Built-in automation for Aperture

When I started using Aperture, I was amazed at all the Automation support available for the product. As always, I must spread the news.

If you launch Automator, and type Aperture in the search window you will see a list of built-in actions that are ready to use with Automator workflows. From here, you can choose items to put your own custom workflow together.

Start with Import Photos: You can choose an existing project (all existing ones show up in the pop-up list) or start a new project. Import by Reference if you want to leave the images where they are; delete the Source if you want to clean off your card.
Next, you can set IPTC Tags, assign keywords and change Image Rating Stars.

This simple workflow can be saved as is and run from Automator. You will need to add one more item at the top so the finder can locate the files you want using Get Selected Finder Items, if you are in Automator.

Another choice is to create a folder on your desktop, and save this workflow as a Folder Action attached to the folder. Now, you have an Aperture Hot folder that does the work as you dump in your files.

Automator can be configured to Export Masters and Versions and Extract Metadata as well as retrieving and storing item references.

There is a detailed explanation of how to create a workflow to Burn Masters to Disk at http://automator.us/leopard/apertur/ex10/index.html. Remember, any workflow you create can be saved as a plug-in that will appear in the script menu at the top of your screen for easy access. The beauty of Automator is you can have several applications working together easily from one workflow. The Burn Masters to Disk uses Automator actions for Aperture and then adds the system command to burn the disk.
Here’s a tip when creating plug-in versions of Automator workflows: make use of the Show Action when workflow runs if you will be changing the input, like choosing a directory or changing the name of your DVD.

But that’s enough about doing all the work yourself; there is much more than this available to Aperture users. Plug-ins, Applescript actions, Automator workflows and other little applications, which are free from the automator website, are available for use.

The Aperture card importer manages the import of up to eight cards. You drag a single camera card onto the application, select the Import and Metadata options, and hit Process. There are eight numbered modules – one for each card. Automatically, a folder is created in the location you specified in setup. This is where the files from the card are copied; they will be managed as referenced files from this location.

Images will be imported into your project with metadata added simultaneously.

Finally, the cards can be ejected with the option of erasing them first. Add the next card even if Aperture isn’t finished importing the previous card; it will still run.

You can download this application from http://automator.us/leopard/aperture/aci.html.

Publish for Approval is also available for use. This plug-in uses the built-in web sharing on the Mac and Applescript to create and display web pages of your images. The web page created is interactive, so your customer can choose images with an Approved Tag. The product uses the Smart Album feature to filter and show you the images your client has chosen. The technical instructions for setting up the Personal Web Sharing are on the same web page. There is also a Publish for iPhone – enough said.
Publish for Approval can be downloaded from http://automator.us/leopard/aperture/publish/index.html.

If you use iDVD 7 with OS 10.5, there’s an Applescript action called Magic DVD. It takes files, albums, projects from Aperture and filters and exports to iDVD 7 to create the Magic DVD.

There are many resources for Aperture users and automating the tedious file copying, naming and exporting is scriptable in many ways. Check out the web sites I have listed; you may find something to save you time.

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