Jump to content
GrahamMYC

Workflow: Camera to iPad to Windows to NAS

Recommended Posts

 

I have been using Serif products since 2002, and Affinity (AD and AP) since the windows versions were produced.  Very enjoyable experience! For a variety of reasons, I decided to try AP for Ipad on an Ipad Pro with pencil and SD card reader. I suspect others will, like me, come from a Windows environment, My setup is mainly based on Windows 10. my email is run by gmail and my backup system is a Synology Network attached Storage (with some irreplaceable data also copied to independent hard drives) With all that, I do not need or want Icloud. For me, the only reason I have an Ipad is to process photos "on the road" (and use its excellent camera as well as my Nikon D5300). I am finding the process of dealing with the Ipad a nightmare, though I love the AP app.  It is the peripheries where the frustration lies

Having read some other threads, it seems I am not alone. However, it seems to me that part of the problem is that some of us just do not "speak Apple", while other issues may relate to AP for Ipad.

I decided that it would be best to break the problems (which have been driving me mad) into simple steps. What follows is a step by step record of some simple tests that illustrate the problems of locating and naming files passing through AP. I started with 2 new photographs DSC 5571 and 5572 shot on the Nikon in Large Raw+ jpeg format.

1: DSC 5571 and DSC 5572 imported via sd card reader to Ipad photos.

2: visible in photos, but no file name

3: Selected these 2 photos tried the SEND icon. The mail option allows an email to be created and attaches the selected photos. So I could send them to myself, except that file sizes frequently exceed email limits (though some engines such as gmail may use a cloud drive). The sent email can be recovered on my PC (the reverse process works too)

4: Returned to the 2 selected photos, tried SEND icon again. Selected “Save to Files”->”On my Ipad”-> “untitled folder”, and clicked “Add”.  Returned to Home, and the photos were in the correct folder. Deleted the folder so that the only versions of the 2 files were the original ones in photo

5: Opened AP (Affinity Photo). Clicked on the + sign. Both visible in camera roll and marked RAW. Clicked left arrow (top left) and selected save. Saved as unnamed. This “unnamed” file cannot be found in either photo or Files. So where is it?

6: Reverted to the Photo icon, and selected the same 2 images, selected to send icon, and clicked on “save to files”-> “On my Ipad”, and ADD. The files were saved WITH  filenames  DSC 5571 and DSC 5572 (and a note of the file size)

7: Clicking on the image in FILES results in the message “downloading from icloud” and the file opens in AP, but not as a RAW image! This is odd, because the icloud on my Ipad has never been activated and is switched off in Files (and if it is enabled and examined it contains no files). I checked the file sizes by downloading the same 2 images to my PC where I could get properties of both the Raw and jpeg (the images had been shot as “Large RAW+jpeg”. The version transferred to the FILES directory is clearly the .jpg version

The implications of this are

1: If the filename created by the camera is to be preserved, then the image has to be exported from photos to files in order to see the filename.

2: If you want to take advantage of shooting in RAW, do not (as a general rule) load an image into photos from the "On my Ipad" files directory.

3 Copy the filename from the image in files before processing an image in photo

4: Use the + icon in AP to start processing an image, and (if available) the RAW image will open.

5 Process as normal

6: When finished select save (left arrow at top left), then select rename, paste in the correct filename, then save

7 Click on image to reopen in AP

8 Export jpeg (or other format) to "on my ipad" or dropbox or similar, and the name will be preserved.

9: If you need to save  a copy of the .afphoto file (e.g. for security purposes) , then you will need to “save a copy” to dropbox . Bear in mind that .afphoto files can be very big. So the number that can be transferred via dropbox may be quite small if you are relying on the free space.

10: The files in Dropbox can be picked up on the PC and directed to the appropriate directories on the NAS or offline storage devices

 

This is bizarre! Comment and suggestions welcome.

 

The problems do not end there

For my archive I like to keep (a) the original nef (RAW) file (b) the .afphoto file (c) at least one jpeg or other type of publishable file

If I am making a panorama or (say) a focus stack , then I may have a group of source photos as well as the finished result.

At present, I am using PS elements as an image store. This has the advantage the the nef and any number of jpeg derivatives can be stacked and handles as a group. This has the disadvantage that all my .afphoto files have to be kept separately. Roll on the Affinity DAM!

Now it starts to get messy. I can use a cable to connect the Ipad to my computer which sees the Ipad as a camera. This makes it easy to transfer files from the Photos section of the Ipad, but it cannot see the FILES section (“On my Ipad”). That is why any .jpg or .afphoto files need to be output to Dropbox and transferred from there. I must reiterate that Dropbox has limited free storage (probably 2GB). With some .afphoto files exceeding 300Mb, this means that not more than about 6 can be transferred at a time. That makes it essential to copy files out of Dropbox at the receiving end to a permanent destination so that the transferred file can be deleted from Dropbox to free up space.

 

An alternative to this workflow is seriously needed!

More advice and comment needed.

Is there any way to connect the Ipad direct to the Synology NAS, for example?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to say but just use iCloud. Everything is set up to work smoothly with IOS devices. Best not to buy an Apple device if you want to still work in an independent way. I’m DOS and PC background for 35 years and I agree it’s a really tough changeover, feels like starting out learning how to do things all over again. However I have all three versions of AP and work seamlessly on each device via iCloud file sharing. It does, just work. I agree it would be better if filename access was more readily available from photos however. I feel your pain, it really is difficult to operate an Apple device like a PC, why not give iCloud a try at least.


Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7 on MAC Mojave 10.4 Beta, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7 on iPad Pro 9.7" IOS 12.4 beta, Affinity Photo 1.7 on Windows 10

https://www.facebook.com/groups/affinityforipad/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AffinityPhoto/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Paul Mudditt said:

Sorry to say but just use iCloud. Everything is set up to work smoothly with IOS devices. Best not to buy an Apple device if you want to still work in an independent way. I’m DOS and PC background for 35 years and I agree it’s a really tough changeover, feels like starting out learning how to do things all over again. However I have all three versions of AP and work seamlessly on each device via iCloud file sharing. It does, just work. I agree it would be better if filename access was more readily available from photos however. I feel your pain, it really is difficult to operate an Apple device like a PC, why not give iCloud a try at least.

Paul
I am reluctantly drifting your way, because the next level iCloud seems relatively low priced. But I do not like the fact that because they have my "wallet", then, if I accidentally go over, they will not inform me, but just take the money from my credit card. Or am I just an old fogey (at 76)? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Paul Mudditt said:

Sorry to say but just use iCloud. Everything is set up to work smoothly with IOS devices. Best not to buy an Apple device if you want to still work in an independent way. I’m DOS and PC background for 35 years and I agree it’s a really tough changeover, feels like starting out learning how to do things all over again. However I have all three versions of AP and work seamlessly on each device via iCloud file sharing. It does, just work. I agree it would be better if filename access was more readily available from photos however. I feel your pain, it really is difficult to operate an Apple device like a PC, why not give iCloud a try at least.

Paul: Do I take it that you have abandoned Windows machines and bought  a Mac? If so that is total surrender! lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, GrahamMYC said:

Paul: Do I take it that you have abandoned Windows machines and bought  a Mac? If so that is total surrender! lol

 

I was an anti Apple person and thought that the iPad might be interesting when it was first announced but would never have made that step to buy Apple.

 

The decision was taken out of my hands however by my elderly mother buying one on the first day release in the states as a gift for me  as she was visiting my older brother who’s lived there for years!

 

I’ve never looked back. Of course I use PCs at work but hate them with a vengeance after Win98 and WinXP were scrapped.

 

Bought a 6 month old MacBook for half price and love it. Onto my 4th iPad now and of course umpteenth iPhone now. I have a 12 year old PC at home that I turn on now and again to warm my study up in the winter ! But I still tend to use iPad more than either. I upped my storage to 200GB on iCloud but increasingly other cloud storage solutions also work well with IOS files.


Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7 on MAC Mojave 10.4 Beta, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7 on iPad Pro 9.7" IOS 12.4 beta, Affinity Photo 1.7 on Windows 10

https://www.facebook.com/groups/affinityforipad/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AffinityPhoto/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Paul Mudditt said:

 

I was an anti Apple person and thought that the iPad might be interesting when it was first announced but would never have made that step to buy Apple.

 

The decision was taken out of my hands however by my elderly mother buying one on the first day release in the states as a gift for me  as she was visiting my older brother who’s lived there for years!

 

I’ve never looked back. Of course I use PCs at work but hate them with a vengeance after Win98 and WinXP were scrapped.

 

Bought a 6 month old MacBook for half price and love it. Onto my 4th iPad now and of course umpteenth iPhone now. I have a 12 year old PC at home that I turn on now and again to warm my study up in the winter ! But I still tend to use iPad more than either. I upped my storage to 200GB on iCloud but increasingly other cloud storage solutions also work well with IOS files.

I must confess, Paul, that I am hoping for some response from someone who has not taken the Apple shilling!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GrahamMYC said:

I must confess, Paul, that I am hoping for some response from someone who has not taken the Apple shilling!

 

I’ll watch this thread with interest...


Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7 on MAC Mojave 10.4 Beta, Affinity Photo 1.7 and Designer 1.7 on iPad Pro 9.7" IOS 12.4 beta, Affinity Photo 1.7 on Windows 10

https://www.facebook.com/groups/affinityforipad/

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AffinityPhoto/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use Apple and I never liked WIndows. However, I really dislike the iCloud - or at least Apple's attempts to force people to use it. It should be possible to do things locally, and preferably without having to use iTunes. With the recent updates to MacOS and iOS it seems harder to stop the problems which Apple seems to be forcing on to users. What part of "my data should not leave my environment unless I really want it to" does Apple not understand?

Apple doesn't seem to realise or care that some people may have sensitive data which they don't want to migrate out on to external networks. The way the iCloud is set up in the new OS versions will copy anything which is on the desktop into iCloud. However, when doing some photo editing tasks this may work just fine - seemingly - and it would be good if one could have clouds available for some work, but absolutely not for some other tasks and data.

No doubt Apple will point out that the data is very secure in their iCloud, and that some features can be turned off. My answer to those responses would be (a) you would say that wouldn't you - but your servers have been hacked in the past and (b) turning features off once files have already been uploaded to iCloud is too late - the horse has bolted.

All this is a shame as I can see that sometimes using a cloud is a lot simpler than using other means, such as copying files to USB sticks, or emailing them to oneself, or using other third party transfer software. I'm not totally against clouds, and I do use Box sometimes, and occasionally Dropbox. In its simplest mode Box does seem to be manageable - though I think it's possible to configure it in such as way as to introduce all the issues which I dislike about iCloud. Systems which "cleverly" sync all files in certain folders seem to me to present an "accident waiting to happen" scenario, as sooner or later a user will put a file into a folder and the sync operation will cause some unwanted action or behaviour.

Re AP - perhaps if it could be made to work with Box as well as iCloud - but with very tight user control - that might suit some users such as myself.

I don't only have this attitude to clouds for software such as AP. Another tool - which I quite like - Scrivener- for text processing (and there is a similar one called Ulysses) - both seem to rely on Dropbox.

We can't expect developers to target all the cloud systems which are currently available, but there are some which those who like that kind of thing seem to believe are major enough for consideration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Dave 2017. More to think about. I am always amazed at the almost religious fervour with which Apple aficionados hate Windows. There are many applications that are only available for Wndows, including some weather apps, and some navigation software.That, plus the investment I already have in Windows based kit and software  makes me want to stick with it. Also you illustrate well the fear I have of being caught in what I perceive as "the Apple trap"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 17/03/2018 at 3:26 AM, GrahamMYC said:

An alternative to this workflow is seriously needed!

More advice and comment needed.

Is there any way to connect the Ipad direct to the Synology NAS, for example?

Have a look at Documents by Readdle (free). It is a File Manager with built in music/video/Photo/PDF etc viewers). You can access NAS or PC/Mac, Clouds or portable wireless storage easily. Affinity Photo can access Documents app storage via iOS Files. Pretty easy to set up nested folders for various projects to access and save AP work. Then transfer from Documents to NAS etc wirelessly. Documents also accesses Camera roll. 

It goes some way towards overcoming Apple's sandbox shortcomings. Not perfect but not too bad either, certainty worth a look.

https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/documents-by-readdle/id364901807?mt=8


IPad Pro 10.5 512GB iOS 12.1 Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 Affinity Design 1.6.4.45

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, GrahamMYC said:

Thanks Dave 2017. More to think about. I am always amazed at the almost religious fervour with which Apple aficionados hate Windows. There are many applications that are only available for Wndows, including some weather apps, and some navigation software.That, plus the investment I already have in Windows based kit and software  makes me want to stick with it. Also you illustrate well the fear I have of being caught in what I perceive as "the Apple trap"

I think there are reasons why some people, such as myself, generally hate Windows. Sure - Apple has problems - but for me they've never been anything like as bad as the utter rubbish which I've had to put up with from Windows. As a mere home user I figured most problems out - eventually - but then I found that everyone else was coming to me to to get their Windows problems sorted. With most Apple machines if you are doing something not too complicated you simply turn the machine on, or wake it up, and get on with the task you want to do. I used to reckon I saved at least an hour a day by not having to cajole a system into working even moderately well.

Within a corporate environment things may be different. It's possible - indeed likely - that there may be many machines all configured in roughly the same way, and a support team who will fix problems - hopefully quickly. Sure there are some applications which only run on Windows, and which are very good, but most of the good ones are cross platform, and there are some good ones which run on Apple, such as Final Cut Pro X, for which there isn't a Windows alternative. A lot depends on what you - as a user - want to do. For most basic tasks Apple versions of software work well enough. What software do you use? I use OpenOffice for text editing - though I do have Word, but I do use Excel for a spreadsheet. I use multiple browsers for web - Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari, plus Apple Mail for email.

You may have figured that I'm not a great fan of Apple's iCloud, but then I'm not a great fan of any of the cloud offerings. If I were running WIndows I think I'd still have a problem. I have found it quite a pain trying to get photos into and out of the iPad. Very probably the suggestion that it's easiest with iCloud is correct - but that means embracing the iCloud with all the problems which that might bring (IMO).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I tried the Documents app by Readdle

Well, DM1, that seems to work. I did the following

1: I was able to set it up to see my Google Drive and also my NAS

2: I took a photo on the Ipad

3: First attempt at transferring from photos on Ipad to NAS or Google Drive failed because the file format was .heim which seems to be a uniquely Apple format

4: Processed the photo via Affinity to Photo to produce a .afphoto file (it could have been a jpeg, but I thought the special affinity format would be a more severe test)

5: The image was successfully transferred both to my google drive and to my NAS by a drag drop process. The Google drive route was slow, but did not need a sign in. The NAS route was much quicker, but required a signin on each attempt

 

I also move a jpeg image in the other direction

 

In short, this app solved the basic problems. I have not yet worked out some of the more elegant features such as having 2 docs open at once, but this result is far better than anything I had seen before.

Thanks for the headsup

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Documents is really a helpful tool, and miles ahead of Apples own Files App. What I also can recommend after stumbling on it is Filebrowser, its not free but worth every cent. It has some more advanced features and I would use it only but it cant open RAR Files. (Documents can do that). Filebrowser can even stream to my Chrome-cast, wich is kind of a problem on iOS. 

 

If you want jpg and h.264 files go to Settings->Camera->Formats and choose "Most compatible". That will turn of this HEIF/HEVC Apple format.

 

Also make sure under Settings->Photos->Optimise iPad Storage is not enabled. That can cause some problems with RAW Files. 

 

Pro Tip: If you have an friend or someone with Linux knowledge, let them install you an NextCloud Server. You will never look back once you get in running. Full control over your own data and the feature list of nextcloud with its tons of Addons is almost endless. (It cant cook coffee unfortunately ;)

 

cheers,

Lutz

 


| https://www.instagram.com/lutz.heidbrink https://500px.com/lutzheidbrink | https://www.eyeem.com/u/pixelcoder | https://society6.com/pixelcoder 
iPad Pro 10.5 - iOS 11.4.1 - Affinity Photo 1.6.7 - Affinity Designer 1.6.0.35 :11_blush:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had Readdle Documents years ago, so I think I was able to download it for free on my iPad Pro today - or if not free - not very expensive. Similarly Readdle's version of Mail.

It does allow download from a few cloud sites, including Box, and also has a Nearby option, which I take to mean a server on a local LAN. In my case it found the BT hub, which couldn't figure out what to do with it, but in the past I have had a Buffalo NAS server attached. Maybe it would have found that if I get that installed back on the local LAN.

I did download a file from Box, edited it using AP on my iPad Pro, and then send it back whence it came. If this could be done from a local server instead of 3rd party servers in the wider internet that would be great. I've just not tested that yet. The round trip to and from Box is OK - but not terrribly quick - whereas I'd expect turn around from a local server to be very quick - though might not be as I have always found direct (i.e. within device) or wired system storage to be much faster than using wireless connections. Further, wired connections are significantly less likely to be subject to interference or interception.

One other tool which I recommend, but which seems to be no longer available, is Project Desktops - which runs on Mac OS X. However I think it might still be available from the US App store. This tool makes organising a lot simpler in the MacOS environment - not perfect - but a heck of a lot better. I can't understand why either (a) it is still not available or (b) there are no competitor products with very similar functionality.

see http://www.project-desktops.com/

I'll also look into Filebrowser - to see if that's worth having as an extra tool.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pixelcoder: Thanks some nice tips there that I shall follow up

 

Dave 2017: I shot some snow shios  this morning. I moved a very large 2 dimensional raw panorama involving 20 shots from the Nikon to the iPadPro, and found that Affinity Photo (AP) handled them well. Using documents it was (fairly) easy to move the resulting afphoto or jpg files to my NAS by moving them to the downloads folder in the Documents app, then uploading to my NAS (reasonably quickly too) where I created a special iPad Transfer directory. After that all things windows were possible. I could also go via dropbox or Google drive, but much more slowly. It would seem I should get direct access to Flickr, Facebook and other apps, but I have yet to explore the login arrangements. It all seems to work acceptably once the right pattern has been found. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have now tried out FileBrowser and set up shared folders which work on my MBP. I was able to download a test photo from the shared folder on my MBP very quickly with this trial App. However I think moving files back to the MBP by that route may (sigh ... usual Apple blocking ... arcane stuff ... not allowing uploads ... which has been a total pita for years .... ) not be so easy. I have the feeling that Readdle Documents is more likely to work. The good thing about using locally shared files on a LAN is that it’s quick, and no files should go outside the local domain, or find their way to offsite storage.

 

Thanks for prompting me to check this. Glad you seem to be finding a way to get things to work for you too within your Windows system.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×