Advice on Previews in Aperture 3

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by DCBass, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. DCBass macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Hello All,

    Although this is somewhat*presumptuous*as I am still waiting for the new MBPs to come out, I am curious about other people's thoughts on Previews in Aperture.

    Just to give some background, I am merely an amateur photographer, and will keep all of my photos on one computer (yes, I will backup). This is just a simple setup and I think a lot of people are in this position.

    A few overall questions:
    1. What are previews good for?
    - Namely, should I use them? If so, why and what for?- If I am keeping all of my masters in the same single hard drive, are previews necessary for anything?
    - When using other programs (iMovie, Keynote, etc.), will they be able to see photos that do not have previews?
    2. If I do use them, what should my settings be?
    Before, when using Aperture 2 on my iMac (now sold), I had previews generated at the highest quality at the max size. This obviously had the less than desirable effect of ballooning the amount of space photos took on my hard drive. I do not think that that was necessary.

    However, do my preview settings affect the quality of the JPEGs that I would use in other programs? If I set the preview setting to be a smaller size and of lower quality, does that mean anything I pull in from the Media Browser would therefore be "low quality" as per my preview settings?

    Thanks to anyone that can help me out here. I don't think I ever used previews properly in Aperture 2 and just wondering what the most optimal thing to do is in Aperture 3 when the day comes.

  2. bobdard macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    In your scenario, Previews will basically give you 2 features:

    1. If you use the Media button in any of the iApps (iLife/iWork), you will be importing the Preview JPEG, not the actual master.
    2. If you shoot RAW or very high-res JPEGs, they may take more time to render each time you view images than a smaller preview. It's going to be a fraction of a second for each image, but if you care about super speed (and you seem to since you're waiting for a new MBP), then it matters.

    Note that previews are done by Aperture by default, and it picks a small size of the pictures. I've increased my preview size to my screen resolution (fit within 2560x2560), which may seem counterproductive given the large size of each image, but I wanted the large size because sometimes I may use the images as wallpaper, and I'd want the full size without having to export. Also, many of my images are RAW or about 4000x4000 JPEGs, so fitting them within 2560x2560 is still pretty good.
  3. DCBass thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2004
    Washington, DC
    Thanks for the response Bob.

    Yea, that's what I thought re the use of the previews in other apps. To be honest, I do not do a ton of creation with photos outside of aperture, so I may just forgo their creation altogether, and only make them specifically for photos where I know for sure that I will use them for a particular purpose outside of Aperture. This should save a lot of hard drive space.

    Does anyone know if there is a way to specify preview creation for a particular folder or album as an automatic behavior? (e.g., all 3 star photos in a given project, or some other kind of parameter)


  4. bobdard macrumors regular

    Nov 10, 2008
    Sure no problem.

    The only way I know to do that is to uncheck the setting for generating previews for new projects (in preferences) and then manually generating previews for shots that you like. For example, once you are done working with a project, make a smart album with 3+ star requirement, and select all and generate previews for them.

    But to be honest previews don't take up a lot of space. If you select a lower resolution (for example 1920x1920), and medium quality (7 for ex), you shouldn't have too much space allocated to previews. It might be easier to just keep them on..

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