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Git style backup of binary files

I'm in process of integrating GIT version control system into 3ds max to control .max file versioning.

I tested git with max files for several weeks and have found that it suites my needs, but, anyway, git is little bit overcomplicated for this kind of tasks. What I'm looking for is the program that works just like (well, almost) git, but:

  1. is naturally born windows program - git failed several times on my network shared folders and destroyed my binary max files. This is the main problem, and I don't know how to solve it.
  2. doesn't (doesn't even try to) process file content. I think that speeds up the workflow.
  3. has interface close to TortoiseGIT.

What this software has to have is:

  1. commit and log commands
  2. branching support
  3. be distributed and not server oriented like Perforce.

I tested Mercurial, but it is really slow on large binary files. If someone knows how to speed it up (by disabling content management, I suppose) and have TortoiseHg fully functional, any information would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

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sergo Avatar asked Feb 15 '10 15:02


4 Answers

Binary files have sort of an ambivalent relationship with VCS because:

  • they do not merge (so the all "branching support" is not that interesting)
  • they do not diff very well (meaning the storage of their history is not very compact)
  • they usually can be generated
  • or they can be fetched from other kind of repositories

Binary files are part of Git limits as they tend to slow down the all workflow, and do not scale in size (the repo quickly becomes too large to manage/backup efficiently).

So the question is: could you store those files is some other repo than a VCS?
A Maven repo perhaps (managed by a repo manager like Nexus, not exactly distributed, but made to reference precise version of any kind of set of files).

Jakub Narębski (actual Git contributor) rightly points to a Git fork project able to manage more efficiently big files.

[git-bigfiles alt text (ok, the project logo is awesome ;) )

The question remains: is a VCS the right tool for managing such large objects?
Because in my experience, the question of "cleaning up the history" will be asked one day or another, because of a ever increasing amount of disk space used.
And VCS are fundamentally not made for "clean-up" their history.
Git itself cannot do it without changing its SHA1 key, making any future publication to other public repo problematic.

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VonC Avatar answered Sep 21 '22 21:09


What I don't get is why you want to use a DVCS without being able to diff and so to benefit from it, like the first comment says.

I would advice two possible directions:

  • have a look at archiva and/or ivy (java tools) which were designed to manage the distribution of binary files, such as jar files, to developers, but it might be too much java-centric (or even development centric) for your use case, or

  • try to use rync and its backup possibilities (rsync can save as many versions as you want instead of replacing the previous copy with the new one). It seems well suited to your needs: works well on windows, handles very well binaries, as well as text files, is very bandwidth efficient (can compress), and handles backup with several versions. The only think missing for you would be a GUI, ideally integrated with winexplorer. Maybe there exist some, I don't know..

Hope it'll help.


= Backups are for wimps. Real men upload their data to an FTP site and have everyone else mirror it. --Linus Torvalds =

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Christophe Muller Avatar answered Sep 25 '22 21:09

Christophe Muller

You may want to investigate Veracity which was designed with this requirement in mind. The Windows installer includes a Tortoise-like client. (I don't know if the Mac installer has a similar interface. I do know that the Linux installer currently doesn't have such an interface.)

Relevant links:

  • Download
  • Getting started (Windows client)
  • Getting started (command line)
  • DVCS comparison chart (note, chart created by the Veracity team) ... biggest differences from git are that you can't rebase - by design, no rewriting of history is allowed - and you can't bisect - don't know if this is by design or not
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lofidevops Avatar answered Sep 21 '22 21:09


Have you considered using Autodesk Vault? It works well with 3dsmax (we've been using it for many years, both for Inventor and 3dsmax). http://www.autodesk.com/products/autodesk-vault-family/features

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IAmNoone Avatar answered Sep 22 '22 21:09