04 November 2007

Improve your Workflow with Aperture - Part 1

Part 1 Optimize Libraries

Right out of the box, Aperture helps you to upload your images from your camera into the application fast . With a little bit of planning and preparation, you can make this one of the most effective ways to organize your images for the long run and have the images organized right from the beginning.

I love automating things and let the computer work for me and not vice versa. It takes some time to create the setup, but once you accomplished this, you will save time every time, you upload your images.

This is the first article in a small series on maximizing your workflow with Aperture.
  1. Optimize Libraries
  2. Optimize your folder structure
  3. Personalize and structure your Keyword List
  4. Create your own Metadata Presets
  5. Autostacking
Let's get started with organizing your library/ libraries.

First of all, you need to decide, if you work with only with one library or different libraries. Why would you want to work with more than one library? Earlier this year, I discovered that Aperture slowed down to an unacceptable slow speed. Concerned that my MacBook Pro would be the source of the problem, I visited my favorite Apple Store. Luckily, one of the sales people works on weekends as wedding photographer and understood my challenge. He pointed out to me that I probably don’t need to have access to my private images from 2005 all the time and recommended to create separate libraries for personal images and my professional work.
I applied his advice and created different libraries for my images. Now, I have one library for the current year with private images and for every quarter of the year a separate library for my professional work.

If your library is not that big and you don’t upload images every day this might not be necessary for you. Keep in mind that this strategy also helps for backing up your data. Let’s say, you have a library for your clients for January to March, you can simply back up the complete library on an external hard-drive without much worry.

Follow these steps to create a new empty library:

  1. If you haven’t done so, start Aperture, go to Preferences (Keyboard Shortcut: Command ,). Right on top, under Library Location, select Choose. Create a folder for your new empty Library on your internal or external hard-drive. Apple recommends for best performance to use your internal hard-drive. This depends on how you work. I work currently with referenced files. My Aperture library on my Mac contains the previews and all but the most current Master Files are saved on an external hard-drive.
  2. After you created your folder, click on Select
  3. Close Aperture
  4. When you navigate to your new library, you have the option to rename the library or keep them in different folders.
  5. Navigate to your new library and double click to start Aperture and your new empty Aperture library presents itself to you.

To open a different library, you have two options:
  1. either navigate to the folder where the library resides to start Aperture from there or
  2. you select a different library within Aperture’s Preferences. You need to restart Aperture in order to open this library.
Implementing this strategy helped me working more effectively with my library and sped up Aperture to it’s old speed. I don’t have to worry about showing private images to my clients by accident.

In the next article, you will learn on how to work with different folder structures in Aperture.

1 comment:

jTh. said...

Regarding "unacceptably slow speeds..."

I'd suffered some pain too, on my 2ghz G5 iMac, from a library of 40,000 referenced images. But I have been amazed by the improvement from two optimizations.

First, I turned off Preview generation and deleted all mine out of my library. See http://www.bagelturf.com/aparticles/previews/pwho/index.html for an assessment that Preview generation may not be necessary.

Second, I re-indexed my Aperture database per this applescript http://www.bagelturf.com/downloads/assets/ReindexAperture%20Database.zip described at http://www.bagelturf.com/files/6ce59ccfee917c304407dbc4392c5675-807.html

Now, I feel no undue speed impediment while working with my massive library.

However, it's worth noting that my library is 98% JPGs, almost no RAWs, and I can't imagine how much difference that would make.

So your article is good and useful (and I look forward to more!), but splitting a library may also NOT be necessary for some users, per notes above. So I hope they add usefully to the discussion.