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Discussions about the Image Archive (any StudioLine product)

Where to Store Images and StudioLine Data? 

Andy Schmidt
Andy Schmidt
Administrator
Posts: 69


6/25/2017
Andy Schmidt
Andy Schmidt
Administrator
Posts: 69
But what is the best way to install the program and store my images?
I want to have the use of StudioLine Photo for searching, but to keep the possibility to open the photos in Photoshop and other applications, too.
So I'm considering installing the program on an external drive, have the Image Archive on that same drive, but to store my photos on an internal (or different external) drive (effectively duplicating the images in their own folder but also have them in the Image Archive). Perhaps this is not needed?

In general, the most important thing to plan is your backup strategy for your photos (= the entire “StudioLine Data” folder and subfolders). Wherever you place them, make sure you have the means to back up the content of that device on a regular basis.

Any recommendations would require for us to first have a good understanding YOUR workflow and what YOUR application for photos is. For now let me describe a generic scenario that would make sensible use of the features of StudioLine – and mention a few alternatives, just in case one sounds more like your workflow than others:

  • And event photographer comes back with hundreds of photos. He/she creates a new folder for those images, presets certain descriptive data such as copyright, event geo-location, event theme, etc. Then the photos are loaded into that folder.
    Next, any out-of-focus or other unusable photos are eliminated.

  • Some of the best or most relevant photos are ranked and undergo image edits/enhancements within StudioLine.

  • More specific descriptions are added to identify any objects/subjects.

  • A select series of images is exported for subsequent online publishing. An export “job” with reusable settings is used, that will automatically downsize the images for web usage, will convert them to high-compression (=small file size) JPEG and will add a logo watermark to protect your rights. You can choose to include some descriptor fields as text on the images; you can choose to reveal their geodata, etc.

  • In weeks to come, there might be requests from organizers or participants to acquire some of the photos. You could export those photos as originals and then spend time in PhotoShop to retouch them, remove blemishes, etc. before “selling” them.
  • On occasion there might be a request from one of several magazines that you've worked with in the past. They might have specific picture output requirements (as to file format, file size, no watermark, etc.) The various magazines could have distinct reusable Export jobs that satisfy the distinct requirements for each.

  • A few times a year you might be invited asked to present a slide show/talk. Again you could have a standard output job that prepares an ad-hoc selection of images in size, format and resolution for whatever projector device.

As far as working with images in PhotoShop, that depends on your typical work flow. If there is a small number of “top shots” that undergo extensive “post processing” work in PhotoShop after each “shoot”, then you could consider completing that work first, before ever loading that batch of photos into StudioLine for archival.

If, on the other hand, your typical work involves searching individual or groups of images in your archive sometime later, by whatever criteria, then it might make sense to take that selection of found images, possibly use the built-in abilities of StudioLine as much as possible to align and crop images, and then use the Export function to output those images in the file format and file size for the particular the production “job” to a work folder on Windows. From there you could still use PhotoShop as needed.

Keep in mind that any edits you do in StudioLine are fully reversible at any time, in full or in part, even years later – while edits you perform in other tools will be final. If technology advances in years to come, people sometimes regret having permanently altered the true original – or are confused by some other program having left numerous duplicates of pictures in various sizes, formats and states of edit – increasing the risk that the “wrong” one (the TRUE original) being accidentally deleted!

Yes, there is also the ability to add PhotoShop as a program shortcut to StudioLine, so that you can select images in StudioLine and then launch PhotoShop directly for a particular image. Saving the image in PhotoShop will then permanently update the underlying original photo – if that’s why you want.

As far as location of the StudioLine Data Folder – that’s mostly a matter of how BIG your archive is vs. the space on your available drives. Clearly, if your Windows workstation has a number of suitable internal drives, possible arranged in a RAID array to protect against single disk failure, with 70 or 80% of empty space to allow for a few years of growth – then there’s no reason to use external drives. By the time you run out of space, it might be time to replace the entire workstation.

On the other hand, if your disks are already 60 or 70% full, then you might be better suited with a set of (at least two) huge external drives – the second drive is used by an automated/scheduled Backup application!

The final consideration is whether to allow the Windows files to be “copied” into StudioLine or whether to use “catalogue” (but not copy) them:

  • If you use the “copy” option, then your originals will be maintained inside of the StudioLine Data folder – and once loaded, the source files can be deleted from your Windows folders to make room for more. The advantage is that all your originals are kept in the one StudioLine data folder and no external application will move files around where they might end up getting accidentally deleted years later from some arbitrary subfolder.
    But it also means, you’ll use the StudioLine workflow to “export” images for particular applications as needed.

  • If you do NOT use the “copy” option, then StudioLine will just remember the location of those original images on your Windows folders at the time of loading (and create a screen resolution “cache” version for previewing in StudioLine) – but it has no true best-resolution version of its own (it will always refer to the “external” original as needed). Your work with StudioLine itself will NOT be any different from the “copy” option, but only as long as the original files/folders are not moved, deleted, altered, renamed… in any way.
    This leaves the real potential actions you take in Windows with other applications will cause your data to go “out of synch” with StudioLine (although there IS the ability to “resynch” individual files or entire folders, after they were moved to a different parent folder or disk).

Fortunately, you can change your mind later – “external” images appear with a special status icon and can still be “copied” later – and, of course, “internal” (copied) images can be exported into regular Windows folders at any time…
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Andy Schmidt
Andy Schmidt
Administrator
Posts: 69


6/26/2017
Andy Schmidt
Andy Schmidt
Administrator
Posts: 69
When I have a photo in my external photo folder I can catalogue it in StudioLine Photo.
What do I have to do when I edit the photo and store it in the same or other folder, using a new name for the edited photo (the original stays where it was)

If you edit a photo and save it back under the same name, then the pointer in the Image Archive will still be valid. You can use the context menu (right-click) on that one photo in the Image Archive to "Refresh" that "Original" (which, in reality, is no longer the original at all).


If, however, you instead create a new file under a different name and/or location, then that truly IS a DIFFERENT file. You would have to catalogue that one as a new file in StudioLine. (However, in StudioLine you'd be able to "drag" all the metadata (= descriptors) and/or any edits from the "old" image to "new" image, if you like)


If an external image NO LONGER is found at the "old" location (because that picture, or the entire folder, or the entire disk was moved), THEN StudioLine will prompt for the new location at some future time, when it needs to access the original file for any purpose.



My suggestion is that you do NOT use a scheme where you constantly move catalogued ("external") files to new Windows folders or rename them in Window - the chance of error is just too big. Moving files/folders should only be done on the very rare occasion when you change hardware/drives and/or you completely reorganize where your data is stored.
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