Author Topic: Stacks  (Read 9736 times)

Offline devenh

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Stacks
« on: June 29, 2007, 09:53:52 am »
It would be great if PM could support stacks like Bridge CS3 and Aperture do.  In Bridge, you have to manually identify stacks, but in Aperture you can automatically stack images based on a user defined time setting.  For instance, Aperture can create a stack of all images taken within one second of each other.  So if I took a 10 image sequence that spanned in total 5 seconds, but each images was within one second of the prior or next image, Aperture would create a stack of the 10 photos.

A key feature would be that one could easily set the IPTC info for all the images in the stack.

Deven

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2007, 10:59:21 am »
Deven,

It would be great if PM could support stacks like Bridge CS3 and Aperture do.  In Bridge, you have to manually identify stacks, but in Aperture you can automatically stack images based on a user defined time setting.  For instance, Aperture can create a stack of all images taken within one second of each other.  So if I took a 10 image sequence that spanned in total 5 seconds, but each images was within one second of the prior or next image, Aperture would create a stack of the 10 photos.

A key feature would be that one could easily set the IPTC info for all the images in the stack.

We have thought about implementing such a thing, but it is my understanding that Apple patented the automatic stacking idea.  This could be why Bridge doesn't have automatic stacking.

-Kirk

Offline devenh

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2007, 11:28:02 am »
Maybe this is the patent:

http://www.freshpatents.com/Auto-stacking-of-time-related-images-dt20070215ptan20070035551.php

Perhaps you could get the rights by making a patent exchange  ???

The value of stacks is greatly enhanced if there is some automatic way to apply stacks to a large number of files.  The demos I've seen of Aperture really make the stacking process look easy.  Here is an alternate way which, although not nearly as good as Aperture, might be useful:

1. Order photos by capture time.

2. To stack the first three photos, move to the third and press the create stack shortcut key which will create a stack containing the current image back to the last unstacked photo or the first photo in display order if no prior stack exists.  The first photo in sort order would be the default image for the stack.

3. To stack the next 5 photos, move to the eighth photo and press the create stack shortcut key.

4. To create a stack of photos 12 to 15 (thereby leaving photos 9 - 11 unstacked), move to photo 12 and press the begin stack shortcut key, and finally move to photo 15 and press the create stack shortcut key.

Hopefully no one has a patent on this.

Deven

Deven

Offline IanGoldstein

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2007, 01:55:39 pm »
Adobe Lightroom implements "stacking" of photos as well, although it does not seem to be automatic. I don't know if Adobe's approach is similar to Apple's, but I highly doubt Adobe is licensing this concept from Apple.

Futher, while I'm not a legal expert, from my experience there is big difference between the application for a Patent and the granting of a Patent. If the previously mentioned Patent Application is the one in question, it would appear that it is focused on the "Automatic" stacking of "Time Related" images. While such an idea may or may not be novel or unique enough to be patentable, I would sincerely hope that the mere concept of stacking more than one image togther could not be considered a patentable idea. In fact, on Apple's own website they make it clear that the concept of stacking images in a pile is a very well known and commonly accepted practice (www.apple.com/aperture/compare/index.html).

The ability to group images togther and to manage them as a set would be a great new feature to have in PM. In some ways it could even be looked at as an extension of the RAW+JPG grouping of images.  In RAW+JPG mode, PM is basically automatically stacking 2 files with the same name and different extensions. In fact, if an associate WAV file with the same file name is found it is automatically associated with the images as well.

It would be nice to at least be able to manually stack images.

-Ian

Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2007, 05:54:05 pm »
Maybe this is the patent:

http://www.freshpatents.com/Auto-stacking-of-time-related-images-dt20070215ptan20070035551.php

Perhaps you could get the rights by making a patent exchange  ???

If only we had some to exchange...

Here is another that is pertinent which covers the display of the stacks/piles:

http://www.freshpatents.com/Techniques-for-displaying-digital-images-on-a-display-dt20060406ptan20060071947.php

They appear to also have one for the Virtual Loupe and Floating Controller for manipulating the digital photos, but I couldn't find the actual applications for those.

Sounds like potentially dangerous waters to enter to me.

-Kirk

Offline IanGoldstein

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2007, 07:48:15 pm »
Quote
Here is another that is pertinent which covers the display of the stacks/piles:
http://www.freshpatents.com/Techniques-for-displaying-digital-images-on-a-display-dt20060406ptan20060071947.php

Wow, reading through that application's claims, it appears they are trying to patent the concept of displaying multiple windows on multiple monitors, display digital images in a grid, a filmstrip, etc., etc. In my opinion, their claims seem extremely vague and very, very broad.  The Patent reads as if they believe they invented the idea of displaying images in rows, in columns, in a grid, in stacks, etc. No one can really expect Apple to be the only one allowed to display images in rows and/or columns? Especially when this is already accepted practice and commonly known techniques used by dozens hundreds of programs?

Quote
Sounds like potentially dangerous waters to enter to me.

I wouldn't want to attempt to copy any specifically patented, unique feature from another program either. But I don't see how Apple can claim to have "invented" the concept of stacking photos on top of one another, especially when they don't appear to be the first to have done so.  Lightroom as well as Elements support image stacks, and now that Microsoft owns iView MediaPro, I can't imagine it will be long before they incorporate the feature as well. Regardless, a quick search seems to reveal there are existing, related patents for stacked windows, stacked images, etc. which Apple would have to reference as "prior art" and deal with as part of the patent they are trying to achieve.

In fact, I think a very good argument can be made that Photo Mechanic has long been implementing a basic stacking feature, well before Aperture, Lightroom or Elements. RAW+JPG is essentially an automatic stacking of images based upon filename and specific file extensions.

Just my 2-cents.

-Ian

Offline IanGoldstein

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2007, 08:45:06 pm »
Before Apple can claim "ownership" of the concept of stacked images, they'll first need to deal with the following existing patents which all involve stacked images...

#6915489 Image Browsing Using Cursor Positioning (Jul 5, 2005) - HP
#6590586 User Interface For a Browser Based Image Storage and Processing System (Jul 8, 2003) - Xerox
#6025827 Digital Image Capture Control (Feb 15, 2000) - IBM
#5943050 Digital Image Capture Control (Aug 24, 1999) - IBM
#5675358 Digital Image Capture Control (Oct 7, 1997) - IBM

(BTW, these are patents which have actually been granted, not patent applications.)

The IBM patents are particularly interesting in that they state: "The user interface also allows the user to stack a set of images into a single object in the workspace. Images may be manipulated within the stack, discarded or modified or changed between stacks of image objects."  Seems fairly apparent to me that it's a little late for Apple to claim they "invented" stacked images.  While I am not an expert in patent law, I suspect it is highly unlikely Apple could be successful in stopping anyone else from using stacked images.

-Ian
« Last Edit: June 29, 2007, 08:57:51 pm by IanGoldstein »

Offline devenh

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2007, 07:35:02 am »
Perhaps one way around the patent issue is to simply provide the user with the ability to enter stacking rules.  In PM, these rules could use any of the available variables, so stacks could be created based on the caption, lens, shutter speed, and even time.

Let's say you had your photos sorted by lens (which is actually focal length).  A rule could be:

A.lens = B.lens

Which would mean if two adjacent photos had the same focal length, create a stack.

If the user happens to sort their photos by capture time and enters:

abs(A.date - B.date) < 1 second

then the stack is time based.  Note, the 'abs' is an absolute value function so this rule would work if the photos were displayed in ascending or descending order.

Deven

Offline vAfotoriporter

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #8 on: August 18, 2007, 02:29:20 am »
Perhaps one way around the patent issue is to simply provide the user with the ability to enter stacking rules.  In PM, these rules could use any of the available variables, so stacks could be created based on the caption, lens, shutter speed, and even time.

And it would fit more into PM style than simply a time based selection. I don't really often need a stacks like solution but I would like it too...
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Offline mbbphoto

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2008, 07:30:30 am »
Deven,

It would be great if PM could support stacks like Bridge CS3 and Aperture do.  In Bridge, you have to manually identify stacks, but in Aperture you can automatically stack images based on a user defined time setting.  For instance, Aperture can create a stack of all images taken within one second of each other.  So if I took a 10 image sequence that spanned in total 5 seconds, but each images was within one second of the prior or next image, Aperture would create a stack of the 10 photos.

A key feature would be that one could easily set the IPTC info for all the images in the stack.

We have thought about implementing such a thing, but it is my understanding that Apple patented the automatic stacking idea.  This could be why Bridge doesn't have automatic stacking.

-Kirk


Can we not have manual stacks like bridge?
It would make integration much easier, stacks are a powerful part of Lightroom and I would rather do it in PM!
Marc
Marc

Offline ricardsonwilliams

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2010, 08:18:22 am »
This will be very usefull thing, I use a lot in Aperture but now I migrate my library to PM and somethimes miss "stack feature"


thanks,
Ricardson

Offline Hayo Baan

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 12:46:06 pm »
I think we will see stacks with the catalogue functionality (that is to say, I can't see cataloguing complete without it). When it arrives, at minimum it should have manual stacking capabilities, but I sure hope some sort of automateable stacking will be included as well (I for instance would really really love a feature to automatically stack RAW/JPG/TIFF/PSD/... files together, with a specified "order" for the various file formats).

Cheers,
    Hayo
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Offline vAfotoriporter

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2010, 02:37:38 pm »
How about a legal workaround for the stacking: let it be manual based and allow it to use any variable PM allows to use. Since nor LR neither Aperture uses variables but PM does it heavily this move maybe could make it legally unquestionable.
Just a thought.
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Offline vAfotoriporter

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2010, 05:39:36 pm »
Mentioning copyrights so often. Did Camerabits copyright its ultimate way of using variables for metadata edit and photo management?
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Offline Kirk Baker

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Re: Stacks
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 05:55:16 pm »
Mentioning copyrights so often. Did Camerabits copyright its ultimate way of using variables for metadata edit and photo management?

We haven't copyrighted or patented anything as of yet.  I personally dislike software patents of all flavors.  It is amazing what gets granted a patent nowadays.

-Kirk