Version Control in Connecter
The Version Control feature in Connecter is designed to provide teams with better control of the assets production and review and approval processes.
- In Connecter, each separate file is an asset that can be added to the Version Control, making it a “Versioned asset”. Each asset can have as many versions added to the Version Control system as required as long as its content undergoes changes that need to be versioned. Versions are named automatically, starting with “Version 1”, then “Version 2”, etc. When an asset is being versioned, a copy of its current content is stored in the part of the Version Control system. Also, the asset’s name, location, preview and other metadata are added to the Version Control database.
When assets are being displayed in the Assets View, Connecter performs an instant check with the Version Control system to determine if there are any versioned assets to mark them with the dedicated Version Control icon visually.
For all versioned assets displayed in the Assets View, Connecter also checks if the current local content of the asset matches the content of any version already added for that asset. Depending on the status of the current local content of the versioned asset, the version control icon has two states:
Adding asset versions to the Version Control
Versioning of an asset is a simple process:
When adding a new version, a version description is mandatory. In addition, the artist can add or change the status of the version and add a comment.
Each version added to the Version Control automatically goes along with a preview of the local content (if available). Alternatively, the artist can add a custom version preview:
To streamline the workflow, multiple assets can be versioned simultaneously:
When there is no version control system in place, artists tend to iterate (create new versions) on their assets simply by creating new files, usually with the same name followed by a consecutive number (e.g. asset.max, asset_01.max, asset_02.max, etc.) or more or less complex versioning naming convention. Version Control in Connecter is designed to accommodate this production workflow providing users with the added value of true versioning without forcing them to abandon already established processes. To do this, an easy drag&drop interaction allows the content of an asset to be used to add a new version for another versioned asset:
Version Control in Connecter assumes that the preferred use case is when artists make iterations (changes) directly on the assets without making any additional files for each new version. When the content of a versioned asset is being updated, the status of the diamond icon changes to indicate that the current content is not versioned, and the artist can add it as a new version:
A new version can also be added from the Version Control Details interface:
Update to the Latest
When the current local content of a versioned asset is not the same as the latest version, it’s displayed in the asset view with an orange diamond icon:
Sometimes changes in assets content happen by accident, or the result is not desired. Version Control offers the “Update to the latest” feature, which replaces the current local content with the last (most recent) version added:
Another excellent use case for the “Update to the latest” feature is when the local content of the versioned assets is missing. This, for example, can happen if the assets have been deleted outside Connecter while the app is not running. Another scenario is when a particular user is not granted access to a shared assets folder.
The “Update to the latest” workflow can be used on a selection of multiple assets (in this example, the assets are missing):
Rollback to a previous version
Sometimes a newly added version is no longer desired, and the artist wants to revert back to a previous version and continue the work from there. The “Rollback” feature makes a selected older version (not the latest) the latest version. For this to happen, a new version is created with the same content and metadata of the selected version on which the Rollback is being applied.
Note that the local content is not automatically updated after the new version is added. To do so, use the “Update to the latest” workflow.
Removing assets from the Version Control system
Assets already added to the Version Control can be removed by using the Remove command in the assets view contextual menu or from the Version Control Details interface. It works on single and multiple assets selections.
IMPORTANT: When a versioned asset is removed from the Version Control, all content and related metadata are deleted and not retrievable.
Another powerful feature of the Version Control system is the Review workflow which allows users to download locally selected versions of the asset that is being reviewed. These local copies of the versions can be then opened in the respective host software for further reviewing.
When the Review feature is used for the first time, a local folder for the downloaded review content must be specified. Suppose Review is used for a selected version. In that case, the version's content is downloaded into the specified local folder, and a new file (the name of the versioned asset plus version number, for example: [asset name]_v6) is created. When the download finishes, the Version Control Details interface closes, and an isolated asset view shows the versioned asset and the file with the review content. The review content files are now treated as actual assets, so most contextual commands are disabled.
Operations within the Version Control system can sometimes take more time, especially with larger files, slower internet speeds, etc. The Sync Queue tool displays all initiated version control processes and their statuses. It can be accessed at any time from the contextual asset menu > Sync Queue or from the Version Control Details interface.
The Sync Queue tool provides practical workflows for previewing assets, process activity, locating of assets and more: