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Content Browser

Overview

The content browser is displayed when opening a PopcornFX project and displays all assets contained in the project:

You can navigate your project the same way you would do using your preferred file explorer as the content browser mirrors the on-disk folder structure.

 

Assets

PopcornFX projects contain various asset types:

 

PopcornFX effects (.pkfx)
Static or animated meshes (.fbx)
2D textures (dds, png, jpg, jpeg, tga, tif, tiff, pkm, pvr, exr, hdr)
2D textures atlases (.pkat)
Vector fields (.fga)
Font metrics (.ttf, .otf)
Sounds (.wav, .ogg, .mp3)

 

The PopcornFX editor processes those source asset file formats into internal file formats (.pkmm, .pkvf, .pkfm, ..) and stores them in the project’s Cache folder. By default, it is located in Editor/Cache/.

 

Importing assets

All resources are imported automatically when placed in the project via your system’s file explorer:

  1. On-disk folder location, mirrored in the content browser
  2. Source asset
  3. Virtual asset that can now be used in the PopcornFX project

 

Nothing more is required to import the asset.

 

Assets actions

The content browser supports common file-explorer like actions, but also more advanced actions. Right click an asset to display them:

 

  1. Open the select asset into the specialized editor. The editoro can only open effects right now
  2. Display this asset’s location in system’s explorer
  3. Import a PopcornFX package (.pkkg)
  4. Export selected assets into a PopcornFX package (.pkkg)
  5. Rename the asset, if referenced by other assets, it will display a reference patcher dialog
  6. Clone (duplicate) the asset
  7. Delete the asset, will be placed in system’s recycle bin (if any)
  8. Permanently delete the asset (no recovery)
  9. Display documentation for that asset
  10. Bake selected assets to output bake folders
  11. Build assets (only supported for .fbx files), creates the editor internal format for that file
  12. Build documentation for that asset (only supported for .pkfx files)
  13. Upgrade selected assets to latest version – Unused now as upgrades are forced on all assets
  14. Reindex select assets in content browser’s asset registry
  15. Display the asset dependency dialog
  16. BaseObject explorer for raw view of PopcornFX objects

 

Treeview

The treeview is a classic file explorer like tree view of the project’s directory structure and content:

  1. Folders, mirrors the on-disk folder structure from your project
  2. Assets

 

Assets can be moved around easily, and selected assets are synchronized with the Thumbnails view.

 

Thumbnails

Content browser’s main view, it displays your PopcornFX project’s content:

  1. Previous/next folder location, parent folder
  2. Navigation breadcrumb, current location is highlighted
  3. Filters dropdown, allows to filter specific asset types
  4. Search bar
  5. Asset name
  6. Asset type icon

 

It is possible to change thumbnails size in your editor settings.

 

Details

The details view provides a flat view of the project’s assets, with detailed columns:

  1. Columns
  2. Right click a column displays those options, to add/remove columns
  3. Status column, useful to sort items by status, to quickly identify problematic assets

 

This view is very useful later in production, or for content reviews.
Hovering assets displays a status tooltil detailing the various infos/warnings/errors generated by the asset graphs:

 

Asset with some warnings

 

Asset with no issues

 

It is also possible to add custom columns in the editor settings.

 

Creating assets

Right now, the content browser can only create two types of assets (folders and effects). Simply right click either in the treeview or thumbnails view:

  1. New Effect, selecting this displays the new effect type panel
  2. New folder, will be created on-disk too
  3. Template effects, will create an effect from the selected template. You can create your own template effects (right now, template effects are contained by default under Editor/Templates/). We’ll improve that creation dialog in future PopcornFX versions
  4. Empty effect, to create effects from scratch

 

Once the effect/folder is created, it’ll appear both in treeview and thumbnails view.

 

Exporting packages

A simple copy/paste of the .pkfx file isn’t enough to share a PopcornFX effect as effects have many dependencies (templates, textures, meshes, ..). The correct option is to create a PopcornFX package (.pkkg) as they can contain various assets and their dependencies.

 

To create a package, simply select all assets you would like to share, right click -> Export to Package:

  1. Output package location
  2. Browse export location using system’s explorer

 

Once the package location is correct, click OK. This will display the package export dialog:

This window displays all dependencies for that asset, and let you remove dependencies if necessary. Click Export to finalize the package creation.

 

Importing packages

PopcornFX packages (.pkkg) are often used to share assets between projects or users, to import one, right click in the treeview or thumbnails view:

Then, select the source .pkkg file, this will display the package import dialog:

  1. Folder structure, folders will be created if they don’t exist on-disk
  2. Imported assets
  3. Assets conflicts, importing this asset will override this asset that already exists in your project
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