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albums and projects (quick one please)

882 Views 20 Replies Latest reply: Oct 22, 2011 10:03 AM by hotwheels 22 RSS
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hotwheels 22 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Oct 20, 2011 9:30 AM

just about to set down and spend a full day fixing my database here.


can anyone please remind me the proper way to organize albums versus projects?


i have a series of folders that contain either albums or projects and i need to reorganize this information. recently someone reminded me (a former windows user) that I need to think of my Aperture database as basically a place to store my slides. is there a good way to think about Albums versus Projects in this sense?


can i drag "slides" out of an Album and put them in a Project or take them out of a Project and put them in an Album or is this a bad idea?


also, when organizing slideshows and video should i only put these in a Folder or can they also go in a Project?


thanks for a push on this.


- Jon

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)
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    Oct 20, 2011 9:50 AM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    Hi Jon.  These are good, basic questions.  I suggest that you set up a test Library, and spend more time learning Aperture and trying out different organization schemes, before you start a wholesale re-organization of your Library.


    Here is short guide to the parts of Aperture that every user should know.


    Albums and Projects are fundamentally different.  The difference is explained in the linked post.


    There are two kinds of Slideshows in Aperture: those based on Slideshow Presets, and those based on Slideshow Albums.  The only ones that get saved are Slideshow Albums.  Treat them the same as any other Album.


    They are fundamentally different from Videos.  Videos are imported files.  Treat them the same as imported photograph files (each is represented in Aperture as an Image).

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
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    Oct 20, 2011 9:57 AM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    hello, there are many clever posts in this forum with respect to your question, just search for keywords like albums vs. projects.


    The main thing to keep in mind is:

    1. Projects are the containers that store your images. All versions of of an image must (and will) belong to the same project. It is a good idea to let the projects reflect your shooting sessions.
    2. The albums group your images according to the uses of the images: according to themes (flowers, birds, customers etc.). An image can be a member of several albums.
    3. Folders group projects, albums, books, screensavers etc. hierarchically for easy access, and are also useful to reduce computational overhead, sind smart albums, places and faces only apply to the images in the folder that contains the album.
  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
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    Oct 20, 2011 12:33 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    Hi Jon,

    if you are worried about deleting things:

    • If you delete an album, slideshow, book etc., no harm done, you will delete your work,  the images are safe in theire resoective projects.
    • if you delete an image from a project, or delete a project, they will be gone for good, don't do that, unless you are sure that you do not need those anymore and want to free disk space.


    So. basically ALL images have to belong in a PROJECT somewhere and then I can link these to ALBUMS is that right?

    yes, exactly

    I mean, let's say I see some Albums and I think the images in these really belong in a PROJECT and I don't really want to have a bunch of Albums lying around if I can put "All My Slides in a Folder Somewhere".

    Hmm, you can't move images to a folder; you move projects, albums etc. to folders to group them.


    You can move images from one project to another to change its container (storage place),

    and you can add it many albums, slide shows, books if you need it there.


    Kirby, I remember a recent post by you, that explained all this beautifully, but I can't find it again ...

  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,665 points)
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    Oct 20, 2011 12:54 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    To clarify:


    There are no actual image files in any album. Albums consist only of pointers to image files that live in Projects. Albums are a very powerful tool; they can be quickly created and can be deleted with no effect on image files, and (because they consist just of pointers) they take up no space to speak of.


    Personally I do not like the simplistic slides analogy, because digital files managed by a database are far more complex than that. But that is another (very long) discussion. In the short term, using managed-Masters (unfortunately Aperture's default), you can consider Projects as where the slides live.


    Important note: unlike slides, digital image files are easily copied. Image originals should be backed up in multiple locations prior to import into Aperture or any other images management application. Yes there are printed workflows that fail to note that critical step. Such manuals, tutorials, etc. are incompetent in that regard.


    Whatever else you do, backup before importing. Do not consider backup after importing to be adequate.





  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
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    Oct 20, 2011 2:07 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)
    Can I just ask you to explain what (if anything) happens when I move - I guess I call these pointers - from an Album to a Project? I mean, I /think/ I did that today and if I can just make sure I understand this I may be OK.

    I would advise against doing that , what will happen is this: you are trying move a reference to a container - what aperture will do is to move the referenced image from its current project to the new project, but the reference will stay in the album.

    Also, is it possible to have pointers and /original images/ in the same place (for instance in a Project) or is that not possible..

    Yes and no:

    • no, if you are referring to pointers as in albums, slide shows etc,
    • yes, because of the Aperture storage scheme: referenced masters vs. managed masters.


    To represent an image in its unique project, you can select to incorporate the image into the Aperture library (managed) or to reference its location outside the Aperture library.



    Perhaps it helps to understand the Aperture data structures, if you see the projects as a long term container for images, storing the image objects (and versions),  and all other structures (albums, books, screensavers..) as short term structures, used to model the relations between images, easily adapted to help with specific tasks.

  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
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    Oct 20, 2011 3:17 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    hotwheels 22 wrote:



    Anyway, I have basically ORIGINAL IMAGES ("Masters") and POINTERS (these are basically always in an Album, yes?) but this is confusing me:


    > what will happen is this: you are trying move a reference to a container - what aperture will do is to move the referenced image from its current project to the new project, but the reference will stay in the album.


    I mean, are you saying here that MOVING a Master from Project 1 to Project 2 has the same effect as moving the pointer in an Album from that Album to Project 2?


    yes, that is what will happen. Just Try it with two small test projects and a small album. If you have an image in a project and are not sure about its project, then ctrl-click the image and select "show in project" from the pop up menu.


    And we did not mention versions so far.

    If you edit an image you create new versions, and the versions always are kept in the same project as the original master.


    To make things a little more complicated: if you move the version of an image from one project to another, then all versions of that image together with its master will move along, for the versions and the master can't be in different projects.

  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 Level 6 (11,570 points)
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    Oct 20, 2011 3:41 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    Hi Jon -- I see that others are offering excellent advice.  I'll address your specific questions, and then read through the rest of the thread, but probably won't post unless you have additional questions.

    hotwheels 22 wrote:


    Hi Kirby.


    Thanks very much. Also thanks for the link. OK. So it appears that I have a lot of Albums that I don't want or need.


    1. Can I simply delete these with the assumption that the original images are stored elsewhere?

    2. Can you help me a bit with getting rid of folders? I mean, assuming I see a Folder that I don't want to keep - can I delete the ALBUMS in the Folder and then assume that there aren't any original images in the folder because these /have/ to be stored in a Project? I mean, can I just delete the Albums in here and assume that there aren't any original anything assuming I know I don't need the Album - or assuming I have moved the Album to another Folder?

    3. Can I basically have an organization as follows:

    A. Projects with ORIGINAL IMAGES or VIDEOS

    B. Folders with SLIDESHOWS, or ALBUMS


    Thanks a ton.


    - Jon

    1.  Yes.  Images (which I greatly prefer over "slides" -- for reasons in addition to that that is what they are called by Aperture) must be in a Project and in only one Project.  They can be in as many Albums as you want.  As someone mentions below -- Albums hold just pointers to the Images in the Projects.  If you delete an Image from an Album (Aperture will tell you your are "removing" it from the Album), all you have done is remove it from the Album.  That Image must still be in one Project.  If you delete an Image from a Project, it goes in Aperture's Trash.  If you empty the Trash, it is removed from your Library.


    2.  Yes.  Folders are just ways to group and hierachize (sorry) containers.  Again, Images "live" in a Project.  They only visit Albums.  If the Folder contains Projects, deleting those Projects will "kill" the Images they contain.  If the Folder contains Albums, deleting those Albums will only end the visit the Images were making to that Album.


    3.  Yes.  I have written quite a bit about this -- a search might turn up something worthwhile.


    Stick with what is simply -- especially as get used to Aperture.  Make very shoot a Project.  (Again, the mis-naming of "Project" is the single worst interface decision made in Aperture.)  Images or Videos -- doesn't matter.  You can think of Projects as bins that hold your originals -- just like those sleeves that used to hold your negatives when you got your prints back from the drugstore (if).


    I separate my _storage containers_ from my _output containers_.  So a shoot -- "CRJ: Mother/Child Portrait" will be imported into a Project of the same name, under a Folder called "Shoots".  Then I'll copy to an Album the Images that are being published.  In this case, the album would be in my Portraits Folder (and the name would start with the clients initials -- I don't group containers by client).


    That's just a sample.  The joy -- and part of the labor -- of Aperture is that it _is not_ a turn-key solution.  You get to (and must) build a custom structure -- presumably to meet your needs. 


    The one dictum I strongly suggest following is "One shoot = one Project".  The reason for this is that the Library is almost always confined to photographs taken by one person.  One person can _only_ shoot sequentially.  If you stick to "One shoot = one Project", you will end up with a life-long string of Projects, in sequential order.  This can never become confusing -- and that is very useful to a user of Aperture.  (But please note well that you don't have to store your Projects (or Images) by _date_.  This is hard-wired into Aperture.  Any time you want to view this life-long string of Projects, just go to Projects view, ungrouped, and sorted by date.)

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