Alaskan_Son

How do you guys search for textures?

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I'm kinda suspecting there's really no good solution for this one, but can any of you guys offer any practical advice for searching the library for textures?  It seems like every time I really want to try and get the look right it takes like an hour just to get one of the tile surfaces right.  I know one good method is develop my own library of "go-to" textures but I don't use very many of them repetitively enough to make any good use of this technique, and even then...I can always just go to the plan I remembered using the texture on and copy/paste from there.  The bigger issue is just finding what I'm looking for.  I know what I want but how to tell Chief what I want?

 

Take this last project I was working on.  I just wanted a relatively common dark gray 12" x 24" bricklay tile.  How in Sam Hill do I find that if I don't already know where it is?  I usually resort to just scouring the bonus and manufacturer catalogs and find something I can work with after sorting through 400 textures.  Okay, that wall is done, now lets find this small format blue and light gray chevron...back to the library to search through 500 more textures.  Anyway, these are just a couple quick examples.  I run into this all the time.  I know some of you guys advocate for a sort of crowd sourced tagging system but there are online libraries that work that way and I honestly don't think they solve the issue very well either.  Search results are always hit and miss and at the end of the day I'm still searching through 500-1000 different images to find one that works.  

 

I guess this may prove to be more of a mini rant than anything, and that there's probably not a whole lot that can be done (aside from having Chief organize their library to work specifically for my way of thinking), but I would seriously appreciate any tips that might help speed up my workflow in this area.

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Michael,

 

It seems to me that where there is a will, there will be a way to do what you wish. I to, have had this same desire but only in thought, not action. A way to do this might be to make copies of material textures, pacing them in a Users Library folder at least that is the first thing that comes to my mind: create a custom library for materials and then use it. I think I will try that and see how that works.

 

DJP

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I have a custom materials folder in my user library. Every core, bonus and manuf catalog has shortcuts in the correct category (when I download a new catalog, I copy/paste shortcut everything into its correct category).  I then can browse to tile and proceed as you do.  It's not a lot better but at least all options are in one location to start.  

 

The other option is to search for a specific color.  Still time consuming.

 

I do have a My Materials folder for everything I use regularly.

user library.JPG

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6 hours ago, DavidJPotter said:

Michael,

 

It seems to me that where there is a will, there will be a way to do what you wish. I to, have had this same desire but only in thought, not action. A way to do this might be to make copies of material textures, pacing them in a Users Library folder at least that is the first thing that comes to my mind: create a custom library for materials and then use it. I think I will try that and see how that works.

 

DJP

 

That sounds nice and workable, but really time consuming.  Maybe if I have a 2 or 3 days or so with absolutely nothing to do I’ll give that a shot.  I don’t know though...the problem is I’m not even sure how I would organize that stuff either.  It’s a tuffy.

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4 hours ago, MoeGia said:

I have a custom materials folder in my user library. Every core, bonus and manuf catalog has shortcuts in the correct category (when I download a new catalog, I copy/paste shortcut everything into its correct category).  I then can browse to tile and proceed as you do.  It's not a lot better but at least all options are in one location to start.  

user library.JPG

 

I think this is a good idea and might be about the best solution for me.  As you say...at least it’s all in one place.  I think I’ll start there and see how it goes.  Thanks :)

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Another way to locate often used library objects and keep track of them is to use keywords.

But once again, time consuming to do them all at once - better to add keywords as you use an object or material.

This keeps the library object in it's original library and so saves moving or copying to a user library.

 

ie, add a keyword to a library object - can be your name and/or a keyword that means something to you.

You can then turn on Keywords in the library filter and do a search.

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11 minutes ago, glennw said:

Another way to locate often used library objects...

 

The highlighted portion of your suggestion is really my main problem.  I wouldn't say any of them are actually used very often.  On average, I'd say I might use any given one of the hard to find textures 2 times in any given year...if that.  I think its one of those problems that has no easy answer.  It serves as a good reminder as to why I appreciate my tile and flooring saleswoman.  Not only does she have a good eye for things but perhaps more importantly...she knows where to find it.  Reminds me of a line from Pirates of The Caribbean:...

 

"It's an island that cannot be found except by those who already know where it is."

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Part of the problem is that Chief has never enforced the use of the Library System's "Search Attributes" (Key Words) , they don't even use it themselves 1/2 the time , let alone get Manufacturers to do it , and who has time to do it for I think 40,000 items as they now claim ?, when I asked about this previously I was told I could add them myself if needed.... sure that's what my $500 a year gets me... a spit in the eye.... and 360° VR viewing if only I could afford a VR Headset of course.

 

  you also need to think and type in US English to find anything :) ..... not a problem for some of you I know  ;)

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5 minutes ago, Kbird1 said:

Part of the problem is that Chief has never enforced the use of the Library System's "Search Attributes" (Key Words)

 

Ya, but like I said, that might be marginally useful at best.  The keywords are one of those things that may or may not do any good at all unless you write them yourself  There are countless tile patterns, countless tile sizes (or worse...combinations thereof), countless textures (and combinations thereof)...

 

Find me a medium format, long skinny 1/3 offset horizontal white marble bricklay tile with 1/8" grout lines and a coordinating small format multicolored listello strip that also has a sort of horizontal feel going on (don't want any herringbone, little square tiles, octagons, circles, or anything like that)...and the accent tiles needs to have some dark grays in there as well. 

 

Seriously though...please don't find that for me.  I actually don't need that right now.  Just sayin'...using keywords is a whole lot easier said than done and as I mentioned before, other sites use that sort of system and I'm not sure it does any good at all much of the time.  In fact, oftentimes it does just as much harm as it does good. 

 

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I simply want to add my +1.  CA's search engine is, well let's say rudimentary to avoid saying outdated.   It is unforgiving (don't you dare misspell a keyword), restricting (no 'and', 'or', and no pattern searching).  It's fine to boast having a library of a gazillion elements, but how do I find the one I need?

 

So what's the solution?  With all due respect to the OP, it's not asking co-users how they manage, it's CA replacing the search engine with one that comes with some AI.  If all else fails, embed the Google search engine !!!

 

So why hasn't this been done so far?  My take is that CA's product is so full of functionality (positive) that at a certain point it becomes a nightmare to decide where you will improve next.  The nightmare can be eliminated, as pointed out in another thread, by asking your users what they want most and evolving based on the most requested (that in turn based on evaluating what are the impacts of not having that, as opposed to subjective requirements).

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Michael:

 

Your dilemma reminds me of how much time you can consume trying to shop for something on the Internet ... hours later you feel like you've run a marathon and you still haven't totally figured out what you want to buy.  No suggestions from me .... just like you, I hate trying to find some things in the Library.  Maybe the FHB tip guy will come up with "a better way" ....!!!

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On 1/24/2018 at 9:25 AM, Alaskan_Son said:

 

I think this is a good idea and might be about the best solution for me.  As you say...at least it’s all in one place.  I think I’ll start there and see how it goes.  Thanks :)

 

you could build a virtual showroom.. then slide your cutting plane to the room with the finishes/fixtures you need.

Also do you use the library filters tool?

Best practice is that as you use a material, you should open the search attributes and add some additional tags, before you know it, your materials library will be robust and well organized

 

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15 minutes ago, Renerabbitt said:

You could build a virtual showroom...

Now there’s a good idea...a warehouse plan for the textures.  Might take 2, 3 hours or so, but I think I might be well worth it.  

 

I might consider adding tags from time to time, but like I said, I’m not sure that one will do me a whole lot of good.  I just don’t re-use materials enough to make it worth while.  The warehouse plan though is a very different story...that one just might be the ticket.  Thanks Rene.  

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1 minute ago, Alaskan_Son said:

Now there’s a good idea...a warehouse plan.  Might take 2, 3 hours or so, but I think I might be well worth it.  

 

I might consider adding tags from time to time, but like I said, I’m not sure that one will do me a whole lot of good.  I just don’t re-use materials enough to make it worth while.  The warehouse plan though is a very different story...that one just might be the ticket.  Thanks Rene.  

welcome, nice to be the helper for a change ;)

brings me to a CA request...to eye drop from one plan and apply the grabbed texture to another.

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So, I started my tile warehouse plan today.  I thought I'd at least share the Chief Core Content part with you guys...

5a6f53bced366_pic1.thumb.jpg.db3eb9e382ac7f2a10bc726425fc276b.jpg5a6f53bdd352a_pic2.thumb.jpg.153df6fdc0516e0682aa589495621603.jpg5a6f53bef2bee_pic3.thumb.jpg.38c3d178f0c396cc52850484105cc3d5.jpg

Tile warehouse.plan

 

Also, a couple quick tips:

  • One of the easiest ways to bring material over into your main plan is to drop a quick pyramid into your plan, explode the shape, and then block it while all faces are still selected.  This will give you a small "palette" to work with.  You can then simply cut or copy and paste into your main plan...5a6f5731c48e4_pic4.thumb.jpg.62664033620ec8ac8eb28d38831eea5d.jpg
  • To really make navigating warehouse plans faster and easier I think it would be a good idea to create a Focus On Selected hotkey for yourself.

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