How are the projects organized!

Here's the deal. \\abadal\work\current

That's where you'll find all the current projects. The projects are setup with a specific folder structure. As an artist you likely have a specific task, such as designer, after effects animator, Maya generalist/ animator, or compositor. Knowing where to put your stuff helps you to be organized and also helps others work with you, since they can predict where your stuff is going to be should you need to share anything.

The main folder structure

  • In
  • Out
  • Production
  • Ref
project : XBOX

As an artist you can pretty much ignore In and Out, they are for producers. Ref is an area for reference that you or someone else has collected for your particluar show. Production is the main area we all get our work done


  • Cinema [ a shared cinema tree]
  • Common [a place to render tests, RnD, photoshop files or anything that you want popele to be able to use for the whole show, ex. some repeating smoke element loop…]
  • Edit [ a place to store AE comps or final cut workspaces that are the entire project cut togeather. this is also the place to render entire cuts as we work]
  • Max [a shared max tree, likely not used]
  • Maya [shared maya tree, all maya work is done here]
  • Shot folders [ this will be like SH010_carChase… this is where we render our 3d for that particular shot and where we will keep our AE, nuke, shake, realflow, zBrush, photoshop… work files for a particular shot]
  • Work [basically this is a space for you if you don't know where to put something, you can just dump it here]
XBOX : Production

Working with Shots, the big picture

Here's the main point of the structure, and what to keep in mind when working on a job. The job is divided into SHOTS. Shot folders exist right in the production directory. The shot folders will correspond to the shots in the project (duh). they contain two directories:

  • Render
  • Work

The Render directory is where we render ANYTHING for a particular shot. In the render directory you can see there are directories to render particular things; 3d passes , comps, 2d still assets …etc.

SH010_previs: Render

The Work directory is where we keep ALL the files needed for that shot EXCEPT maya stuff, which is located in the maya folder. So in work you will see directories if you are working in photoshop, AE, nuke, realflow, zbrush….etc. you can create another directory in there in case you are doing Mudbox or Shake or something else. In those directories, create a work directory for yourself, and put your stuff in there…

SH010_previs: Work

What about maya stuff? you said that is special…

Yes the maya stuff is special because we all share a common project directory. This is the production/Maya directory. to keep our maya directory working properly with shots, we can see the same shots in our maya/Scenes as we have in main shot directories in the root of /production. Hope this isn't confusing. Let me show u by example:

xbox project. shot PR010

see how shot PR010 is both in Maya scenes direcotry and also in the base of production? For our 3d work, we will work out of the maya directory, and then when we render using the buck Muster submit tool, the renders will automaticaly be placed in to the correct shot/render/3d folder.

Working within maya

Maya has an inherent project directory structure and we all use it to the fullest extent. here are some details.


The scenes directory has an assets directory. that is for our objects and characters that we reference/import into our scenes to animate light and render. The asset structure is VERY important and there is a whole host of pages dealing with them, available on this wiki main page. In short each asset gets its own special directory structure.

xbox project Maya Assets

The common directory is a place where you can plop your wip files, that DONT have an connection to a particluar shot. Create a work directory in there and that is where you can…. test lighting, do some RnD, update any assets before you copy them back into the asset folder, experiment with things, or create something to render that will be used by compositors in more than one shot. in this sense, its for anything that is used "in common" with all the shots.

xbox project Maya Common

The Shot folders, in this case PR010_previs, are where you do you make your money. what? make a work directory in here for all tasks except for render scenes. Render scenes should just live right in the base of the shot.

shot PR010_previs Maya Shot

Sourceimages (textures…imagemaps…blah)

File textures should be ONLY be located in the sourceimages folder. In there you will see some folders. Any images that are used to texture assets blong inside the /sourceimages/ASSETS/<asset name> folder. If a folder doesn't exist for your particluar asset, create it and dump your images in there. For everything else, in general, you can create a work directory for yourself next to ASSETS and dump stuff in there.

XBOX Maya Sourceimages

Animcurves, fbx files, obj, Geometry Cache, and Hair Cache

All these items should be stored in the data directory. For animcurves and cache files, please create a folder for the appropriate shot. or create a "common" folder if you are just testing things.

Still render images (for yourself, for WIP, or for review)

When Lighting and Shading, you will likely want to save out images as you make progress. Please create a work directory for yourself in the images directory and save and organize all your render images in there.

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