Monday, August 2, 2010

Aperture 3: Going Strong After 6 Months. Part 2

Read Part 1 First: Aperter 3: Going Strong After 6 Months Part 1

    On Saturday I mentioned that one of my favorite new features in Aperture 3 is presets, which is one of the main reasons that I upgraded to Aperture 3 in the first place. When you upload hundreds of photos it got to be very time consuming to add adjustments to each of the files that you thought might be worth while. That is what happened while I was using Aperture 2, hours would be spent just getting all the basic adjustments in place. Thanks to Aperture 3 that is no longer the case, I can apply the preset that I have made to each photo on import, which means a task that used to take hours now happens right away.

Aperture 3 Adjustments Bar, with Presets Tab Active

    Aperture 3 comes with a number of predefined presets for minor adjustments in colour, brightness, contrast and black and white. You can also install third party presets along with making your own. I generally use my own presets, but on the odd occasion I do use presets that I have downloaded from other users websites. So not only are presets faster and easier than ever before, you also have the flexibility to use other people's presets to save yourself even more time, if post processing is not something you are very good at. Once a preset is in place you are still free to make any adjustments you would like.

   Speaking of importing images, Aperture 3 gives you a far better experience in that area as well. Not only can you add presets as you import your images, but you can also have other information embedded into your images on import at as well, such as copyright information, keywords, captions, website and much more. Those items can be changed on every import, or you can have information you want saved in Aperture 3 to put in those boxes to show up each time to import something.

Aperture 3's Import Window

    The import system in Aperture 3 is far more powerful, and easy to use than in Aperture 2. In Aperture 2 you have to select every image you want to import, in Aperture 3 it does this automatically. You also have the choice you uncheck every image and only pic the ones you want. You can also put images into stacks manually, which is a big improvement over the auto stacking in Aperture 2. Another big improvement is that you can make new projects right in the import window, rather than having to make one ahead of time. Aperture 3 also remembers your most recent projects, allowing you to quickly add new images to them. You can also choose which folder to put the new project in as well. The ability to store images in Aperture Libraries or keeping them in there current location (referenced files) remains the same.

    Applying presets on import does slow down the import process slightly, but there is an overall gain in that you don't have to batch convert them later or go through the images you like best one at a time later. I find the actual speed of importing the images, not processing, is actually faster than Aperture 2, but not by a noticeable amount when you are uploading hundreds of images.

I'll spend some time talking about a few more of Aperture 3's interesting new additions, such as adjustment brushes, in my next entry.

Read the next part of this series
Aperture 3: Going Strong After 6 Months Part 3