Aperture Quick Tip - Lift and Stamp

AQT_lift_stamp.jpgA real quick tip for those of you that have not used the lift and stamp tools a lot. As everyone probably knows lift allows you to lift adjustments and metadata from one image and then stamp it to one or more images that you select after doing the "lift". I thought a brief discussion on some of the more subtle behaviors of this tool might be valuable if you haven't yet explored beyond and all or nothing approach to lifting and stamping.

First off realize that you do not have to take everything you lifted and stamp it wholesale to other images. What is pretty obvious is that you can uncheck the little boxes all the way at the left of the lift and stamp HUD. When you uncheck a box none of the adjustments or metadata category that is associated with that checkbox will be applied to images that you subsequently stamp. What may not be nearly as obvious but can be even more useful is to fine tune what precisely is stamped by going into each of the broad categories represented by the checkboxes and deleting individual line items from them. For instance say you want just the white balacnce from and image to be applied to the rest of the images in a particular project, album, whatever. After hitting the lift tool uncheck any of the metadata that has come along for the ride, and open up all of the adjustments in the lift/stamp HUD by clicking the little triangle. For any adjustments that you do not want to stamp just highlight them and hit the delete key before stamping. This works with metadata as well, if you click on the little triangle for keywords you will see one line for each and every keyword, you can delete any individuals that you do not want to stamp to other images.


The second topic that I wanted to discuss was "add" versus "replace" behavior. You can specify add or replace using the drop down menu at the bottom of the lift and stamp HUD. If you haven't ever played with this it can be a huge time saver you just have to understand exactly what it does and that it behaves differently for metadata and adjustments. If you specify "add" with adjustments it will be a combination of replace and add. What I mean by a combination is that if a target image to be stamped has adjustments in any of the adjustment "blocks" that will be stamped those whole adjustment block will be replaced with the stamp but any adjustment blocks that the target image has that are not contained in the lift/stamp HUD will be preserved. An example would be if you lifted adjustments from and image that had a contrast adjustment in the enhance block and the target image had a crop applied as well as a saturation adjustment also in the enhance block. Using add would cause the contrast adjustment to replace the entire enhance adjustment block on the target image making the saturation adjustment go away but the crop that was there would still be there after the stamp. Using the same scenario but chooseing replace would make all of the adjustments in the target image to go away and only the adjustments in the lift/stamp HUD would remain so in this case the saturation and the crop would go away and only the contrast adjustment would remain after the stamp. I hope that is clear.

Moving on to metadata, add/replace behavior is completely different and almost the exact opposite from the way that it works with adjustments. Choosing "add" with metadata will literally add the metadata field values in the lift/stamp HUD to data that may already be in the target image. For instance if you have a the copyright field already populated with your name and you chose "add" in the lift/stamp HUD containing your name in the copyright field you would end up with two copies of your name in the target image copyright field. Not too useful with most metadata but very useful with keywords. In fact that is about the only metadata where I get regular use from the "add" mode of lift and stamp. Replace is actually much more useful with most metadata most of the time. Using replace actually leaves any metadata fields not specified in the lift/stamp HUD exactly as they were in the target images but fields that are in the lift/stamp HUD are completely replaced by what is being stamped.

One other thing to leave you with before wrapping up is a tool that most people never use, the stamp tool. The tool is represented by the down arrow icon immediately to the right of the up arrow representing the lift tool. Unless you are persistent it may not be ovious that this little button does two completely different things depending on where you happen to be in the whole lift stamp process. If you are like most regular people you probably don't see a whole lot of reason for this button being there. If you have just lifted adjustments/metadata and the lift/stamp HUD is active the button appears to do the same thing as the "stamp selected images" button in the HUD and for the most part it does do exactly that but there is more to it. To be sure to be able to use the very useful stamp tool you can activate it not thruough the little icon but using the shortcut key shift-"O". This will turn your cursor into that little down arrow icon. Now every image you click on will get stamped. This beats the heck out of selecting individual images and then clicking the "stamp selected images" button if you have a bunch of images to be stamped that are not neccessarily right next to each other. While using the tool all you do is randomly click images that need to be stamped and viola they get… stamped.

As usual your thoughts are welcome even if they happend to be - no crap this kind of stuff is idiotically simple or whatever.


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