Sidecar Files

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LifeIsLong
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Joined: 09 Oct 08 2:22

Sidecar Files

Post by LifeIsLong » 16 Aug 15 18:03

Is there a way to get PSU to recognize different types of sidecar files. I use Aftershot Pro and noticed that moving images between drives left the AfterShot xmp files on the source drive. I looked in settings but did not see anything that seemed to allow me to set the extensions for sidecar files.

vlad
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Re: Sidecar Files

Post by vlad » 17 Aug 15 10:26

I don't know anything about AfterShot - which sidecar extension does it use? Are the sidecars fully XMP compliant? Are you interested only to read and write the AS-produced sidecars in PSU (without any subsequent reading & processing in AfterShot) or do you require full inter-operability between the two programs? Would the sidecar extension renaming (to .xmp) be a viable option?

(FWIW, there is a file extension setting in PSU (look under Tools->General Handling), but I don't think it's appropriate for sidecar files, as you wouldn't want those treated as main digital assets.)

vlad
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Re: Sidecar Files

Post by vlad » 17 Aug 15 10:56

P.S. You mentioned the issue arising upon image relocation, but I'm not sure how you have handled the sidecar thingy up to now. Or, are you perhaps talking about moving images as part of the importing process?

LifeIsLong
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Re: Sidecar Files

Post by LifeIsLong » 18 Aug 15 1:12

My concern is just with moving the sidecar files as I move the image files into different folders via PS3. Up until now, I've always moved my .cr2 files before editing so the sidecars did not need to be moved. I looked at the file extension setting, but came to a similar conclusion. I know IDI5 had a way to designate sidecar file extensions. Is there a way to do this with PS3?

Hert
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Re: Sidecar Files

Post by Hert » 18 Aug 15 6:28

http://product.corel.com/help/AfterShot ... iting.html

Oh wow, in their ultimo wisdom they think they've had to implemented a XMP naming schema that is not compliant with the standard. Now they support XMP but in fact they don't. Who makes the decisions there? If they think that XMP is limiting for their needs then don't use it but don't adjust the standards to your own needs, only to isolate your users who think they use a tool that supports XMP. They support XMP that not a single tool will read.
So if you have a 3 star rating stored in XMP you'd have to import the "standard" XMP to their "non-standard" XMP, then you change it to 4 stars in AS and subsequently they only write it to their "non-standard" XMP file. What's the point? The whole point of using XMP is to share metadata between tools.

PS. And their arguments for doing this make no sense either. They could have achieved what they want using the standard XMP naming.

You can't define your own sidecar naming rules in PSU.
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vlad
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Re: Sidecar Files

Post by vlad » 18 Aug 15 11:14

@Hert:
I completely agree with you. Why would AS use a "slightly different" XMP file (quote from their page) rather than use a XMP compliant schema? I guess rules are bound to be bended, while technical standards are meant to be liberally (rather than literally) followed.

@LifeIsLong:
I'm still puzzled how you've been using AS and PSU together; anyway:
My concern is just with moving the sidecar files as I move the image files into different folders via PS3.
How do you move the image files? Do you just move folders around in the Folders view?

LifeIsLong
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Joined: 09 Oct 08 2:22

Re: Sidecar Files

Post by LifeIsLong » 18 Aug 15 11:39

@Hert: wow, I had no idea AfterShot was so unfriendly! Oh well, I don't need to see the edits in PS3. I only use PS3 as my raw converter and PS3 for my metadata needs.

@Vlad/@Hert: All I need is to have the sidecar automatically files moved when I drag and drop a file in folder view. Hert, are you saying that there is no way to do this currently?

vlad
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Re: Sidecar Files

Post by vlad » 18 Aug 15 17:29

I doubt there's any straightforward way to achieve what you want in PS3. If you're adventurous enough, I guess you could try the following:
1. Add the .cr2 extension to the list of recognized extensions.
2. Import the .cr2 files (perhaps by using Verify Folder).
3. Drag and drop as you please the images files, always selecting an image file along with its .cr2 counterpart. (Make sure the files are sorted by name.)
4. Remove from the database (only) the .cr2 files, once you're finished.

Disclaimer:
I have no idea how well that would work - or what side effects it might have. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. (You might even get XMP sidecars generated for your CR2 sidecars, which would be kind of odd.)

Notes:
- I first thought it might be important to have the CR2 files added as versions (assuming the version detection in PS3 works with non-image files too); but I don't think that actually matters for the moving operations, since there's no way (that I know) to simply drag a version set in the folder view.
- You may want to rethink your needs or your use of PS3 w.r.t. moving files around. But if you really want to experiment with what I sketched above, then at least do a backup first. (And, preferably, don't try this at home. :))

tstoddard
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Joined: 07 Sep 12 12:51

Re: Sidecar Files

Post by tstoddard » 18 Aug 15 19:00

vlad,
vlad wrote:Notes:
- I first thought it might be important to have the CR2 files added as versions (assuming the version detection in PS3 works with non-image files too); but I don't think that actually matters for the moving operations, since there's no way (that I know) to simply drag a version set in the folder view.
Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but I believe that the .cr2 files are the Canon raw files. They are not sidecar files. Your comments seem to assume that they are sidecar files. From what I read on the Corel link, the sidecar files should be named %filename%.cr2.xmp. Is that not correct?

I'm just guessing here, but I would expect that when you import the CR2 files, that PSU would create xmp files for them because it wouldn't recognize the existing ones due to the naming conventions used by AS. If you moved the CR2 files the xmp files (created by PSU) would be moved also but the .cr2.xmp files (created by AS) would not. I could be wrong. Please correct me if I am.

Hert,

I understand your point about Corel distorting the standards but would it not be possible to treat the .%existingExtention%.xmp files (the ones created by AS) just like some of the other proprietary files that other raw processing programs create? If a user moves a Raw file that was processed with DxO, doesn't the .dop file get moved as well? I realize that the metadata in the AS sidecar would not get synchronized this way but at least the AS settings that are stored in their proprietary xmp files would stay with the image files. This just a suggestion. I have no idea if it would be possible or not or if it would make sense to do that.

LifeIsLong,

The Corel article says that AS will let you create "standard XMP" sidecar files. Perhaps that's an option you can live with. I had experimented with AS a long time ago and used it strictly as a raw processor. If I wanted multiple versions of an image, I just created multiple image files the same as I do now with photo ninja. I knew that I didn't want to manage my metadata with AS so I made the decision not to use it's virtual version capabilities or its catalog feature either. From what you said, it sounds like you have no need to use AS's catalog either. I think the ability to store multiple versions simply by storing the adjustments in a sidecar file is pretty nifty. It saves the step of having to output extra image files and the disk space that is needed to do that but disk space is cheap enough now to not be an issue. If you're willing to output separate files for each version of the original image, then you should be able to get away with just using a "standard XMP" file. You can use PSU's version management to keep the various file together.

You may have good reasons not to follow any of my suggestions but I thought it might be helpful to make them anyway.
Tom Stoddard

LifeIsLong
Posts: 65
Joined: 09 Oct 08 2:22

Re: Sidecar Files

Post by LifeIsLong » 18 Aug 15 19:12

Tom,

Reading your post, I think you understand what I'm trying to do. Yes, AS produces an xmp file as you said. So in the same folder as the image there is the .cr2 image file, .xmp PS3 sidecar, and the .cr2.xmp AS sidecar. When I am in PS and want to move an image from one folder to another, the .cr2 and .xmp files are moved, but the .cr2.xmp files are left in the original folder.

I will have to look into your suggestion about the "standard xmp" files. That's something I had forgotten... I remember seeing that when the program was Bibble. What do you mean by "PSU's version management?" Do you mean versions of the picture file? How would this work with anything other than an image file? Also, how would you move an entire version set?

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

Re: Sidecar Files

Post by tstoddard » 18 Aug 15 19:52

LifeIsLong,

I'm not at home right how so I can't experiment with moving version sets but when I say "PSU's version management" I mean the way that PSU let's you associate separate image files in "version sets". It's often referred to here as "versioning". You can set up your import profiles to detect multiple versions on import and create the version sets automatically. It's powerful functionality but not without limitations and idiosyncrasies. There have been many threads in this forum related to versioning so I won't go into too much detail.

Version sets, in PSU, are different than what versions are in AS, that's why I used the term "virtual" in my earlier post when talking about AS versions. In PSU, a version set is a set of physical image files that are associated within the catalog so that they stay together and are treated as a single entity in most cases within the PSU interface.

PSU can do automatic version detection when importing new images into your catalog, either when doing an import or when verifying a folder. The algorithms used are based on file names as far as I know . As long as you use consistent file naming rules, you should be able to use version detection pretty successfully. You can also create version sets manually by just dragging and dropping one image on top of another. Files in version sets will share some of their metadata so you will only need to update one version in order to change all of them. Some metadata (ratings for example) are specific to each file. Version sets will appear in collections stacked on top of each other with tabs showing along the right edge so that you can select whichever version you want to see. There's a lot more to know about them but this is enough to get you started.
Tom Stoddard

tstoddard
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Re: Sidecar Files

Post by tstoddard » 18 Aug 15 20:29

Just to provide a more real life example, I often import my raw files into PSU before processing them. I go through them and when I find one that I want to process I open it in PhotoNinja (I use the icon that is created by adding photoninja in the "other applications" section of PSU's preferences. It makes it a simple one-click action.) and then I make the adjustments I want to make. Then, while still in PhotoNinja, I render a jpg with the adjustments applied. I might do this with several other files while I'm still in PN or I might create more than one jpg from the same raw file before returning to PSU. Back in PSU, I right click on an image that has been processed (or any image that is in the same folder) and select Verify Folder (it's nested inside one of the other menu options, I don't recall which one from memory or the exact wording used, sorry). (You can also right click on a folder if you happen to be in folder view and select verify folder from there.) In the verify folder dialog, there is an option that allows you to detect versions. If you have that option set, any new files found in that folder will be imported into the PSU catalog and will be automatically be added to a version set containing the raw file that I started with and any other versions of that file that I may have created.

By creating version sets in PSU, I don't depend on my raw processor to keep track of versions. I can always open any of the files again in my raw processor and make changes or even create more versions. The naming rules that I have set up in PhotoNinja result in filenames that PSU will recognize as versions on import. Version sets can be destroyed, also, and your files will just go back to being separate files if for some reason you don't want them linked anymore. The other thing that works for me is that PhotoNinja can embed the adjustments it makes to those rendered jpgs inside the jpgs themselves so that if I need to go back and edit them later, I can start from where I left off. As long as I leave the raw file and the jpg in the same folder, PhotoNinja will be able to find the raw that the jpg came from when I do this. If I do all of this correctly, I can leave the raw file alone so that I will always be able to go back to the original raw file to make other versions if I want.
Tom Stoddard

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

Re: Sidecar Files

Post by vlad » 18 Aug 15 20:43

tstoddard wrote: Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you, but I believe that the .cr2 files are the Canon raw files. They are not sidecar files. Your comments seem to assume that they are sidecar files. From what I read on the Corel link, the sidecar files should be named %filename%.cr2.xmp. Is that not correct?
@Tom,
Yes, of course, I made a terrible confusion just because .cr seemed like a likely abbreviation for Corel :wink: (But, yeah, I should have known better: unlike me, my significant other is a professional photographer and she shoots Canon. Plus, I had seen countless mentions of .cr2 files - so I did know better, it's just that my mind was momentarily taken over by Corel :) )

@LifeIsLong:
Sorry for the noise. Scrap my wild script and good luck with optimizing your workflow! (You're in good company: Tom's advices are usually very helpful and well thought out.)

Hert
Posts: 5879
Joined: 13 Sep 03 7:24

Re: Sidecar Files

Post by Hert » 19 Aug 15 7:13

@LofeLong; I've added this sidecar definition to the next update.
This is a User-to-User forum which means that users post questions here for other users.
Feature requests, change suggestions, or bugs can be logged in the ticketing system

LifeIsLong
Posts: 65
Joined: 09 Oct 08 2:22

Re: Sidecar Files

Post by LifeIsLong » 19 Aug 15 11:49

@Hert: Thanks, much appreciated!

However, is there any way to see a list of all sidecar definitions? I have also created a mantis request (http://bugs.idimager.com/view.php?id=2903) for user editing the sidecar definitions. While I understand that this is a somewhat minor feature, PS handles sidecar files transparently. When I move an image and delete a folder from within PS, losing sidecar files that are not recognized... the amount of overhead required to use PS goes up.

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