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Posts posted by ptc

  1. A portable command line utility to extract a sensibly-sized preview from proprietary Affinity* files would be helpful for many users and many software products which handle or manage files produced with Affinity software.

    Under Windows, the shell thumbnail handler installed by Designer etc. works, but produces only small thumbnails. The longest edge is apparently limited 512 pixels, which is probably a limitation in Windows thumbnail handlers.

    I would like to see at least a screen-sized preview (say, 1920px) of my Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo files in other applications.

    I get frequent complaints from IMatch users, but I can only tell them that Affinity file formats are proprietary, that there is no WIC codec and that the maximum size IMatch can extract is 512 pixels. Which is not much, assuming a 300 DPI A4 Designer file.

    Mario M. Westphal
    Author of IMatch

  2. The problem is not the import of RAW files into AP, it's the display of thumbnails of AP files in Windows Explorer and other applications which use the Windows shell functions to extract thumbnails and previews from files.

    WIC Codecs (like the FPV codecs) enable applications to access files in a uniform and standardized way. In most cases, this means extracting / developing RAW files. If Affinity Photo and Designer would offer a WIC codec (which they really should, this is standard for over 10 years now) all applications which use WIC could at least extract a preview for the Photo/Designer files. This would make these files much more versatile and less locked in. And AP/AD can stick to their proprietary and undocumented file formats.


    Besides: I have the FPV codecs but they do not offer support for Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo. This would be hard to do because Serif does not document the file format.

  3. Thanks, carl123


    I've tried to learn a bit more about AP and how it handles metadata embedded in files.


    It looks like the EXIF panel in AP shows only a subset of the metadata in the NEF file (even in the "All" setting). No headlines, keywords, titles etc. No legacy IPTC, maker notes or other relevant data.

    To me It seems that AP ignores the associated XMP metadata record (in a standard XMP sidecar file) when I imports a NEF RAW file.


    And when I later export the NEF to JPEG after editing in AP, only a subset of the metadata embedded in the NEF makes it into the JPEG. Keywords etc. are lost.


    I use Photoshop and Lr for editing (just giving AP a try because I like Affinity Designer a lot) but proper metadata handling is a key feature for any photo editor / RAW developer.

  4. Windows 10, 64-bit


    When I create an .afphoto file from scratch and save it, I can see a preview for it in Windows Explorer. Preview tab also works.


    When I import a NEF file, develop it and save it, no thumbnail is displayed in Windows Explorer (just a large afphoto icon). Preview tab fails to display anything.


    I checked and it seems that the thumbnail handler installed by your product does not work correct in all cases.


  5. How do I edit IPTC, EXIF, GPS and XMP data in Affinity Photo?

    Sorry if this has been asked before. I just bought it and try to process some of my files. All my files (NEF, PSD, TIFF, DNG and JPG formats) have clean and proper embedded metadata (legacy IPTC (IIM), EXIF, GPS and XMP either embedded or in sidecar files).


    How does AP deal with that? Where can I edit or at least view this data?

    Can AP edit XMP and other metadata?

  6. Ben,


    thank you very much for giving us some details and background info.


    I'm really not interested in the inner workings of your file format. It's perfectly valid for you to keep your file format proprietary so you can change it whenever you need to. I fully understand that.


    What I would like to see is a standard/documented way to extract a thumbnail/preview image for .afdesign and .afphoto files. Like it exists for PSD files, DNG files, TIFF files, MP3 files etc.


    Or maybe a shell extension for WIndows which allows Windows to pull a preview from your files. This would not only allow us to see previews of .af* files in Windows Explorer (which we currently can't and that's a real nuisance) but also would allow all Windows applications to use the standard Windows shell functions to extract the thumbnail / preview. If you supply such a shell extension with your applications, you don't need to reveal anything about your file formats.


    A more modern approach would of course be to provide a WIC codec for your files. WIC is the official approach on Windows to support RAW files and other file formats. Your WIC codec would allow applications to extract a thumbnail/preview without knowing anything about the inner workings of your file formats.


    I could not find any information if your software allows users to edit EXIF data or XMP data. I checked in Designer but I could not find any way to input title, description, keywords, author, GPS data etc.


    If you already have or plan to add support for XMP soon, it would be very nice to do it in a way that allows other applications to read and write that metadata. Its usually important for private photographers, but a must for pro photographers.


    Phil Harvey, the author of ExifTool, is surely willing to support your files in his application and library. ExifTool is the de-facto standard for dealing with metadata on all platforms.

  7. I rather have the DAM just be a really good DAM, i.e. it just manages / catalogues digital assets better than anyone else, including Adobe Bridge - which the Affinity DAM should resemble more closely in terms of functionality, in the market.


    Adobe Bridge is no DAM ;)

    Bridge is basically a better file system browser. There are many of these around already, for Windows, Mac and Linux.


    Do you know some real DAM software, e.g. products offered by companies like Canto, FotoWare, Extensis, Asset Bank, Widen, Daminion etc.? I think Adobe has a high-price DAM for enterprise-level users as well.


    The feature set of a real DAM by far exceeds what Bridge does. Or what Lr does in that department.


    I develop a DAM software myself (which I of course did not mention it in the list above) and about 50% of my users use Lr, DxO, C1, SilkyPix, another RAW processor or Ps to process and edit their images. My users manage between 50,000 and 500,000 files with my software, spanning 10 or 30 years of images!


    Independence from any software, superb metadata support, open and documented file formats, support for common metadata standards like IPTC, EXIF, GPS, XMP, ID3, Office, OpenOffice, audio and video formats, many import and export functions, no lock-in principle etc. is what you should expect from a proper DAM.


    Selecting a DAM is important because it usually has to outlive multiple generations of editing or RAW processing software. And it should never lock you in so you can switch horses if required.


    Some of my users recently started testing Affinity Photo. I use Affinity Designer myself. Great product.

    I'm currently looking into supporting Affinity Photo and Designer in my DAM, at least displaying previews for the files and support for reading and writing metadata.


    I just asked about Affinity file format documentation and ways to get previews for .afdesign and .afphoto files on Windows. Let's see if this is possible and if the metadata format is documented.

  8. I have no plans to edit your files. But being able to see a preview for them in Windows Explorer and in my DAM would be very welcome.

    We already discuss this in the community for my software.


    Does your file format support some kind of embedded preview?
    Maybe you can supply a shell extension like Adobe does so we can access the preview using the standard Windows API functions for previews.

    As of you plans for developing your own DAM: Great. But I would very much prefer, not only as a DAM developer but also as a user of your software, that you at least document if and how you store metadata like XMP in your files.


    Proprietary file formats are all good and a nice way to lock your customers into your software. But even Adobe documents how XMP data can be read and written in their file formats. Adobe!

  9. Hi,


    I'm the developer of a renowned DAM software for Windows. I also use the awesome Affinity Designer personally.


    My software supports over 100 file formats so far. I would like to add extended support for files created with Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo to my software.


    Is there any documentation available for the .afdesign and .afphoto file formats?

    I'm especially interested in ways to render a suitable preview / thumbnail of your files, and in reading and writing metadata.

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