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New Controlled Vocabulary Feature

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 5:13 am
by graham quick
Hi Axel,

When I first started using FPV I got very excited by the speed of use and uncluttered workspace but it soon became apparent that it wasn't going to speed up my workflow because although at that time I could cull and rate images quickly I would then have to go to Bridge or Breeze Browser to add and edit keywords and easily see which images had which ratings applied to them.
Everytime there has been an update I've excitedly installed it and re-evaluted my workflow.
I loved the redesign of the xmp window and its useability but hated the view filters window, it's so complicated and its use does not fit into the "fast" ethos of FPV.
Please consider 1-5 tick boxes for XMP ratings plus a tickbox for ALL ( the current setup does not allow viewing for example files rated 2 and 5 or 1 and 3 and dropping files out of the active window as they are rated is not possible, being able to untick an ALL box would accomplish this) Bridge uses this system and its very quick to use, or should I say "fast"
I looked forward to keywording being implemented but when it arrived I rejected its use within minutes
1. There was no way to easily select a non sequential range of files and apply a specific keyword to them.
2. There was no way to apply additional keywords to a selection of files that already had non identical keywords applied. ie. there was no merge facility. Breeze Browser does this well.
The promise of implementing controlled vocabulary was exciting as I was sure the ability to merge keywords would by then be possible. I currently use a modified copy of CVKC with Breeze Browser so know it works well.
Yesterday I installed the update and have to say the controlled vocabulary feature is fantastic especially the customisable auto search. This works far better than the current way B.B.pro does it. BUT there is still no merge feature which as far as I'm concerned makes the feature unusable.
Let me give you an example.
I photograph a band featuring singer A, guitarist B, drummer C. Some images will contain just A or B or C some will contain A+B or A+B+C or B+C
Using B.B.pro I select all images containing the singer and add keyword A. I then select all images of the guitarist and using merge feature add keyword B. I do the same with drummer D. In 3 steps I have a folder of images with keywords A,B,C,ABC,AB,AC, or BC. If I then remember I want to keyword all the files with the venue X. I select all files and merge X with them. 4 steps.
To do the same using FPV I would have to
1.select all images with just the singer and apply A. 2. select images of just the guitarist and apply B. 3. select all of just drummer and apply D. 4 select all images of singer and guitarist apply AB. 5. select all of just singer and drummer apply AD. 6. select images of guitarist and drummer and apply BC. If by now I haven't lost the will to live and decide to add venue X I have to select batches of each of the possible 7 permutations and add X to them. Thats 13 stages. At this point I would have to thank God the band didn't have a keyboard player.

In my opinion to make FPV really usable the features that need changing or adding are;
1. Tick boxes for the XMP rating filter. ( same for labels would be nice)
2. A way of temporally tagging a batch of images in the browser strip to add keywords or rank.
3. A merge keyword facility.
4. A delete keyword from selected files facility.
5. A nice touch would be to have a floating box with perhaps the first 5 or 6 labels that could have temporary annotations applied to them as reminders. Using the band example one could use Voc, Gtr, Drm. or perhaps Tom,Dck Hry
My current workflow involves downloadng using Chris Breeze's Downloader Pro adding global keywords at the same time. Mario's I-Match as my DAM program. I could cull and keyword in I-Match but find combination of FPV + Breeze Browser easier and faster. ( Would like to use just FPV) For RAW conversion I use Capture One.
Theres so many things I really love about FPV but its just not usable for me yet.

Re: New Controlled Vocabulary Feature

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:09 am
by Axel
Yesterday I installed the update and have to say the controlled vocabulary feature is fantastic especially the customisable auto search. This works far better than the current way B.B.pro does it.

That's a good start already 8-)

The IPTC Editor is currently in development. The installer says "BETA-something", which means it's not finished and if you dig deeper in version number's meanings, BETA1 does not mean "feature complete" by any measure! On the other hand, FPV Pro is a single-image viewer and there are some scenarii that will not be possible because of this, which means there is room for using other tools in conjunction with FPV.

That said, a tiny bit of planning can go a long way to speed up any workflow. Using FPV alone you could start by loading a preset with all your standard info, copyright, contact info etc, in two clicks. The editor can load presets in XMP format but also from any existing image. Then continue by adding what's common to all pictures in that batch (location, band name etc) and apply this to all files in another two clicks.

Then go image by image and add the specifics, like who's on this particular picture, write a proper caption or edit the existing one appropriately etc. Alternatively you could add all the band member's names in the initial batch update, and remove them as needed in the image-per-image review (this is what I'd do).

I believe in image-per-image review, where you evaluate the composition, exposure and sharpness, rate, delete and annotate the images, one by one, in full screen. I can certainly see some value in the ability to Ctrl+click to multiselect in a thumbnail list, then apply some setting to the selection etc and there are already very good program that do just that.

On the other hand, if you have a large number of images to review - say 3000, 5000 or more - then multiselection in an endless list of tiny thumbnails where you barely see anything to select images with person A+B and not C is going to be very daunting, in particular if you lose the current selection when you want to open one of the images in full to see it better...

Anyway, all constructive feedback is appreciated! Stay tuned for future updates of FPV Pro and its ancillaries. As you have seen, the IPTC editor already has what I believe to be the best catalog-based keyword entry in the industry and more terrific features are coming in future versions.

Re: New Controlled Vocabulary Feature

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:16 am
by Axel
Your post made me think about how to best address some of the shortcomings of the current version.

I've also made some first-hand usability testing by actually captioning/tagging a bunch of images and I found myself spending far more time authoring a proper caption and a meaningful, detailed description for each image than keywording, which was relatively straightforward (I had the CVKC installed too, and typing custom keywords not in the dictionary was just seamless).

One thing bugged me, though: I had to close the IPTC Editor to advance to the next image after applying the metadata edits. It's only two extra keystrokes, Esc to close it and W to re-open it again but the ability to advance though the image list while observing the View Filters (I was only tagging the five-starred) without closing the editor's window is sorely missing...

The next build (205) will include a pair of arrow buttons enabling simple forward/backward navigation directly from the IPTC editor. It's a simple additon that removes a lot of friction already.