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Symbolic Links and Cloud Storage

General / 16 April 2018

If you work in multiple locations and on multiple PCs you might benefit from knowing about Symbolic links "symlinks".

Basically you are "tricking" windows into believing a folder exists in 2 places at once. What is the benefit of this?  If you are using cloud storage like dropbox or google drive etc.  You can store whatever you want to master folders - then create symlinks to them.  Photoshop, Maya, Zbrush or any program won't know the difference and all of your presets will be backed up and updated across all your PCs.


For example:  I find a brush I like - or make a kitbash model - I just save it as I normally would and the symlinks I've set up will update to my work and home pc.


How to set up a symlink:  

STEP 1 - BACKUP EVERYTHING FIRST YOU MIGHT MESS UP

Recommended APP:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/symlink-creator/


Step 2 - Close all your proggies

Step 3 - Move your Master Folder to your cloud storage.  Allow it to finish syncing with the cloud. 


Step 4 - Create an Empty Folder that will become the symlink.  This folder should be in the program directory and named the exact same.


Step 5 - Create the links!



Check the warning!  Is it replacing the empty folder as it should?



You should see the folder icon change - your link is established.  Now anything you save into this folder will sync with your cloud storage.  You can setup the same links on any other PC.

I've done this for brushes, kitbash models, scripts and macros etc.  As far as my art programs are concerned My home PC is a mirror of my work PC so anything I discover or make will sync up.  You can even have friends or co-workers share folders.

Try it out and ask me if you have questions or need help with this.