Source control

Posted on April 7th, 2009

Whether you’re and artist working on a model or a technical director writing a script you undoubtedly have to diligently make sure to save incrementally and back up your work to give you a peace of mind that your work is secure against corruption or user error. While manually backing up your data can be sufficient for a single file project it can quickly become unmanageable and unreliable if the scope of your task begins to grow.


Recently I found myself struggling to keep track of revisions I made to several python libraries as I was iterating on a custom plug-in. I wanted to be able to save a working version of my plug-in after every major modification. Naturally I began to look into version control systems like SVN.


Thankfully a friend and a colleague of mine, Kevin Hayes, pointed me in a direction of Perforce. I have been using the Perforce software for several years now at work but never considered it as an option for personal use. As Kevin pointed out Perforce Software is kind enough to provide a fully featured version of Perforce for personal use. While it is limited to two users and five workspaces it is more than enough to keep track of your personal work at home.


The installation of the Perforce client is really straight forward. I set up my depot database on my portable hard drive which basically gives me a portable server. With the five client workspaces you could set up your local depot on multiple computers and sync those with the ‘server’ as desired.


You can find more information about Perforce on their website:


It’s been a real time saver for me recently so give it a try if you get a chance.



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