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Gathering up all those old image files.

Discussion in 'Design Den' started by Floris, Aug 19, 2017.

  1. Floris

    Floris I'm just me :) Hi. Staff Member

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    Well, I got a newer iMac, and older backup drives connected, and I noticed how much of a mess it was, back in the day. But it's a lot easier to gather up the files and organize them. Or at least collect them in one spot.

    The find feature built into Finder.app is pretty good. I have a few windows open so I can gather up the different types of image files (png/jpg/gif/etc) (same for movies) and dump them in a few specific directories.

    Some dirs are called private, personal, public. And then go by default into the private one.
    And from there they get organised by projects, and those projects into the _year

    So you get
    and there are folders for whatever wasn't a project.

    The backups/ folder is kinda split up like this:

    Stuff like that.

    From the private folder things get organised to "remains in private", "kinda personal", "can be shared public". Some stuff just is private, it's my eyes only. The personal stuff is shared selectively with others, not something I would share on instagram, like a friend's baby picture, but I would share it with my friend obviously. And public is stuff I would use on a banner, flickr, social networks like twitter/facebook or whatever.

    Gathering up all the collections is a tricky thing, you can easily end up with one file being duplicated multiple times. And it can go quick, here's an example of a project.


    Whatever needs to be shared (collaborated on) with someone else gets cloned into the share folder, which can be OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox, Airport, whatever. Whatever original data there is, a txt file, a scan, an email, etc goes into the import folder (which has folders for things like /email/ /phone/ /drone footage/ etc. That doesn't get touched, but what gets used gets copied into the /dev/ folder and manipulated with the appropriate programs, a text editor, photoshop, whatever.. From where - when it's done, a master export goes to the export folder. Something like: MASTER-title-target.mov . for example: MASTER-something-youtube.mov, meaning "that" is the movie at it's best quality that we are or have uploaded to youtube. The resources folder is used for things like stock pictures, music, etc that we've used for sound effects, a service, or whatever. Worst case scenario, we can go back to the import folder knowing nothing touched the source. Best case, we can just continue the project, knowing all the source and resource data is still there if we need it. And the MASTER tag in front of a file simply means that we know which one single file was used for a tweet, or a youtube video, or some attachment to an email. And not v1 or -copy to john- or whatever. That's the one.

    Ideally all these folders and stuff are just 'tags' to a file, and all the files reside in 1 single directory. So you never have a duplicate file of the same thing. But of course, that's not how it works. Plus, website-1 might have index.php and website-2 might have index.php, they have to be called that, so a single directory won't work.

    And having things organized also means if you search for "MASTER*.mov" that you can find the exported movies you might wish to share with someone. And if you search within the project, it's there. Right clicking on the toolbar means you can see the path. All the stuff is there.

    But for now, as I do once in a while. I try to find an old backup and move that poorly done old setup to a more consistent setup / workflow that I use now. And yes, it is always changing. The good thing about a solid file system / os, is that you can make changes en-masse rather easily.

    It all starts with selecting a few files that you recognize from a project, put them in a project folder, and move it to the projects directory. Name it properly. And this means if you find more stuff from this from emails, dropbox, or whatever, that you can just pick it up and drop it in there.

    And moving forward, as I get stuff on my system, I don't just dump it somewhere, I create the right folders and move things around. This way I know where it is stored, if it is on an encrypted disk, if it will be backed up (soon, and automatically), and I can just create the folders as I go within the project... this is /import/ and it's my friends' "Paul-iPad Pro", and when i get around to work on his pictures, I put the progress of "hey look at this" in the /share/ folder.

    Cleaning up folders from 2002 or 2016 .. is just as important as moving forward with an improved workflow as I use now in 2017.

    No need for fancy apps and database or library building when your file system can do it for you.
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