Welcome to the documentation of das element

This software will help you to organize and tag your asset library.

das element software is build on the concept of a visual effects pipeline. You store your main element in a folder structure on the file system, create proxy formats for preview purposes and store all the data in a database. Categories will help you organize the elements while tags assure a quick search to get you the element you need.

As of now the software supports images, sequences of images and movie files.


  • Elements are stored on disk in a defined folder structure and naming convention

  • For each element, proxy files will be created. Like thumbnails and filmstrips for a quick preview

  • The data of the element category, tags and media information are stored in a database

  • All file paths are stored as relative file paths. You can move the library data and only have to update the information in the config file

Category Hierarchy Tree

das element organizes the categories into a hierarchy tree structure

On one hand, the hierarchy tree is structured on the actual order of categories but on the other hand it is optimized for the commonly used vocabulary in the Visual Effects industry. There are many VFX specific terms that got incorporated into this category tree which makes the most sense from an artists perspective.

There are the top tier categories which make the most sense for grouping certain types of elements together, like fire, smoke, explosions. Organizing the elements into top tier categories helps with naming and storing of elements on disk. This way, you can create a sustainable library and avoid that elements need to be moved or renamed if the category of an element changes. Changing the category can be done easily in the database, but the file stays in the same location on disk. This is important if you want to load a project file from a few years ago and want to avoid missing media files.

More and more categories will be added over time, hence the library structure will improve and become overall more detailed.

Category ID

Everybody has a different understanding of what a certain element is supposed to be called. We all have different linguistic backgrounds. That problem often leads to confusion when talking to your colleges.

The focus of das element is to find one common vocabulary for element category names.

Since each category can be linked to one exact Wikidata page, we can unify one common understanding and vocabulary about what a certain category is called. This should avoid the confusion for everybody in our daily conversation with our colleagues.

The ID for each category looks something like this: Q3196
This text is an identifier that can be used to link to a human readable text in the Wikidata database.

Resource: www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:Identifiers
License: cc pd CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication

Multiple libraries

The idea is that you can setup multiple libraries. Each can have a different purpose. You can even create libraries for a specific project. Use the search to find the elements your need across all libraries.

For example:

  • 
VFX practical elements

  • matte painting pictures

  • references for a project

  • textures and shaders

File path structure

The actual file data is stored on either your local file system or a file server. The file path structure can be fully customizable, depending on your needs. Use the ‚path builder’ to setup the naming convention and folder structure. Or, for a simple setup, just use one of the given presets.

Transcoding templates

For a quick preview of the elements, various proxy files can be created. Some are necessary so the software can work efficiently:

  • for image files a thumbnail needs to be generated

  • for sequences and movie files, a thumbnail and a filmstrip will be generated

Additionally, you can use the transcoding tasks to create a movie proxy file or any other proxy you like.
It is also possible to backfiles to a remote server, like a backup into the Cloud or upload files to a FTP server.

Let's start here: Quick start