Better way to setup networked directories?

Searching found a ton of directory questions, none clear this up for me.
I work on a network setup. So all files, materials, models, blocks, etc all exist (or should) within that network structure. But there doesn’t seem to be anywhere to define that system. It seems ‘typical’ that when you go to open a file, you want it to go to the base model folder and drill down from there… when you look for a material it should go to the material base and the user goes from there to find peace and happiness. I’m aware of the additional search path. That helps when links have all gone afowl but doesn’t really do much when everytime I try to add a material I’ve created, I have to move from the mind-boggling deep directory structure under my windows id “%user%\AppData\Roaming\McNeel\Rhinoceros\5.0\Localization\en-US\Render Content” (where I don’t want to keep growing a list of materials I can’t get to when I use another pc) but in EVERY case I use a directory structure and try to stick to a stock library I"ve created of materials in a different location. The only way to go there is to navigate every single time… add a material from the shared location and even if I immediately try to add another and it again goes to the %user%'AppData… location that was wrong last time too! Seems like I must be missing some basic configuration settings.
Is there really no way to define where to default for retrieve and save activities?? Is there some other best practices to keeping materials together and shared without many extra steps to explicitly move/copy them?

Hi Bieksquid - you can add favorites to the Libraries panel under the panel’s ‘tool’ (wrench) menu and Settings… Does that help at all? You can set these in the Libraries page in Options as well.


@pascal - Not really seeing any benefit to that. Did that and changed to that ‘favorite’ and still when I try to add a material it goes to the drill down under %username%…

I did find under tools>LIbraries a place to set what “seems” like the default place to go… but it doesn’t seem to do anything. I’ve set “show render content” to custom and put in the path, and below unchecked show 'documents folder and checked show custom folder and put in the path to my default libraries… Doesn’t seem to change any behavior that I can see.

My hope would be that setting the default library path would make it so that when I add a material by going to the materials tab and hitting the “+” it would snap to that library location rather than always going to the %user%… very long drill down path. Favorites doesn’t show up in that process so don’t see how it reduces many many directory moves as I do a lot of materials…

I’m frustrated! I need a cookie.

Hi Bieksquid - I don’t know if it solves all the problems but if you add favorites, you can pick one of them from that wrench menu and go there directly, is the idea.
A couple I just added-


No, you need a LinkShellExtension. :sunglasses:

Install >> pick a target folder (even on a network), >> Go to “Preformatted text%user%'AppData…” and “Drop Link” and you’re done.

This will create a - not a “short cut”, but a “symbolik link” which behaves just like it was a “native” folder (you can delete the link without removing the target folder though).

I’ve been using LinkShellExtension for many years. With it I can trick even Adobe LightRoom to think that it works on local harddisk when i reality it’s not. Even my VM machines thinks it has access to the Host’s Material and Environment files, and… well,. they have that access! (Only one set of materials, that is) :slight_smile:

And so on. Download from here (far down the page, serach for “download”):


@RIL Thank you.! I owe you a… maybe as much as a pie for that! :wink:
in the end it works great.

I can see getting lost, and feeling a little “loco” in there thinking I’m “local” when I’m remote as the entire directory structure is faked from the local ‘relative’ root (i.e. %user%\AppData).

But still short of a ‘preferences section’ in rhino to configure that stuff, it’ll work

@pascal - I don’t know who this should be directed to, but maybe a feature request for v6? I think there should be a ‘typical’ preferences section where things can be defined, I use a lot of shared models, blocks, materials, templates, etc. rather than the additional search path with feels like a ‘patch’ solution, to be able to define root path for things. ie. Model root - , Block root - , Materials root -, color pallet root - etc. For me all those have a common root, but I have seen offices where there are good reasons they are in different locations…

For others that may be interested in this work-around, which does work well, here’s what I did:
I’ve got a ‘source’ - where Rhino keeps looking for library content and ‘target’ where I want it to go.

For the sake of clarity, let’s say
Source is: %user%\a\b\Render Content
Target is: //server/share/a/b/Rhino Library

Open two explorer windows, one to the level ABOVE the source and one to the level above the target:

Select the target (Rhino Library) with the right mouse button
Drag it to the other explorer window and release button.
Pop up tools shows a >drop here>junction - pick that.
It should drop a “wormhole” there with the name Rhino Library.
drill down the ‘wormhole’ to make sure it’s right.
If so rename the Render Content to Render Content_old and rename the Rhino Library “wormhole” to Render Content.

Right Click on the new ‘folder’ and select properties, customize, change icon and pick one that reminds you when you’re having a ‘brain flatulence’ that it’s a link not a ‘real’ place.

Test in rhino and you should be able to add a new material and it’ll default to your library location.

the path will look just like your local drive, so as I said you can get confused. The clue will be the directory path with be “relative”. By that I mean the path of the fake tree will end at AppData. If you back up the tree your back on your local machine, not the network drive so should be relatively straight forward.

Yess, yess, several pies, many pies, perhaps even two!? :slight_smile:

Glad you found it useful. It is very powerful and often the only solution.

May I suggest that you change the Icon for those symlink folders to indicate that they are, well symlinks or junctions?

// Rolf

Well, I’m sorry to say our cherry’s are already gone as ‘bird food’, but the pear, apple, plumb, etc are coming along nicely, so that could happen… now, how to email a pie?:yum:

Great suggestion, I’ve edited the how-to above accordingly.

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Squeeze it. Then roll it. When it fits inside the cable, try email. Wireless won’t work, I’m afraid.

// Rolf