File Archive Work - COMMUNITY INPUT APPRECIATED

Chernobyl

Sr Member
I've recently spoken to a few of our more high-profile content creators, and also to Asgardianhammer, who's in charge of our Division Identity Guidelines. regarding the File Archive and the content within it.

I've been toying with the idea of combing through the Archive and removing less-accurate files. This doesn't mean that I'll be single-handedly going through the Archive and purging any files that don't meet a highly-scrupulous and unreasonable quality expectation - I value the contributions of every modeller that's made the effort to produce content for the community. Nor does it mean that only files produced from game resources will be maintained in the Archive - custom-made content can sometimes exceed the quality of our raw game assets. With that said, now that our Deployment process is active and running, it's worth looking at our resources with a critical eye and ensuring that our resources are of the highest quality we can provide.

Put simply, my logic for this project is as following: higher-quality files result in higher-quality costumes. Again, this doesn't mean I'm going to be combing the Archive and removing all files that don't meat an unreasonably high expectation. Nor does it mean that the files we offer will gradually become more and more complex and difficult for our newer members to use - I still want to try and keep our resources accessible to members of all skill levels. However, in the interests of making sure that our available content ensures our builders are working with only the finest-quality materials, it means (again) looking at files with a critical eye and saying 'this file isn't especially game-accurate'. It's worth considering files to be 'community-approved', such as certain foam files or even RobotChicken's Mk VI remodelling project - certain files that are used so often by the community that they've become a staple standard for a certain costume type.

Looking further down the line: I'm hoping that the forum upgrades Art Andrews and FANGS have been mentioning recently will bring with them a revamped Archive system, that will give me a broader set of permissions to better enable me to filter and sort the content our community produces. One of those tools will (hopefully) be the ability to remove Archive categories - my plan in this instance is to move away from files sorted by title (Halo: CE, Halo 2, Halo 3, etc) and instead into faction and generation (Covenant/UNSC/Forerunner, Mk IV/V/VI/G2). This should (hopefully!) begin to remove some of the issues the community has been having with locating files, by making the files more easy to locate. For example:

Current: Archive > Halo Universe > Halo 4 > named armour set
Proposed: Archive > UNSC > Mk IV/V/VI/G2 > named armour set

This would have the added benefit of consolidating the Halo 4 and Halo 5 armours into one location - currently, several people have found confusion in why I haven't added returning Halo 4 armour categories, such as Scout and Recon, to Halo 5.

I'd also like to move away from separate 'OBJ Archive' categories, and instead include the raw assets for a certain set in with the rest of the files relevant to that set. For example:

Archive > Halo Universe > G2 > Mk VI (Multiplayer) > (Mk VI (Multiplayer) OBJ Files Pack) / Helmet Unfold File / Torso Unfold File / Forearms Unfold File)

This should reduce the number of 'I can't find Asset XYZ! Where are they?!' requests - modellers and unfolders looking for raw files to work on would be able to simply look up that set to find the files they need, rather than hunting down the files in a different category.

Please let me know what you think, and provide input for anything I can do to streamline the Archive and provide the best content for our users. Again: the higher-quality our content is, and the more accessible it's made for our newer users, the more we'll see some excellent-quality costumes going up.
 
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peterthethinker

Well-Known Member
a idea I had a while ago was to add info in to the poly count as a Q factor
EG lets say H4 magnum is 400 Poly's as a game OBJ. Yet We as a fourm managed to make a up converted version that was 600 polys Its a 1.5 X Q factor.

its easy to quantfy and the end user can with in reason deduce that more poly's = more data. better files.

as for file trees. I wold love a area I can upload the armor STLs I made for My noble from Halo5.
I ask my self " how can I contribute to the people who want HQ assets for printing or unfolding for pep ect " My mantra is to never * ever * hog what I work on .

same with props , there is no prop assets from 5 and so We the modelng commuity might wanna have a file tree to help others use the files we make.

My datapad is one I want to share but it has no home.
same with my elite,

for how big the file archive is. I hope We * never * trash old files. its not like they are 600 MB a file . most of the LQ stuff is kb to a meg.

If there IS a set of files that are not up to snuuff to be on the main archive then perhaps a Zip file of the lesser files is a way to have access to it for the few who want them.


Peter.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
I've spoken to a few file contributors, and I feel that I should clarify here: the aim isn't to purge files below a certain poly count. We have Halo: CE files that only have perhaps a few hundred polys - I'm not aiming to purge those simply because they're 'low-definition'. The aim is, instead, to try and look critically at the content we have in our Archive and say 'these aren't very accurate to the source material, and we have better files available - let's try and keep the relevant material here and clear the stuff that isn't'.

I will be looking, down the line, for providing an area where 3D print resources can be kept, however.
 

CommanderPalmer

Well-Known Member
Current: Archive > Halo Universe > Halo 4 > named armour set
Proposed: Archive > UNSC > Mk IV/V/VI/G2 > named armour set

Archive > Halo Universe > G2 > Mk VI (Multiplayer) > (Mk VI (Multiplayer) OBJ Files Pack) / Helmet Unfold File / Torso Unfold File / Forearms Unfold File)

TOTALLY agree with that.
It will be less confusing for these people - to me it was obvious that the armor in Halo 4 won't be copied and pasted into Halo 5 since it's still the same armor.

Also, it's a really good idea for the unfolds .obj files as well.


Great work there, Chernobyl!
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
Great work there, Chernobyl!
Thanks for the input. Having the Gen-2 files in particular split between categories bothers me a fair bit, but this process should also make it a lot easier for me to sort weapons out. For example:

File Archive > UNSC > Weapons > Assault Rifles / Pistols / Rifles / Support Weapons

Though, if you have better ideas on how to help me break that down, feel free to mention!
 

CommanderPalmer

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the input. Having the Gen-2 files in particular split between categories bothers me a fair bit, but this process should also make it a lot easier for me to sort weapons out. For example:

File Archive > UNSC > Weapons > Assault Rifles / Pistols / Rifles / Support Weapons

Though, if you have better ideas on how to help me break that down, feel free to mention!
I think such categories for the weapons would be cool as well. Everything sorted out.
Just then for every weapon we'd have multiple categories - because there are multiple variants of BRs, ARs, Magnums, etc.
But, it would be all in one place, easy to search and find.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
Just then for every weapon we'd have multiple categories
Not as such, no. Currently we're operating at 330+ individual, unique categories, which is quite a load for me to manage - especially when a lot of these categories are either duplicates (weapon categories spread across each individual game) or redundant (such as OBJ Archive categories rather than including the OBJ files as a pack in that set's own category). The idea here is to try and reduce the number of categories - and in particular, how many 'steps' a user has to take in order to find a certain file. For instance:

Instead of: File Archive > UNSC > Weapons > Pistol > M6 > C / SOCOM / D / G / H > File Download (OBJ Pack / File A / File B / File C / File D)
We simply have: File Archive > UNSC > Weapons > Pistol > File Download (OBJ Pack / File A / File B / File C / File D)

I'm aiming specifically to reduce the number of categories with only perhaps one or two files in them unless we can absolutely help it. Certain specialised files may require their own categories, I'm sure, but for the most part, this project aims mostly to consolidate our files and keep them from being so spread-out and difficult to find. It's possibly also worth looking into whether or not the Search feature can be brought to prominence and made more easy to use.

I'll try to construct, in the next few days, a flow chart (or tree) that might better help me explain exactly how I intend for this reorganisation to work. Words don't really explain things as well as a visual aid might.
 

CommanderPalmer

Well-Known Member
Instead of: File Archive > UNSC > Weapons > Pistol > M6 > C / SOCOM / D / G / H > File Download (OBJ Pack / File A / File B / File C / File D)
We simply have: File Archive > UNSC > Weapons > Pistol > File Download (OBJ Pack / File A / File B / File C / File D)

I totally understand now, and it seems like a better idea. Less categories, stuff easier to find. Then just search for a desired model.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
Less categories, stuff easier to find. Then just search for a desired model.
That's the idea. If you saw the amount of work it takes to manage current categories, as well as what it takes to add new ones, you'd understand half of my desire to get the Archives consolidated down. Plus, with the number of members saying 'this file is hard to find/where can I find this file?', cutting down on the amount of leg-work needed to actually search for and find files should also cut down on the number of 'help me find XYZ threads' we see popping up. Of course, it probably won't stop the number of 'I want XYZ file unfolded' requests, but that's more to do with with making sure the newer members can find the threads they need to use for certain subjects more easily, which is another task we need to look at later on down the line.

So, to put it quite simply: higher-quality files that are easier to find. Making our information more relevant and easier to locate will mean less time spent searching, and more time building - which, hopefully, will result in more build threads and more users retained on the 405th. It's all a part of helping the 405th grow and encouraging the next generation of builders.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
Big update on the Archive sides of things.

I'm currently working on updating permissions across the board. This work will include:
- setting up Archive permissions for the Mexican and New Zealand Regiments
- removing Archive permissions for guest members ONLY (to prevent bogus/spam file error reports)

However, the major work to the Archive today will be in some major restructuring and preparation work for the Archive reorganisation project. I'm currently working on removing categories with zero files, and I'll also be working on merging together some categories with minor, non-Halo files to save space. For merged files, there will now be a 'Misc' category containing all moved files - these files will mainly be from the anime and movie props categories, where we're currently hosting obscure files with perhaps only a few hundred downloads over their lifetime. Once this is done, my next project will be to begin the major restructuring of the Halo files sections.

Please pardon our mess, and we'll keep striving to continue delivering you the highest-quality content possible during this maintenance work.
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
I hate to triple-post on my own thread, especially so soon after another post, but this one is important:

I've just spent the past four or five hours laying down the groundwork for the major re-organisation work within the Halo files section of the Archive. I've moved all Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians categories (including all associated files) into the new Gen-2 MJOLNIR Armour category. I'll need some time to get this category arranged in proper alphabetical order, so please pardon the dust while I get this arranged.

HOWEVER - for the next few days, RAW .OBJ ARMOUR FILES FROM HALO 4 AND HALO 5 WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE. These packs have been taken down to enable me to re-upload each armour set to its own category. When this is done, each armour set will be featured as a unique download in the relevant category and will also feature all relevant textures to that set, which is something the modellers have been asking for, for a long time now.

Weaponry and vehicle files will remain where they are until I've set up the relevant categories. As soon as they're ready I'll begin transferring data over and getting it all sorted.

So, to clarify:
- All H4/H5 armour now contained in one location
- OBJ files soon to be moved to the relevant categories (eg: Athlon category will host Athlon OBJ files, so on and so forth).

Work on the Archive will be suspended as of tomorrow, 14th July 2016 - it's my birthday, and I don't fancy spending it in front of a screen moving files. However, I'll do my best to get the Archive in a state where it's usable and navigable.

EDIT: Gen-2 organising done. All categories are now in alphabetical order and ready to receive files. Next job is to begin filling those categories with the relevant OBJ files, which may take a day or two.
EDIT: G2 OBJ files are slowly going up. This may take a little while to complete - if people have any specific file requests in the meantime, please let me know and I'll try to make those packs a priority.
EDIT: I'll also need to make custom thumbnails for each Asset Pack, so please bear with me if you see asset packs featuring texture maps as their icons.
 

FANGS

Commanding Officer
Community Staff
Division Staff
Lookie, lookie....it's Cherry's Birthday!

Happy birthday, Chernobyl!
 
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Dirtdives

RXO & Keeper of Con Lists
405th Regiment Officer
Community Staff
You have to make it my age level to start complain about needing a cane you young whipper-snapper!!!!
 

Chernobyl

Sr Member
Again, thanks for the well-wishings and the support. It truly means a lot for me to know that the community thinks so much of me.

Anyways, on to the major content: in lieu of anything better to be doing with my time, I've hammered on with the re-organisation project. I've managed to consolidate a lot of files down into packs (UNSC Marine files, mainly, though as I continue this work will spread through the other sections) - unfortunately, in some cases this has resulted in me having to take down certain uploads in order to re-upload them as single-file groups. I can only apologise to those whose files I've had to move about - I realise that your uploads will have lost views and download counts, but in the interests of trying to make the Archive more easy to navigate and more accessible to our members, this unfortunately is something I've had to weigh the options up on and decide that the needs of the community are more important.

I should be done with the UNSC section by the end of tonight. I may need to stay up a little later and burn the midnight oil to get it done, but having at least one section fully navigable will be a major victory for me. I've already managed to cut down on the number of 'floating' (empty) categories by as much as 10%, which will help me out massively in the future. By the end of this project I may be able to cut down on the amount of navigation required by as much as 30%.
 
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