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New Filter Manager: Folders!

Among all complaints and feature requests we have received during the development of Filter Forge, there's a clear leader: Folders. The ability to put filters into different folders. Finally, after seven years of folderless existence, Filter Forge 4.0 introduces a new built-in filter manager which lets you organize your filter collection.

Folders, Folders Everywhere!

Filter Forge 4.0 ditches its old list of categories for a hierarchical tree view similar to those you see in file managers such as Windows Explorer or Mac OS X Finder:

Filter Manager

Folders (with subfolders of arbitrary nesting depth) are now supported for user-made filters and favorites. Filter library categories are also displayed as a folder tree, however, its structure remains fixed and controlled by Filter Forge staff. You can't create subfolders under Library Filters, and you can't rename them, but you can delete them, together with downloaded filters they contain – just like in previous Filter Forge versions. To organize filters, use the new Favorites: they also support folders and subfolders, plus you can put a single filter into multiple Favorite folders.

Back and Forward Navigation Buttons and Hotkeys

Back and Forward Navigation Buttons

The Filter Manager includes Back and Forward buttons that behave exactly as they do in Windows Explorer or Mac OS Finder. We also included hotkeys that should be familiar to the users of both platforms:

Windows Hotkeys:

  • Back: Alt+LeftArrow, Backspace
  • Forward: Alt+RightArrow
  • Open / Edit: Alt+DownArrow, Enter
  • Up One Level: Alt+UpArrow

Mac OS X Hotkeys:

  • Back: Cmd+[
  • Forward: Cmd+]
  • Open / Edit: Cmd+DownArrow, Enter
  • Up One Level: Cmd+UpArrow

Multiselection and Drag-and-Drop

Multiselection and Drag-and-Drop

You're finally able to select multiple filters! You absolutely have to try it yourself: it's a simple action that brings a disproportionate amount of joy to a long-time Filter Forge user. Hold Shift or Ctrl on Windows (or Shift or Command on Mac OS X) and click filters to add them to a selection.

You can then drag multiple filters and to another subfolder, or to Favorites, or to a different filter storage location. Dragging and dropping works the same way as it does in Windows Explorer or Mac OS X Finder.

Multiple Storage Folders with Configurable Location

Custom filter storage folders are a replacement to the old My Filters category, which housed user-made filters in previous versions of Filter Forge. Instead of being limited to My Filters, you can now create multiple storage folders for your custom filters, each of which can have any number of nested subfolders.

Each storage folder corresponds to a real folder on one of your drives, and you can specify its location. As long as it's a valid non-root path that supports files and folders, and the user you're logged in as has permissions to read and write them, Filter Forge won't care if it's a path to a network drive, a virtual drive, a USB hard disk, a flash stick, a camera, a phone, a NAS, or whatever else your system exposes as a drive.

Custom Filter Storage Folders

Important: Storage folders correspond to real, physical folders on your drive. For example, if you create a subfolder under a storage folder within Filter Forge, it will also be created at its physical location on your drive. Basically, Filter Forge becomes a file manager for these folders. When you change the location of a storage folder, Filter Forge migrates all its physical contents to the new location.

All storage folders have equal privileges within Filter Forge. In the new system, My Filters is just one of the storage folders, so it can be moved to another location, renamed or deleted. Besides the fact that it is created automatically when Filter Forge is installed, it has no differences from other storage folders.

Removing (“unlinking”) a storage folder from Filter Forge does not delete its contents, or affect any files in the physical folder in any other way.

Here's a few ideas how custom storage folders can make your life easier:

  • If you work on multiple projects, you can keep filters related to these projects in their respective folders. Just create separate filter storage folders for each project.
  • If you use Dropbox on multiple computers, you can set up a storage folder under Dropbox and have it synced to all your computers. If the Dropbox folder is shared among multiple people, you and your colleagues will have the same set of filters.
  • If you're a game developer and you need your filters to be under source control, just create a storage folder in your game's project folder so that your version control system can pick up filters inside it.
  • If you use a backup solution that backs up specific folders, you can create a filter storage folder under the backed-up folder, and the backup system will pick up your filters.

Multiple Favorite Folders

Multiple Favorite Folders

Filter Forge 4.0 supports multiple Favorites folders, with any number of nested subfolders. What's more, you can put the same filter (actually a shortcut to it) into as many Favorites folders as you wish! No more taxonomist's dilemma: if you have a filter that fits under two Favorite categories, just put it in both! Note that Favorites can only store shortcuts to filters. Shortcuts to folders are not supported.

Recently Used Filters and Searches

Filter Forge 4.0 stores the history of recently used filters, in a manner similar to web browsers. The history is broken down into Today, This Week, This Month and Older Entries. Every time you create, edit or modify the settings of a filter, it is added to History. Additionally, Filter Forge stores the results of up to 6 recent searches you made.

This is really a fantastic piece of software, I highly recommend everyone checking it out if you're into pattern/texture map creation.

Neil Blevins
Technical Director
Feature Films

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