Set yourself up properly from the get go.
Network path your texture maps folder directly, for example, my maps folder is mapped to drive letter Z.
Press ‘Start’ / Computer / Map network drive. (top toolbar)
Select a drive letter, for example Z.
Click browse, navigate to the location of your texture map folder, for example; Server/E/Textures.
The mapped drive will appear in your list of drives. The name will be the folder name and the path will be displayed. You can condense this down to just the folder name.
Mapping the texture folder directly to a drive letter means you can change the location of your assets without too much trouble, just as long as the Drive letter is always consistent, ie Z\maps\.
All computers in your network have the folder called ‘textures’ directly mapped to a drive letter, for example ‘Z’.
Sub-categories such as wood & concrete are in this folder.
In the max Asset tracker your texture path will appear as Z/wood/birch_diff.jpg
Using this approach means the location is not specific to a particular drive structure.
If you were to UNC path your texture maps the asset tracker could look like this:
Computer name/Drive letter/3D folder/Texture map folder/Category/Texture map.jpg
The disadvantages are:
Every map has the drive structure hard coded to your texture map path, as displayed in the asset tracking.
You reveal your folder structure if you have to share assets.
It forces you to maintain your system folder structure.. forever!
Network mapping near the end of your structure means that you can have a cloned drive off site with a different preceding drive structure. You can work from a laptop and a cloned portable drive. Just map the network drive to the location relative to that machine and the rest is taken care of for you. You can create files with textures mapped to Z drive, then open them in another location with no pathing issues, (assuming you have the same texture in both locations)
I also recommend pathing a dedicated ‘Proxy’ drive. Other linked assets include ies files, point cache files for animation, irradiance map and light cache, Xref’s.
I use Colin Senna’s script ‘relink bitmaps’.
If you choose to re structure your drives, his script is fantastic.
It re-paths proxies and other assets too without the need to venture into the asset tracker.
Vray & 3Ds Max.
No matter how experienced you are in the world of 3D, sometimes things just go wrong… This oughta help though!.