Feature #9574

Custom fields in image information

Added by Richard Wonka over 6 years ago.

Target version:
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hardware architecture:


In my work, I would like to be able to classify images internally (i.e. without using potentially public tags) in a way that also allows me to use this classification for sorting and image management, i.e. export paths or such.

I am thinking of definable fields like Project or Customer that I can then fill with useful values. (other fields may be useful)

Use case:

I use an image for different projects and customers.

For each new customer or project I would like to be able to duplicate the image, leaving it in the folder it belongs, and assign a new project or customer field to the duplicate. This allows me to make use of dt's duplicate feature instead of copying the original file into a new folder.

Current workarounds:

  • use colour labels instead: limited to five projects or customers (or other), already in use for other stuff. -> not feasible
  • use film rolls: multiplication of data for each new project, cutomer, etc.., images that belong together in file system get cluttered into different folders. -> Doesn't scale well, not a clean solution.
  • use tags/keywords instead: I need an internal sorting mechanism and want to export my images with tags. So I would have to remove the particular tag for each export and then re-add it to keep my data consistent. -> very ugly as a workaround, risks loss of metadata.

Benefit of custom fields:

  • Variable fields map to many potential work flows. Examples project and customer likely map to every professional's work.
  • scales very well.
  • facilitates DAM
  • makes it easy to see how each image is being used
  • reinforce the 'film roll' analogy instead of breaking it
  • takes load off cumbersome tags/keywords interface
  • allows export presets by customer, project, ...
  • removes ugly workaround for darktable's internal management using tags (darktable|%)

This feature will likely map to several workflows where people have so far created copies of their images in different folders, adding more data without any benefit and breaking the 'film roll' analogy, as the image still belongs to its original film roll, we have not taken a new picture, we are just re-using it)

For this application, I am thinking of a 1:1 relationship. Each image in lighttable has a maximum of one of each type of these fields defined, each defined field has exactly one value.

other possible fields off the top of my head
  • darktable_format
  • darktable_changed
  • project
  • customer
  • price
  • print_on: (e.g. canvas, pp-photo,...)
  • ...

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