Another newbie question

Rhod
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Another newbie question

Post by Rhod » 19 Dec 18 16:50

I feel that I should apologise in advance for this one because I feel a bit stupid even asking it, but here goes. I have set up Affinity Photo as my external editor and it works in so far as an image (RAF in this case) opens in AP. But having edited the photo and clicking 'save' AP wants to save the file to the documents directory and as an '.AFPHOTO' file. Any tips on how to make this round trip easier and painless?

I'm happy to admit that I'm not really a photographer and that I bought Photo Supreme mainly to sort out photos of my artwork. But I also take reference landscape photos and of course family stuff as well, all of which I'd like to catalogue. I need maximum resolution for my artwork photos because the images may be used to produce prints, so my proposed workflow is to take artwork photos as RAW (RAF) files, possibly convert to DNG on import to PS and then do any required edits in AP (using it as an external editor). For all other photos I will take JPGs and follow the same route.

One thing that complicates this is that, for my own reference, I often take photos of artwork in different stages of completion. I guess these could be JPGs and could be grouped as 'versions' under the main RAW image?

Any and all advice very welcome!

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G8DHE
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by G8DHE » 19 Dec 18 18:48

Sounds like a Save option in AP needs altering - if it allows - to save it back as a TIF or whatever type you prefer, rather than a file of changes that need to be applied to the original RAF (Raw format).
Geoff Mather (G8DHE)

Mke
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by Mke » 19 Dec 18 18:56

I don't use Affinity, but on your other points:

I don't see any advantage in converting to DNG - but what are your objectives in doing this?

Yes, versioning would be a good way of grouping your images. You may also want to think about how you name your files to help facilitate this.

Rhod
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by Rhod » 19 Dec 18 19:20

G8DE - I've had a look and I can't figure out what to change. Anyone else using Affinity Photo as an external editor care to share how they do it?

Mke - the only reason I was thinking of converting to DNG is that as a format it's meant to be 'future proof' as opposed to proprietary RAW formats such as RAF and NEF, but this may be a case of 'a little knowledge being a dangerous thing'! :)

As far as naming and storing files, I'm migrating from Lightroom and I've always gone with saving files in folders and sub folders under year/month/day and the filename as <unique number/date>. I may be missing a trick here but I see the file name as almost irrelevant if I'm using a DAM. That's the point isn't it - that I can find any file irrespective of its name?

Rhod
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by Rhod » 19 Dec 18 22:14

According to the video tutorial on configuring external applications, "If you make changes to the file in the external application, these changes will automatically be reflected in Photo Supreme." That doesn't seem to be the case for Affinity Photo though.

If using AP is a problem with PS, can anyone recommend a good external editor (anything non Adobe) that integrates well?
Last edited by Rhod on 19 Dec 18 22:19, edited 1 time in total.

Rhod
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by Rhod » 19 Dec 18 22:26

As a follow up, I tried this opening a TIF in APhoto and it worked perfectly, so I guess the problem is with RAW files. I guess I could convert RAW files to TIFs and use them instead? Any disadvantages in doing that?

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G8DHE
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by G8DHE » 19 Dec 18 22:35

You do understand that you don't actually edit the contents as such of RAW files, merely apply "filters" and adjustments to the metadata that applies to the sensor information ? Hence the RAW file sensor data always stays the same and only the metadata is manipulated. Then normally you output a TIFF/DNG or whatever for further external work. Trust I'm not teaching you to suck eggs ;-)
Geoff Mather (G8DHE)

snowman1
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by snowman1 » 19 Dec 18 22:39

Rhod, it may help just to recap on a few basic - with humble apologies if you are already well aware of all this.

PSU maintains *all* its info about images in its main catalog (database). This information is collectively known as metadata.

Auxillary to this main catalog file it has a secondary database file containing the thumbnails, but that is secondary to this discussion :-)

This information - the metadata - can also be written out to the image file itself - if we are talking about jpgs or one or two other formats that support metadata. For formats that do not - e.g. PNG and some raw formats - it can write the information to a "sidecar" file.

When information is written to an image (or sidecar) file, it can be written, optionally, to one or more of a number of different areas or data blocks. One of these echoes the PSU internal representation, for ease of re-creation of data in PSU from the image file); others correspond to standard usage, i.e. that can generally be read by anyone you send the image file to if they also have software that reads standard image data.

What data gets written - or indeed read - by PSU - is controlled by options.

Also - depending on how you set your PSU options - metadata can be written to image files automatically whenever you make and save a change in PSU, or manually. If the latter, your images can get "out of sync" with the images (which isn't necessarily an issue but be aware of it).

I don't use much in the way of external tools, so I don't know what mechanism PSU uses to automatically reflect changes made in them back to PSU as you mention above - whether this is by reading the changed metadata in the image files or not - but hopefully the above brief description may help you in tracking down what is happening. Not all external tools play by the standard rules that PSU adheres to and this can cause issues sometimes.
Snowman1
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Rhod
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by Rhod » 19 Dec 18 23:51

Guys, please don't worry about teaching me to suck eggs etc and please don't apologise! I need all the help I can get and it's much better if you assume I know nothing. I'm happy to be learning - 'every day's a school day' as a friend of mine says! :) I will carefully read the above and assimilate, then maybe come back with a follow up. Thanks - I really appreciate the time you take with your responses. :)

Mke
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by Mke » 20 Dec 18 12:48

Rhod wrote:
19 Dec 18 19:20
Mke - the only reason I was thinking of converting to DNG is that as a format it's meant to be 'future proof' as opposed to proprietary RAW formats such as RAF and NEF, but this may be a case of 'a little knowledge being a dangerous thing'! :)
Future-proofing was an intended benefit of DNG (there are others too - fixity checking the biggest IMHO; compression used to be a plus when disks were small and expensive), but the format is not universally supported in all software packages (for example I can't view DNG files from my Android phone in Photo Supreme, nor edit them in DxO), so if you wanted to move from Affinity in the future it may restrict your options somewhat and may exclude the software provided by your camera manufacturer. Conversion to DNG will 'preserve' the RAW data, but only by converting it to TIFF (which can't be reversed and which may also block the use of RAW-only tools available in some software), and I understand that the conversion process can be intolerant of non-standard metadata that may already be present in the file, which may be discarded (not all software is as good as PSU in sticking to the specifications).

There are other advantages and disadvantages too, so I'd encourage you to explore the topic in detail so you're taking an informed decision.

Rhod wrote:
19 Dec 18 19:20
As far as naming and storing files, I'm migrating from Lightroom and I've always gone with saving files in folders and sub folders under year/month/day and the filename as <unique number/date>. I may be missing a trick here but I see the file name as almost irrelevant if I'm using a DAM. That's the point isn't it - that I can find any file irrespective of its name?
Sorry - I should have provided an explanation. Automatic versioning in PSU looks for variations on a common file name to decide what to version. If your files are named by date then you'll need to version them manually as they won't be automatically recognised.

Since your use of PSU is mainly for artwork, you could consider using a unique reference number or name for each piece of art as the 'base name' of the image, but it may depend where you'd like to spend your time - on the file naming, or on manually versioning. And if on the file naming, whether you use PSU for that, or third party tool pre-import (which I prefer, using FreeCommander under Windows). If you're using <unique number/date> you may already have spotted this.

jstartin
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by jstartin » 20 Dec 18 13:29

Lots of good information in this thread, but going back to the opening questions:

I am not an Affinity Photo user but have looked at its capabilities. The "afphoto" files are proprietary, are equivalent to "psd" files in Photoshop, and can contain all of the "layers" that are used in advanced image processing - one should be able to start work on a jpeg or tiff, save half way through, reopen the "afphoto" file and have all of the workings to date still available. To produce a "flattened" jpeg etc you need to use "Export", not "Save". It would be very surprising if this can not be directed to a folder of your choice.

To manage photos of artwork in different stages of completion you could consider doing this with labelling - eg, if you have a single label for each piece of art and assign it to each photo made "along the way" you could easily find the whole set with a search. If you have another label hierarchy with Completed/Yes you could search for all photos of completed artwork, and so on. I would be reluctant to use PSu's version facility for this. Versions are intended for grouping together different derivatives of a single image file sharing a "base name" - raw+jpeg, different adjustments, different crops, which are then represented by a single proxy in many of PSu's views of your catalogue. As you are using raw (RAF) and making derivatives you will probably want to make versions of these.
As far as naming and storing files, I'm migrating from Lightroom and I've always gone with saving files in folders and sub folders under year/month/day and the filename as <unique number/date>. I may be missing a trick here but I see the file name as almost irrelevant if I'm using a DAM. That's the point isn't it - that I can find any file irrespective of its name?
You don't need to find files by name nor by location in the file system, but it is absolutely essential that every file in the database has a guaranteed-to-be-unique name without taking the folder path into account.
Jim (Photo Supreme: AMD Quad-Core A8-5500 Accelerated Processor 3.2 GHz; internal AMD Radeon™ HD7560D; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; Win10x64)

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G8DHE
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by G8DHE » 20 Dec 18 15:49

You don't need to find files by name nor by location in the file system, but it is absolutely essential that every file in the database has a guaranteed-to-be-unique name without taking the folder path into account.
Why is that ? I certainly don't! Path and File yes, but not just the file name, most cameras will cycle around a 4-digit count or maybe use a time based file name, but I have plenty of repeats of filenames on there own.

Maybe I'm missing your point ?
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Mke
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by Mke » 20 Dec 18 19:09

G8DHE wrote:
20 Dec 18 15:49
Why is that ? I certainly don't! Path and File yes, but not just the file name, most cameras will cycle around a 4-digit count or maybe use a time based file name, but I have plenty of repeats of filenames on there own.
In particular because

1) a simple search on a filename could bring up tens/hundreds/thousands of files, rather than just the file you want. Yes, you can search using other criteria too - at least in PSU - but it's making it hard work

2) if you ever change your filing system you could end up trying to put files with the same name in the same folder - and have to start renaming them (or accidentally overwriting one with another).

That's why almost everyone includes at least a date + serial number (and / or time) as part of the file name. Often a camera name too, if you shoot with more than one camera. And maybe photographer's initials if you're combining photos from more than one person.

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G8DHE
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by G8DHE » 20 Dec 18 21:49

Can see your argument, but even with 223000+ images in my database over the last 20 years its not caused me a problem to date.
If I have a problem tomorrow I'll know who to blame :-)
Geoff Mather (G8DHE)

jstartin
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Re: Another newbie question

Post by jstartin » 20 Dec 18 22:20

With some workflows problems may never occur, but having non-unique filenames in a PSu catalogue is an accident waiting to happen. Say that two different images named as File0001.jpg and containing quite different images are present in two different folders. Run automatic version detection with a scope that includes both files. They will be detected as versions. Versioned files share most of their metadata in the catalogue so one lot will be replaced by something quite inappropriate - labels, ratings, colour labels etc all gone. Now if automatic synchronisation (the default) is enabled this wrong metadata will not only be in the catalog but will be written back to the image file............

This is not just an academic issue; I remember that in the early days of PSu one user reported losing an enormous amount of labelling work for this reason.

It doesn't matter how they are made unique; although many users are reassured by having some meaningful data embedded in the name - date, time, camera, etc - an arbitrary sequence number will do.
Jim (Photo Supreme: AMD Quad-Core A8-5500 Accelerated Processor 3.2 GHz; internal AMD Radeon™ HD7560D; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; Win10x64)

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