Practical 3D Tips #3; Backing up is your saviour

Everyone loses a vital piece of work at least once in their career. It could happen at a relatively harmless time when you haven’t done much work on the project anyway. It could also happen at the worst possible time, five minutes before deadline with your boss (or tutor, sometimes that’s the same thing) breathing down your neck.

With this tip we may not remove that dynamic entirely, but we can lessen the chances of it happening. Do you want to limit the amount of times you’ll have to go through that particular uncomfortable, sickening experience?

Storing backups of your work in several different locations will limit the chances of you losing that piece of work when you need to use it.

How you can lose everything:

Even if you’re using incremental saving with your 3D work, you can lose everything. Lets say you go into work one day and your computer’s died, or your hard drive’s failed, or the disk needs to be reformatted. Your pen drive (if that’s where you keep your work) refuses to work and your only copy of that important file is now gone. Or worse, you send the finished product to the appropriate person then lose the original file; they misplace the email and its now on your head.

What happens when you don’t lose it all:

Assuming we follow this tip and back up our files the way we’re meant to we can erase this entire problem. If your hard drive gets corrupted, no big deal – you have your files elsewhere. Your pen drive may still fail however aside from some minor annoyance you can get through it quickly. Sent the file to the required person and they lose it? No problem, you can just resend at your leisure.

Here’s my method:

1. Back up to the cloud. There are a number of different places online you can store files; Dropbox and iDrive are a couple that I use. A quick google search will return various options (some paid, some free) that can help you here. Use only for your most important files.

2. Back up to a pen drive. You can quickly make copies of your more important or current files and store them in strategic places (ie. work, home, college, parents’ house, etc).

3. Back up to a portable hard drive. Back up your entire system every couple of weeks or every month; if something goes horribly wrong you’ll always have your main files and system configuration.

Bonus: You can also copy important files onto DVDs and store them at different locations; this works best when they’re not in the same place as the rest of your backups. Give them to a friend or family member for the unlikely event of a fire or flood.


Following even a couple of these technique will save you loads of heartache and re-work. I’ve been there recently; one of my best 3D pieces managed to fall through the cracks and now I only have one of the very beginning files. Don’t do that, it’s not worth it. Backing up, in the long run, is so much quicker.

2 thoughts on “Practical 3D Tips #3; Backing up is your saviour

  1. Eric

    Backing up your work in several places will definitely help you to keep things and not cause loss for later on. I’ve had this issue and a few months ago actually discovered my external hard drive is dead. All the data is gone. Now I always put my data on DVDs or CDs or online storage somewhere. You can never be too careful as you never know what’s going to happen or when.

    This is something to always keep in mind over anything else in my opinion.

    Three rules of computers: backup, backup, backup. 🙂

    1. Heather

      Wow, sorry for the delay Eric! Anyway, I completely agree; backing up is critical. Good to see you’ve your own method of doing it as well 🙂


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