I’ve been teaching introductory Aperture courses lately, so I thought I’d share some tips based on questions I’ve been hearing again and again. Last weekend at an AUPN workshop in Dallas I had three students ask the same question: how do you turn off the floating HUD that appears when you mouse over thumbnails in the Browser?
They were asking about the Image Tooltips HUD, which can be quite useful to get quick at-a-glance info about a photo in the Browser. But the beauty of this HUD is that it can be toggled on and off quickly; it can be pretty annoying if it keeps popping up whenever you move your mouse across the Browser. It can quickly be toggled on and off by going up to the View menu and choosing Image Tooltips, or even quicker, by pressing the T key.
The other topic that has been coming up repeatedly in my Aperture workshops is confusion around the master/version relationship, specifically when photos are sent to Photoshop via the Open with External Editor command. So, a quick review: the external editor is defined in Aperture’s preferences, under the Output section. This is where the editor is selected and an external editor file format is defined. I use Photoshop CS3 and 300dpi TIFF. When you select an image and choose Images -> Open with External Editor, Aperture creates a new master (leaving the original unchanged), converts it to the chosen file format, and then opens the image file in the selected external editor. It’s important to remember that the new image file is tracked as a new master file and gets stacked with the original master file.
When the image is saved in Photoshop, the changes are reflected back in Aperture, and the image thumbnail gets badged in the lower right corner with a small target badge. But what happens if we want to send that image back to Photoshop to continue our edit?
This is where things can get a little tricky. If no further adjustments have been made to the image in Aperture, the same TIFF Master will be sent to Photoshop when we choose Edit with External Editor. All layers, channels, and masks will remain intact. However, if we attempt to make any adjustments to the TIFF master in Aperture, a new version of that master will be created. And regardless of whether the original master is managed or referenced, this version will be another TIFF file that’s stored in the Aperture library.
The diagram below illustrates how Aperture uses badges to give us information about where these images came from:
Image 1 is the original RAW master file stored as a referenced image in my library. Image 2 is the TIFF that was created when I chose Edit with External Editor. Image 3 shows what happens when I apply an adjustment to Image 2 in Aperture: a new version is created and the target badge gets replaced with a standard adjustment badge. Finally, Image 4 shows what happens when I select Image 3 and send it back to an external editor: another master TIFF is created and badged with the target icon.