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Author Topic: Managing derivates with Aperture  (Read 3953 times)
G-Force
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« on: December 06, 2006, 06:37:00 PM »

I've largely adopted Peter's workflow described in the DAM book for managing and organizing images. That includes storing the derivatives separately from the original RAW files. To those that are using Aperture: are you continuing to store your derivatives separate from the RAW files or are you letting Aperture manage your derivatives along with everything else? The stack feature for keeping derivatives with RAW files is certainly convenient, but I'm wondering what the limitations are to this approach that I might be overlooking. Thanks for any insights!
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smackie
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2006, 04:14:41 AM »

I've been playing with Aperture 1.5 to see whether it's ready to replace iView as my main day-to-day DAM navigator. I've been using ACR for the past few years for raw conversions and convert all of my raw images into DNGs.

I've got parallel directory heirarchies for my raw, DNG and TIFF derivatives. My raw archives are usually left alone and are only for backup. At the moment, I've imported my DNG and TIFF archives into Aperture, leaving them managed "in-place" rather than using the Aperture database to store them. I also use Annoture to pull all my metadata across into Aperture from iView. I import my portfolio images as "rolls", usually with a couple of hundred images in a roll. Each roll is arranged as a project and the DNG and TIFF images for a roll are in the same project. Note that you *have* to arrange them this way if you want to stack them - Aperture won't stack images outside of a project.

My DNG and TIFF images are stacked, with any TIFF image at the top of a stack. This way, I can do quick and dirty conversions in Aperture for selects and "upgrade" them with TIFF images worked in Photoshop if need be.

There's a couple of niggles with Aperture tho' that I think would make it unpleasant if you tried to pull in a load of derivative images and stack them. The principle one is that the stack arrangement is not scriptable in Applescript. That's not helpful at all and some scripting interface here would make life a *lot* simpler. If you automatically stack DNG and TIFF files, the TIFF files go to the bottom of the stack (thanks to alphabetical order, I think). A trick if you're stacking by hand is to select the top of the stack first before selecting the images below it - Aperture always puts the first selected image on top (i.e. I always select the TIFF image first).

Aperture is close to what I want but it's not quite there yet. If it imported metadata from DNG files and allowed DNG exports, I'd use it all the time. As it is, I use it to navigate around my archives, run slideshows and provide JPEGs for web and presentation use.

Scott...
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2006, 08:30:20 AM »

Scott,
It would also be noce if Aperture allowed the user to make some use of the embedded preview in the DNG file.  As Aperture develops, an becomes a more viable solution for photographers, they will want to migrate images in without losing the old adjustment work. Current behavior hides all this work from the viewer, since Aperture ignores the embedded preview.  This will be a fairly large pain point for users with existing adjusted collections.

The simple fix would be to allow Aperture to display and output the embedded preview, even if it does not match Aperture adjustment capability. 

And, as you point out, DNG export would allow users to take their Aperture adjustments with them, if they ever decide to migrate to a different DAM solution.

Hopefully Apple will get this before too long, and Aperture will be a robust DAM solution.
Peter
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smackie
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006, 10:29:57 AM »

It would also be noce if Aperture allowed the user to make some use of the embedded preview in the DNG file.

Peter,

Yup - Aperture's DNG is definitely a bit awkward at the moment. Given Apple's philosophy about not touching masters for any reason at all, I guess I'm not confident of them eventually doing a DNG update with a freshly rendered preview. It's going to be hard enough to see 'em rewrite metadata in a DNG header.

 :Smiley

That said, I find Aperture much less clunky to use as a general image navigator than Lightroom at the moment. Whilst I could really use the (promised) tighter integration between ACR and Lightroom conversions (and it looks like they're nudging the ACR4 basic parameters towards Lightroom), I'm just not that excited about the Lightroom interface. I guess I'll need to check it out again at the 1.X release...

Cheers

Scott...
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2006, 01:58:18 PM »

Scott,
And as far as DAM, I'm afraid that Lr v1 is not going to be useful to most pros. 
Peter
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