User quick start guide
Here’s all you need to know before you start using Ramses. Follow these few steps and you’ll be able to benefit from all it’s features very quickly.
- the Ramses Server shares the Ramses metadata between several workstations. Users don’t have any direct access to the server, it is managed by your administrator.
- the Ramses Client Application is the heart of Ramses on your workstation. It’s the main Ramses interface.
- the Ramses Add-ons can be scripts, extensions, plugins, add-ons for your creative software and handle the versionning and publishing of your files.
Ramses is modular; that means you don’t need to use all components together: it’s not mandatory to have access to a Ramses Server to use the application, and the Add-ons can also work independently.
No matter what, all these components also expect you to have a least a few predefined folders available in your computer or a shared location to store some data. That’s the Ramses Tree.
Follow the next steps to learn how to use Ramses and all of these components.
Although in the future the Ramses Client Application will be able to be used as a stand-alone, offline application, the currently available Alpha or Beta Versions absolutely need a connection to a Ramses Server (there’s no offline storage of the data for now). That’s temporary.
For now, the only official Add-on available is the one for Autodesk Maya, but others will follow soon (for Blender, After Effects, Nuke…)
As Ramses is free and open source, and provides easy-to-use APIs in Python and Adobe ExtendScript, other users may have developped other unofficial add-ons.
Although Ramses is made to be as simple as possible to use, it’s a production tool which both helps and needs you to be organized, and you’ll have to familiarize yourself with its organization.
- Read this documentation before installing everything and clicking everywhere! The Principles section and the Ramses Tree section are especially important.
- In files and folders, it is important to respect the Ramses naming scheme; take some time to familiarize yourself with it.
- On some systems (Linux and sometimes Mac OS depending on its settings), the case matters in file and folder names. Even on Windows, it is safer to assume that the name
Tristanis different than
- Ramses is just a piece of software. It’s dumb. The folder name
_previewis not the same as
preview. Be careful with naming conventions and folder structure.
1 - Check the Ramses folder, the Ramses Tree
In order to work correctly, Ramses expects a few folders to be available on your workstation or a shared location. Your administrator should give you the needed information.
- You must have a Ramses main folder, which stores at least some configuration files. In default configurations, this folder actually stores everything you need : user files, project files, etc. In this case, it should contain at least two subfolders:
Projectssubfolder is the most important one: it is there you’ll work and save all your data.
- You may store your project files in separate folders, either locally or in a shared location; in this case, for each project, you’ll have to know where its folder is. It’s in this specific location that you’ll work and save your data instead of the Ramses main folder.
1.A - Project folders
In short, a project folder should contain at least these subfolders.
00-ADMINcontains the administration files. Ramses doesn’t handle these yet.
01-PRE-PRODcontains pre-production step files (with a subfolder for each step).
02-PRODcontains production step common files (libraries, templates, etc, with a subfolder for each step), but not the working files.
03-POST-PRODcontains post-production step files (with a subfolder for each step.
04-ASSETScontains asset working files (with a subfolder for each group of assets).
05-SHOTScontains shot working files (with a subfolder for each shot).
06-EXPORTScontains media files for the whole project.
Sorting your files this way enables a lot of features in Ramses (thumbnails in the UI, direct access to the files from the Ramse Client Application, automatic time tracking, etc.). Read the details about naming conventions and the folder structure to know more.
2 - The Ramses Client Application
The Ramses Client Application is the main User Interface of Ramses.
Although in the future the Ramses Client will be able to be used as a stand-alone, offline application, the currently available Alpha or Beta Versions absolutely need a connection to a Ramses Server (there’s no offline storage of the data for now). That’s temporary.
3.A - Installation
Before starting to use the Ramses Client Application there are a few steps to configure it correctly.
3.B - Settings
The first time the Client is run, it shows the following welcome screen, asking for mandatory settings.
At any time, you can also go to the settings with the settings button at the bottom right of the application.
- Local Data
The first mandatory setting to set is the location of the Ramses main folder, where Ramses will store all local data by default.
The Ramses main folder location should be given by your admnistrator. Be careful, it not a specific project folder; it is a folder which should contain at least one of these subfolders:
The Server address must be the complete URL to the server as given by your administrator. It should look like one of these:
The Secure connexion box should be checked by default. Only with some servers or local installation it may be unchecked.
That’s all, now you can log in, using your user name and password as given by your administrator.
3.C - Project settings
If you’re joining an existing project, and your administrator gave you a specific path for its data, you can go to the project panel tp set its location.
By default, the project is located inside the Ramses main folder as defined in step 3.B but you can override it in this panel.
3.D - Folders, file access and thumbnails
To access or even create folders to store your files and be sure Ramses finds them, it is easier to use Ramses than create them manually.
From the Assets or Shots panels, clicking on any folder button opens (and creates if needed) the corresponding folder in your file explorer.
When changing the size of the rows, more details can be shown for each task, including a preview image.
The image is pulled from the
_preview subfolder of the shot or the asset folder which you can open with the folder button on the top right corner of the cell. Ramses will get the first PNG or JPG correctly named image from the folder, or any other image if a correct one is not found.
Each cell contains information about a task (the combination of an asset or shot and a step).