Working with versions
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One of IDimager’s unique features is the ability to maintain multiple versions (or derivatives) of images. IDimager supports so called “Multi Versioning”. This is not the same as revision versioning, where you freeze stages and only one single version is the “active” version. With Multi Versioning you can store several versions of the same source (image) where each version is active. Examples are: the original image has one version for web publishing, one version for printing, one version for previewing etc. You typically use versioning to keep your multiple derivatives of the same image together.
Once an image has one or more versions assigned to it, it will automatically be defined as the “Main Version”. These “Main Versions” are recognizable because they have a “yellow” bar drawn beneath them. Sub versions have a green bar drawn below them. The colors used to draw the bars are configurable in the "Tools | Options | Catalog | Versions" section.
When you first start with versioning, ask yourself which version you want to set as your main version. This does not have to be the original image coming from the camera but can be any image that best fits your workflow. Personally I always shoot images in RAW and convert the RAW images to DNG while downloading them using IDimager’s Downloader. The original RAW becomes the “Main Version” and the DNG is the version.
Versions can be placed in place holders. A place holder is a storage bank in your version set that you use to identify a version. You can define as many place holder as you need. One example of a place holder is the "display version". The display version can be used to identify the version that you want to use to represent the version set (if not assigned, the main version is used). In my sample, I set the DNG as the display version. This means that the application will use the DNG throughout the application and not the original RAW. No matter what decision you make to set the main version, you can always change it afterwards.
IDimager includes a "Version Detection Wizard" that allows you to find existing duplicate images fast.
Versioning or Stacking?
One question that pops up every now and then is: What differs versioning from stacking?. A very understandable question because the two concepts seem much alike and are easily confused. However, they are completely different and also behave different.
Versioning is used to collect similar images together in a version set. Stacking on the other hand is intended to collect images for a specific purpose. Stacking is a mechanism where you can keep a bunch of images together which doesn't have to be derivatives of the same image. A simple example is a panorama shot which is composed of several different images. Another example is a retouched image that is designed based on different images. One more example is a burst shoot. Each of the images in a stack have their own characteristics (labels, properties, ratings, ...) but still form a logical set with other images. Tend to think of stacks as lightweight collections, but with the ability to collapse a stack into a single thumb
So you use versioning to maintain copies or derivatives (cropped/sized/converted/...) of the same image and you use stacking to group a set of non identical images together (like a panorama photo that is made up from different images, or a collage with several images).
Cascading meta information
As you can read above, version sets normally contains derivatives of the same image. IDimager offers a feature to cascade meta information through the entire set. This means that you copy the metadata from one image in the version set to all other images in the version set. This way you have the opportunity to keep the metadata for all images in the version set identical. This feature is called cascading meta information.