How do you organize/ view your digital assets?

jdechko

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 1, 2004
4,095
219
I have a side gig doing architectural rendering (3D modeling, artistic 2D sketches, etc) and I have quite a few digital assets. Everything from material swatches (color and bump/depth map), sky backgrounds, trees & bushes and people. All told, I have a few thousand different files that are mainly just sitting in the Finder.

What I need is some way to organize them similarly to the Photos app where they can be tagged, viewed and easily pulled into photoshop (if you know something handles sketchup components as well, that would be even better).

So what do you all use?
 

organicCPU

macrumors 6502a
Aug 8, 2016
651
175
After Apple has been stopping Aperture development and Adobe went to subscription for Lightroom, DAM is in a really poor situation on Mac.

Organizing assets just in the Finder is still my preferred choice (Cmd + A, then Space or Alt + Space for viewing). The command line tool 'tag' by Brett Terpstra helps me with tagging. Exiftool helps with renaming, sorting, etc.

From time to time I run Adobe CS6 Bridge to get some different overview. Then there are the FOSS tools Digikam (DAM tool) and Darktable (particular a RAW converter) that can sometimes help organizing files.

Another solution also valid for offline media is NeoFinder, that I thought many times to give it a serious try. Other users are successful utilizing Extensis Portfolio, XnView, GraphicConverter or ON1 Photo RAW for their DAM needs.

I never worked with Sketchup files, but AFAIK Sketchup Pro should include a Quicklook Plugin that probably serves basic viewing functionality for other third-party DAM tools, too. Depending on your 3D app (or is it only Sketchup?) there might be integrated DAM solutions available, like Simple Asset Management (SAM) for Blender.
 
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jdechko

macrumors 601
Original poster
Jul 1, 2004
4,095
219
Thanks. For the replies. I'm still using Photoshop CS5, as it does what I need it to do, even though it's pretty rough on High Sierra. I'd prefer not to move to CC, but I guess I'll look into Bridge for the time being.
 

sigmadog

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
803
644
just west of Idaho
Thanks. For the replies. I'm still using Photoshop CS5, as it does what I need it to do, even though it's pretty rough on High Sierra. I'd prefer not to move to CC, but I guess I'll look into Bridge for the time being.
There may indeed be other apps out there for organizing and tracking digital assets (I'm not that familiar with much beyond my little world), but Bridge seems to have an incredible amount of flexibility. Although if you aren't using / paying for Adobe Creative Cloud, then Bridge might not be a good deal given Adobe's confiscatory subscription plan.

I hesitate to recommend searching Apple's App Store because I'm seldom impressed by what is found there, but it might be worth a shot and, if you find something that works, it will likely be much cheaper than Adobe Bridge in the long run.

As an aside, I'm plugging along with Adobe CC on Sierra and as of yesterday all the new Adobe updates (just released) are incompatible with MacOs 10.12 Sierra. I'm pretty much locked in with Sierra for hardware reasons, so it's either ignore updates while continuing to pay, or get a new computer sooner than I planned. These are the choices you face when succumbing to Adobe's blandishments. Heh.
 

weaztek

macrumors regular
Aug 28, 2009
139
56
Madison
I use Bridge (CC) and a standalone app called Photo Mechanic to sort and cull images. Photo Mechanic is the industry-standard for newspapers, magazines, and sports photography where captions/EXIF and filenaming conventions are essential. It is super fast at previewing lots of images at one time and they have a free trial version of the software that lasts a month.

Beyond that, I've always used a logical folder system to organize my assets. i.e. Mac HD > Pictures > Photo Flights > LA 2019 > Selects
 
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mollyc

macrumors 68020
Aug 18, 2016
2,451
11,062
I use Bridge. It used to be free regardless of whether or not you had a subscription, and I think that is still true, but haven't checked for awhile as I do subscribe to Lightroom and PS.