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-   -   File renaming in LR (http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10987)

Michael Seltzer January 30th, 2010 02:52 PM

File renaming in LR
 
When I first started using LR, I decided on a naming scheme for my files. Over time, however, this scheme has had problems. For submitting sets of images to clients, responding to calls, or creating displays for customers, my current file names seem cumbersome (some clients have indicated that as well). Giving each image a title can help, but still there are customers who want to use the file name for selecting images (instead of my spiffy titles) and it is useful to me to be able to easily see the associated file name. Up until now, I have, when necessary, given the submitted jpegs or tiffs new, shorter, names, and managed remembering how those names relate to the original files in LR with collections and entries in the Caption field. Not good.

So, I would like to rename my files in LR. However, I can't just rebuild the names: LR can no longer pull many of the elements from the exif data (like the original camera sequence number); and LR doesn't offer search & replace capability to pull apart the current filename. I have a batch rename utility that can do what I want easily, but then LR no longer knows what file goes with what image in the catalog. Anyway I can see, this requires renaming one-image-at-a-time. I've way too many images for that. (I thought, briefly, of starting over, and creating a new catalog, but of course, I'd lose all my virtual copies and I don't know how much else. So that won't work.)

Just thought I'd check if anybody in the community new of a LR ability I'm unaware of, or of a way to get LR to correctly find the newly named files (a pipe-dream, that, though a pipe might be what's needed here). Any ideas?

Thanks.

Cem_Usakligil January 30th, 2010 03:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Seltzer (Post 91204)
When I first started using LR, I decided on a naming scheme for my files. Over time, however, this scheme has had problems. For submitting sets of images to clients, responding to calls, or creating displays for customers, my current file names seem cumbersome (some clients have indicated that as well). Giving each image a title can help, but still there are customers who want to use the file name for selecting images (instead of my spiffy titles) and it is useful to me to be able to easily see the associated file name. Up until now, I have, when necessary, given the submitted jpegs or tiffs new, shorter, names, and managed remembering how those names relate to the original files in LR with collections and entries in the Caption field. Not good.

So, I would like to rename my files in LR. However, I can't just rebuild the names: LR can no longer pull many of the elements from the exif data (like the original camera sequence number); and LR doesn't offer search & replace capability to pull apart the current filename. I have a batch rename utility that can do what I want easily, but then LR no longer knows what file goes with what image in the catalog. Anyway I can see, this requires renaming one-image-at-a-time. I've way too many images for that. (I thought, briefly, of starting over, and creating a new catalog, but of course, I'd lose all my virtual copies and I don't know how much else. So that won't work.)

Just thought I'd check if anybody in the community new of a LR ability I'm unaware of, or of a way to get LR to correctly find the newly named files (a pipe-dream, that, though a pipe might be what's needed here). Any ideas?

Thanks.

Hi Michael,

As a matter of fact, I have gone through this very same exercise some time ago and I truly feel your pain. Let me tell you that the shortest path you can follow is to rename outside the LR and rebuild your catalog from scratch. First save all your meta data for all images from within LR. Then, export all the virtual copies to tif files (if you want to keep them, that is). Then rename in an external program and then rebuild a new catalog from scratch. I didn't do this and tried other possibilities but it took three times longer in the end. If I'd choose again, I'd skip all that torture and pain and do it this way. It takes some batch processing which you need to sit out patiently, but there is not much intervention needed contrary to what I have done (read below).

My case went a bit like this:
1) My files names included the date, time, original camera number (5 digits, 4 from the camera plus 1 most significant digit for cases where I have taken more than 9999 frames with a camera) and the indicator of the camera.
2) I wanted to migrate to a file name which only includes a letter prefix for each camera I own and a 5 digit unique sequential number (the same number as it was in the file name in step 1),
3) I wanted to have the new file name also copied to the IPTC Title field, so that I could use that as a linking pin to all the new versions and derivatives of a certain image. I did a very exhaustive search on the net and believe me, title is the best field for this purpose and definitely not the caption one. And two other ones which are important are: the Headline field is the real caption: a name or short description for the image. The caption field is for a long description of what's going on in the image.

One of the options I have tried, but failed at was to copy the old file name to the title field (using the LR/Transporter plugin by Tim Armes, but there are some others out there). This copy cannot extract a subsection of the file name as I was wanting to. So I have tried exporting the title to a csv file and edit it in Excel and then re-import it back to the catalog. This didn't work reliably across many folders.

So I have saved all my meta data and did the population of the title field from within the Photo Mechanic application. I have then re synchronized the meta data in LR. At that time, I had the title in LR as I wanted to have it (more or less). I have then used the regular LR rename function to replace the old file name with the contents of the title field. But there were issues with derivatives (having some suffixes after the original file name) so I had to a lot of manual activities to get all done properly. Eventually, I have done part of the conversion using a renamer program (renamer by den4b) and had to re-import them into LR. All in all, it took me weeks to get there.

Good luck and I hope this helps ease the pain a bit :-). Please ask any specific questions anytime.

Cheers,

Charles L Webster January 30th, 2010 04:24 PM

I don't rename the files in the catalog, I just give the exported JPEGs or TIFFs new, suitable names using the Export dialog box.

My RAW filenames are meaningless because the tethered shooting app begins every session at 0001. So it's entirely possible for client files from multiple sessions to have duplicate filenames.

I generally just use the project name, or project name and date and add a sequence number (01-nn) at export time.

It makes it easier when I write up the license agreement because I just list <project name>_01 etc.

I often don't keep the JPEGs and TIFFs that I delivered to the client. I figure that I can recreate them in LR anytime I want, even if I have made additional changes since.

Bart_van_der_Wolf January 30th, 2010 04:41 PM

Hi Cem,

Great info for those in a similar situation, as usual.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil (Post 91208)
Eventually, I have done part of the conversion using a renamer program (renamer by den4b) and had to re-import them into LR.

One small remark, maybe a false positive from my 'Norton Internet Security', there is a 'suspect' file on Den4b's site called "Hooker.zip", which is labeled as Trojan/Adware.

This is not to degrade anything you said or that Den4b makes available, on the contrary, just that one Aniti-Virus checker raised a flag (probably because of what the program does, capture keystrokes, not what it does with it). The Renamer application does not cause NIS concerns!

I think you have mentioned the further reaching concequences of renaming, in a DAM context, in a comprehensive manner. Using the correct IPTC fields is important!

Cheers,
Bart

Cem_Usakligil January 30th, 2010 04:51 PM

Hi Bart,

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf (Post 91214)
...One small remark, maybe a false positive from my 'Norton Internet Security', there is a 'suspect' file on Den4b's site called "Hooker.zip", which is labeled as Trojan/Adware.

This is not to degrade anything you said or that Den4b makes available, on the contrary, just that one Aniti-Virus checker raised a flag. The Renamer application does not cause NIS concerns!

Thank you very much for the warning. The hooker app is a keyboard spy/logger so it is by definition a kind of trojan; I think that it is normal for it to be flagged as such. But I don't use or recommend it anyway. Coming back to the renamer, I have of course checked the renamer program against viruses/trojans and it was clean. I have in fact used many different renaming programs so far, but I liked this one as it is one of the most flexible, usable and fast ones out there.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bart_van_der_Wolf (Post 91214)
...I think you have mentioned the further reaching concequences of renaming in a DAM context in a comprehensive manner. Using the correct IPTC fields is important!

Yes indeed, pay close attention to the IPTC fields. To summarize things again:
- Title: the unique name of the original image (to identify and easily locate all the derivatives and copies created from the original)
- Headline: Short description or name/title of the image (so the actual title goes in here, not in the so-called title field)
- Caption: description of what is going on in the image and any relevant details
- Location: Specific place where it was taken
- City: City where the image was taken
- State/Country: speaks for itself.

One mistake often made is including the location/city/state/country fields also in the keywords. If is advisable to use as much as possible the appropriate IPTC fields (when available) and not duplicate them in the keywords.

Cheers,

Michael Seltzer January 30th, 2010 09:07 PM

Cem, thank you. I hadn't really noticed the Headline field before, and certainly wouldn't have thought that was the place for the image title. Nor that Title ought to hold the original (or root) image name. Why not Original Filename for that?

BTW, anybody heard any rumors as to whether Adobe plans to ever add more robust file naming abilities? I love LR most of the time, but there are some very basic image management tasks that are not only absent, but that using LR actually hinders.

Michael

Cem_Usakligil January 31st, 2010 02:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Seltzer (Post 91223)
Cem, thank you. I hadn't really noticed the Headline field before, and certainly wouldn't have thought that was the place for the image title. Nor that Title ought to hold the original (or root) image name. Why not Original Filename for that?

Hi Michael,

As I wrote in my second post, I use the title field for the unique name of the original image. For example, my camera raw file is called IMG_1234.CR2. I rename it to a01234.cr2 during ingestion. Then the title field contains: a01234. If I create a derivative called a01234_master_bw.tif later, this derivative file's title field is still a01234, to reference back to the original raw file. I hope this makes sense now.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Michael Seltzer (Post 91223)
...BTW, anybody heard any rumors as to whether Adobe plans to ever add more robust file naming abilities? I love LR most of the time, but there are some very basic image management tasks that are not only absent, but that using LR actually hinders.

Well, there have always been rumors but I am afraid this all will turn out to be wishful thinking. I don't see any signs in the beta of LR 3 to indicate for that, except for the better ingestion module. We'll see in a few months.

Cheers,


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