Aperture 3 - Importing Existing Folder Organization

I didn't know whether to call this Apertre 3 and film part 0.5 or something else. I choose something else because it's applicable no matter if you shoot film or not. Just a tidbit on importing master image files into Aperture 3 using under-utilized import functionality not available in the normal import window that you see when pressing that down arrow icon or popping up automatically when you connect a memory card.

If you look under Aperture 3's file menu you will see a sub-menu under import called "Folders as projects…". There is a lot of functionality rolled up into the dialog invoked with this menu option.

The first option drop down in the above dialog "Import folders as: Projects and albums" will produce a project named the same thing as the folder that is actually selected and then albums within that project for each sub-folder like this..

One thing that is not completely obvious here is that the folder that turns into an Aperture poject is whatever folder happens to be selected or highlighted in this dialog. It does not have to be only one folder. You can select multiple folders using the usual tools of shift-clicking for ranges or command-clicking for multiple, discontiguous folders. Each and every folder that is selected/highlighted in the finder part of the import dialog will become projects. Any subfolders within those selected folders will become albums. The bottom line is that the behavior is depended on what is actually selected in the finder part of the dialog.

Here is what happens when multiple folders are selected in the dialog to give you a clear picture of what happens to the various subfolders within each top level folder. Remember that the projects are the folders actually highlighted/selected in the dialog. The rest of the stuff under those projects are sub-folders.

Now to the film part. I described my fairly draconian but conventional way of physically storing and indexing my film once it is processed. I typically create a folder that corresponds to a roll number for my scans to be loaded into. Just to keep image scans on the same roll in some sort of logical connectedness. I usually will shoot a couple of rolls for a project so I have a project folder that is appropriately named along with sub-folders that are named the same thing as my roll numbers in my physical film files. This method of importing is farily convenient to create a project with albums for each roll of images. Not required but just something I like to have.

I hope you can see how this may also help people that maintain their own file system organization and want to reflect that in various ways inside Aperture 3 as well as those that just want to translate an old folder/file organization into Aperture 3 when migrating to Aperture.

Next time we'll cover some of the other options of this very usefule Aperture 3 import dialog. All of this kind of stuff that relates to physical file location, importing, etc. can be found in my Aperture 3 File Management eBook if you want the full story in one giant connected dose or just as a comprehensive reference.


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