Pixelmator IOS workflow..

Discuss Pixelmator Photo and photo editing on iPad.
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2022-05-28 18:20:04

Just started using the app after getting a camera and I’m not sure how to use it outside of the Photos app.
What I’d like to do is to get the photos off the camera into the pixelmator folder and then work on them there. When I’m happy with them, I’d like to be able to transfer them to the Photo library which will then upload to all my devices.
The reason that I don’t want to put them directly into my photo library is that they will ALL just get uploaded to every device long before I get to edit any of them and decide which ones are worth keeping!

I’d be grateful if anyone had any other ideas on how to do this. I’ve managed to import the photos into the Pixelmator folder but am not sure how to save them to the iPad photo library after editing.
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2022-05-31 06:39:35

Seems like you may need to learn about workflows, and how to manage your images. There are plenty of resources about this, and equally plenty of different opinions too.

It can all depend on your preferences, and how you intend to manage your image collection. Are you shooting Raw or JPEG images (or another format perhaps?). Where do you store your originals? Are you using Photos simply as an image viewing system, or is it where you intend to store your photos? How do you backup your photos (you do, don't you?).

For me, I'm using Photos as my main method of storing and managing my collection, then using Extension apps to edit them if needed, - such as Pixelmator, Raw Power or others. Generally I'm using Photos, and I import directly, and not worry about them being in my cloud storage (I have the 2TB account).

The reason for this is, regardless of image format used, Photos uses non-destructive editing, so your original image file is never touched. It creates editing data, and then a High-res Preview version. You can then re-edit, and it simply resaves the Preview and updates the data. This is normal for many photo editing apps. If you edit outside of Photos, using, say, Pixelmator, then an edited High-res Preview is still saved, but without the non-destructive editing data included - Pixelmator saves this in a separate sidecar file outside of photos (they can be huge too). I delete those as they take up too much space, and just start again if I want to re-edit an image.

Now, if you edit in Pixelmator outside of Photos before importing them, you will create a fixed JPEG image from Pixelmator. This can be imported into Photos. You don't need to use the Pixelmator Photo folder, it can be any location in Files. Doing it this way is OK, as long as you have a system of archiving the originals, and managing the edits.

As I say, it all depends on your preferences and intentions for managing your photo collection. But essentially you really want to be thinking about how to store the original images, and back them up, along with how you manage the edited versions.

It may help to look up the 'Take Control' books, and get a good workflow planned. https://www.takecontrolbooks.com. It sounds like you need to understand some of the basics of using files on your iPad.

I would also have a look at this too. It's quite details, but does explain a lot (a little out of date now, but still explains the basics). https://tidbits.com/2019/06/14/the-ins- ... c-and-ios/

As for getting them into Photos, there are a few ways, but you can just select the images, then use the 'Share' button, and then choose 'Save to Photo Album'. Or you can use multitasking windows, and simply drag them across (you might need to create an Album in Photos first).

Hope that helps,

Andy
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2022-05-31 09:33:02

Thanks Andy, that’s a lot to take in! The reason I’m keen to not get the pics into photos is that I have the same account as my wife (setup as such since the first iOS devices were released) and between us, we have 5 or 6 iOS devices that are all continually updated with new photos, every time I upload images to the cloud. This process just chokes our network at home and everyone complains that they can’t watch Netflix etc while it’s happening!
Anyway, I’ll have a good read of what you’ve said and figure it out!
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2022-05-31 10:31:42

by HomerJay 2022-05-31 09:33:24 Thanks Andy, that’s a lot to take in! The reason I’m keen to not get the pics into photos is that I have the same account as my wife (setup as such since the first iOS devices were released) and between us, we have 5 or 6 iOS devices that are all continually updated with new photos, every time I upload images to the cloud. This process just chokes our network at home and everyone complains that they can’t watch Netflix etc while it’s happening!
Anyway, I’ll have a good read of what you’ve said and figure it out!
It shouldn't impact your network that much, We have four iDevices here, as well as various TV boxes, and rarely struggle for streaming quality. That's even when I'm syncing 24MP Nikon Raw images.

Do you really take that many photos between you? I uploaded, and sync, a collection of 60,000 images at 600GB, and that's not causing any issues on my network. Although we don't take all that many iDevice photos, they're not really big enough images that should cause issues. Or is your Internet speed that poor where you are? (I'm getting 70Mbps down, and 19Mbps up here).

It also seems that you have two systems of workflow to handle here. iDevice images are obviously automatically handled by the iCloud system. then you have your camera photos that are manually imported. These need to be managed differently, and it does help to work out a clear management plan for your photos.

I'm guessing most of the iDevice photos are mainly daily snapshots kind of thing. How important are the camera photos? If it's just a new level of snapshots, then I suspect you don't need to worry as much about archiving and multiple backups (although it's worth thinking about, if anything catastrophic happens to the cloud storage, then you lose everything, and being a shared account, it is open to someone having finger trouble, and accidentally deleting things, or everything). Are these part of an amateur photographer hobby? Perhaps these need to be managed more carefully to allow for more advanced editing and such like.

Perhaps you may be better to think about setting up your own separate iCloud accounts, and use the Shared Albums feature, which will protect all of your own collections from each other. You can set one up so you can all drop photos into it. They can end up being lower resolution, but it's sufficient for viewing on screens.

These are just questions you need to consider. But have a good think about it.
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2022-08-02 07:14:44

We’re on 3 to 4mb at best, most of the time so it really does make a huge difference to us! Having 20mb is just a distant and unattainable dream for us, living where we do, I’m afraid!
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2022-08-11 05:12:03

what’s the best workflow when it comes to file management with Pixelmator Photo on an iPad Pro
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2022-08-20 05:13:13

by FlanZarianick what’s the best workflow when it comes to file management with Pixelmator Photo on an iPad Pro
It’s not an easy question to answer there. There is no right answer. It will depend on so many factors, your own preferences and requirements can mean so many variations. Do you use cloud storage or local storage, or both. Do you use Photos, or another app, or do you prefer to keep your images in an old fashioned folder system?

I can only suggest you try some research on digital asset management, and decide what you need from it yourself. If you plan to use Photos as your main photo storage, then have a read of the Tidbits article I posted above.

I can only tell you what I do, as it suits my own needs right now. But it might not work for you.

I use Photos and iCloud storage for my primary storage and editing system. I have the Apple One 2TB account, and have all 60,000 of my images (Raw, JPEG, DNG, Etc.) in a single Photos library, which is synced to iCloud. My iPad Pro is my main device for editing photos (simply because it has the best screen on any of my devices).

I pick photo editing apps that can be used as ‘extensions’ to Photos on the iPad, or that can access the library directly. This is mostly Raw Power or Pixelmator Photo. I tend to use Apple Photos for most of the editing work, it does a fine job on most of them, and maintains a good nondestructive workflow across all devices.

That’s one of my key interests - maintaining the nondestructive workflow. If I want to do more advanced editing, I use Raw Power, it can access the Photos library directly, and has some good management tools too. It maintains fully the nondestructive workflow within the Photos library, which is also synced to other devices (Raw Power is multi device capable).

If I need to use different editing tools, such as the repair tool, I’ll switch to Pixelmator Photo. This also accesses the Photos library directly, and saves edits to it automatically, which are synced to iCloud. However, its nondestructive edits are not included in the iCloud sync, and are saved externally, either locally on the device, or in iCloud storage (in Files). These can be huge files though, typically 5-10x the original depending on the file type, and the edits applied.

There seems no point, at this time (it might change once the macOS version is available), of syncing these to iCloud, as they’re not used on other devices. And they eat up storage space at an alarming rate. So I simply use these until I’m happy with the edits I’ve applied, then delete the external ‘sidecar’ files. This does mean you lose the nondestructive edits, and will have to start from scratch if you want to apply even a small tweak.

FWiW I also keep secondary ‘archive’ copies of my images in external drives attached to my old iMac.

Overall, I’ve never found a perfect solution, this is the nearest I’ve got. Each app has its own pros and cons, and you need to find which one suits your needs the best.

Cheers
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2022-09-01 15:19:44

I can definitely relate to a lot of the above, I wish the edits from Pixelmator Photo were contained within the iCloud Photo Library itself, such as the way RAW Power handle it.

My primary issue with RAW Power is the interface, specifically on iOS/iPadOS, I'm used to it on macOS because I was an Aperture user before. I had considered making the switch back to RAW Power as my primary editor of choice because Nik had added RAW support for my A74, but it looks like the latest iOS 16 beta finally fixes that gap.

I've never thought to compare, but how much extra storage space to the embedded RAW Power images use, relative to Pixelmator Photo?
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2022-09-01 16:50:51

by Fish I can definitely relate to a lot of the above, I wish the edits from Pixelmator Photo were contained within the iCloud Photo Library itself, such as the way RAW Power handle it.

My primary issue with RAW Power is the interface, specifically on iOS/iPadOS, I'm used to it on macOS because I was an Aperture user before. I had considered making the switch back to RAW Power as my primary editor of choice because Nik had added RAW support for my A74, but it looks like the latest iOS 16 beta finally fixes that gap.

I've never thought to compare, but how much extra storage space to the embedded RAW Power images use, relative to Pixelmator Photo?
There can be a huge difference depending on the edits applied, but generally I’m seeing that Raw Power uses the Photos data and storage systems, so the files are JPEGs, around the normal size for those, 5-15MB as a rule. Pixelmator also creates an internal JPEG in Photos (it has to, as it’s used as the Preview image after editors are applied, same as any other app), but if you want non-destructive editing to be maintained, then it also saves a .photo file, and I’ve seen these get towards 200MB, 100-150MB is typical.

Considering Pixelmator Photo is, at the moment, designed for IOS/iPadOS, it’s far too storage hogging to be viable for long term archiving use if you link it up with an iCloud based Photos library.

Of course you could use an external HDD/SSD and use Pixelmator as a standalone app.

I simply use it as an editing tool, once I’ve done the editing, I delete all the .photo files.

Cheers.
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2023-01-23 13:58:54

Hi Andy,
I wanted to ask you an advise. Up to now I was saving only jpg files on Apple Photo (I use iCloud as well) and the raw file on an external hard drive.
Now I was considering to save both files (jpg and raw) stacked as a singular file in Photos; to me seems more logic when I want to find a file and as general organisation.
Now apart to use more storage on the hard drive and iCloud, are there other cons on doing this? Will my Photo app will become slower? I am using an iMac M1 with 16MB ram.
Thank you.
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2023-01-23 16:10:06

by Maurizio Hi Andy,
I wanted to ask you an advise. Up to now I was saving only jpg files on Apple Photo (I use iCloud as well) and the raw file on an external hard drive.
Now I was considering to save both files (jpg and raw) stacked as a singular file in Photos; to me seems more logic when I want to find a file and as general organisation.
Now apart to use more storage on the hard drive and iCloud, are there other cons on doing this? Will my Photo app will become slower? I am using an iMac M1 with 16MB ram.
Thank you.
Hi Maurizio,
For reference, I’m using an old 2013 iMac, and a 2020 iPad Pro, and don’t really have any speed issues (other than expected for the age of device). My library is about 60,000 images, with over half of them as Raws, only a handful are Raw+JPEG. I don’t notice any particular slowness anywhere (none that bothers me anyway).

From a speed point of view, of course that very subjective, and down to our own expectations, and possibly even down to your own device configuration. Most speed issues are usually with editing a Raw image, as these can need more processing power, their size may depend on how much they impact performance.

On an M1 series machine, I wouldn’t expect there to be much of an issue. You could perhaps try creating a second/test library, and import a few Raw+JPEGs into it, and see how it fairs.

Just a note that you can swap the Raw/JPEG as the master image in Photos on the desktop macOS, although it does default to the JPEG on import. On a iDevice (such as iPad) this is not an option, and it can be a bit random as to whether you work on the Raw or the JPEG version (unless you swap them on the desktop, that seems to carry across through iCloud).

Personally I have only shot a few Raw+JPEG pairs in the last 17 years of shooting Raw, and generally stick to Raw only (I found I nearly always want to adjust the images myself).

I couldn’t really comment on the cons etc, as this is something that could differ according to your own needs. For me, this all works absolutely as I need it to - especially as we now have the individual and shared libraries. Performance is all I need, and linking to third party apps/extensions does enough for my needs.

Indeed, Photos with the Extension Apps, and iCloud storage and syncing, offers much more for me than most other solutions, but my primary device is now my iPad Pro, so this is not the same as it was on my iMac.

Cheers
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2023-01-23 21:27:44

Andy,
Believe or not, my main machine where I edit my pictures is my iPad Pro 2020 as well with Photos and Pixelmator Photo and for me works perfectly.
In the beginning I was a raw shooter mainly but recently I have passed to Fujifilm I try to get picture right in camera; so most of the time I do very few adjustments to jpg. But I always like to maintain the raw.
I use the iMac for consulting ,correcting-adding metadata and to export and resizing.
I do the same thing to cancel the sidecar file of the edits because like you, if I want to re edit I will prefer to start from zero.
Just last question: when you import pics from camera to iPad you put directly on the Photos library and then when you save the edit you leave a copy there? I tend to save picture imported in another temp folder and then after the edit I save them in the catalogue.Then I cancel the temp folder.
Maybe I am doing more work but, even if I know that the edit are non destructive, I am always scared to overwrite the files.
How it is your workflow In Pixelmator Photo?
Thank you for your reply.
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2023-01-24 18:10:52

by Maurizio Andy,
Believe or not, my main machine where I edit my pictures is my iPad Pro 2020 as well with Photos and Pixelmator Photo and for me works perfectly.
OK, that’s spooky ;-)
In the beginning I was a raw shooter mainly but recently I have passed to Fujifilm I try to get picture right in camera; so most of the time I do very few adjustments to jpg. But I always like to maintain the raw.
I tried Fujifilm for a short while (back when they did the EXR sensors), but they were too troublesome to deal with the Raws, so I went with Nikon DSLR.
I use the iMac for consulting ,correcting-adding metadata and to export and resizing.
I do the same thing to cancel the sidecar file of the edits because like you, if I want to re edit I will prefer to start from zero.
Just last question: when you import pics from camera to iPad you put directly on the Photos library and then when you save the edit you leave a copy there? I tend to save picture imported in another temp folder and then after the edit I save them in the catalogue.Then I cancel the temp folder.

Maybe I am doing more work but, even if I know that the edit are non destructive, I am always scared to overwrite the files.
How it is your workflow In Pixelmator Photo?
Thank you for your reply.
OK, I see now. No, I don’t do much editing outside of Photos, or without using the Photos Extension workflows. I try to maintain that full non-destructive workflow as much as I can, so I import everything into Photos as master images, and then handle them for editing from the Photos library.

As you say, they are all stored in a non-destructive manner, so you can always revert back to the original image. Photos never changes the original imported image, and only used a data file to apply any edits (and then creates a JPEG Preview separately). As far as I can tell, the duplicate process only creates a new Preview copy of the original, it doesn’t actually duplicate the original.

If I edit in Pixelmator, I use its browser to navigate my Photos Library, and edit the images (as I would have done in Photos). This then saves back into the Photos Library seamlessly as a new JPEG Preview image, along with the sidecar data it saves externally (which I later delete).

You can also select the image in Photos, and use the Share menu to send it to Pixelmator on an individual image basis.

But of course, I understand you may have a different take on this, and prefer the slightly more convoluted route :-).

All the best,

Andy.
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2023-01-24 18:20:46

Photo extension workflow? But so you edit on Mac? AFAIK extension on Photo on iOS does not work? I mean I can edit in Photos on iPad using as plugins Pixelmator, or I am wrong ?
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2023-01-24 20:02:58

by Maurizio Photo extension workflow? But so you edit on Mac? AFAIK extension on Photo on iOS does not work? I mean I can edit in Photos on iPad using as plugins Pixelmator, or I am wrong ?
Yes, apps can work as Extension with Photos on the iPad too. Pixelmator, Raw Power and a few others can do this. However, as far as I’ve found, only Raw Power does this really well, and integrates the best I’ve seen, even to being able to sync the edits across devices. Others have managed it, but not quite as seamlessly (Affinity is one of the worst on the iPad, it’s good on the desktops though), Pixelmator does an OK job, but as we’ve seen, still needs the huge external sidecar files to get the best use of it.

To be honest, I think there’s too much confusion on what it’s called anyway, whether it’s Extension, Plug-in, External app etc., they can have different terms used for similar ways of working, although the ways they do work can be subtly different too. Careful working out of how an app integrates is needed, so you can decide what is the best method to use at any time. To make it worse, none of the apps really follow the same path, and that can even be different between the desktop version and the iPad version (looking at you again Affinity) so you do need to understand each app individually.

It can make it easier to have a search through Youtube, and find some of the tutorial videos that can be found, see what others have used.

Cheers

Andy
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2023-01-24 20:08:34

Sorry Andy, but on my iPad Pro I can’t select any plugin as I do on my iMac; am I missing something?
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2023-01-24 22:55:53

by Maurizio Sorry Andy, but on my iPad Pro I can’t select any plugin as I do on my iMac; am I missing something?
Sorry, no, it’s not the same as you get on the iMac for sure, but a more limited workflow. It can be very similar though. Although there are a very few apps that can manage it.

The original Pixelmator (not Photo) can be accessed as a plugin/extension in the fashion you’re thinking here, as can some others too (Camera+ 2 does it, and a few others, which I don’t use, and can’t remember exactly which ones right now, as they have limited use for too much cost). These appear when you go into the Edit function, and then click on the three dots icon, you will see a list of Extension apps, if you have any installed, there.

But that is different to accessing the library from within the external app, or sending an image using the Share option. Each works differently, and sadly, inconsistently with each app (Affinity edited images, for example, don’t even end up in the same album, let alone layered with the original image).

As I say, the whole matter is quite confusing, as the workflows are not the same, but they can be similar if you pick the right apps. It’s certainly a bit of a mess if you try switching between using a Mac and an iPad, and try to get the same workflow (as mentioned, Raw Power is the only app I’ve come across that seems to get this right).

I do all my editing on the iPad, and only use the iMac for some library management, like moving around folders and albums, adding keywords and titles etc.