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Alienbrain Features & Specifications

Engineered from the ground up to help artists work more efficiently, Alienbrain is the most widely used asset management solution for media and entertainment projects. Its combination of visual workflows for artists and robust back-end management and administration tools make it the ideal solution for your next game, film or design project.

Here's a list of some of the features that make Alienbrain the favorite of production teams everywhere.

System Requirements
Supported Image formats

Secure File Management and Version Control

Alienbrain stores, versions, and tracks a production’s assets and related data in a secure repository that provides version control and history for all assets on a central server. It prevents accidental overwrites by controlling concurrent operations on the same assets.

  • Comprehensive Version History: You can browse a file’s version history using thumbnails to identify the right version quickly. You can view, edit, and compare previous versions easily.

  • Rollback: To undo changes to a file you can “roll back” to any previous version. You can roll back individual files, or entire folders recursively.

  • Powerful Search Tools: Alienbrain offers powerful searching options, from quick searches to advanced searches using wildcards and regular expressions. You can also search histories to find a specific version of a file or a submitted change set.



Visual Workflows

Alienbrain’s visual workflows and collaboration tools make it the favorite of artists, and integrations with leading 3D and 2D art tools ensure that it slots neatly into any production pipeline.

  • Intuitive User Interface: Alienbrain’s award-winning user interface is easy to learn and easy to use. You can change the arrangement of different views to suit user preferences or workflow requirements.

  • Previews and Thumbnails: Instead of having you memorize filenames and shortcuts, the Alienbrain preview server generates thumbnails and previews on the fly, so you experience the Alienbrain asset repository as an immersive, visual environment where you can find the right assets quickly.

  • Local File State Icons: Local file modifications are displayed using intuitive icons so you know what changes you’ve made to local copies of the files. You can find relevant files in seconds, and can identify files that are only present locally, so you can import them into Alienbrain.

  • Integrations for Leading Art Tools: Alienbrain features plugins for applications like Autodesk Maya and 3ds Max, and Adobe Photoshop so you can access files in the Alienbrain repository without switching applications. Alienbrain manages externally referenced files automatically, so if your 3D scene references textures, Alienbrain extracts them automatically when you check the scene out.


Collaborative Environment

Alienbrain is a perfect collaborative environment for media and entertainment projects, whether you’re creating art assets, reviewing and signing off, or tracking projects status.

  • Image Annotations: You can add non-destructive annotations, stored in separate markup layers, to any image so it’s easy to give visual feedback and identify required changes.

  • Integrated Messaging: Alienbrain’s built-in messenger and email support simplifies team communication by allowing you to send a hyperlinks to, or copies of files to team members without switching applications.

  • Reporting: Advanced reporting tools allow project leads and managers to track project status in real-time and re-assign work items as needed. Pre-defined and custom workflows make it easy to quickly review the overall state of a project. Administrators can attach metadata, like due dates and assigned users, to making subprojects easier to track.


Software Configuration Management

Alienbrain offers a complete set of software configuration management features that make it the tool of choice for games programmers.

  • Labels: Labels allow you to assign names to folders or files at a specific point in time, making it easy to go back later and recreate an exact asset configuration.

  • Change Sets: Change sets group changes made to individual files into a logical entity that can be used throughout the project lifecycle. Change sets allow you to make changes locally and defer the server-side execution until the entire set of changes is completed.

  • Parallel Development and Branching: Using Alienbrain, developers can work in parallel on projects or modules and perform simultaneous changes—even to the same file. They can also work on different branches to make controlled changes to a released version of a product while continuing development in the main line. In both cases, Alienbrain tracks the changes to individual files and allows them to integrate their changes easily.


Architecture and Administration

Alienbrain offers enterprise-class back-end technology with intelligent administration tools to keep projects running smoothly.

  • Server Health Monitoring: The Server Health Monitor is a modular server-side watchdog process that constantly monitors the operational conditions of the Alienbrain server processes and reports the status to the administrator’s desktop, reducing the risk of unscheduled downtime and improving overall availability.

  • Fine-Grained Access Control: Administrators can control access rights logically (by role) or physically (by files and folders). Users can have assigned roles that determine their access capabilities or be granted operational privileges on specific files or folders.

  • Remote Collaboration: Using http/https, remote clients can securely access the Alienbrain repository without going through a VPN. The remote collaboration server (RCS) enables protocol routing for small teams or individuals working remotely.

  • Automatic Database Backup: To minimize downtime, you can back up project databases at regular intervals without shutting down the system. Project metadata can be copied to a backup location in configurable intervals.

  • Flexible Storage Management: Flexible offline and online capabilities help system administrators cope with next-generation multi-terabyte projects. Bucket Management makes it easy to intelligently move older file versions to secondary storage, freeing up disk space.


Customization and APIs

Alienbrain is completely customizable, and ships with fully documented APIs and sample code for Jscript, MEL, maxscript, C++ and Microsoft .NET, as well as a host of other customization tools.

  • Custom Metadata: You can assign custom metadata to every file in the Alienbrain repository to help filter files, manage file variants, generate custom reports, and so on. Each branch in the file tree can have custom metadata, or inherit metadata from its parent branch.

  • Triggers & Events: Alienbrain supports server- and client-side triggers/and events. On the client, events are generated before and after each operation, and can be caught to change the standard behavior.

  • Command Line Tool: Available on all supported platforms of the cross-platform client, the command-line tool offers advanced users a powerful way of automating tasks and batch processing.

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