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GrantCee

Affinity Photo stripping metadata from TIFFs

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I've searched the support forums and found a variation of this problem going back to 2016.

I make extensive use of the metadata fields (both native Mac and the standard EXIF/IPTC fields) in cataloging photos. My workflow is to shoot RAW and develop those raws in a separate application (DXO), generating a TIFF file. I then catalog those TIFFS, add metadata (using NeoFile) and keep them until such time as I need to work on them in AP.

When I open the TIFF in AP and edit it, I always choose to save it as a TIFF with AP layers. This gives me compatibility with other apps that I may use later. When I save that edited TIFF, however, all of the metadata I've added is stripped from the file. (Yes, I've tried "embed metadata" both on and off.) After much experimenting I have failed to find a combination which allows me to save as a layered TIFF and retain the data. Problem persists even in the 1.70 Beta.

This seems like a basic functionality issue, so I can't believe it would be unresolved for several years. Am I missing something in my workflow?

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Macs store some file metadata not in the file itself but separately in the file system. So for example, almost everything that you can use in a Finder or Spotlight search is not part of the file & is thus not 'portable' between documents.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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Spotlight indexes (which are built from the data in the document/file) are a different matter. EXIF/IPTC data most certainly is stored in the image file and goes with the image wherever it is moved. 

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30 minutes ago, GrantCee said:

Spotlight indexes (which are built from the data in the document/file) are a different matter. EXIF/IPTC data most certainly is stored in the image file and goes with the image wherever it is moved. 

Yes it is, but only certain apps actually write that data to the file, & the Affinity apps are not among them, except for the EXIF Description field.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7 & Affinity Designer 1.6.1; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.6.11.85 & Affinity Designer 1.6..4.45 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iOS 12.1.1

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9 hours ago, GrantCee said:

make extensive use of the metadata fields (both native Mac and the standard EXIF/IPTC fields) in cataloging photos. My workflow is to shoot RAW and develop those raws in a separate application (DXO), generating a TIFF file. I then catalog those TIFFS, add metadata (using NeoFile) and keep them until such time as I need to work on them in AP.

When I open the TIFF in AP and edit it, I always choose to save it as a TIFF with AP layers. This gives me compatibility with other apps that I may use later. When I save that edited TIFF, however, all of the metadata I've added is stripped from the file. (Yes, I've tried "embed metadata" both on and off.) After much experimenting I have failed to find a combination which allows me to save as a layered TIFF and retain the data. Problem persists even in the 1.70 Beta.

Does your cataloging software offer to write the added metadata (preferable XMP format here) instead into image companion sidecar files?

xmp-sidecar.jpg.9873943adbd15b250735d71a4fa7d24f.jpg

Then you won't have that IPTC/XMP stripping out problem at all with APh.

For example Adobe Lightroom and Darktable do write correction steps and metadata into the XMP sidecar. With the sidecar method, the original image file does not need to be touched and changed. Even image-editing programs and file browsers can read this metadata and the operating systems indexes the sidecar.

Also in most professional cataloging software metadata can either be embedded in the media file (invisible to the viewer) or into a separate file in the same directory next to the media file. - The XMP file next to the actual media file has its advantages: The media file remains untouched, and many other media formats (RAW, video) have no IPTC or XMP fields at all.
 

☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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On 2/13/2019 at 7:01 PM, GrantCee said:

I make extensive use of the metadata fields (both native Mac and the standard EXIF/IPTC fields) in cataloging photos. My workflow is to shoot RAW and develop those raws in a separate application (DXO), generating a TIFF file. I then catalog those TIFFS, add metadata (using NeoFile) and keep them until such time as I need to work on them in AP.

When I open the TIFF in AP and edit it, I always choose to save it as a TIFF with AP layers. This gives me compatibility with other apps that I may use later. When I save that edited TIFF, however, all of the metadata I've added is stripped from the file. (Yes, I've tried "embed metadata" both on and off.) After much experimenting I have failed to find a combination which allows me to save as a layered TIFF and retain the data. Problem persists even in the 1.70 Beta.

I may not be able to help much, as I don't have NeoFile to test with.  However I'm wondering whether it has something to do with how NeoFile is adding metadata?  I've tried to replicate your workflow on my own computer, and Affinity Photo is keeping the main metadata in the file when I export as a TIFF with Affinity layers.

I carried out the following steps:
1) Processed a Canon cr2 raw test file in Canon DPP 4
2) Exported it from Canon DPP as a TIFF file
3) Added Title, Subject, Rating, Tags, Comments, Author and Copyright fields using Windows File Explorer
4) Opened the TIFF in Affinity Photo
5) Added a rectangle layer and a pixel layer
6) Exported as a TIFF with Affinity Layers

In the below screenshots, you can see that Affinity Photo does sanitise the metadata, however the main parts such as EXIF and XMP-dc are retained when the file is exported as a TIFF with Affinity layers.

Usually, common photo metadata is stored in the EXIF, XMP-dc, IPTC, XMP-iptcCore and XMP-iptcExt sections (the IPTC organisation moved the IPTC metadata standard from the IPTC section into the XMP section some time ago).  It may be worth uploading a sample TIFF that has been exported from your raw processing software and has keywords added with NeoFile, and also the same TIFF after saving it from Affinity Photo.  Maybe it will shed more light on the issue.


Original TIFF exported from Canon DPP 4, metadata added to the file with Windows File Explorer, then opened in Affinity Photo:
765026324_01AP(Original).thumb.jpg.bf2d67d763f1b1658d16c1ca4ce23701.jpg

 

TIFF with two additional layers added in Affinity Photo, exported as a TIFF with Affinity layers, then re-opened in Affinity Photo:
2042622328_02AP(APLayered).thumb.jpg.780c6def0d9fcfbb6752812dd8454f22.jpg

 

ExifTool showing the differences between the original TIFF and the one exported from Affinity Photo (You can see the XMP-dc and EXIF metadata still in the file on the right-hand side; Affinity Photo also adds an IPTC section):

1424508949_05Combined.thumb.jpg.c5a2d59b301aa495b53f53baa1ef0548.jpg

 

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3 hours ago, - S - said:

I may not be able to help much, as I don't have NeoFile to test with.  However I'm wondering whether it has something to do with how NeoFile is adding metadata?  I've tried to replicate your workflow on my own computer, and Affinity Photo is keeping the main metadata in the file when I export as a TIFF with Affinity layers.

I carried out the following steps:
1) Processed a Canon cr2 raw test file in Canon DPP 4
2) Exported it from Canon DPP as a TIFF file
3) Added Title, Subject, Rating, Tags, Comments, Author and Copyright fields using Windows File Explorer
4) Opened the TIFF in Affinity Photo
5) Added a rectangle layer and a pixel layer
6) Exported as a TIFF with Affinity Layers

In the below screenshots, you can see that Affinity Photo does sanitise the metadata, however the main parts such as EXIF and XMP-dc are retained when the file is exported as a TIFF with Affinity layers.

Usually, common photo metadata is stored in the EXIF, XMP-dc, XMP-iptcCore and XMP-iptcExt sections (the IPTC organisation moved the IPTC metadata standard from the IPTC section into the XMP section some time ago).  It may be worth uploading a sample TIFF that has been exported from your raw processing software and has keywords added with NeoFile, and also the same TIFF after saving it from Affinity Photo.  Maybe it will shed more light on the issue.

Thank you for this! From your test protocol I noticed a discrepancy between your workflow and mine, which allowed me to isolate the problem a bit further.

When I open the TIFF in AP for the first time, I do not Export it — I simply save it (CMD-S on a Mac), because it's already an open TIFF file and I'm simply re-saving it. When I do that, the metadata is stripped. Editing the metadata, re-opening, and re-saving it again strips the data.

If, however, I Export it as a TIFF (which is a PITA because it doesn't default to the source directory the way Save does), it retains all the metadata. If I then re-open that same TIFF file in AP, make another change, and then Save it as I'm accustomed to doing, the metadata is, again, retained.

It seems, then, that in order to retain the metadata the first save with Affinity layers must be done via Export, and once done the file can be opened and saved at will. This appears to be a bug rather than a feature issue as I first surmised.

It would be interesting to see if you can replicate this behavior in your Windows environment to determine if it's a Mac-only issue.

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18 hours ago, GrantCee said:

Thank you for this! From your test protocol I noticed a discrepancy between your workflow and mine, which allowed me to isolate the problem a bit further.

When I open the TIFF in AP for the first time, I do not Export it — I simply save it (CMD-S on a Mac), because it's already an open TIFF file and I'm simply re-saving it. When I do that, the metadata is stripped. Editing the metadata, re-opening, and re-saving it again strips the data.

If, however, I Export it as a TIFF (which is a PITA because it doesn't default to the source directory the way Save does), it retains all the metadata. If I then re-open that same TIFF file in AP, make another change, and then Save it as I'm accustomed to doing, the metadata is, again, retained.

It seems, then, that in order to retain the metadata the first save with Affinity layers must be done via Export, and once done the file can be opened and saved at will. This appears to be a bug rather than a feature issue as I first surmised.

It would be interesting to see if you can replicate this behavior in your Windows environment to determine if it's a Mac-only issue.

If I open the TIFF in Affinity Photo for the first time, go to [File > Save] (CMD + S) and choose to 'Save with layers' when the prompt appears, for me it behaves the same as when going to [File > Export]; with the main metadata still being retained.

I also tried an image taken with a Nikon camera and processed using Photoshop on a Mac (image link below), however I can't reproduce the issue with that image either.  Although this is a JPEG image, so the prompt that appears when going to [File > Save] gives the option to 'Save Flattened' rather than saving with layers.

Link:
https://images-assets.nasa.gov/image/AFRC2018-0287-198/AFRC2018-0287-198~orig.jpg

However, I wouldn’t jump to any conclusions based on this because when I was viewing the TIFF metadata above, this was with an image that I processed and added metadata to. Therefore, although I’ve not experiencing the issue with the images I have tried, it doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t experience the same issue as you if I were to try a TIFF that has been exported from your raw processing software and has your metadata such as keywords added with NeoFile.  

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