a general rule I overwrite any file in My DAZ 3D Library because products get updated sometimes or I’m installing another copy of the Renderosity license. :slight_smile:

Install Smart Content

Now at this point dismiss any dialog boxes that may be open and go ahead and click on Install Smart Content . This will add the metadata to your Content Manager Database!

Just like before if things went okay you will be told so!

Save the ZIP and Self Installer in case you ever need to reinstall the content again!

Click on the 3rd button down there in the bottom called Export Zip File(s) & Self-Installer. This will make you a brand new ZIP that has everything self-contained, and a custom DSA script that you can use at any time in the future if you ever need to reinstall the product that we just got done installing (new computer, etc.):

(Note you will be prompted to choose a path and file name where you want to save your ZIP. The filename above is my personal naming scheme and choice, and was manually chosen by me.)

But now if I ever need to reinstall the product all I really need to do is open the DSA script in that folder. DAZ studio will unzip the zip for me, install the assets where they need to be, and insert the necessary metadata for me into my Smart Content!

Why did we just do all of that?

So now your product is now in your Smart Content!

image-20200809140524257

At the end of the day, this is why we just did all that. To install that icon called “DZ G8M FaZhion Set 13” into our Smart Content!

So that when I load G8M into a scene, I can do this:

And end up with this:

2 Likes

Great tutorial, I use Content Wizard all the time for installing 3rd party content.

I find that RiverSoft Art produces some of the best scripts in the Daz Store & he is always willing to help those that need it (which is a rare thing now-a-days)

1 Like

Thanks! Agreed. RSA is hands down one of the best DAZ3D vendors! Them and Sickel Yield.

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Oh, thanks for this. I got this and well, nothing I tried worked. I contacted Riversoft and got really arsey, snippy replies back from him and his fans. I got a refund. But the idea of it sounded really useful. I’m going to read through this later when I’ve got time. Thanks.

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Wouldn’t it be great if PA’s bothered to write instructions like this? Mind you, this is so complicated, it’s not light reading. I’ve got Rendoinstall II for mac. It installs loads of products in seconds as long as they’ve got a Runtime folder, it’s seriously easy to use, tell it where the zips are, tell it where to unzip them while it works, where your Library is, and Run. That’s it and it was free. I will try to figure this out though since I use Smart Content a lot and make a lot of my own stuff. If I can figure it out so I know I can use it I’ll buy it again.

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Thanks for the kind words! I hope you find it helpful. I know it took me a few weeks of trial and error when I first got Content Wizard to get it working right and I’ve seen enough questions about this posted on Facebook or the DAZ forums that I thought it might be worth writing something up.

Thinking about writing some other tutorials but not sure what anybody would want to see or if there’d be any interest.

1 Like

That’s a whole thread there. :slight_smile:

@oscar what problem did you have with it?

Well, it just didn’t work. I couldn’t find intelligible instructions and I just thought, after asking in the forum and not getting a reply from someone that gave a stuff, that my life is too short so, I’d get a refund.

@oscar Thats a shame as its really useful, If you do decide to give it another try then let me know what problems you encounter & I will see if I can help as I have come across a couple of problems but managed to figure out what was wrong.

I know there is a couple of bugs/problems when it come to having ampersands in the filename/folder name which RiverSoftArt has been trying to fix but haven’t had much luck so far.

Thanks. I was really busy with other things at the time and well, you don’t want to have something that requires so much effort, when it’s something that’s supposed to save effort. A good designer once said when asked what made something a bad design, the reply was, ‘If you need to put instructions on a door, that’s bad design.’

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