Updated: March 8, 2013
Until Kerkythea Echo Boost gets officially released, there will remain a subtle problem in the software setup. Namely, the registry key required to point the program to its data folder, where you are supposed to find your materials and globals is not set, so you will end up with Kerkythea's menu empty of your skies, globals and models.
This short tutorial will show you how you can setup Kerkythea Echo Boost until such time the official version is released with all the expected fixes. Anyhow, in this guide, you will learn about an alternative installation location and preserving your settings. Please follow me.
Old vs. new
Before we begin, a short clarification - all of the steps below refer to Windows 7 and its mechanism of separation between admin and user. Moreover, some of the locations and folders mentioned below are hidden by default and you might not see them in the Windows Explorer. You will need to adjust your system settings accordingly.
In the current stable version, Echo 2008 (2.0), the default installation folder goes under Program Files (x86). Therefore, you will also end up with a VirtualStore folder under your username, where imported materials and globals will be kept. Namely, your grass and trees and hi-res skies and HDR probes all go yonder:
Program Files (x86)\Kerkythea Rendering System\MaterialEditor
Split into two lines for brevity. You can easily backup this data and replicate it among multiple machines without having to manually re-import everything. Quite convenient and useful. One of the chief reasons for this setup, and the separation of the VirtualStore from Program Files is that you need admin privileges to copy files into Program Files. Hence, you would need to run the program with elevated privileges in order to use it.
With Kerkythea Echo Boost (2.5.X), you no longer have to install Kerkythea with admin rights, therefore the program data is moved into the aptly-named ProgramData top-level directory on the same drive where your Windows is installed, usually C:\. Now, the program ought to be able to pick this new location, but with the relevant registry key missing, you get empty menus.
How to fix the problem
There are several ways, but the best one is to install Kerkythea outside your system folders. You can install in your user folder or maybe another drive. This way you will ensure there's nothing that requires admin rights to use and configure.
Then, copy the existing materials and globals from your VirtualStore into the installation directory and merge with the pre-existing empty folders. Finally, you will need to make a single registry change by hand. Open the registry editor (regedit) and navigate to:
Then, change the Data Folder key to point from:
To your custom installation folder, for example:
E:\Kerkythea Rendering System\
And some images:
Once this step is complete, Echo Boost will work just fine:
These forum posts ought to help, too:
There you go, a short innocent tutorial. Nevertheless, it teaches a few interesting things, like the basics of the privilege separation mechanism in Windows 7, hidden folders, Program Files and VirtualStore, how to edit and change registry keys, and a few other things besides. Not a bad list for what is essentially a workaround for 3D software fans.
Once Kerkythea Echo Boost gets released, the fix will not be relevant anymore. Still, if you want to play, you should really backup all your essential data first. And do not attempt anything you might regret later. If Echo works for you, then you might as well let it be. However, if you must have the latest version, this tutorial should come handy.