Custom XMP Panels in Adobe CS-5 and Xinet Venture

Posted by Robert Sullivan on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 @ 05:38 PM

Tags: XMP Panels, XMP, Venture, Adobe CS-5

You may have seen some of the videos we have about importing custom meta data panels from Adobe, into the Venture database. In Adobe CS-3 a custom panel was fairly easy to create because it was a single text file. That got a little more complicated with CS-4 when Adobe changed to a Flex file format that requires several files in combination to correctly create a custom data panel.

Now CS-5 is slightly different again and the panels from CS-4 do not just show up in CS-5. More modification is required to stay current.

Flathead-U has a few videos showing how to import these customized panels into Venture and that's great, but it's been pointed out to me in a not so subtle way, that a lot of people don't understand how it all works.

Here is a brief explanation of how it works, in my own layman's terms. I'm sure you'll all let me know what I have right and what I have wrong, ( as if..! )

So lets take a piece of one sample data field.

<xmp_property name="SulTextHack" category="external" label="Sul Text:" type="text"/>

The "xmp_property name" must be xmp compatible, meaning there are no spaces in the field name and no special characters. In the example, "SulTextHack" is the xmp name of the field, and this must match (case sensitive) between Adobe Apps and the Venture database. If they don't match, they will NOT map to one another. Meaning they will be two different fields from one program to the other.

Only when the XMP name of the field is mapped correctly will you have the bidirectional edit ability. Meaning you can make changes to the data field value from either program and have it show that change in the other program. The trick here is that both programs are writing 'into' the XMP space of the file. The data is pushed into the file it's-self. So the data value is in the Venture database but it's also imbedded in the file. It's like the old Spaghetti TV commercial where they say:

"Eh, it's in there"

The category= determines if it's editable, "external" or read only, "display" from within the Adobe programs. So you can configure a custom field from the Venture database and have it show up in Adobe, as read only. Imagine that.

In Adobe, we can display the name of this field in a more human readable way with the label, where label="Sul Text"  is the display name that I'll see in the custom panel from within Photoshop. In Venture this is the equivalent of the local.js variable.

In fact, Venture will automatically transfer the 'label' from the Adobe panel into the 'local.js' file when we load this custom info panel. Oh, wait...you have to actually select the button that you want to 'automatically' create and use the local.js file.

The last bit of this line is the type=. In my example it's a text field. We can just as easily create a boolean field, an integer or a multi value pull-down field. Date fields can be tricky because of the differences in the display of the date year range between Adobe and Venture.

Think about the ramifications here... This little bit of understanding can make a huge impact on you workflow and become a big time saver. Adding metadata in CS Suite that you can see in Venture. Add instructions in Venture and read them in Photoshop! You can writeinto the XMP space of the file from either program.

"Eh, it's in there"

-Sully

Xinet Suite-16 Has A Sweet Interface

Posted by Robert Sullivan on Fri, Jul 17, 2009 @ 11:33 AM

Tags: Xinet, NAPC, GUI, XMP Panels

We've been working with Xinet's newest upcoming version release, Suite 16,
and I'm telling you, it is sweet! Aside from the video excitement that Brian talked
about, there are a lot of cool developments in Suite 16.

All of the administration tools from FullPress and WebNative Venture are all in one
web based GUI. The old Java GUI for FullPress will still be available in Suite 16,
but I don't think it will be developed beyond that. Once you get use to the new web
base admin, you'll toss that old interface like yesterdays newspaper anyway.

There are three control bars in the new interface and the top row has six control
categories. You can see in the two screen captures below that as I change the top
row category, the next two rows will change and give you access to all of the pertinent
settings for that selection. It's very well thought out were simple things like the
Volumes/User category also gives you the Venture Permission settings to assign.
 
 

As an administrator I think the "Logging" category is the big boom, no-brainer.
All of the logs that were scattered about before are now under one button. Xinet has
also added some more views to information that users are always asking about.
'Preview Generation' will now show you what is in the pipe line as far as how many files
are being processed. So if a user dumps 25 movie files and 71 images into the system,
you can see the numbers of what is processing, waiting or holding. Helping to take the
guess work out of, what is my system working on.

There's a nice feature for importing any existing custom XMP panels you may have also.
What was a manual process of adding one field at a time is now a batch in the interface.
If you have custom XMP panels within your Adobe programs you can now import them into
the Venture database very easily. Drop your panel in and select which data fields you'd
like in Venture, create it's own Data Field Set on the fly, and even determine which
fields you'd like to be XMP writable. Submit and it's done. All of those custom data
fields are now available to put into your data templates.

There's a lot more in here too. We'll be talking a lot about new features and I'm sure
NAPC will be holding a Webinar or two as the release date draws near. I think when you
see it, you'll agree with me, Xinet Suite 16, is pretty sweet!

-Sully