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Brian O'Reilly Level 2 (185 points)



I have just moved from Aperture 2.1.4 to Aperture 3.1.3 and am strugggling to get a similar structure to my managed library


Prevously in Aperture 2, I had a Project down structure:


Folder - Image Type (RAW, JPEG etc.)

     Project - Year

          Folder - Month

               Album - Day


The above was achieved by dragging folders of images in from a similarly structured Finder window.

See screenshot here:


In Aperture 3 it is virtually impossible to achieve this structure while dragging and dropping folders, so I may need to resort to Project at the bottom structure:


Folder - Image Type (RAW, JPEG etc.)

     Folder - Year

          Folder - Month

               Project - Day

See screenshot here:


However - and this is where I need help!


Having 2 different layouts in the same Aperture library will drive me nuts - so:


How can I convert my old structure to a new structure with minimal effort?


Or any other ideas as to how to get consistency


I fully understand that the Finder is a file structure and Aperture is an Image structure etc. etc. etc. - I just want consistency within Aperture


Best regards



Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    Hi Brian.  I know you've thought this through, and so I'm curious: what advantages does having a permanent, massive structure like you want bring you that simply (as an example) using Photos view, which can be easily sorted by date and easily filtered to any date, dates, or range of dates, does not?  It seems that what you are after is to sort by date-time (completely hard-wired into Aperture at the Image level, and available everywhere) and group by individual date (easily done using Filters).  My thinking -- for myself, but you seem similarly interested in organization -- was that such a set-up is costly to create, cumbersome to navigate, and hard to confirm, while adding nothing at all to the out-of-the-box utility that comes with Aperture.  Projects, and Projects View, combined with the whole "build-your-own-Library structure", hands you the tools to create an organizational structure that complements the built-in "by date" function, rather than mimic it. My encouragement is that you, at least, look into take advantage of this.  In short, Aperture automatically creates a date-time index, and makes is frictionless to find any Images by date.  Why spend so much time and effort duplicating what already exists -- and committing a terrific set of tools to a task that is already capably handled?  My question is not rhetorical: I'm interested in how users use Aperture.


    (Note, too, that you can with a couple of clicks immediately show/hide Images by the file format of their Masters.)


    So thanks for thinking about it -- and, if you respond, for sharing your thoughts.


    I will think on your request (making "4x4_old" into "4x4_new") and get back to you if I come up with anything.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    Leaving aside for the moment the question of library organization I don't understand why you say you are having problems setting up your Aperture 3 library as you want.


    I have a similar setup


    Top level is a folder that holds the year folders (the leading underscore ensures that the folder will sort to the top)

    Screen shot 2011-09-11 at 19.12.29.png


    Then in the year folders are folders for each month:

    Screen shot 2011-09-11 at 19.12.55.png


    Finally in the month folders are the projects for each day:

    Screen shot 2011-09-11 at 19.20.16.png


    So what about your structure is making it impossible to create?


    Now for my questions, why are you making a structure for media type? As Kirby mentioned Aperture gives you such rich filtering capabilities making smart albums for RAW and JPG images is way to simple to encode that into a folder/project structure.


    I know you question wasn't asking for help in laying out your library but honestly I can;t see any reason to create this structure. As for your question I don't see any reason why you can't setup your 3 library just like your 2 library is. It's going to be a lot of manual labor. You could create smart albums to gather all JPGs of a certain date together and then put those into a project or album and repeat for each type and date. That would cut down on some labor,

  • Brian O'Reilly Level 2 (185 points)

    Kirby & Frank


    I an delighted that two Aperture experts took the time to respond - many thanks!


    In my original message I simplified for the sake of clarity and hope it hasn't caused confusion.


    Outside Aperture I automatically rename all my images (mainly due to limitations in the renaming process of Aperture) and then automatically put in them in date structure of Finder folders using DIM

    As such I have absolutely no duplication of file/folder names.

    In theory - I could drop all these images into a single project and use the Aperture tools to organize my images. But this seemed a bit of a dangerous route at the time.


    So - I started - with Aperture 1 and choose a Project at the top structure and used 'drag and drop' to move images from Finder to Aperture - while maintaining a 'layout' of sorts.

    In addition I also used keywords and smart albums with EXiF data to further refine my choices.


    This worked fine for Aperture 2


    But - as is well documented Aperture 3 changes all this.

    AP3 does not allow 'drag and drop' or Import… to achieve the same layout as I was using.


    I can manually create the structure in AP3 - but as pointed out - this is a time waster.


    I can proceed using AP3 defaults - but will end up with a mixture of Projects at the top or Projects at the bottom of the folder structure.


    Frank - you have a somewhat similar organization to myself - do you create it manually?


    I have exhausted many possibility - hence my enquiry

    I have no issue with changing my 'structure' - I was wondering if there was an easier way.


    Some folks have been using AP2 to import their images to maintain their workflow  and then export them as a project for import into AP3. But this is a recipe for disaster - in my opinion...



  • Kirby Krieger Level 6 (12,510 points)

    I think I'm following along .  So your question boils down to:


    I organize my picture files using Finder, and need to continue to do so.  I can no longer, since Ap3, import Finder folders and get structure "4+4Old", but I can import Finder folder structure and get "4+4New".  "4+4New" fits equally well into my established workflow.

    • Is it true I can no automatically import Finder folders to "4+4Old" using Ap3?
    • Is there an automatic way to convert my existing "4+4Old" to "4+4New", so that my database going forward is consistent?  If there is not an automatic way, is there a good way?


    Just checking.


    Added:  Is the file-naming limitation still present in Ap3?


    Message was edited by: Kirby Krieger -- added Q.

  • Brian O'Reilly Level 2 (185 points)

    Kirby - again thanks


    Just to 'fine tune' your excellent summary in paragraph 2 above

    AP1 and AP2 will inport dragged folders as 4+4Old - my existing library is organised like this.

    AP3 will inport dragged folders as 4+4New.


    I have no issue with the 4+4New structure, but I would end up with 2 different structures in my Library


    Your remaining 2 'bulleted' paragraphs above are correct


    Finally - I am re-experimenting with the renaming feature to see if I can adapt it to my 'quirks'


    Best regards and thanks



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    I need to catch up on what you and kirby ave been discussing but in the meantime just wanted to answer your question:

    Frank - you have a somewhat similar organization to myself - do you create it manually?


    No I have an Applescript that runs when I import into Aperture and it takes care of creating any folders that are needed and then creating  and naming the project for the dates of the images beining imported then moves  thei mages into the correct project.



  • Brian O'Reilly Level 2 (185 points)



    Is that an AppleScript you'd care to share


    If yes - Great

    If not - I understand


    Best regards



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    Not a problem, I'll need to package it up a bit better should take a day or two.


    Do you have any Applescript experience?  Not that you need any to use the script but knowing where you're at Applescript wise will let me know how detailed an explanation I'll need to include.



  • Brian O'Reilly Level 2 (185 points)



    You are most kind


    I have limited AppleScript experience  - so and hints you can include will be welcome


    Best regards



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)



    Finally got the scripts up on my website see Aperture Import Action Scripts. Been a bit pressed for time and I just got back to my main machine.


    The instructions are a bit sketchy but it should get you going. Just remember to have a good working backup before trying them out. I would suggest making a copy of your library and playing around with them on that until you are comfortable.


    Let me know if you have any other questions


    good luck

  • Brian O'Reilly Level 2 (185 points)



    You are a star!


    I will set up a test system and start to explore how I can further automate my Aperture workflow


    Really appreciate you sharing your 'creations' with the Aperture community


    Like the rest of you site as well :-)


    Best regards



  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    Glad to help. The instructions are a bit on the minimal side, like I said I've been a bit pressed. Let me know if you need any help getting the scripts installed, either here or through the web site.


    good luck

  • jacobsuperman Level 1 (0 points)

    Frank, I agree you are a star this looks like a great script. However, I do get this error when it is running that stops it from completion...


    error "Aperture got an error: Can’t get image version id \"YNd6yyqURqyPqmLytVcYlw\" of library id \"LibraryFolder\"." number -1728 from image version id "YNd6yyqURqyPqmLytVcYlw" of library id "LibraryFolder"


    I have no idea how to search for the file with version id \"YNd6yyqURqyPqmLytVcYlw\" can you tell me about the aperture naming conventions and how to diagnose then fix this problem?

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 (25,722 points)

    You're going to have to bring me up to speed here, the thread you are adding to is almost two years old!


    What script are you running, what is your OS and Aperture versions and has the script worked and now you get  the error or has it never worked?

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