Versioning your digital assets directly from your graphical application is easy using the P4 Graphical Tools plug-in. P4GT works within Autodesk’s Maya, 3ds Max and SoftImage, and Adobe Photoshop on Windows. You can access popular commands, and P4GT will guide you through the versioning process.

After downloading the P4GT plug-in, run the installer. It will show the applications you have that can run the plug-in.

In order for P4GT to recognize your files, they need to reside in your current workspace.

You can use P4V to set your configuration settings. Under the Connection Menu, go to Environment Settings…. This is where you verify your server port, username and workspace. Be sure that the “Use current connection for environment settings” is checked. To work on a file in a different workspace, temporarily deselect the checkbox, and then switch workspaces from here. Then, recheck the checkbox.

Here we are in Maya. Maya needs to be configured to load the Perforce menu. Go to Window>Settings/Preferences>Plug-in Manager. Find P4GT-Maya.[-nnn].mll. Check “Loaded” and “Auto-load”.

In Maya, 3ds Max and SoftImage, “Perforce” is found in the top menu.

Open your file as you normally would via File>Open Scene. Navigate to a file in your workspace. Let’s open this file called, urn_skull. Since P4GT recognizes files in your workspace, it will prompt you to check them out. After a confirmation of the check-out, it will also ask if you want to lock your file to prevent others from modifying it when you have it checked out. This is a best practice so we select “Yes”.

Note, if your file uses externally-referenced files, they also need to be in your workspace in order to appear properly. And, for Maya and 3ds Max, you can enable P4GT to automatically sync to the latest version of any externally referenced files. Go to the Perforce menu, select Options… click the Open/Close tab. Under “When opening a file, update external file references”, choose “Prompt” or “Always”.

After you modify your file, save the Scene. Next proceed to the Perforce menu. Here, you can Check In your file to the server. Add a description of your changes. A confirmation will appear. After check-in, those files will automatically be unlocked.

Let’s switch over to Photoshop to learn how to add files to the server. Be sure that your new file is in your workspace directory on your computer. Either move your file to your workspace directory, or do a Save As to your workspace directory from your application. This is a new file, so we will save it to the current workspace.

Access the P4GT menu by going to File>Automate>P4Photoshop. The floating menu will appear. Click on Perforce to see the P4GT options.

Choose “Add to Perforce”. A Confirmation of your Add appears. Hit OK. You will be prompted to Check in the new file now. Choosing “Cancel” will still mark this file for Add; you can continue to modify this file and it will be submitted to the server when you Check In other files. Let’s choose OK. Add a description and click “Submit”. A confirmation of your Check In appears. Your file is now versioned in the Server, and other users may access the file.

The “Get Latest Revision from Perforce” enables you to browse server files that you have permissions to. You can then Check-out the selected file. This puts a copy the latest version to your workspace and you can now modify the file.

If you are a P4V user, you can verify your actions in pending changelists and check file status. You might have to hit the Refresh button to see the latest action.

Find more information about P4GT by selecting “Help…”

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Course - Versioning for Designers and Game Developers