Most photography professionals know that metadata management has far-reaching, practical applications for large image libraries. It may sound tedious, but effective metadata handling is crucial to keeping information indexed, organized, and searchable. And the alternative, ignoring best practices or treating metadata as an afterthought, encourages inflexible and fragmented workflows–and leads to countless hours of extra work.
DF Studio has built-in advanced metadata handling features to keep your metadata consistent and accurate throughout the entire image lifecycle: when files are first uploaded, DF Studio automatically extracts and merges all metadata stored in stacked files. This ensures that you begin your work with a clean and accurate metadata record. Then, if any of this information is changed, our system writes the edits back to all instances of the file. DF Studio’s unique approach to metadata is the best way to keep key information organized and up-to-date. And we’re about to raise the bar, yet again.
Metadata Viewing and Editing Updates
This software release is focused on making metadata management an even greater priority within DF Studio. The update contains innovative features that make the processes of browsing, filtering, writing, and editing metadata easier and more comprehensive than ever.
Metadata Field Presentation
The presentation of metadata fields has been elevated from simple lines of text into a user-friendly interactive experience. This includes refined spacing and grouping of fields to help editors more efficiently browse large amounts of data. Each step in the metadata editing process is more illustrative and straightforward than before. Selecting a field in the metadata editor auto-highlights the field, and activates helpful tools that anticipate common work practices.
For greater convenience during batch editing, there are visual status icons that reveal matching or varied data entries across the selected files. Navigation buttons in the metadata editor have been redesigned and formatted to accommodate a greater number of metadata workflows.
Flexible Data-Driven Filters
There are new actions and filtering options when viewing metadata in DF Studio’s arsenal. When viewing files in bulk, Users can apply filters to view only those metadata fields filled with varying data (“Varied”), the same data (“Uniform”), and/or no data (“Empty”). They may also use the “Editable” filter to view only editable fields and hide read-only fields.
Pinned Fields Filter
Having large numbers of metadata fields can often make the editing process arduous or confusing. To expedite work on a select group of fields, we’ve created a “Pin” feature. A User may click the pin icon to pin a field, and use the “Pin” filter to show only “Pinned” fields while simultaneously hiding all other fields. The selected fields will remain “Pinned” until the pin icon in the field is clicked again to deactivate.
Writing and Editing Metadata
We’ve added and enhanced many metadata editing tools in DF Studio. “Clear” and “Undo” action buttons have been added for edits to individual fields. There are additional modifier tools, such as append and replace, designed for adding metadata to a specific field with existing data. Any field which has been edited will turn blue to indicate unsaved changes for easy review before saving.
Special attention has been paid to preserving standard keyboard shortcuts when editing metadata. “Save”, and “Save + Next” commands have been added for a smoother workflow experience when editing in large batches.
New Badged Field Type
Business and Enterprise level accounts will have access to a new metadata field that drives a visual badge system in the DF Studio interface. Assigning a category to an image will optionally show the corresponding colored badge in the image thumbnails and 1-Up perspectives. The badge serves as a quick reference to data in this field, and Users can conveniently filter by badge type in the menu at the top of the thumbnail perspective. Image counts and percentages are also displayed in the new color badge interface. Please contact email@example.com to set up a metadata driven badged field for your account.
A new Messenger template has been added to DF Studio for metadata related workflows. This Metadata Messenger represents a completely redesigned interface for DF Studio Messengers. Specifically, the Metadata Messenger allows Users to send a customized set of metadata fields to a recipient for viewing and/or editing. Using this Messenger template, editing metadata for any number of assets, from a single image to an entire Project, can be done quickly and directly. Additions and edits to metadata via these Messengers will be written back to the original files: effectively, third party workflows can be utilized to facilitate metadata editing tasks — a first in DF Studio history.
Features and Settings
The Metadata Messenger is highly customizable. Selecting the template allows senders to control which standard and custom metadata fields to include for the recipient to see and edit. An Approval interface is optional and can be included in the Metadata Messenger.
Interface Design Updates
This release contains major enhancements to the look and feel of the main interface. Throughout DF Studio, buttons have been flattened for a more modern, graphic appearance.
Images in both the thumbnail and 1-Up perspective have been streamlined to appear as image cards. Each streamlined card contains a preview of the image, select level buttons, and a colorful flag serving as a quick reference to the client’s designated badged field. The select level buttons on image cards have been redesigned to be simpler and more straightforward. The word “Kill” has been replaced with a thumbs down, and the “Clear” selects button is now a dash.
Redesigned Metadata Overlay
The metadata overlay (accessed from the Inspector panel in the main UI) has also been redesigned with new features. Files in the metadata editor are easier to see, and metadata fields are presented more clearly and intuitively.
- All available metadata fields are arranged by category and filterable by data status.
- Type into the text fields to edit metadata for selected images. After writing edits to a file, choose to save or undo any edits to metadata fields in the selection. To skip over a file when advancing through images, click the “Skip” button.
- For single image edits, the “Save + Next” button will save any changes to fields and auto-advance the editing pane to the next image.
When editing metadata for a single image in a Project, the editing pane will auto-advance to the next image after saving.
Other New Developments
- In the approval Messenger, the “Edit” button is now an “Approve” button.
- We have improved preview generation for layered PSD files.
- Breadcrumb icons for Projects and Collections are clickable links to the proof sheet thumbnail view.
- Upload links included in assignments now directly link to DF Studio upload tools, such as DFS Speed Link.
- We have increased our support for video related files. In some cases, larger video files are now supported.
- We have removed the “Standard” template from the metadata Messenger. To send a Messenger with the features of a “Standard” Messenger, select the Custom template and enable the following options: allow edits, view and download medium JPEG, and printing.
- In the Assignment tab, the “Additional Details” description has been changed to “Assignment Details”.
- Fixed a bug that hid the set-up pulldown in LIVE Messengers, when the Messenger contained a Collection with multiple source Projects.
- Fixed a bug in Messengers that caused misalignment of the thumbnail grid when the view contained less than a full row of images.
- Fixed a bug in the Messenger Wizard that caused Approvals options to be misaligned.
- Fixed the Comments feature in the image 1-Up view.
- Fixed a bug that caused a corrupted content error when attempting a download using Firefox.
- Fixed the image count when moving files to an existing Collection.
- Fixed an issue where several Messenger URLs led to empty messengers.
- Adjusted the clickable area surrounding images in a Messenger.
- Removed customizations to the “View Only” Messenger template.
- Fixed an issue that caused the Inspector to not reflect the User’s selection of images.
- Fixed an issue that resulted in a selected Project or Collection not leading to its thumbnail view.
- DFS Speed Link no longer displays an error when an upload causes a permissions conflict.
- Fixed an issue that allowed a No Access User to add a Project to the Library using DFS Speed Link.
- Fixed an issue with DFS Speed Link that in some cases created a “/” folder in the Library.
- Fixed an issue that caused an unclosable error screen if a User was working in a Folder/Project/Collection that had been deleted.
- Fixed an issue that affected the behavior of a pulldowns and selection boxes when Users were editing metadata and using keyboard navigation.
- Fixed an issue that prevented the “Download” button from appearing correctly in the Bin.
- Fixed an issue that, for some Users, caused the “Move from Bin” button not to display in a Project.
- Fixed an issue that allowed an editable textbox to display in a non-editable metadata field.
- Fixed an issue that prevented selecting Assignment Details in Chrome.
- Fixed an issue with the Auto-warm feature in which Messengers were not being sent after the source sets were restored to Active Storage.
- Fixed an issue that removed the “Download” button in Shared Collections.
- Fixed an issue in the metadata panel under the “All Usage” section, that caused Portfolio links to be unclickable.
- Fixed an issue that incorrectly displayed usernames in the “Combine Edits” section of the Edits menu.
- Fixed an issue where the folder picked displayed incorrectly in Firefox.
- Fixed an issue that allowed non-Admin Users to alter other Users’ Edits.
For more information on these new capabilities, or to set up the metadata-driven badged field, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, DF Studio will be happy to provide your organization with further recommendations, support, or training for this release.
Please refer to the following Knowledge Base articles about metadata, Messengers, and how to get the most out of the new template.