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Author Topic: Image Processing: Bridge vs. iView vs. Portfolio  (Read 14937 times)
mikeseb
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« on: December 30, 2005, 09:25:55 AM »
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Michael's article on image processing and cataloging software was timely, as I'm trying to decide what to do with my vast and growing catalog of images, and how to integrate the various programs that purport to help you make sense of it all. Opinions and experiences invited!

My workflow: 90% medium-format film, 10% digital RAW. The film gets scanned to TIFFs, the RAWs stay RAW, and all files are renamed, keyworded, and metadata-templated before or in Bridge. My filing system is largely keyword-based; all digitized images from any source are assigned date-based filenames so that I can see at a glance when they were shot, and relate the TIFF's to my filed film originals. (Aren't you all-digital people jealous?) It is more cumbersome to describe than to do it, and my output is small enough that this works fine for now w/o tying my hands against future expansion.

I had previously used Portfolio v.6/7 for cataloging before Bridge's advent; but it did not play well with Bridge (see below); and given that Bridge's interface is easier to use in some respects (while Portfolio is more powerful and faster on searches overall) I have not updated my Portfolio catalog in some time. It's time to decide whether to upgrade to Portfolio 8, to switch to iView Media Pro, or to just stick with Bridge.

Main problem I had had with Bridge and Portfolio in the past is that the .xmp sidecars produced by Bridge for RAW images weren't read properly in PF, and catalog data for RAWs generated in Portfolio weren't read by Bridge. Data imbedded in TIFFs is fine for the most part going either way; but for certain RAW data Portfolio, even v.8 (I have trial version) seems blind to certain metadata added by Bridge; and vice versa. I have also tried iView Media Pro 3, and it seems no better. Thus the latest versions of these two programs seem still not to be fully integrated with Bridge.

Not sure that Photo Mechanic would give me much at my production level that Bridge hasn't, so it's low on my buy list; but I would like a more capable overall image cataloging program than Bridge alone, for various reasons. Any thoughts/observations, especially about how iView Media Pro and Bridge get along with respect to RAW files, and whether iView 3 (ca $170 competitive upgrade) or Portfolio 8 ($99 upgr) might be a better choice. If anyone can see a role for Photo Mechanic in a setup like mine, I'd love to hear it. Thanks in advance for your input.

Drowning In Data In Kentucky,
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michael sebastian
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jdyke
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2006, 08:31:07 AM »
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Hi
My vote is for iview media pro 3.  My workflow is as follows for what it is worth:-

1. Convert images to DNG format straight from the card to my hard disk (gets rid of the pain in the backside .xmp file issue)
2. Sort and convert images to 16bit tiff using Raw Shooter Premium or ARC
3. Open Iview and import new folders (the folders can be set to auto update if you like)
4. Apply metadata and drag images to the appropriate catalogue sets and keywords
5. label images for futher work in photoshop
6. complete any photoshop work required (sharpening, soft proofing ect.)
6. import photoshop retouched images into iview
6. archive - print - convert to web ect...

I do have a naming convention for my files which works for me.  I save my prints as PSD files rather than TIFFS so it makes them easier to find. My folder structure may look like this:-

f:\photographs\All_2005\27122005_swanseabay
                                       1_RAW contains all my DNG files
                                       2_Master contains all my coverted TIFFS
                                       3_Processed contains all my completed TIFFS
                                       4_Prints  contains all my prints as PSD



Thats pretty much it.....
Using the catlogue sets and ranking in iview I can pretty much find what I want very quickly.  Even if the media is archived on DVD iview will still hapilly keep track of it.

I probably haven't really answered your questions but I thought I would let you know what works for me.

Cheers,

JD
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mikeseb
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« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2006, 10:07:14 AM »
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Thanks for taking the time to respond. It seems we are all Drowning In Data these days.

Seems we do a lot of things similarly, but I hadn't thought of converting to DNG right out of the CF card; guess it's because I shoot relatively little digital these days, and since metadata is embeddded in the TIFFs I get from scanned film, the .xmp is not an issue. Thanks for that tip.

Once I've chosen an image for further processing, I convert to .psd format, like you to help distinguish from other images. It stays .psd thru the final printed image. The "master" image, sharpened, corrected, spotted (another joy the digerati miss out on) and with all layers preserved, is then appended "_0" to designate a "master" file. If I make a significant variation--crop usually, but say a B&W version of a color image--it becomes "_1". the idea so that I only have to do the major improvements once for all subsequent crops and versions. (I had experimented with versioning in Photoshop/Bridge for this situation, but found it unworkable and feared a crash would render the version data unusable.)

Once I've chosen an master file or version for printing, it gets resized to final output size, output sharpened in PhotoKit Sharpener, and then flattened and converted from RGB to grayscale if B&W. I append "s8MT" to this file to indicate an 8 in (shortest side) image with matte sharpening (my default is 360 ppi resolution.) Cumbersome, but I can look at an image and instantly relate it back to its negative or RAW file and its working .psd file. It seems that investing time on the front end to proper intake and metadata attachment is time well spent.

Thinking this thru I wonder if PhotoMechanic might have some role in my workflow just for its superior metadata attachment/embedding and renaming abilities? Any issues with PhotoMechanic and DNG files, anyone?

And does iView Media Pro 3 handle DNG's properly?

thanks for the input, JD.
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michael sebastian
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dandill
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« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2006, 11:41:34 AM »
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I am about to buy The DAM Book for its discussion of just these issues.
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Dan Dill
mikeseb
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2006, 02:45:41 PM »
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Came across this article comparing Portfolio 8, iView Media Pro 3, and Aperture:

http://www.it-enquirer.com/main/ite/more/p...and_aperture_1/

Doesn't answer our questions directly, of course. I am still vacillating....It may come down to the fact that iVMP is $170 (competitive upgrade) vs. $100 for Portfolio upgrade.

Seems that each program has issues with layered .psd files; Portfolio won't imbed metadata to them, though it will store data in its own database (that won't travel with it to, say, Bridge); and it seems that there may be an issue with generating previews of them in iVMP. Six of one, half dozen of the other....
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2006, 08:47:49 PM »
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I am trying to get clear about IPTC capabilites of the different tools I use or have used with respect to Canon .crw/.thm/.xmp input. I am new IPTC annotation and so if anyone can correct what I have learned so far, I'll be very grateful.

Adobe Bridge CS2: read but not write IPTC Legacy (.thm) ; read and write IPTC Core (.xmp)

Photo Mechanic 4.4.1: neither read nor write IPTC Legacy (.thm) ; read and write a subset of IPTC Core (.xmp)

iView Media Pro 3.0.1: neither read nor write IPTC Legacy (.thm) ; read but not write IPTC Core (.xmp)

Breeze Browser Pro 1.3.2: read and write IPTC Legacy (.thm) ; neither read nor write IPTC Core (.xmp)

Capture One Pro 3.7.3: read neither IPTC legacy (.thm) nor IPTC Core (.xmp), and so .tif contains no IPTC annotation

Raw Shooter Premium 1.0.1; read IPTC Legacy (.thm) but not IPTC Core (.xmp), and so .tif ciontains only IPTC Legacy

Thanks
Dan
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Dan Dill
genedel
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2006, 02:22:24 PM »
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Hi
My vote is for iview media pro 3.  My workflow is as follows for what it is worth:-

1. Convert images to DNG format straight from the card to my hard disk (gets rid of the pain in the backside .xmp file issue)
2. Sort and convert images to 16bit tiff using Raw Shooter Premium or ARC
3. Open Iview and import new folders (the folders can be set to auto update if you like)
4. Apply metadata and drag images to the appropriate catalogue sets and keywords
5. label images for futher work in photoshop
6. complete any photoshop work required (sharpening, soft proofing ect.)
6. import photoshop retouched images into iview
6. archive - print - convert to web ect...

I do have a naming convention for my files which works for me.  I save my prints as PSD files rather than TIFFS so it makes them easier to find. My folder structure may look like this:-

f:\photographs\All_2005\27122005_swanseabay
                                       1_RAW contains all my DNG files
                                       2_Master contains all my coverted TIFFS
                                       3_Processed contains all my completed TIFFS
                                       4_Prints  contains all my prints as PSD
Thats pretty much it.....
Using the catlogue sets and ranking in iview I can pretty much find what I want very quickly.  Even if the media is archived on DVD iview will still hapilly keep track of it.

I probably haven't really answered your questions but I thought I would let you know what works for me.

Cheers,

JD
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55086\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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genedel
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2006, 02:24:08 PM »
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[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57707\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Why do you convert to PSD from TIFF to print your images
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gryffyn
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2006, 03:44:48 PM »
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I am about to buy The DAM Book for its discussion of just these issues.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55109\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

A good book...I just finished reading it.  Though I find some of the author's workflow recommendations cumbersome for my taste.
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.....Andrzej
mikeseb
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« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2006, 05:47:38 PM »
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Why do you convert to PSD from TIFF to print your images
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57708\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The answer is, after reading and studying the issue further, "no good reason." About the only remaining upside to saving as PSD files is that, for many-layered documents, PSD's are smaller than the same file stored as TIF. Against this is the significant downside that metadata writing to and from PSD's is not universal among third-party imaging programs; and that it is a proprietary file format with all the pitfalls pertaining to those. I wrote a PS action to convert all of my PSD's into TIF's (some 1000 files) which took about 12 hrs on my computer! Did it overnight. Had to do this in order to properly write crucial metadata to those files.

Since I posed my original question I decided on iView Media Pro, and I have undertaken a reorganization of my 6000-odd image files along the lines suggested in the DAM Book. I have not hewed to all of his workflow and backup suggestions (his redundancy mania borders on paranoia I think   ), but there's a lot of solid information there. I was a proponent of keyword-based cataloging before, and his book has solidified my stance. I have not in the least regretted switching to iView Media Pro; after a short adjustment period learning its interface quirks, I find it very easy to use, and powerful.
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2006, 06:37:18 PM »
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Hi
My vote is for iview media pro 3.  My workflow is as follows for what it is worth:-

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55086\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You can sign me up for pretty much the same workflow with the exception I don't use DNG (though may do to incorporate XMP data rather than for the 'archival' argument) and I use iMatch rather than iView Media Pro - mostly because I have a large number of custom scripts to support my own workflow (stripping EXIF data, updating IPTC data, adding synonyms to keywords, synchronising data in derivatives/versions, etc...).

New version of iMatch supports XMP and interworking with Photoshop/Bridge (imports categories/ratings, etc..) but yet to give that a thorough workout.

NB Does anyone have info on how iView copes with 60,000 to 200,000 images (are there any problems with db this size?).

ciao ciao
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
DarkPenguin
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2006, 08:26:53 PM »
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I'm trying idImager right now.  Has anyone tried this product?  It seems to be well liked but I'm not sure I'm buying that.  I want to try imatch but the 3.5 version isn't out yet.

I hate all these programs.
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chet79
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« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2007, 08:12:16 AM »
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great thread. am too looking into a workflow and iView sounds perfect.

jdyke -> can I ask what you meant by "(gets rid of the pain in the backside .xmp file issue)"? thanks.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2007, 01:48:53 PM »
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Quote
great thread. am too looking into a workflow and iView sounds perfect.

jdyke -> can I ask what you meant by "(gets rid of the pain in the backside .xmp file issue)"? thanks.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=120888\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

With DNG the data that would be stored in a .xmp sidecar file is stored in the actual DNG.  1 file to move around rather than 2.
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gryffyn
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2007, 09:12:08 AM »
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Jury is out on ivmp right now.  Microsoft bought 'em, and they just released a new version called Expression Media.  Haven't had a chance to install it and take it for a ride.

Who knows if it's any good or not?  This is microsoft we're talking about, so I'm not overly hopeful.

I'll post more when I have a chance to play with Expression.
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.....Andrzej
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