Using versions

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Awqaq
Posts: 3
Joined: 09 Sep 14 21:41

Using versions

Post by Awqaq » 24 Sep 16 14:07

Hi,

I have a batch of pictures named filename.JPG, filename.ORG, filename.RAW and each of the sets has also a filename_final.jpg.

The last one (filename_final.jpg) is the main version, the one I would like to see when I rate, when copying, when printing etc. There is a version placeholder "Final" defined by the custom file mask (*_final.jpg). The main version detection method is set to custom file mask "*_final.jpg".

My questions:
1- How can I display and work only on the final version for evaluation, tagging, copying...? I always have all the versions displayed, which make things very convoluted, specially when grading or copying. I do not care for the other versions, only the main final / main one.
2- How to define the main version to always be the "*_final.jpg" ? The custom file mask seems to work less then half of the time. Does it have to be scripted? Then how?
3- How to define the placeholder "Final" to be the "*_final.jpg" pictures versions? It works about 2/3 of the time with my current setup. Again, is it better to script it? How?
4- When I use Ctrl+Shift+V, PSU detect versions only on a small batch of pictures. So I run the Ctrl-Shift-V several times to get almost everything versioned. Is there a better process? How many runs should it take?

Context: Windows 10 64 bits, system and database on SSD, files on an hardrive, 12 GiB RAM, about 500 GiB free. I restart PSU every 30 minutes, always restart PSU if I change something in the setting box (if not the settings cannot be opened again anyway), and compact the database every half day. My psu does not have a lot of pictures (4183 images), but perhaps this is too much? Is it better to have small databases with fewer pictures? Can I merge the databases afterwards?

fbungarz
Posts: 1547
Joined: 08 Dec 06 5:03
Location: Arizona, USA

Re: Using versions

Post by fbungarz » 26 Sep 16 10:32

Hi,
I use versioning a lot and think it has great potential, but I am not particularly happy how it is currently implemented. Looking at your questions to me actually illustrates some of its current deficiencies...
My questions:
1- How can I display and work only on the final version for evaluation, tagging, copying...? I always have all the versions displayed, which make things very convoluted, specially when grading or copying. I do not care for the other versions, only the main final / main one.
Per default PSu shows all versions if you are working in 'folder view', but you can then filter out the specific versions that you want. Those filters typically stick even when changing to a different folder, but sometimes you will need to reset and invoke the filter again.
I personally find it very unfortunate that there are no default filters for a specific version. The only way you can currently do that is adding a version placeholder to a dynamic search and store that search as a filter.

If you are working in 'catalog view' the only main version is being displayed for the 'category tree'. Again you need filter or use dynamic search, if you want PSu to show any of the subversions instead.
You will have noticed that in the catalog you have many other options to browse the catalog, not just the 'catalog tree'. For example, 'by rating', 'by color label', 'by version placeholder'...
Here only the versions are being displayed that agree with your selection. So, for example, if you want to see all images with unsynced metadata, of course not the main version is displayed in "out of sync" under 'by Catalog State', but the versions that are not currently "in-sync". When you select 'by Version Placeholder', you can see all versioned images (in version set) and your different subversions.

In a portfolio you can manually select a specific version to be displayed and that version will be remembered. Unfortunately filtering for a specific version here does not work. You have to do this manually.
2- How to define the main version to always be the "*_final.jpg" ? The custom file mask seems to work less then half of the time. Does it have to be scripted? Then how?
Theoretically you can tell PSu to assign files to a specific version according to a file name mask under 'Preferences - Catalog - Versioning'. However, I do not think it makes much sense to use the file mask "*_final.jpg" for your main version. In a typical workflow you would produce a final version of your files only for some of your best images and not necessarily for all of them. So, what happens to your files that have no final version yet, i.e., the ones straight out of camera, which are not yet identified by a file name mask called "*_final.jpg".
It makes a lot more sense to treat your camera originals as the main version and assign the derivative files to a subversion. You can even create your own custom version called "FINAL" or something like that.
There is one catch though: Version Detection via Shift+Ctrl+V is designed to find all your versions in one and the same folder and it supposedly should find and correctly assign files according to their placeholders as defined via file name masks specified in Preferences. In my experience, however, this does not work very well at all. Shift+Ctrl+V often does not detect versions correctly and especially custom placeholders are often not recognized. This means quite a bit of cleaning up doing it manually via drag & drop and clicking the tiny tabs to make sure placeholders are assigned correctly...
Also: The import wizard (shift+ctrl+I) by design (!) does not recognize version placeholder. I have no idea why this is by design, but that's what I have been told. Only Version Detection apparently recognizes file name masks and custom placeholders (and in my experience does unfortunately not do a particularly good job...).
3- How to define the placeholder "Final" to be the "*_final.jpg" pictures versions? It works about 2/3 of the time with my current setup. Again, is it better to script it? How?
See my previous comment. I think this qualifies a s a bug. Perhaps you want to report it in Mantis? I have reported this quite a while ago and have unfortunately not experienced much progress. I cannot even find where I originally filed this. To me automatic Version Detection is barely functional and I usually do most of it manually these days.
BTW - There are already quite a few discussions in Mantis how to improve versioning, e.g. http://mantis.idimager.com/view.php?id=2964.
4- When I use Ctrl+Shift+V, PSU detect versions only on a small batch of pictures. So I run the Ctrl-Shift-V several times to get almost everything versioned. Is there a better process? How many runs should it take?
It should take only one run! In my opinion it is one of the most annoying bugs. Like I said, I filed this a while ago, but searching Mantis I can only find my bug report that custom placeholders are not being assigned during import (http://mantis.idimager.com/view.php?id=2870), which apparently is by design, though it should at least work during Version Detection (http://mantis.idimager.com/view.php?id=2864).

So, I would recommend you file this as another bug report, something like: "Ctrl+Shift+V does not detect all versions".

jstartin
Posts: 401
Joined: 23 Aug 06 13:47
Location: UK

Re: Using versions

Post by jstartin » 26 Sep 16 12:30

Awqaq wrote: 1- How can I display and work only on the final version for evaluation, tagging, copying...? I always have all the versions displayed, which make things very convoluted, specially when grading or copying. I do not care for the other versions, only the main final / main one.
In Catalog|By Category view you should see just one "stack" for each version set, with the Main version on "top". In Folders view you are shown all files in the selected folder, whether part of a version set or not. So, you could use the Catalog view, or you could put your *_final files in their own sub-folder.
2- How to define the main version to always be the "*_final.jpg" ? The custom file mask seems to work less then half of the time. Does it have to be scripted? Then how?
3- How to define the placeholder "Final" to be the "*_final.jpg" pictures versions? It works about 2/3 of the time with my current setup. Again, is it better to script it? How?
I suspect that these are related problems caused by using the same file mask for Main and for a Placeholder. Main versions cannot have a placeholder associated with them - they are just "Main". Perhaps whether your *_final ends up as Main or Final depends on which of several threads finishes first.
4- When I use Ctrl+Shift+V, PSU detect versions only on a small batch of pictures. So I run the Ctrl-Shift-V several times to get almost everything versioned. Is there a better process? How many runs should it take?
It should only take one run to find all of the versions of all of the selected files, as long as the versions to be detected are in the same folder as the selected "starting files" or in a sub-folder.

Your computer looks to be of a high specification, better than mine for sure :wink: . Judging from posts here, many users have tens of thousands of images, and some hundreds of thousands; your 4183 is certainly not excessive. And no, I do not think there is any way of combining catalogs without having to reimport the images.
Jim (Photo Supreme: AMD Quad-Core A8-5500 Accelerated Processor 3.2 GHz; internal AMD Radeon™ HD7560D; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; Win10x64)

vkfoto
Posts: 94
Joined: 19 Oct 16 3:51

Re: Using versions

Post by vkfoto » 05 Nov 16 1:49

When I drag and drop one image onto another in order to create a version set, the following dialog appears
drag and drop version.JPG
drag and drop version.JPG (26.9 KiB) Viewed 3956 times
Why the check box option at the bottom "always add as a version?" Isn't that what I just did? Is there a reason not to enable this option?

I've read the quicksart guides (did I miss the one for versions?) and several of the forum messages but I'm still somewhat confused as to how to use placeholders.

How is a particular image assigned to specific placeholder? Suppose I have three JPG files, image.jpg in three subfolders, small, medium large.
If there is no image, is the placeholder empty or not showing at all? Since somoe version set have 2 tab while other have 6 or more, I suppose they are not showing. Then if a new image(s) is created, how do they get added to the appropriate version sets?

During the file import there is an option to apply versioning. If I now have a bunch of folders with different versions of the same image, how do I get them to automatically join? Ctl+Shift+V only seems to work for images in the same folder.

Once a version set is created, if one or more of the images is moved to another folder, is the set still intact

Is there a way to temporarily undo a version set? I have a folder "best 1024" which contains JPG images sized at 1024 px. In folder view, it shows most in version sets from various other folders. If I only want to work on the files actually in the folder, how do I do that without ruining the sets? I want to apply a special "1024" label to only those in this folder and not to other members of the set.

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

Re: Using versions

Post by vlad » 06 Nov 16 23:56

vkfoto wrote:When I drag and drop one image onto another in order to create a version set, the following dialog appears
drag and drop version.JPG
Why the check box option at the bottom "always add as a version?" Isn't that what I just did? Is there a reason not to enable this option?
I agree the wording is confusing. By checking the box option, I think you're telling PSU to always assign the selected placeholder(s), for any subsequent drag and drop. (IIRC, you won't be bothered by the dialog again.)
I've read the quicksart guides (did I miss the one for versions?) and several of the forum messages but I'm still somewhat confused as to how to use placeholders.
I can't blame you - both the current implementation and the existing docs have some gaps around versioning.
How is a particular image assigned to specific placeholder?
Somewhat confusingly, that could depend on whether the version detection is triggered during importing or manually (after importing). The versioning settings in the import profile control the version detection during importing, while the global settings for versioning (including custom filemasks) apply to manually triggered version detection.
Suppose I have three JPG files, image.jpg in three subfolders, small, medium large.
If there is no image, is the placeholder empty or not showing at all?
What do you mean: "if there is no image"...?
Since some version set have 2 tab while other have 6 or more, I suppose they are not showing.
Do you expect the same number of versions for all images?
Then if a new image(s) is created, how do they get added to the appropriate version sets?
How do you import the new image(s)? Do you use Verify Folder?
During the file import there is an option to apply versioning. If I now have a bunch of folders with different versions of the same image, how do I get them to automatically join? Ctl+Shift+V only seems to work for images in the same folder.
There are some limitations. I think all the versions of an image need to reside in the same folder or in subfolders.
Once a version set is created, if one or more of the images is moved to another folder, is the set still intact
Yes (if you perform the move within PSU).
Is there a way to temporarily undo a version set? I have a folder "best 1024" which contains JPG images sized at 1024 px. In folder view, it shows most in version sets from various other folders. If I only want to work on the files actually in the folder, how do I do that without ruining the sets? I want to apply a special "1024" label to only those in this folder and not to other members of the set.
I don't exactly understand your use case, but PSU's design dictates that any label assignment applies to the entire version set. That's a hard constraint and I can't imagine any reliable way around it.

vkfoto
Posts: 94
Joined: 19 Oct 16 3:51

Re: Using versions

Post by vkfoto » 07 Nov 16 0:38

Thanks for all your tips and answers.
I don't exactly understand your use case, but PSU's design dictates that any label assignment applies to the entire version set. That's a hard constraint and I can't imagine any reliable way around it.
What I was trying to say is that I have three JPG files made from the same master file, a small 800x600, a medium 1024x786 and a large 1600x1200. they all have the same name but are in different subfolders. They all end up in the same version set. What I'm trying to do is identify the three different sizes so that if I want to only work with the medium files, they can be all selected without disturbing the sets.

Is that possible or do I have to change the workflow? i.e. start using distinct names to identify the different sizes and not rely on being located in a specific folder?

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

Re: Using versions

Post by vlad » 07 Nov 16 11:10

Ah, I see. Here is my take:

1. Indeed, that could be construed as a good use case for allowing different labels for different versions. By design, PSU does not allow that - and it's best to assume that restriction won't be lifted anytime soon.

2. Version placeholders could perfectly serve your purpose, if only they were better supported. (As I explained, I don't think you could control which version placeholder gets assigned to which jpg during importing, as of today. Imho, there's a reasonable chance to see future improvements in this area - but that doesn't help you today.)

3. You could consider using a custom XMP field for the image size. Just make sure you don't cascade the XMP metadata across versions.

4. You could also run Filter by Macro Command and enter %xmp:exif:PixelXDimension or %xmp:exif:PixelYDimension as macros. (Unfortunately, you can't save a macro filter as a Favorite.)

5. I thought you should be able to browse images by pixel dimensions, using Catalog -> By Image Details. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a way to do it: even if I add %xmp:exif:PixelXDimension to my custom fields (using the Info panel), I can't see that particular field inside Catalog -> By Image Details. (@Hert: is that a bug, or did I hit a design constraint around Image Details?)

6. Once you've started using a proper DAM (such as PSU), my advice is to stop relying on the image file location for the image size or any other metadata. Relying on a filename scheme seems rather fragile too. You should take advantage of the DAM-specific features to group or find images based on metadata. (In light of the above points, though, I realize that's not straightfoward, as far as image size is concerned.)

jstartin
Posts: 401
Joined: 23 Aug 06 13:47
Location: UK

Re: Using versions

Post by jstartin » 07 Nov 16 14:04

vkfoto wrote:Thanks for all your tips and answers.
I don't exactly understand your use case, but PSU's design dictates that any label assignment applies to the entire version set. That's a hard constraint and I can't imagine any reliable way around it.
What I was trying to say is that I have three JPG files made from the same master file, a small 800x600, a medium 1024x786 and a large 1600x1200. they all have the same name but are in different subfolders. They all end up in the same version set. What I'm trying to do is identify the three different sizes so that if I want to only work with the medium files, they can be all selected without disturbing the sets.

Is that possible or do I have to change the workflow? i.e. start using distinct names to identify the different sizes and not rely on being located in a specific folder?
As Vlad says, labels apply to version sets in their entirety. The nearest thing to version-specific labels currently offered is the "placeholder" facility. Personally I do not find "placeholders" to be at all useful, as they were in PSu's predecesor product IDimager, because there is no easy way to select a particular "placeheld" version when needed for a particular purpose. (As has been pointed out frequently in the forum,this is an area where PSu would benefit from a rethink).

I suggest you consider a couple of alternatives. The first, as you have identified, is to add a descriptive element to the end of the file name. If you do this I suggest avoiding any use of "-" as a delimiter since it has significance in full text searches and can complicate things if used in filenames. It is much better to use "_".

A second possibility, for your particular example of differently sized jpegs, is not to have them! PSu's "Share" facility can resize on the fly - you select images and "Share" will send resized (and optionally sharpened) copies to email, a folder, a usb device, or to Flickr etc. Relying on this means that any revisions of "editing" decisions (crop, colour balance, clone etc) don't have to trigger replacement of different size versions as well. In fact even edits done within PSu can be saved as a recipe and not as a fresh version of the image file.
Jim (Photo Supreme: AMD Quad-Core A8-5500 Accelerated Processor 3.2 GHz; internal AMD Radeon™ HD7560D; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; Win10x64)

vkfoto
Posts: 94
Joined: 19 Oct 16 3:51

Re: Using versions

Post by vkfoto » 07 Nov 16 14:45

Thanks for the naming heads-up, or should I say heads_up.

As for using PSu to create them on the fly, will have to give that a think. Perhaps going forward but what about all the years of images that already exist? I was hoping to use its cataloging features to organize the many thousands of images I made over the years. Since I use DxO to export various final images, including JPGs, using another program to do that might be redundant. Besides, I like the look that DxO generate and since it has also processed the raw file, it knows what was done to make the best possible JPG.

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