Open Photography Forums  
HOME FORUMS NEWS FAQ SEARCH

Go Back   Open Photography Forums > Digital Darkroom > Digital Asset Management: access & storage of image files.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old June 12th, 2007, 03:28 PM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88
Default Underscores and LR

Hello,

I have Photoshop LR version 1, and have a problem. My images weren't sorting properly when I tried to sort in the Grid view using "Filename" as the sort order. I use underscores to separate my filenames into sections, and another user on the LR User-to-User forum suggested it might be the underscores I was using in the filenames that was causing LR not to be able to sort properly. He seems to have been correct (I tried replacing the underscores with dashes in a small folder, and then they all sorted fine).

My problem is I have about 5K photos in LR, many with virtual copies associated with them. I don't want to rename each file individually, which means I have to use an external utility to rename them. Easy enough, but then LR doesn't recognize them anymore. As far as know, the only way to get LR to recognize them is to re-associate each file individually (may as well rename them individually to begin with), or remove all the files form the LR database, and import the newly named files. If I do that, though, I lose the virtual copies I made.

Oddly, if I open LR first, allowing it to find all the files, and then rename the files outside of LR, it will change the name of some of the images, but not all of them. Most of the images keep their original name, and LR no longer knows where the file is located.

Is there any way to bulk-rename a bunch of files, and still retain the virtual copies in LR?

Thanks,
Michael

PS Is there any Technical Support available for LR? I can go the the User-to-User forum, but I can't find a way to contact Technical Support for LR (CS3, yes, but not LR).
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old June 12th, 2007, 11:05 PM
Nicolas Claris Nicolas Claris is offline
Administrator/Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bordeaux
Posts: 5,677
Default

Bonjour Michael
what is you OS? Mac? PC?
There are a bunch of small software utilty that can change from your desktop a sequence of types i.e. change in such repertory all name that have an underscore by a dash.
On Mac I use "FileRenamer" it is free, simple and ... fast!
But there are many others

HIH
__________________
WEBSITE - FACEBOOK - INSTAGRAM
Please do no repost my images elsewhere than OPF without my permission.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old June 13th, 2007, 05:21 AM
Tony Fiorda Tony Fiorda is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 16
Default

Michael,

LR also supports a batch renaming according to the LR Book for Digital Photographers by Scott Kelby.

Select the photos you wish to rename, go to the library menu and select rename photos, enter the rename info in the dialog and click OK.

The book is also showing that you can use the underscore character, but I only use a dash between segments, so you might want to play that for a bit.

Tony...
__________________
Tony...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old June 13th, 2007, 11:47 AM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88
Default

Hello All,

Hi Nicolas,
I am on a Mac (OS X), which I always forget to mention. I have R-Name, which works fine on the Mac. So I can rename the files easily. It is doing so without losing all the key-wording and the virtual copies I've made that's my problem.

Hi Tony,
I don't have Kelby's book, so it is certainly possible there is something I don't know. I am hoping so. However, I have used the rename function under the library menu (I always have to hunt for it, as I expect it to be either under the Photo menu or the Edit menu). As far as I can see (which may not be very far), there is no way to get the renaming utility to search for a specified string in a file name (say "_") and replace it with another specified string (a "-", for instance). You can build new file names, taking info from metadata, but can't take apart the existing file name. So there are parts of the file name I want to keep that I can't get at in LR's renaming utility. I'm sure LR will have more powerful renaming capabilities down the road, but I can't find them just know.

As such, the only way I can see to bulk-rename the files is with an outside renaming utility. However, once I rename the files outside of LR, LR know longer knows where the files are for the images in its database (along with all their associated key words and virtual copies). The only ways I know to re-associate the images in LR's database with the actual files on the disk are, 1) locate each file for LR, which must be done individually as far as I know, and which is what I'm trying to avoid, and 2) remove all files from LR's database, and then import everything anew, which I think will lose the association with the key words and virtual copies.

If I am missing something, please let me know. I really don't want to rename 5,000 images one image at a time.

Thanks,
Michael
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old June 13th, 2007, 01:52 PM
Tony Fiorda Tony Fiorda is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 16
Default

Micheal,

Yeah, I think you may be right. I've been checking around on my system and PhotoMechanic and Bridge seem to do the same thing. They don't search for a special character to replace, they just rebuild the name.

I think you might be able to do this at a command line either in Windows or OS X. If your external utilities don't do what you want, in a DOS command window on Windows for example, your file name is Capture_00004.tif. The syntax would be "ren ???????_?????.* ???????-?????.*. This would take the filename to Capture-00004.tif. OS X may be nearly the same way since it is based on Linux.

Otherwise, I am at a loss.

And as you say, the real downside is having to reimport in to the LR DB instead of just updating it like I can do in Extensis Portfolio.

Tony...
__________________
Tony...
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old June 13th, 2007, 04:19 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK - Somerset
Posts: 1,703
Default

Hi Michael,

I have no experience of lightroom, or its file naming methods.

I guess it uses standard ascii sorting conventions - the ascii code for a space is decimal 32, a dash (-, minus sign) is 45, numbers start at 48, uppercase letters (A) at 65, then underscore is at at 95, lower case letters (a) start at 97.

A full table is at http://www.neurophys.wisc.edu/comp/docs/ascii.html and plenty of other places.

What is happening, is it is probably sorting absolutely correctly, according to the order of the ascii table. However sloppy thinking has allowed programmers/users to think that a unique reference can inherently carry other information, such as a common usage sort order, and that some sort of meaningful sequence can be derived from a relatively random naming convention.

If it were purely a single file system naming convention, then it is trivial to batch convert ' _' to '-' or similar, and even free programs, such as Irfanview have a pretty comprehensive batch convert system. If you can disentangle the relationship between the various lightroom files, if there is some plain text index file, for example, then you could use a text editor on it, (search for '_', replace with '-', whatever. Other than that, you will have to learn the ascii order of things, or probably wait until lightroom gets its house in order ;-)

Best wishes,

Ray.
__________________
All images posted in OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated Comment Only or Edit and Repost.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old June 13th, 2007, 05:05 PM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88
Default

Hi again,

Hello Ray,
Thanks for responding. I'm familiar with ASCII code. I used to work with it directly many years ago. And it is true that a straight ASCII sort doesn't give the alphanumeric order we might expect--this used to be a big bugaboo particularly with numbers: 1, 10, 11, 2, 200, 24, 3, etc. I'm not sure I'm quite following what you are saying here, though.

If I have three files, say, named MBS_1, MBS_2, and MBS_3, and I sort on the filename, then I should see them in that order (or the opposite order, depending on whether I sort ascending or descending). What I shouldn't see is, MBS_2, MBS_1, MBS_3, which is what I'm getting (I checked to make sure it wasn't the 1, 10, 100 problem). Further, and I didn't mention this earlier, I don't think I always get the same sort. That is, sometimes it will, briefly, sort a folder correctly, then when I come back to that folder, it is out of order. Makes me think that indeed the underscores are confusing the sort algorithm.

Anyway, if I'm missing what your saying (eminently possible), please let me know.

Tony,
So what you're telling me is I should have bought Extensis Portfolio? ;-)

The downside you mention is what I'm trying to avoid. At some point, however, the attempt to avoid the labor of individually renaming my files becomes a greater effort than just renaming the files.

I have one other though that I will check out. LR will allow me to export the metadata and key words to the image files (for tiff and psd) or to sidecars files (for RAW). I think that only leaves the virtual copies at risk. If I go through and find all the virtual copies and export them as tiffs, then I'm safe. I think. Of course, virtual copies only take a few k of memory, and each tiff will take maybe 50MB or more, so there's a penalty in space (why I used virtual copies in the first place). Anyway, at that point I should be able to blank the LR database without losing data. What I have to guesstimate is the amount of time it will take me to find all the virtual copies (LR has no way to search just for virtual copies that I'm aware of) and convert them to tiffs. If this is too time consuming, I may as well just individually rename everything.

Thanks again everyone for responding,
Michael
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old June 13th, 2007, 06:43 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK - Somerset
Posts: 1,703
Default

Hi Michael,

If the file names are 'exactly' as you say, for the 3 examples you have shown, then they should sort OK, but it may be something else in your 'real' files, for example -

lower v upper case. - it may display lower case as upper case, but sort true, or vice versa

it may not recognise underscores, or other special characters, maybe just taking whatever was in that memory location before, or treat the underscore as a termination, or maybe have some other limit on the file name, possibly length of name, wrt. sorting. (e.g. translates the long name into an 8.3 type format)

I have no experience of Apple pc's. I have experience of Adobe ibm pc software, and I do not rate them as being excellent in their software endeavours. Sometimes, in the effort to be clever, they screw up the basics. For an example of cleverness gone wrong, microsoft will capitalise names, but only sometimes.

If you can set up a small, dummy file system, then you may be able to find out exactly the problem.

What are some of the actual names you are using? I presume the 'grid view' is some specific lr layout, how are the names shown there?

There is likely to be some sort of logic in what is done, but it may not be the sort of logic as you or I may know it ;-)

Best wishes,
Ray
__________________
All images posted in OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated Comment Only or Edit and Repost.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old June 13th, 2007, 10:41 PM
John Beardsworth John Beardsworth is offline
Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: London
Posts: 57
Default

Michael

The sort order shouldn't be messed up by underscores. I assume they are in a consistent position in the filename - I use yymmdd_012345 quicl description.ext on both PC and Mac. Are you sure you are sorting by filename? See the toolbar (T) in Library.

John
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old June 14th, 2007, 06:50 AM
Tony Fiorda Tony Fiorda is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Roswell, GA
Posts: 16
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Seltzer View Post

Tony,
So what you're telling me is I should have bought Extensis Portfolio? ;-)
:-) Not at all. Portfolio is strickly a database and does what a portion of LR does. Hopefully LR will improve the DB functionality in the anticipated 1.1 version that they have talked about without saying when it will be available.

All I can say now with all sincerity is good luck!

Tony...
__________________
Tony...
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old June 14th, 2007, 12:08 PM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88
Default

Quote:
it may not recognise underscores, or other special characters, maybe just taking whatever was in that memory location before, or treat the underscore as a termination
Now there's a thought that never occurred to me.

My filenames aren't exactly as above, but here's an example of what I see: MBS_0706R1_6169 comes before MBS_0503Z2_0021, and that comes before MBS_0605R1_3389.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old June 14th, 2007, 12:16 PM
johnbeardy johnbeardy is offline
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: London
Posts: 1
Default

Michael

Are you in a folder view? If you're in a collection then a user/manual sort order would be preserved. And are you certain you are sorting by filename (T reveals the toolbar in grid view)

John
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old June 14th, 2007, 12:39 PM
Ray West Ray West is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: UK - Somerset
Posts: 1,703
Default

Its not a O 0 mix up, is it?
__________________
All images posted in OPF are assumed to be for Comment & Critique, unless otherwise designated Comment Only or Edit and Repost.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old June 14th, 2007, 12:42 PM
Michael Seltzer Michael Seltzer is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 88
Default

Hi John,

Thanks for responding both here and in the LR forums.

Yes, the underscores are in a consistent position. My filenames are similar to yours. Mine are like, MBS_yymm and then a camera desgnation_0123-possible quick description.ext. Look a couple posts up to see an example.

Perhaps it isn't the underscores, and pilot error has occurred to me also (I make them all the time), particularly since this isn't true in every folder. However, the toolbar is how I tell LR to sort via filename, and I usually look there first if the sort seems odd, as I've been bitten by that in the past--that is, the sort ordering can change when I move to a new folder (usually because LR is remembering what order I had that specific folder or collection sorted by in the past). And at one point I copied, outside of LR, a folder that wasn't sorting correctly. Then I replaced all the underscores with dashes, and imported that folder into LR. It sorted fine.

Just now I've gone into LR to find a good example of the sorting problem, and I can't get it to sort incorrectly. My first thought was it's you. Because you responded saying LR shouldn't have a problem with underscores, LR has decided it needs to shape up and work properly.

My second thought has to do with some changes I made last night. I was finding that in some folders, virtual copies that were unattached to their master files (usually just unstacked, though in a couple of cases, I found virtual copies--at least they had the dog-eared page symbol--in folders without any master file at all) were sorted to the top of the grid view regardless of their name. When I either removed and/or stacked these virtual copies with their masters, they sorted with their masters. I didn't check last night, but today it seems that the other files that were sorting out of order are back in order as well. Don't know why unstacked virtual copies should have this effect.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:35 AM.


Posting images or text grants license to OPF, yet of such remain with its creator. Still, all assembled discussion 2006-2017 Asher Kelman (all rights reserved) Posts with new theme or unusual image might be moved/copied to a new thread!