Control Surface for Aperture?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ipedro, May 6, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #1
    I'm looking to streamline my editing process because I output thousands of photos a week that need to be online within hours of shooting.

    I've improved my rating workflow which has helped but I still need to correct hundreds of photos in a short period of time and pulling up the Inspector and fiddling with software based sliders is tedious and strenuous.

    Has anybody seen a hardware alternative such as a control surface with sliders and/or jog wheels and dials?

    Something like the Tangent Wave would be great but it doesn't support Aperture.

    [​IMG]

    Logic and Final Cut have plenty of hardware support options but I don't see the same for Aperture. Have I missed something?
     
  2. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #2
    After some more research, I've discovered that Final Cut and Logic both have a specific menu to recognize Control Surfaces -- Aperture doesn't.

    I hope this is something built into the next iteration of Aperture. It's a professional tool so it should have provisions for professionals who don't just edit the occasional family vacation.

    Searching for an alternative, I looked at the Commands menu in hope that I could buy a device with assignable jog dials but without deliberate built in support for Control Surfaces, individual sliders cannot be controlled. It is possible to to Tab from one control to another but then it's just easier to manipulate Aperture with a cursor. :(
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #3
    I kind of doubt that Aperture will ever have the ability to be controlled by an external device. Most of the interface seems like it would be hard to control using a hardware control (I'm thinking curves, for example).

    Plus, I can't think of any photo editing/ management software that can do this (I'd love to be surprised though). But, at the very least go submit the feature to Apple and maybe they'll put it in.
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2009
    #4
    Actually, I have heard of people using MIDI controllers to run Lightroom. Unfortunately, it would be a big software change for you, and I think some of the interface software may have been windows only. But I am not 100% on the details.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    emorydunn

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2006
    Location:
    Austin Texas
    #5
    Well I stand corrected then. I guess it could be kind of useful to be able to just move a physical slider up and down to control exposure, while balance, etc.

    Maybe a happy middle ground (or maybe even worse, depending on your opinion) would be an iPad app á la what Abode is doing for Photoshop.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    #6
    You could quite easily configure a MIDI controller to interact with Aperture. Download MidiPipe and play around with it:

    http://web.mac.com/nicowald/SubtleSoft/MidiPipe.html

    Here's what one person did with MidiPipe and some video switching software:

    vidplusplus.com/category/tutorials/
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #7
    The problem is, you can't attribute a short cut to the slider controls. MIDI boards can only send key combinations that the app will act on. Aperture needs to have built in support for MIDI commands in order for this to work.

    Alternatively, a 3rd party can probably build a piece of software that alters Aperture to interpret signals coming from an external device as if it were being sent from the GUI slider interface.

    So it looks like I and other Aperture users who would benefit from a
    Hardware solution are out of luck until Apple decides to build in this support or at least allow individual sliders to have shortcuts.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
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    #8
    This is exactly what I was looking for. Now available... for LightRoom:

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=83FrU17z2to

    ...Apple is falling way behind here. First an Adobe iPad LightRoom editing app now this. I'm finding more and more compelling arguments to switch.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2010
    #9
    That looks like it's very handy! Back in the FCP 7 days, it supported control surfaces and there are a few iPad apps that would control audio editing and color correction, and it was great... but FCP X doesn't have that anymore. I always imagined that a similar solution would be great for Aperture too.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
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    Toronto, ON
    #10
    Due to my investment in Aperture (hundreds of thousands of photos), I won't take lightly making a change to Lightroom but it's becoming more and more compelling. Apple will need to impress with Aperture 4.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #11
    I'm bringing this thread back from the dead because I found this...
    [​IMG]

    Does anybody use this? Will it work with Aperture? I want to use the jog dial to precisely move sliders for adjustments. I know that LightRoom allows for external hardware but I haven't been able to find documentation that shows that Aperture can do the same. P.S. I can't believe we're still waiting for Aperture 4. *sigh* :(
     
  12. macrumors 68000

    mtbdudex

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    SE Michigan
    #12
    Aperture 4, coming soon to an apple retailer near you, Dec-2014

    :(

    Sounds like you need Aperture 4 Pro.....good luck
     
  13. LongSticks, Feb 25, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2013

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Location:
    Kent, UK
    #13
    This idea may be worth a look

    Hi

    I have not got this to work, but if I have time I will give it a try.

    Watch this - I know it is Lightroom but these controllers are easy to acquire and cheap - http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=related&v=B2Y2MnM6RyA

    I use a piece of software called ControllerMate - http://www.orderedbytes.com/controllermate - to code a Saitek version of the Logitech Controller for gaming. Writing the controller equivalent of keyboard milti presses is easy. I know that Controllermate will carry out Midi commands as well, if you are looking at that alternative.

    What I was thinking is that if you make photo adjustments using a set of regular keyboard commands and these could be strung together, this could replicated on the controller with a single keystroke.

    Just found this and the demonstration is set up for Pixelmator! Might be worth contacting the developer for some assistance. If a tie up with Aperture could be made it might drive more business his way. http://www.orderedbytes.com/controllermate/example/#example_008

    Like I said, I have a busy week, but if I get chance I will see what I can achieve.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #14
    I don't get how Apple is falling behind on the MIDI control surface front. That plugin is a 3rd-party plugin for Lightroom; not even Adobe is allowing MIDI input for Lightroom without 3rd party help. Neither Adobe nor Apple directly support the use of MIDI interfaces with photo work.

    That being said, it is relatively easy to set up MIDI controllers for many different softwares. Use the aforementioned tools like MidiPipe in conjunction with AppleScript to create an automated interval increase/decrease per each MIDI value adjustment (e.g. if a slider value increases by 1, exposure increases by 0.1).

    I'm curious as to how MIDI will be able to reconcile the difference between the hardware slider values and the software values. If you keep the sliders as-is and switch to another photo, will you be practically stamping the old photo's settings onto the new one? Since sliders are mirrored on DAWs, there's no issues in audio but with photo sliders this could potentially be a problem.
     
  15. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
    #15
    I would expect that it wouldn't change anything until you moved a slider. Then it would snap to the slider's position. The console should only be outputting MIDI data when there is a change in value. It isn't constantly streaming the notes.

    While I don't have an enormous workflow this still has me a bit intrigued. A console slider would provide a more organic operation than clicking and dragging a mouse. I'm already spending too much on photography! :)
     
  16. ipedro, Feb 26, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #16
    Aperture doesn't allow shortcut keys to be assigned to adjustments, only to bring up HUDs. Lightroom does.

    I would settle for an iPad companion app at this point. If the adjustment HUD could be controlled by touch, I'd be happy enough. The current cursor to grab a slider and adjust is exhausting if you're working with thousands of images like I do.
     
  17. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #17
    Actually it does.
    It allows you to map adjustments to keyboard shortcuts, e.g. a vignette, using the shortcut mapper located in Aperture > Commands > Customize. Once the adjustment is added, you can use arrow keys to increase or decrease the adjustment.
    Tab also cycles through the active adjustment, which can be useful in scripting for MIDI.

    Like I said, none of these programs support MIDI natively. Even with Lightroom you need a plugin to make MIDI work. Without any tweaking you're never going to get what you're looking for.

    I personally don't mind working on my twelve thousand photos with virtual sliders, especially since they don't wear down as opposed to linear pots, but I guess we all have our own pet peeves.
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68020

    ipedro

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #18


    ...and it's for Lightroom. Apple is one whisker away from losing me. Their silence is no way to handle professionals. Secrecy and suspense works for the mainstream commercial market but professionals need ongoing support and a roadmap.

    I've waited this long for Aperture 4 and I'm compelled to wait until it's released to make up my mind, but I'm this close to just starting a new library on Lightroom.
     
  19. macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #19
    Ah, so you were this close to abandoning Apple (hey, love the italics...). But you feel compelled (my italics...) to wait for the release of Aperture 4 before you decide. I hope your final decision will be signalled in the way the Pope was chosen. I, for one, will be waiting impatiently for the smoke to go from black to white...
     

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