Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Stephen
Posts: 658
Joined: 01 Oct 14 10:15

Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Stephen » 30 Apr 15 9:33

Photo Ninja appears to write edits to an xmp file. This might be useful if PSu is able to read it and it does not conflict with how PSu uses the xmp file.

Does anybody know the best way to set this up please?
Photo NinjaScreenSnapz001.jpg
Photo NinjaScreenSnapz001.jpg (41.23 KiB) Viewed 4107 times
My goal (as readers might know from other threads) is to find an editor whose edits PSu can easily read and accurately render.
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

tstoddard
Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by tstoddard » 30 Apr 15 16:38

Stephen,

I use Photo Ninja (PN) almost exclusively to process raw files and I've run into many small issues with my metadata as a result. PN seems to modify files quite often, even files that you haven't opened for editing, which results in PSU flagging them as changed when you run a folder verification. I think it happens mostly when using the browser view in Photo Ninja. I am still experimenting with workflows to try to find the best way to integrate the two applications but I'm usually able to get the results I want in the end regardless of what I do. It just takes a little more care than I would like it to take. The issues are subtle and somewhat complicated but I'll try to explain.

For starters, let me address your original question. The option to write "shadow" xmp files into the _photoninja subfolder doesn't have any affect in PSU that I can tell. I believe all that does is causes PN to create and maintain duplicate xmp files. The main xmp files are still in the original file's folder and PN will write xmp files to both locations. The purpose of PN doing this is to protect metadata written by PN. It assures PN that it will not lose settings when another program overwrites the original xmp file. I haven't tested this but I think PN will always rewrite the original xmp file if it finds that the shadow file is different. Either way, it won't help you accomplish what you desire. PSU doesn't not look at PN settings in the xmp file.

What PSU will do, I believe (it was doing it but I haven't tested it in any of the recent builds of PSU), is look for the preview file that PN creates in the _photoninja subfolder and when it finds one it will display it instead of the preview file from the raw image. You have to configure PN to write the preview file to that directory, it won't do it be default. I'm not on my home PC so I don't have PN here to look at to tell you where to do that but it's not hard to find. I've written about this before in this forum but I'll repeat myself for your benefit. Using PN's preview does accomplish what you are asking for to some degree but it has it's shortcomings. The preview files are downsized jpegs rendered from the raw file. The are large enough to display at full screen but they're not much bigger than that and I think they are compressed so that the quality may not be as good as you'd like it to be. This will certainly allow you to see the colors and any other edits you've made. The shortcoming is that once PSU finds that preview file, it is the only file that PSU will display (unless that has changed recently). This means that if you want to see your original image zoomed to 100% in PSU you can't. One of the things I like to do in PSU is to look at full size images when I open them in full screen view and in the light table so that I can compare similar images and zoom in to try to determine which is sharper. When I started writing previews to the _photoninja subfolder, I could no longer do this so I stopped writing the previews. Depending on your workflow, however; you might find that this is exactly what you are looking for and you might be satisfied with it.

The other issues I've experienced have to do with metadata. They are hard to explain because I have trouble reproducing them on demand and they are usually related to raw/jpeg pairs of files. Since I opt not to write the previews in PN, what I do instead is I just render jpegs of each file that I process. Then, I put them in version sets in PSU during import (or file verification). I often find discrepancies between the metadata in the jpegs and the raw file's xmp. I try cascading metadata in the version sets but even that doesn't always correct all of the discrepancies. Also, I often have to manually write metadata out to files after I've imported them and I also have to convert metadata to xmp pretty often. I'm not sure why this happens and it's a PIA but I've learned to live with it. I think I could avoid some of this if I would adopt specific workflow steps but those steps aren't always the way I prefer to do things.

Lately, I've been importing and renaming my files using FastPictureViewer, then processing them in PN, then importing them into PSU. This usually gives me pretty consistent results but it's not the ideal way for me to do things. I would much rather import my raw files into PSU first and then process them in PN after I've labeled them in PSU. The problem is that whenever I open an image in PN and use browser view in PN then a bunch of the files in that folder show up as being changed when I go back into PSU. It's nuisance but I can live with it. For example, often I see an image in PSU that I want to process or reprocess in PN so I open it in PN, process it, and render a new jpeg. Then I go back to PSU and verify the folder. I import the new jpeg and use version detection during the import so that I end up with a version set containing the raw file and the new jpeg. Sometimes, the information under the jpeg thumbnail that is normally displayed is missing. That's when I have to convert metadata to xmp. I'm not sure why or exactly when this happens but it happens often.

I need to do some serious testing to figure out exactly what is happening and when it's happening but lately I've been busy shooting photos and processing them and I don't want to waste my time testing software. Photography is just a hobby for me and I do have a full-time job so my time is somewhat limited. Even if I can ascertain exactly what, why and when things are happening, I'm not confident that I can do anything about it. Developers of both products have been very accommodating but there are limits to what you are willing and able to do.

As I said, recently in another thread, I would love to see PSU and PN come together and integrate their products. It would be a match made in heaven for me. I think that product would give Lightroom a run for its money.
Tom Stoddard

Stephen
Posts: 658
Joined: 01 Oct 14 10:15

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Stephen » 30 Apr 15 17:39

tstoddard, many thanks to start.

>>>I use Photo Ninja (PN) almost exclusively to process raw files and I've run into many small issues with my metadata as a result. It just takes a little more care than I would like it to take. The issues are subtle and somewhat complicated.

Hmm, I was hoping to hand over this task to somebody else once I get it sorted, but it seems complex. No wonder so many use Lightroom, Photoshop and other well-known brands

>>>The option to write "shadow" xmp files into the _photoninja subfolder doesn't have any affect in PSU that I can tell. I believe all that does is causes PN to create and maintain duplicate xmp files. The main xmp files are still in the original file's folder and PN will write xmp files to both locations. The purpose of PN doing this is to protect metadata written by PN. It assures PN that it will not lose settings when another program overwrites the original xmp file. I haven't tested this but I think PN will always rewrite the original xmp file if it finds that the shadow file is different. Either way, it won't help you accomplish what you desire. PSU doesn't not look at PN settings in the xmp file.

I am still having to learn about these intricacies which my previous PIEware took care of automatically.

>>>What PSU will do, I believe (it was doing it but I haven't tested it in any of the recent builds of PSU), is look for the preview file that PN creates in the _photoninja subfolder and when it finds one it will display it instead of the preview file from the raw image. I've written about this before in this forum but I'll repeat myself for your benefit.

Thanks.

>>>Using PN's preview does accomplish what you are asking for to some degree but it has it's shortcomings. The preview files are downsized jpegs rendered from the raw file. The are large enough to display at full screen but they're not much bigger than that and I think they are compressed so that the quality may not be as good as you'd like it to be. This will certainly allow you to see the colors and any other edits you've made.

If the colours and edits are good, that would be great

>>>The shortcoming is that once PSU finds that preview file, it is the only file that PSU will display (unless that has changed recently). This means that if you want to see your original image zoomed to 100% in PSU you can't. One of the things I like to do in PSU is to look at full size images when I open them in full screen view and in the light table so that I can compare similar images and zoom in to try to determine which is sharper. When I started writing previews to the _photoninja subfolder, I could no longer do this so I stopped writing the previews.

Oh, that IS a drawback! I am still designing a new workflow based around PSu as the starting point. I too have been using the PSu 100% zoom on jpgs and then mark the corresponding raw for reprocessing and editing. I don't know whether you shoot raw and jpg, but I would like to be able to zoom 100% on the raw too. Is the admin reading? Then I could use the raw in the PSu database for verification (sharpness or other details) and the jpg, even after reprocessing in PN Photo Ninja for the visual effect. The visual effect is the most important factor for me in a photographic database and invaluable for its use in sorting portfolios or making selections, as nobody wants to re-open PN or Capture One (or another editor) for every image to verify what it really looks like. It's easy immediately, but 1 month or 5 years down the line!!!

>>>Depending on your workflow, however; you might find that this is exactly what you are looking for and you might be satisfied with it.
Maybe

>>>The other issues I've experienced have to do with metadata. They are hard to explain because I have trouble reproducing them on demand and they are usually related to raw/jpeg pairs of files. Since I opt not to write the previews in PN, what I do instead is I just render jpegs of each file that I process. Then, I put them in version sets in PSU during import (or file verification). I often find discrepancies between the metadata in the jpegs and the raw file's xmp. I try cascading metadata in the version sets but even that doesn't always correct all of the discrepancies. Also, I often have to manually write metadata out to files after I've imported them and I also have to convert metadata to xmp pretty often. I'm not sure why this happens and it's a PIA but I've learned to live with it. I think I could avoid some of this if I would adopt specific workflow steps but those steps aren't always the way I prefer to do things.

>>>I need to do some serious testing to figure out exactly what is happening and when it's happening but lately I've been busy shooting photos and processing them and I don't want to waste my time testing software.

That's what all photographers want to do. Are we alone in our goals in organizing and editing our fruits?

>>>Developers of both products have been very accommodating but there are limits to what you are willing and able to do. As I said, recently in another thread, I would love to see PSU and PN come together and integrate their products. It would be a match made in heaven for me. I think that product would give Lightroom a run for its money.

I am open to photo editors, but somewhat closed to Adobe products, as the company IMHO comes close to the CIA in their spying capabilities. Enough said.

@tstoddard
Thanks again. I am going to write to Photo Ninja now.
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

tstoddard
Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by tstoddard » 30 Apr 15 21:09

Stephen wrote:Oh, that IS a drawback! I am still designing a new workflow based around PSu as the starting point. I too have been using the PSu 100% zoom on jpgs and then mark the corresponding raw for reprocessing and editing. I don't know whether you shoot raw and jpg, but I would like to be able to zoom 100% on the raw too. Is the admin reading? Then I could use the raw in the PSu database for verification (sharpness or other details) and the jpg, even after reprocessing in PN Photo Ninja for the visual effect. The visual effect is the most important factor for me in a photographic database and invaluable for its use in sorting portfolios or making selections, as nobody wants to re-open PN or Capture One (or another editor) for every image to verify what it really looks like. It's easy immediately, but 1 month or 5 years down the line!!!
I usually shoot to raw only but I don't think that changes anything. If you're using PN I would assume that you are processing raw files not jpgs. PN will process jpgs but it's much more limited in its effectiveness when doing so. If you create a jpg using PN, you can opt to embed the PN settings in the jpg. If you do that and then you reopen that jpg for editing in PN, PN will reference the raw file and apply the previous settings to the raw file and let you continue editing from that point. Essentially, you are always working on the raw file. I'm not certain but I think if you open a jpg in PN it will automatically look for a raw file with the same name even if you haven't embedded that information in the jpg. I could be wrong about that, I'd have to test it. I do sometimes use an old point and shoot camera that only shoots jpgs and I have used PN to edit those. It will do it but with limits.

If you are going to create jpgs and import them into PSU then you really don't need to use the previews or to have PSU try to interpret the settings and apply them to the raw file. You can just use the jpgs and you can have the unedited raw files there as well to compare. That's what I do and I create version sets in PSU with the rendered jpg as the main version so in Catalog view in PSU I see the jpgs by default. If I want to see the raw files, I can access them easily by selecting the tab next to the thumbnail that contains the raw file. I thought the reason you wanted to see the adjustments that your editor applied to an image from within PSU was because you didn't want to have to create jpgs. If you're going to render a jpg in PN or any other editor then why would you need PSU to try to read the editor's settings and generate a preview using those settings?
Tom Stoddard

HCS
Posts: 150
Joined: 19 Feb 14 22:08

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by HCS » 01 May 15 18:29

tstoddard wrote:...
The shortcoming is that once PSU finds that preview file, it is the only file that PSU will display (unless that has changed recently). This means that if you want to see your original image zoomed to 100% in PSU you can't. One of the things I like to do in PSU is to look at full size images when I open them in full screen view and in the light table so that I can compare similar images and zoom in to try to determine which is sharper. When I started writing previews to the _photoninja subfolder, I could no longer do this so I stopped writing the previews. Depending on your workflow, however; you might find that this is exactly what you are looking for and you might be satisfied with it.
...
I agree that is a shortcoming, but for a whole different reason. Once you switch on this way of working, other raw converter edits won't show. I have no clue (because i never tested it) which raw converter edit preview takes precedence. If, somehow, i missed that PSU now shows various edit previews side by side, i apologize. However, on top of that, some sort of placeholder should be assigned (in analogy of the album placeholder etc.), so one could select for all files edited with raw converter X or Y, but also could see in the catalog how many different edits there are.

Icing on the cake would be if PSU would use this WoW to also support raw converter versioning, i.e. a new edit version created in the raw converter against the same raw file.

I'll be frank, i've never raised a feature request for those things.

vlad
Posts: 895
Joined: 01 Sep 08 15:20

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by vlad » 01 May 15 19:45

Stephen wrote:I am open to photo editors, but somewhat closed to Adobe products, as the company IMHO comes close to the CIA in their spying capabilities.
Just spotted this statement and it has piqued my interest... Would you care to briefly explain? (Sorry if that's off topic, but curiosity is getting the best of me, as I don't closely follow Adobe's practices and policies.)

Stephen
Posts: 658
Joined: 01 Oct 14 10:15

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Stephen » 08 May 15 16:32

tstoddard wrote:If I want to see the raw files, I can access them easily by selecting the tab next to the thumbnail that contains the raw file.
How do I find that "tab next to the thumbnail"?
I must be missing something important here in the set-up of PSu which I have not read about.
Thanks.
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

tstoddard
Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by tstoddard » 08 May 15 17:18

Stephen wrote:How do I find that "tab next to the thumbnail"?
Stephen, I'm referring to the tabs that run down the right side of thumbnails that are in version sets. If you use version sets, anytime a file that is in a version set appears in a collection, the thumbnails will have tabs along the right side. One tab for each member of the version set. The main version will have an asterisk on the tab and the others will be numbered. Selecting one of the tabs by clicking on it will bring it's preview to the top of the stack.

Another feature that I like is when you open the Light Table when an image in a version set is selected. If your version set consists of just your original raw file and one rendered jpg, you'll see your raw file side by side with the jpg. There are times that after painstakingly making adjustments in my raw processor and rendering a jpg with those adjustments that I've come back into PSU and viewed the new jpg next to the original raw file only to find that I liked the way the camera processed my file better than the way I did it.
Tom Stoddard

Mike Buckley
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Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Mike Buckley » 08 May 15 17:41

Stephen,

If I understand you correctly, you seem to be under the impression that Supreme doesn't display RAW files at 100%. It displays my Nikon RAW files at 100%.

Stephen
Posts: 658
Joined: 01 Oct 14 10:15

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Stephen » 08 May 15 18:32

tstoddard wrote:
Stephen wrote:How do I find that "tab next to the thumbnail"?
Stephen, I'm referring to the tabs that run down the right side of thumbnails that are in version sets. If you use version sets, anytime a file that is in a version set appears in a collection, the thumbnails will have tabs along the right side.
I don't have any tabs. Is that setting found in preferences?
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

tstoddard
Posts: 578
Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by tstoddard » 08 May 15 19:27

Stephen,

Watch this short video tutorial about versioning to see what I'm talking about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQoW6bSB-qc
Tom Stoddard

Stephen
Posts: 658
Joined: 01 Oct 14 10:15

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Stephen » 08 May 15 19:58

tstoddard wrote:Stephen,

Watch this short video tutorial about versioning to see what I'm talking about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQoW6bSB-qc
PSu on YouTube. Great. Thanks.
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

Stephen
Posts: 658
Joined: 01 Oct 14 10:15

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Stephen » 09 May 15 13:41

Mike Buckley wrote:If I understand you correctly, you seem to be under the impression that Supreme doesn't display RAW files at 100%. It displays my Nikon RAW files at 100%.
Under Mac, PSu will not magnify Sony ARW raw files with a left click of the mouse like it does with JPG files, whether in the main view screen or in the light box.
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

Mike Buckley
Posts: 1194
Joined: 10 Jul 08 14:18

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Mike Buckley » 09 May 15 14:31

Stephen wrote:Under Mac, PSu will not magnify Sony ARW raw files with a left click of the mouse like it does with JPG files, whether in the main view screen or in the light box.
That seems to be a bug.

Stephen
Posts: 658
Joined: 01 Oct 14 10:15

Re: Photo Ninja as external editor - settings

Post by Stephen » 09 May 15 17:01

deleted
Last edited by Stephen on 10 May 15 9:25, edited 2 times in total.
Never say never change, but using Mac since 2005. Photo Supreme 3.3.0.2605. I endorse the interoperability of files between applications and systems.

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