12 Replies Latest reply: May 8, 2012 7:04 AM by jfaughnan
jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

I've recently migrated from iPhoto to Aperture.

 

In iPhoto Apple made it very convenient to create create and manage Events (Aperture Projects). I used to create a lot of Albums, but iPhoto Events were so well done I created fewer Albums.

 

Now I'm working in Aperture. It's management of Projects/Events is nowhere near as sophisticated as iPhoto's features. I'm shifting back to working with Albums.

 

To ease that transition I'm looking for an AppleScript that will create one album for every Aperture Project.

 

Does anyone know of an AppleScript like that? I couldn't find anything in my Goolge searches.


Aperture 3, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    This looks like a start:

     

    http://brettgrossphotography.com/2010/05/07/aperture-3-applescript-albums-by-imp ort-session-03.

     

    Esp.

     

    set destAlbum to make new album with properties {name:importDateStr}

  • 2. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,665 points)

    What features exactly are you missing from iPhoto events that you do not find in Aperture projects?

  • 3. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    I liked the many shortcuts for splitting events. It's hard to describe, but it's very clever and is done with a only a few keystrokes/mouse clicks. I'd often select a group of photos and create a new event, or insert a split. The event name propagation was very well done. After a splilt I'd see both Events and could organize either one.

     

    I also miss the ease of creating and editing Event titles; but I miss that versatility to Image titles/version names and captions too.

     

    Aperture has only about about 1/3 of the Event management affordances I'm used to from iPhoto.

  • 4. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    I realized there's another way to manage the Event to Album transition.

     

    In Aperture folders can hold Events and Albums alike. In iPhoto they can't mix.

     

    So I can mix the two in my organizational structure, thereby eliminating the need to create additional Albums for the existing Projects/Events.

  • 5. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,665 points)

    I'd often select a group of photos and create a new event,

    To split a project in Aperture select the images in the browser and press ⌘-N (File -> New -> Project). Enable the "Move selected items to new project" button, and you will have split your project successfully.

    If your current project is located in a folder and you have selected that folder, then the new split project will be created in the same folder.

     

    I also miss the ease of creating and editing Event titles;

    projectsView.png

    Do you browse your projects in "Projects" View? Editing the project properties is very simple when you open the Inspector in Projects View (click the "i"-button in the lower left corner.

    In projects view you can merge  projects by dragging one onto top of each other and select to see the projects grouped by folders, or arranged by name, date...

     

    I think you are on the right track by using folders to group your projects. And keep the size of the projects small; you can nest your folders hierarchically.

     

    Regards

    Léonie

  • 6. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    Impressive summary Leonie! I love the image.

     

    The key discovery for me was to realize I could mix projects and albums within folders. That took away much of the pain of losing iPhoto's Event management tools.

     

    iPhoto has its share of problems (that's why I migrated), but the iPhoto team really did a nice job with Events. It reflects their user base; my discomfort arises because I'm half-way between an iPhoto customer (family pictures, not professional) and an Aperture customer (tens of thousands of images, higher end image editing).

     

    For a professional photographer or serious hobbyist I expect there's a natural relationship between an Import action and a Project. A wedding or a sports event, for example, is a natural Project. Splitting and merging and refactoring projects/events isn't a part of every Import action.

     

    In my case I deal with a stream of photos from 3-5 devices. A birthday or kid sport or family outing might cross 3 devices. A single memory card can hold 3-6 'events' as well as a mixed set of images that I stick into "month" events. So I made full use of iPhoto's advanced Event tools - splitting merging, refactoring. Truly, iPhoto is better than Aperture at Event/Project management; Aperture's Projects view is a minimalist version of iPhoto Events.

     

    The ability to create a grouped collection of Project and Folders will let me solve the Event problem a different way, but I hope Aperture 4 will inherit more of iPhoto's Event management tools.

  • 7. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,665 points)

    For a professional photographer or serious hobbyist I expect there's a natural relationship between an Import action and a Project. A wedding or a sports event, for example, is a natural Project. Splitting and merging and refactoring projects/events isn't a part of every Import action.

    You are perfectly right - and events in iPhoto are very servicable structuring elements for events.

     

    But projects in Aperture are not designed to be used this way. They are nothing more and nothing less than containers for a small subset of your images - more like a filmroll in the ancient times of photography. Projects should be small - don't make them larger than max 200 images; otherwise you risk to make Aperture slow. The name "project" is misleading. For a real life project (wedding, vacation) use a folder to organize the bits and pieces - the different shoots, books, lighttables, slideshows. A projects in Aperture is more like a video clips in a movie project - the basic items to build the products from.

     

    Good Luck!

  • 8. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    The 200 image/project guidance really surprised me!

     

    I'd assumed an Aperture Project would hundreds or thousands of images -- a wedding shoot for a pro photographer. I've never noticed a slowdown with an iPhoto Event, though in truth most of mine are < 200 images.

     

    Do you know why a 1000 image Project would slow Aperture? Smells like a bug ...

  • 9. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    léonie Level 9 Level 9 (51,665 points)

    Do you know why a 1000 image Project would slow Aperture? Smells like a bug ...

    No, it is not a bug - it is a question of computational complexity. And it is not a hard restriction. I occasionally have projects with a 1000 images, but I try to avoid that. It's a gradual decrease in performance if you make your projects very large - not a constant spinning of the beachball.

     

    Aperture loads and caches the images of the currently selected item for speedy browsing and searching. And the special views - Places, Faces act differently, are depending on the currently selected project or album.

     

    It's simply the following: If you switch to "places" or "faces" view while browsing a project, Aperture has to scan all images in the project, and the fewer images a project has, the quicker will be the response. The same goes for smart albums defined relative to a project.

     

    Computationally expensive are smart albums defined relative to the whole library. It is perfectly o.k. to use them, but you should use them wisely and should be frugal with those.

     

    A huge library is no problem for Aperture - it is designed to hold many Terabytes of images in one library distributed about several volumes, but a badly designed library may make Aperture slower.

     

    Regards

    Léonie

  • 10. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    Thanks, I'll try to respect that rough limit going forward. Perhaps Aperture 4, in addition to adding in iPhoto's efficient Project/Event management shortcuts, will also include some cleverness to reduce the burden of large project processing (limit cache size, different read strategies, etc).

     

    I've seen some other posts of yours on Library optimization, I'll browse and review them.

  • 11. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4 (2,695 points)

    jfaughnan wrote:

     

    I've recently migrated from iPhoto to Aperture.

     

    In iPhoto Apple made it very convenient to create create and manage Events (Aperture Projects). I used to create a lot of Albums, but iPhoto Events were so well done I created fewer Albums.

     

    Now I'm working in Aperture. It's management of Projects/Events is nowhere near as sophisticated as iPhoto's features. I'm shifting back to working with Albums.

     

    To ease that transition I'm looking for an AppleScript that will create one album for every Aperture Project.

     

    Suggesting that iPhoto is more sophisticated seems wrong to me, but I really have always used Filemaker then Aperture so I am not an iPhoto expert.

     

    Aperture facilitates keywords and Albums as very powerful tools. To specifically answer your question, just keyword a whole Project, part of a Project or just one image; you can make an Album Name a keyword. Then do a Find on that keyword to create an Album if you like. The keyword lives with the image file but the Album can be deleted if you like and recreated at any time in a few seconds.

     

     

     

    I realized there's another way to manage the Event to Album transition.

     

    In Aperture folders can hold Events and Albums alike. In iPhoto they can't mix.

     

    So I can mix the two in my organizational structure, thereby eliminating the need to create additional Albums for the existing Projects/Events.

     

    IMO organizational structures that over-use Folders are what I call Folder-think, and should be avoided in favor of database-think. Try to use keywords and Albums as much as possible in your organizing in lieu of folders. Save folders for aggregating: as per Léonie "use a folder to organize the bits and pieces - the different shoots, books, lighttables, slideshows."

     

    Consider a Project to be like a roll of film like Léonie suggested; organizationally that is the only location that the images live in. Personally I set 500 as my arbitrary maximum number of images in that roll-of-film-Project. Experiment to see what number of maximum images in a Project may or may not slow your workflow down.

     

    My boilerplate on organizing in Aperture:

     

    First, Projects should be just that: individual-shoot (i.e. time) based projects rather than some kind of organizing tool for all the architectural photos or whatever. For performance reasons personally I keep each Project under 500 20-MB images, making a second Project if the shoot is large (e.g.

    110829_KJones_Wed_A,

    110829_KJones_Wed_B,

    110829_KJones_Wed_C).

     

    One or more albums will always organize the KJones wedding pix together anyway. All three Projects (110829_KJones_Wed_A, 110829_KJones_Wed_B, 110829_KJones_Wed_C) would have the keyword "KJones_Wed" applied to each pic, which allows an Album "KJones_Wed" to be quickly created at any time.

     

    Folders are indeed flexible organizational tools but IMO often overused. Folders can effectively hide contents from view and therefore require users to remember how folders are nested and what is inside them. Folders were the only way to deal with single-original film, but are IMO limiting to image database thinking.

     

    The way I look at it conceptually:

     

    Aperture is a database (DB), and each image file lives in one Project.

     

    Albums are just collections of Pointers that point to individual image files living in one or more Projects. Since they just contain pointers, albums can be created or deleted at will without affecting image files. Very powerful. And Albums of pointers take up almost zero space, so they are fast and do not make the Library size grow.

     

    Keywords can be applied to every image separately or in batches. Keywords are hugely powerful and largely obviate the need for folders. Not that we should never use folders, just that we should use folders only when useful organizationally - - after first determining that using keywords and albums is not a better approach.

     

    As one example imagine the keyword "flowers."  Every image of a 100,000 images Library that has some flowers in it has the keyword flowers. Then say we want to put flowers in an ad, or as background for a show of some kind, or to print pix for a party, or even just to look for an image for some other reason. We can find every flower image in a 100k-image database in 2 seconds, and in another few seconds create an Album called "Flowers" that points to all of those individual images.

     

    Similarly all family pix can have a keyword "family" and all work pix can have a key word "work." Each individual pic may have any number of keywords. Such pic characteristics (work, family, flowers, etc.) should not be organized via folders.

     

    So by using keywords and albums we can have instant access to every image everywhere, very cool. And keywords and albums essentially take up no space in the database.

     

    Another approach is to use a folder "Family" for family pix, a folder "Flowers" for flowers pix and another folder "Work" for work pix. IMO such folders usage is a very poor approach to using an images database (probably stemming from old paper or film work practices). Note that one cannot put an image with family in a field of flowers at a work picnic in all three folders; but it is instant with keywords.

     

    HTH

     

    -Allen

  • 12. Re: Applescript wanted: create album for every Project
    jfaughnan Level 3 Level 3 (780 points)

    Thanks, that's a great post and summary Allen. I will follow those practices. I'm currently consolidating several Aperture Libraries (each of my iPhoto Libraries became an Aperture Library); as I do each one I am manually merging matching keywords. I'd done quite a bit of work with 'smart albums' in iPhoto and they migrated fairly well.

     

    I suspect I'm one of a small group who has lived both in Aperture and iPhoto and used most of the advanced features of both. Aperture's image editing tools are far ahead of iPhoto, but otherwise the functionality gaps are smaller than one might imagine.

     

    For example, Aperture has vastly more metadata options (many overlapping), but iPhoto's inline editing is a big time saver. Aperture has more options for batch actions on photos, but the batch actions I use most required fewer clicks in iPhoto. Aperture has hierarchical keywords, but keyword assignment was much faster, and in some ways more elegant, in iPhoto. Aperture can organize Projects by folder, but iPhoto had many shortcuts for managing Events/Projects that Aperture still lacks.

     

    Overall, when it comes to managing metadata, iPhoto does many fewer things, but it does the ones I use most more efficiently.

     

    Library size used to be a big Aperture advantage, but today iPhoto seems pretty good up to 40,000-50,000 images (depending on machine memory). Other than image editing, the BIG Aperture advantage is the ability to move Projects and metadata between Libraries and to merge or create Libraries. There's no obvious reason Apple couldn't introduce this feature to iPhoto - but I've been waiting about nine years for it and it's never happened. I moved to Aperture because I gave up -- and for the image editing and capacity features.

     

    Obviously Apple is trying to turn iPhoto into Aperture Lite, and Aperture into iPhoto Pro. It's a hugely difficult project, but in some ways they're doing better than I'd expected. There's still a long way to getting the best of both worlds though.