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What is happening under the hood of das element?

The setup file contains the information about which config file to use for the software.
The config file contains the global configuration for all libraries (naming convention, file structure, …)
A library contains a collection of elements. It exists of the library file and the database for this one library.

~ (tilde) is your users home directory.
Linux/macOS: /home/myuser
Windows: C:\Users\myuser / %userprofile%

default location setup file


default location config file or custom location


Here are some common file path locations that you might need:

type of file



setup file

Default location setup file
This file references to the config file.


or environment variable:

config file

Default location config file or custom location

or some custom location

variables file

File to store environment variables that are loaded on software startup



location for machine learning models


log files

for error logs etc.


preview files

The software creates previews of your elements to increase performance.
If you want to remove the previously created previews, just remove the temp folder. It automatically removes files older than 14 days.

Linux: ~/tmp/das-element
MacOS: /$TMPDIR/das-element
Windows: %temp%/das-element

Setup file

The setup file contains the information about which config file to use for the software.

The idea is that you can switch between different setups. Each setup could have a different folder structure and naming convention. By using the different setup files you can separate them completely.

It also stores other user specific information, e.g which machine learning models should be actively used.

The file is stored in your local user home directory



As an alternative you can set the environment variable to specify the config file location.

Order of validation:

  1. Environment Variable (DASELEMENT_CONFIG_PATH)

  2. setup file (setup.ini)

If you want to force the creation of a new setup, simply delete the setup file.

When the config file defined in the setup file is not accessible, the startup screen will appear.

Config file

The config file contains the global configuration of all libraries associated with this configuration.
Here you can define the file structure and naming convention that are shared across all of the linked libraries.

When creating your new setup for the software you can specify the file location.
The file can be stored anywhere. The setup file referenced to this config file.

By default it is stored in your local user home directory



Create different setup files to control different setups scenarios.
For example: for remote working artist that only should have access to the proxy files or individual projects that require a very specific setup.

Create new config

The dialog to create a new configuration (welcome screen) will automatically appear the first time you start the application, or if a configuration file specified in the setup.ini file or by the environment variable DASELEMENT_CONFIG_PATH cannot be found. To create a new configuration, navigate to:

Settings → Global → Path to config → plus-icon button (Create new config)


Welcome screen to create a new configuration

Library file

A library contains a collection of elements.
The library files are saved by default in a hidden folder .config in library root location.

Each library exists of two parts:

  1. Library file
    contains the configuration of the library, like value overwrites and transcoding templates.
    {library_name}.lib - file content is JSON format

  2. Database
    holds all information about the elements of this library
    For file based database (SQLite): {library_name}.db

For Studios it is recommended to use a server-based database like PostgreSQL, MySQL or MariaDB.

It is recommended to create a regular backup for the database! Especially if you are using SQLite.

Define the file structure in the global settings and overwrite values or path patterns that are relevant for this library. This way, the naming convention stays consistent through all libraries, but you can control individual parts by overwriting values depending on this specific library.

Overwrite parts of the naming convention depending on the facility or company division
(VFX, commercial, ….). Now you can easily separate or join the libraries of different parts of your company.

Machine Learning Model

If you want to use the smart tagging feature you need to install machine learning models. These models have been trained for classification of the categories. Each model is trained on a specific task.

The models will be trained by das element for you. Over time these models will improve, will contain more categories and help to tag your library even further and better.

The models have the file extension {model_name}.wit

By default it is stored in your local user home directory



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