View Full Version : What organization method do you use for files?
Stephen Lo Piano
08-27-2006, 06:10 AM
When creating graphic arts or paintings what type of system do you use for sorting everything? My next project is to get better organized. I originally started using a system of folders for different software program native formats and then sent copies of .bmp's, jpg's, and others to separate folders. There seemed to be an advantage to this method since all my jpg's, bmp's etc. would have thumbnail images, while native program formats did not. If I wanted to look for a particular image I would go into a format that had thumbnails available through Windows Explorer and a complete listing of thumbnails would be available (with a few exceptions for different reasons related to damaged images).
I seem to have lost the progression steps of each piece this way in a maze of confusion. I have in reality hundreds of painting, and graphic images to organize. After years of accumulation I am beginning to believe that I should have created a folder for each different piece, and kept every progression stage of the image in it's native format along with any export images in the same folder. I guess my accounting and bookkeeping experience slanted my discretion here, I have a tendency to start new folders each year and close one years out for each native program format and compatible with other program formats. This was also suppose to help with copyright registration done on a yearly basis, whereas I would be able to find the images easily. Anyone have some good suggestions?
08-27-2006, 07:24 AM
I have a map called "WIP", storing in separate folders all the different projects,and references.When finished I move the final piece to a "Finished"map, with different folders by theme.
For searching I have two methods:
* I have the XN view browser(freeware) ,which lets you add multiple remarks to the images,and can later on you can search on these remarks.
*I have Copernic desktop search (also freeware) wich make a database of your intire disk,and searching gives instant reults.A bit like google searching on the net.
I am very happy with this way of working.
08-30-2006, 09:08 PM
I use windows.
I have few (15-20) different main top folder, like landscape, portrait, animals, humas, technics, projects, layerimages, frames, etc.
Under those top folders i have image-folders.
And i made all new image it's own named folder. This folder i store original ptg, and -jpg images and tracing photos and everything information what include of that image.
Then i have one folder which name is layerimage, where i put all layer-export images -png format. Objects, etc. Mainly those layer images what i think that i can use other paintings also.
Goose example, is stored in this layerimage-folder.
Then i have folder which name is frames. This folder i store those paint-frames what i use my images.
Main-folders, (10-20, perhaps.)
Under this main folder is image-folders.
In those image folder there is all stuff what include of just that image.
Works quite fine.
I take backup copy always when i have draw image ready(folder is ready). Easy to copy folder then to backup. Back up store i use separate (standalone) hard-disk.
Back up is important thing with computers. :?
08-31-2006, 06:47 AM
I have Adobe Creative Suite 2 for the Mac. But they make it for both platforms. It has its own filing programs:
1) Version Cue (for metadata and keeping versions sorted -- particularly useful in a multi-user studio they say, or if you are showing versions to clients.) and 2) Bridge (essentially a viewer and a link between the CS2 programs). One of the nice things about having CS2 is that there is a really good user to user forum.
CS2 is expensive though. And you probably can get by for free with what Hanzz uses. Heikki too? (Both PC guys as I recall).
When I was on PC, for a while I used ACDSee. But it was an older version. I think it is now a pretty decent commercial visual database program, though I'm not sure. I stopped using it because when I switched to Mac, they hadn't kept up support for Mac. But PC support hopefully should be fine.
Whatever you go with, I suspect that staying with that/those program(s) would serve you best. You don't want to have to relabel everything over and over. That's why I bit the bullet and got CS2. If it changes, it will HOPEFULLY be backwards compatible and not too buggy for long if at all.
Good luck and get back to painting before too long :-)
08-31-2006, 01:38 PM
ACDSee is excellent. One of its most invaluable features is the ability to create virtual photo discs, so that you can burn off your "albums" and have thumbnails of your work available to you without the disc in the drive. Of course, there are other cataloguing applications that do this too, but ACDSee has been around forever, been through several iterations, and for the most part just does things right.
I only ever keep an image in its original format. Because it takes just a couple minutes (at most) to export an image in another format, there is no reason to keep any but the original. If I need an image in a particular format, I export it, use it for its purpose (for example, uploading to a web site), and then delete it, once again keeping only the original. This minimises clutter.
To further minimise clutter, I use Alienbrain Studio (http://www.alienbrain.com). This is version control software (also called SCM - software configuration management - I believe) like Adobe's Version Cue, but better. It's better because you don't have to buy CS2, because you can use it for any file (not just images), and because you can integrate it with a variety of applications if you so wish (Photoshop, Visual Studio, Microsoft Office, Maya, 3ds max). Yes, it's expensive, however, the last time I checked, the evaluation version (good for 2 users and 5 projects) was not time-limited, and the developers themselves told me that as I'm an individual with just one or two projects, I can just go on using it indefinitely (so I'm not cheating or anything). Anyway. So you create your image, yeh? You check it in to Alienbrain. This locks the file so it cannot be overwritten. When you want to work on it, you check it out, which unlocks the file. You can comment your changes each time you check the file in/out. Metadata about the changes is stored in the application's database, but only one physical instance of the file exists on your hard drive. I use it for all my web dev projects, and it's brilliant. I'd imagine it would also be an excellent way to save all those WIPs, instead of saving each revision as a separate file.
Stephen Lo Piano
08-31-2006, 04:55 PM
Thanks for all these ideas everyone, some of these suggestions I never realized or thought of.
just G, your saving only the original native format will certainly reduce the amount of files you have. I save in a multitude of formats due to past experience getting burned. I created images in the past and invested much time in them to only find myself in a situation where returning to the native format, I was unable to open the file. If you should ever find yourself saving a file in a native format and it becomes corrupted in the process of saving, once you close that file your out of luck, you may never be able to get into that file again. For this reason I save in at least several different file formats. From past experience I learned that when a native format file becomes corrupted in the saving process, if you save a good image in bmp (preferrd although it creates large bulky memory size files it is better for true color bit imaging), jpg, png, tif, psd you will at least be able to open the file in another program. I have expereinced this problem in the past with several programs (so far never with Art Rage).
I was thinking of a numbering system in the name for file organization. Everytime I create an image assign it a number starting from one, then if a cirumstance arises where you find use for one of the numbered images to use as a derivative for another image assign two numbers for it (example 12-145), the first number 12 referencing the number of the image you used as a template to create the second and a new number for the combination of the one previous assigned image with the new number as the add on 145. Once this is complete create a numbering directory for hard copy print out with the titles of the images. Would be nice to have small thumbnails of the images yet only certain file formats will allow this, yet you could create a jpg file for every piece to use a thumbnail, or even load the jpgs with the numbers into piccasa, or Corel Photo Album.
There is this program that comes with HP computers (HP Image Zone Plus) that allows you to print out descriptive text information and thumbnail size images in jpg format. I would imagine Picassa may be able to do the same thing, along with Corel Photo Album.
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