Automate rename of tethered image capture file

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by RobV, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. RobV macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    I need to capture individual images of a collection of objects (20,000 pieces!) and name each file as it is shot from a camera tethered to a Mac.

    Anyone out there used Automator to rename image files as they are captured?
    ...or have a different solution?
  2. Phil Lee macrumors 6502

    Mar 19, 2008
    Manchester, UK
  3. RobV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    Renaming after each image is captured

    Thanks, Phil.
    I need to rename the file from its generic name (IMG_0032.jpg) to the object number in the collection (1963-092a.jpg) as I pull them out of the collection one by one and shoot them.

    Renaming a folder-full of files after the fact is just not practical.
  4. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    I can use Bridge and rename a folder of 600, 800, how many ever images, in less than a minute.
  5. RobV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    Bridge for file renaming


    I thought about using Bridge, but I need to rename the image file to the ID number of the object as I take objects out of the collection one by one.

    If I use Bridge on a folder-full of files, I'm not going to know what that object ID is just by looking at the picture -- hence the desire to rename each file as I shoot the image. With 20,000 individual objects to shoot, I've got to come up with a streamlined way to do this, or it will take years to finish!

    Thanks for the reply, though.
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    You might be able to do this using a combination of folder actions and Automator. I don't really use folder actions, but perhaps you can set it up so that the images get renamed as soon as they are dumped into the folder one at a time.

    Here's a quick Apple pro tip blurb about Folder Actions:
  7. RobV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    using folder actions

    Spice Weasel,

    Thanks for the reply. Great thought.

    I have already been working on a a very simple Automator workflow as a solution, just as you suggested, but it isn't working as a folder action for some reason.

    I just found an article that suggests that something new in Leopard may have broken the Folder Actions functionality:


    ...and I'll try the workaround proposed there.

    Thanks again for the reply.
  8. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
  9. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    If the artifact numbers are sequential, can't you just use the camera to name the files? IIRC for canon, you can use a computer to tell the camera what the base file name is and it just counts from there. If they aren't sequential, typing in all of the numbers will be hell (even if the actual file renaming is automated).

    Are there ID tags with the artifacts that you can shoot? If you had a legible ID tag in every shot, there should be software to convert the ID into text, then you could automate the output of that as the filename. I haven't done this before, but it should be relatively simple recognition, the question is just whether someone has written it already.
  10. RobV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    ID numbers on the edge, not visible

    Thanks for the reply.

    The objects are from a collection of medallions that date from 1903 to present day. The ID number is stamped on the edge, and won't be visible from the camera.

    The real kicker against auto-numbering is that each object has two sides -- an obverse and a reverse -- and this needs to be included in the file name also (1934-106obv and 1934-106rev).

    You can appreciate why I need to make this process as efficient as possible... even for the "intern" who gets to do this task. Any volunteers?
  11. NogbadTheBad macrumors regular


    Aug 28, 2009
    United Kingdom
    I did an automator action to move & rename my photo's based on the timestamp in the exif data, you'll need to install exiftool.

    Maybe my automater action might give you some ideas, as previously mentioned the exif data has the file number, if you reset the file numbering on the camera and started with obverse then a reverse, all your reverse photos will end with an even number.

    You'd need to play about in the do .... done loop part of the shell script.

    > exiftool -h -canon pics/IMG_0315.JPG

    File Name IMG_0315.JPG
    Camera Model Name Canon EOS DIGITAL REBEL
    Date/Time Original 2003:09:30 13:37:51
    Shooting Mode Sports
    Shutter Speed 1/2000
    Aperture 7.1
    Metering Mode Evaluative
    Exposure Compensation 0
    ISO 400
    Lens 75.0 - 300.0 mm
    Focal Length 300.0 mm
    Image Size 3072x2048
    Quality Normal
    Flash Off, Did not fire
    White Balance Auto
    Focus Mode AI Servo AF
    Contrast +1
    Sharpness +1
    Saturation +1
    Color Tone Normal
    File Size 1606 kB
    File Number 103-0315
    Drive Mode Continuous shooting
    Owner Name Phil Harvey
    Camera Body No. 0560012345
  12. RobV thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 1, 2010
    Thanks NogbadTheBad

    Thanks for the reply. I'll look into that.

    UPDATE: I upgraded to Snow Leopard last night and was able to get the Folder Action to work successfully.

    Thanks to everyone for the input. Your suggestions were greatly appreciated.

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