Author Topic: Advice for workflow ideas please  (Read 9940 times)

Offline Pavel

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
    • View Profile
Advice for workflow ideas please
« on: October 19, 2006, 08:12:59 AM »
I've gotten some great tips here in the past so I'm putting this out there in hopes of some advice on how to speed up my workflow.  The workflow time is killing me. Photomechanic has cut it down to manageable torture but I need to cut more corners so I don't go batty and lose my eyesight at the same time.

This will be kind of long but I hope that a detailed description will be clearer.

I shoot events and sports.  This last weekend I shot a bike race and normally it's vital to get the shots out by about wednesday night - because by Thursday they are gearing up for the next race and yesterdays race is like day old papers. :)

For example this race weekend we shot a bit over 13000 pictures.  We ingest the shots, and rename to yy,mm,dd-hour,minute,second and iptc caption them.  Works great and photomechanic is a great help here especially the rename which I consider vital in that format to keep track of shots if they ever get mixed up in wrong folders.

Now the drudgery starts.  I go through the shots and tag them.  I glance for one to two seconds and tag shots  that are to be deleted if they are clearly bad and at the same pass apply one of several color filters to sort with later.  I need one for crashes, people shots and then the race shots themselves I rate with one color if they are to make the cut and another if they are ok but not worth bothering to go to the next step with.  This enables me to trash about 30% and select about 20-30% to the "A" pile.  If you are wondering why I bother to put away the other 30 or so %in a "B" pile - it's because I get contacted afterward by racers to see if I have any pictures of them too ... or simply any more of them than what they see.  That gives me the chance to go back to the "B" pile later when the deadline heat is off and keyword them too - to be included in future searches.  We sell quite a bit of those over the next few months after each event.

So now comes the part that I'm anxious for helpful suggestions on.  Up to this point I can't see any way of speeding things up and it takes on average about 8-10 hours of work to do.  The crash and people pix go up as they are because they go into separate directories that are manageable by their small sizes and no further PM work is needed.

The three to four thousand racer pix have to however be sorted by plate number.  I've decided on using the keyword field and use a tip gotten here where I make the display as big as possible and use the iptc window to enter the plate number.  I'd love to have a full size IPTC window with a huge preview - so that I can read the number in the IPTC dialogue box itself ... but this workaround works.  What is a real pain is that I need to hit command-[ each time to commit my changes.  After six hours ... let me tell you your hand hurts from this keyboard combo much worse that just a simple arrow key hit.  Hopefully that will be an option later.

So now at the end I rename my files with the keyword (plate number) in front of the file names and now I can sort the shots by groups of the same racer so that I can manually move them into folders.

Is there any way that anyone can think of to do this automatically.  If you have a folder with 230 different race numbers in front of a file name ... is there are way to have folders made and name by a string of numbers read from the file name?  I'd like the name to be read ... in this case 135-061009-132402.jpg and take into account only the first three digits to create a folder and then furthermore to move all the files with this  three digit number into it?  This would save me several hours and be more accurate than the manual way I'm doing it now.

Or can anyone think of a completely different approach to sorting 3000 shots into 150-300 "piles" in a easier way?

Thanks ... and sorry for the long post.

Offline Kirk Baker

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Camera Bits Staff
  • Superhero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 20631
    • View Profile
    • Camera Bits, Inc.
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2006, 08:40:45 AM »
The three to four thousand racer pix have to however be sorted by plate number.  I've decided on using the keyword field and use a tip gotten here where I make the display as big as possible and use the iptc window to enter the plate number.  I'd love to have a full size IPTC window with a huge preview - so that I can read the number in the IPTC dialogue box itself ... but this workaround works.  What is a real pain is that I need to hit command-[ each time to commit my changes.  After six hours ... let me tell you your hand hurts from this keyboard combo much worse that just a simple arrow key hit.  Hopefully that will be an option later.

I cannot make it a simple arrow key, because then you would never be able to move the cursor around with the arrow keys.

And, you do know that you can press and hold Ctrl-Z to get a much larger preview, right?

Quote from: Pavel
So now at the end I rename my files with the keyword (plate number) in front of the file names and now I can sort the shots by groups of the same racer so that I can manually move them into folders.

Is there any way that anyone can think of to do this automatically.  If you have a folder with 230 different race numbers in front of a file name ... is there are way to have folders made and name by a string of numbers read from the file name?  I'd like the name to be read ... in this case 135-061009-132402.jpg and take into account only the first three digits to create a folder and then furthermore to move all the files with this  three digit number into it?  This would save me several hours and be more accurate than the manual way I'm doing it now.

Or can anyone think of a completely different approach to sorting 3000 shots into 150-300 "piles" in a easier way?

I could write a shell script that would scan for files meeting that description and would parse out the digits leading up to the first hyphen, create a folder with that number (if it doesn't already exist) and then move the file into that folder.  It would do this until all files had been processed.

It would take some time to write the script, but not all that much, especially if I could use Ruby which is available by default on Mac OS X, which by your description of Command-], you must be using.

HTH,

-Kirk

Offline dbrouse

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 190
    • View Profile
    • DC Corporate Headshots
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2006, 02:44:03 PM »
I saw a suggestion here last week to create a set of folders BEFORE the event, then jsut COPY those folders each week. For example...create your folders (101, 102, 103, 104, XXX) today.  I've done that and now after every shoot I just COPY those folders to my new folder. Sure, you have to create those folders but once it's done...its DONE.

D
Delane B. Rouse/Rouse Photography Group, LLC
Mac OS: Version 10.7.4, Build 12713

Offline Kirk Baker

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Camera Bits Staff
  • Superhero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 20631
    • View Profile
    • Camera Bits, Inc.
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2006, 02:52:50 PM »
Delane,

I saw a suggestion here last week to create a set of folders BEFORE the event, then jsut COPY those folders each week. For example...create your folders (101, 102, 103, 104, XXX) today.  I've done that and now after every shoot I just COPY those folders to my new folder. Sure, you have to create those folders but once it's done...its DONE.

I think in Pavel's case he doesn't know up front what the numbers are going to be.  He 'learns' of the numbers as he is captioning,

That's right isn't it, Pavel?

-Kirk

Offline Pavel

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 10:38:27 PM »
Yes that is the problem - that I don't know what numbers are going to be encountered in each race.  I've found a workaround today to the thumb killing command-[ movement through each frame.  I took my mouse (logitech laser 1000) and assigned a keyboard keystroke of command-[ to one of the mouse buttons.  Works like a charm to save the input and move to the next shot.

Kirk I'd be grateful for such a script as it would shave off a few hours of drudgery each time I do this and be more accurate as well.
I know you are busy, but if you feel up to the task one of these days, well, like I said I'd be grateful and I'm sure others might find it a useful thing.
not to ask for the moon but would the script be possible with a fascility to scan for two hyphens?  That way for the shots that have two numbers in it (which is the max I use) it could put the same shot into the first number folder and the same shot again into the second number folder.

Oh I did forget that control-Z gives a bigger preview ... so I'm about to try that out.

Thanks!

Offline Kirk Baker

  • Senior Software Engineer
  • Camera Bits Staff
  • Superhero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 20631
    • View Profile
    • Camera Bits, Inc.
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2006, 06:45:16 AM »
Kirk I'd be grateful for such a script as it would shave off a few hours of drudgery each time I do this and be more accurate as well.
I know you are busy, but if you feel up to the task one of these days, well, like I said I'd be grateful and I'm sure others might find it a useful thing.
not to ask for the moon but would the script be possible with a fascility to scan for two hyphens?  That way for the shots that have two numbers in it (which is the max I use) it could put the same shot into the first number folder and the same shot again into the second number folder.

Hmm.  So you're saying you might have a file that looks like this:

135-227-132402.jpg

and you would want a 135 folder created and put the 135-227-132402.jpg file there, and then create another folder and put 135-227-132402.jpg there again?

Are the numbers always going to be three digits?  And what are those last six digits?  Will they vary in length?

I'll need more info before I could help you.

-Kirk

Offline nharnik

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2006, 08:48:28 AM »
Pavel,

You wrote that you input the plate number into the keyword field? If that is the case then I suspect you can have pm automatically create your folders for you.
After you finish inputing all plate numbers into the keyword field, have photo mechanic ingest the folder where all the photos are stored.
In your ingest box specify "source directory structure-ignore" and "copy photos into folder with name"
and in the box below that, which is Folder Name, you need to use a variable for the keyword field, followed by a variable for the date and variable for the time.
It would probably look like this: {keyw}{datesort}{timesort}
Do a short test run and see if it works.
(I just reingested 900 GB of pictures to place them in dated folders . Took forever to complete, but it worked great)

best, nati

Offline nharnik

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 112
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2006, 09:18:06 AM »
Pavel,
on second thought, do not use {timesort}
it would only create too many folders.
nati

Offline Pavel

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2006, 02:01:25 PM »
THat is a creative solution to the problem - thanks I will give it a try.

Kirk yes, the plate numbers are always in groups of three digits.  Plate number 12 for example is always put in as 012 to be able to sort by numbers and while 90% only have one plate put in the rest have two numbers.  I don't put in more than two even if there are more than two in the shot because, well, I have to cap it somewhere and I'm going insane as it is :).

The rest of the number after the dash is the picture id number which consists of the day,hour,minute and second.


Offline Pavel

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
    • View Profile
Re: Advice for workflow ideas please
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2006, 10:50:04 AM »
Kirk ... and all.  Just to let you know: I've finaly gotten around to trying out your second script and it works perfectly and unbelievably fast.  It went through 2500+ files, creating the directories by number and moved all the files inside the correct folders - in about seven seconds.  Unbelievable speed!  This will save me countless hours next season.  THANKS!