User Guide#

😊️ Bookmarks is a free and open-source desktop asset manager for film, animation and VFX projects.

🥳 It can be used to create new shot and asset folders and configure them with simple settings. You can filter items using labels, tags and flags.

😊 Bookmarks can be your friend in linking external resources with local files (like ShotGrid entities, or other online resources).

☹ Features are limited, and perhaps a little clunky. But hey, this is is a personal tool. So, whilst it might not be useful for you, I see value in sharing it, since it made my life easier in the past. I would love to hear what you think!.

Get Bookmarks#

The project is hosted on Github.

Download the latest Windows release: Bookmarks v0.7.5

☹ Currently, Bookmarks only supports Windows.

Introduction#

What is a bookmark item?#

File path components:
_images/structure.png

Bookmarks reads files from bookmark, asset and task folders.

//server/jobs/project_0010/path/to/shots_folder is a bookmark item, where //server/jobs is a server, project_0010 is a job and path/to/shots_folder is a root folder. Together they make up the bookmark item.

Any folder can be used a bookmark item but they usually correspond to folders where digital content is kept, like the usual scenes, assets or dailies folders.

This is how the app sees projects:
_images/tree.png

Thumbnails and the database used to keep item properties are stored in the .bookmark folder.

How do you add bookmark items?#

There are two ways to add bookmark items, by hand, or by editing the default_bookmark_items.json. The latter is useful for deploying the app per-project with bookmark items already set up correctly. The step-by-step guide below will show you how to add them by hand.

Step 1: Open the editor
_images/bookmark_add.png

With the bookmark item tab selected, Right-click and select ‘Manage bookmark items…’ or press Ctrl+N.

Step 2: Add server, job and root folders
_images/job_add.png

Use the editor to pick a server, select or create a job and the root folders to use as bookmark items. Double-click root folders to add or remove from your current bookmark items.

2.1. Add server

Click the green icon on the left-hand side. A server is usually a network location, but local folders work too. Make sure the folder exists before adding it.

2.2. Select or create a job

If the server already contains folders (jobs), select one here. Otherwise, click the green add icon in the middle column to create a new job.

Hint

You can add your own job folder templates by dragging them onto the template picker. They should be zip files containing a folder structure.

2.3. Select or pick new root folders

Select a job. If you used the default job template to create one, it comes with pre-defined root-folders (e.g. the data/asset, data/shot folders). If you used a custom template, you might need to pick a new root folder by clicking the green add icon on the right-hand side.

Hint

Any folder with a .bookmark folder inside them will be read as a root folder. If the folder doesn’t show up, you might have to change the folder parsing depth in the preferences.

Done! Close the editor when finished.

How do you add new shots and assets?#

Step 1: Activate a bookmark item
_images/active_bookmark.png

Double-click any of the bookmark items you have just added. This will activate it and show its contents.

Step 2: Open the editor
_images/asset_add.png

With the Assets tab selected, Right-click and select ‘Add Asset…’ or press Ctrl+N.

Step 3: Create a new asset

Select an asset template, and enter a name.

You can create sequences and shots by using a ‘SEQ###’ and ‘SH####’ prefix, e.g. SEQ010_SH0010.

Note

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t support these folders, like ‘SEQ010/SH0010’. Support for this is possible by modifying the code and should be pretty straightforward to do so.

How do you add template files?#

Step 1: Activate an asset item
_images/asset_item.png

Double-click an asset items you just created. This will activate it, but won’t show files until a task folder is selected.

Hint

You can change the current task folder by clicking the file tab button, or right-click and select ‘Change task folder’

Step 2: Open the editor
_images/file_add.png

With the File tab selected, Right-click and select ‘Add File…’ or press Ctrl+N. This will reveal the file saver.

Step 3: Change template options
_images/file_saver.png

Assuming you’d like to make a name template for an After Effects comp file, set the ‘Task’ to ‘comp’ and the ‘Format’ to ‘aep’. Pick a name template.

We didn’t set the project prefix, so click the ‘Edit’ button and set it to something of you choosing (the prefix is a short name of the job). Hit Save to create an empty template file to be used for naming reference.

Hint

I tend to copy the template file’s path (there’s a Copy context menu or press CTRL+C) to later paste it when saving a file from After Effects. This lets me skip having to navigate folders.

How do you configure bookmark items?#

Bookmark property editor
_images/bookmark_properties2.png

To edit basic properties, like external URLs, frame rate, file-filter rules, width, and height attributes, select a bookmark item and click the settings icon, or hit Ctrl+E.

The properties will help create footage ‘publishes’, convert image sequences, and, using the Maya plugin, set the Maya workspace and scene settings. Linking URLs and ShotGrid entities with local files can be beneficial when the project has a lot of external resources to keep track of.

There are also filter options to associate task folders with file formats. And more!

Report issues#

For questions, feature requests, bugs use the Github Issue Tracker

About the author#

I’m an animator/3D generalist with a passion for beautiful images and the tools used to create them. You can contact me via Twitter, or send me and email.