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1  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: People on: September 05, 2008, 05:09:27 PM
Hi mtpaper,

...just to throw in my two cents.  Personally, I use keywords rather than the 'people' field in XM2 to store names of people depicted in images fr a few reasons:

-You can't nest people in sets and subsets in the people field like you can in hierarchical keywords.  I.e. if I use keywords, I can divide people that appear in many of my photos into easy to search categories like friends, family, models, and clients.

-Keywords is a standard field, while people (as John said) is not.  Though some non-XM2 apps will allow you to view the people field, many will not.  Sticking to the more standard keyword field keeps my metadata more portable to both existing and future DAM applications.

-Keywords seem to search better than catalog sets and fields like 'people' using the search box in the upper right of the XM2 window.  I've found keywords to quickly and reliably return results, while searching for names of catalog sets and 'people' can be unpredictable.

Thanks,

Andris
2  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: Issue with previews??? on: July 09, 2008, 10:41:39 PM
Welcome to iView-EM land... it is disappointing that this 2GB limit, which is probably the most clamored-for improvement even before iView became EM, is still not implemented. (* this space reserved for critical remarks about the lack of response to customer feedback... *)
--Bill

In all fairness...I have recently been working with the Microsoft XM2 development team on troubleshooting an extremely pesky bug that we ultimately tracked down to a problem with the antivirus software on my server causing hangs when accessing XM2 catalogs over the network.  The XM2 team was _remarkably_ responsive, taking the time to analyze my crash dumps and giving me same day feedback.  I'm just as frustrated with the 2GB limit as everyone else....but I don't know that I'd call them unresponsive.

Andris
3  Software Discussions / ImageIngester and ImageVerifier / Re: ImageIngester Version 3.1.01 has simultaneous multi-card ingestion on: June 26, 2008, 07:56:33 PM
True, I suppose you're right.  I was thinking of the difference in multi-card ingestions on our capture tower with internal SATA RAID 5, and on our capture laptop importing to an external USB 2.0 drive:  Huge benefit on the tower, very little benefit on the laptop

Of course the difference is the SATA, not the RAID.  Silly me.

Andris
4  Software Discussions / ImageIngester and ImageVerifier / Re: ImageIngester Version 3.1.01 has simultaneous multi-card ingestion on: June 26, 2008, 05:57:24 PM
Wow, can't wait to try this out!  Eagerly anticipating the windows version.

I saw your performance comparisons on downloading in serial vs parallel....have you tried this on a RAID?  I would think that's where you might see significant improvements downloading many at once.

Thanks for continuing to innovate,

Andris
5  DAM Stuff / Hardware Discussions / Re: Printers-archival quality on: June 05, 2008, 12:12:51 AM
Hi Bill,

1.  I've only used Epson pro printers...I can't say much about other brands.  I've seen impressive demos on Canon printers at trade shows.

2.  I think there's probably a product at just about every price point.  This is one of those areas where the sky's the limit in terms of price.  It may help to pick a budget and go off of that.  An other option might be to go used?  People are upgrading all the time...you might try to snag someone else's hand me downs?

3.  Here http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/4000-cost.shtml is a great link about the kind of math you have to do to track printing costs.  I think it has per print estimates on the Epson Stylus 4800 and 4000.

Hope this is helpful,

Andris
6  DAM Stuff / Hardware Discussions / Re: Printers-archival quality on: June 04, 2008, 04:34:49 PM
The big question here is how much you're going to print?  The more you print, particularly at large sizes, the more cost effective it becomes to print yourself.

Also, what are your prints going to be used for?  If you're selling or exhibiting your work, you're likely going to want more control over color management and quality assurance than most labs will give you.  If you're printing largely for your personal consumption, you may be happier with the convenience afforded by printing with a lab.

Pro printers, their inks, and their papers are quite expensive.  We use the Epson Stylus Pro 4800, which produces remarkable image quality.  We are constantly printing 11"x14" images to update 10 copies of a photographer's portfolio.  These are the images we send to art buyers and photo editors to get work, so basically if they don't look good we don't get work.  The immediate feedback of printing a version, evaluating it, and reprinting it if necessary is invaluable.

If you're printing large frequently, I would recommend getting a printer that can support roll paper printing.  This will allow you to define custom paper sizes and make sure you're not wasting paper by having to print on standard sizes.

Hope that helps,

Andris
7  Software Discussions / Lightroom / Re: LR 2, EM 2, AA 2, CS 3 -- DAM Workflow Review? on: June 03, 2008, 06:10:05 PM
Just to chime in here...

I work on very large volumes of images for a lifestyle/advertising photographer....sometimes 3000-5000 shot in one day.  Images are divided into subfolders for each of the day's shots.  Each folder usually holds between 400-1100 images.  For me, working on Windows XP machines with more than adequate hardware, Bridge CS3's current version is too slow to be usable. 

I started using Lightroom as a stand in for bridge, and all of my problems have gone away.  For me, waiting for Bridge to build the cache of thumbnails was just as time consuming as waiting for LR to import and build previews...but it was less predictable.  It would get 20-30% through building the cache for a folder and then just hang and never wake up.  LR never has this problem.

For speed reasons, I configure LR to _not_ immediately write changes to XMP metadata.  I make all my changes, and use the 'Metadata -> Save Metadata to Files' option to push changes to XMP all at once.

So the abbreviated version of my workflow is:

1)   Return from a shoot with a hard drive of CR2 raw images organized into subfolders by day number and shot number (i.e. day01 -> shot01, day01 -> shot02, etc)
2)   Copy the entire directory structure to a our server
3)   Photographer rates in PhotoMechanic, changes are written to XMP.  This is mostly because she likes to edit right away
4)   Import shoot into a new LR catalog saved locally on my machine, build standard size (1680px, medium quality) previews.  Apply bulk metadata using the LR importer.
5)   Start with day01 -> shot01
6)   Bulk color balance from color card
7)   Filter by photographer's rating, apply more specific bulk adjustments to selects
Cool   Start export of 72dpi, sRGB proofs for shot01
9)   Immediately continue to steps 5-7 for shot02
10) When proofs have been delivered to client via our website, select all images in the catalog and save metadata to files
11) Use Adobe DNG converter to build DNGs with full size previews and preserve subfolders, simultaneously importing into XM2.  DNGs are built into a directory structure based on hard drive sized buckets and backed up.
12) Use XM2 to locate and tag client selects as they come in (over a period of days to weeks later).  At this point, the CR2 files and the LR catalog are deleted.
13) Use the 'open with photoshop' option to open the files with ACR.  Use ACR's 'save' option to save the files as .psd to a working directory.  Process with Photoshop and deliver.


That's the quick and dirty.  Basically, using LR to cut out Bridge is the best thing that's happened to our workflow since the DAM book. Smiley

Andris
8  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: Have Licenses of EM and iView, But Can't Upgrade on: May 29, 2008, 06:12:35 PM
FYI - Microsoft XM2, both upgrade and full, are finally available for purchase.

http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/purchase.aspx?key=media

Enjoy,

Andris
9  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: Have Licenses of EM and iView, But Can't Upgrade on: May 28, 2008, 05:54:57 PM
Sorry, I misunderstood....thought you were asking about the upgrade pricing policy.

As far as wanting to buy XM2, we're in the same boat.  If you read the fine print on the XM page (http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/purchase.aspx?key=media), it still says 'Available in late May' in the upper right hand corner.

The full version of XM2 actually isn't out yet, but should be in the next day or two.  I'm really hoping they resolve this before peoples' demo licenses start expiring.

Andris
10  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: Have Licenses of EM and iView, But Can't Upgrade on: May 28, 2008, 04:24:39 PM
Hi Kent,

If you originally purchased iView and got the free upgrade to XM1 unfortunately you're not entitled to a free upgrade to XM2.  You'll have to purchase the upgrade for $99/seat.  (At least it's better than having to buy XM2 for full price).

If you originally purchased XM1, you're eligible for a free upgrade to XM2.

Hope this helps,

Andris

11  DAM Stuff / Data Validation / Re: Comparing Folder Contents on: May 27, 2008, 03:59:05 PM
Hi Frank,

I work primarily on PC, but I digital tech and end up working on macs from time to time.  I remember finding this http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/automator/syncfolders.html when I needed to sync two folders on a mac in the past.  It's an automator script that's freely available.  I didn't know enough about automator at the time to make it work for me in the short timeframe I had...but you might want to check it out.

Hope it helps,

Andris
12  Software Discussions / Lightroom / Re: Export while preserving subfolders on: May 20, 2008, 04:34:43 PM
Hi John,

I've played with the LR2 beta a bit, but I was avoiding using it for actual jobs to avoid future migration issues.  I hadn't done a big export from it yet.  Does it support exporting into subfolders?  If so, fantastic!  One more feature I can't wait to start putting to use.

Thanks!

Andris
13  Software Discussions / Lightroom / Export while preserving subfolders on: May 19, 2008, 11:41:22 PM
Hi, I'm wondering if anyone else has run into this problem and come up with a workaround short of writing an export module for Lightroom.

Is it possible to export a large group of files and preserve their subfolder structure?  I batch adjust shoots for a high volume shooter, and when I'm done adjusting her selects I need to have lightroom export online proof size jpgs.  Ideally, I would finish adjusting the whole shoot and then set it up to convert over night.

The problem is, the shoot is divided into subfolders by days and shots (i.e day01\shot01, day01\shot02) etc.  The online service we use to share proofs with clients can automatically generate separate galleries from folders, so I need to maintain the day\shot subfolder structure for the exported jpgs.  Lightroom doesn't seem to offer me any way to do this.

As far as I can tell, my options are to either queue up the exports as separate actions, one at a time (gets tedious when I have 15+ shots on each of 4 days), or to export into one giant folder and re-sort jpgs using a file browser like photo mechanic (there's nothing worse than redoing work that's already been done).

Anyone got any suggestions?

Thanks,

Andris
14  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: Expression Media 2 on: May 19, 2008, 10:56:39 PM
Unfortunately EM1 is as far as you'll get for free on your iView license.

People who actually purchased XM1 can upgrade to XM2 for free, but those of us who came in with iVMP have to do the $99 upgrade.

Note that XM2 isn't actually available for purchase just yet, it's only availalble as a 30 day trial.

http://www.microsoft.com/expression/products/Upgrade.aspx

Andris
15  Software Discussions / Media Pro & Expression Media / Re: Installing XM2 trial wipes out IVMP 3.1 preferences on: May 16, 2008, 04:33:18 PM
Hi Dierk,

I figured the developers of XM2 would have kept things completely separate, and I had heard that people were running IVMP and XM side by side so I didn't anticipate having this problem.  I installed XM2 to its default directory (C:\Program Files\Microsoft Expression\Media 2).  I don't know if it's relevant, but I have IVMP 3.1, XM 1, and XM 2 all installed on this machine...though I never run them at the same time.

Now that I have the preferences dialed back in to where I had them before, everything seems to run smoothly...so it's not that they don't play nice.  It was just annoying to have to reset the prefs.  In particular, I'm glad I caught that 'variable' thumbnail size before importing anything.

Andris
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