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Question on Extensis Portfolio

Discussion in 'General Software' started by smullen, Aug 31, 2004.

  1. smullen

    smullen Member

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    Aug 12, 2004
    I'm thinking about getting Extensis Portfolio in the next week or so to help me sort out what all graphics I have and keep track of them.

    After a few recomendations on my search for clip art/vector images, I bought a few crappy CDs off of E-bay... I now have tons of images, some are decent, most are not... I want to weed thought them all see whats what and assign Key words too them and maybe ditch some...

    Now on to my questions about portfolio...

    How do you store your images on your HD?

    Do you sort them in directories (by type, Collection, name, Disc, etc, etc) or just have one mass directry with gigs of files such as ai, .eps, and others???

    I notice that I have some of the same files names, (Ex. 001.ai or Image1005.eps) on different CDs, so I was thinking about creating a folder called Graphics, then a subfolder for each CD that I buy and put them in that way....

    I hae to do something, as I have no idea what I have and don't want to buy more till I know whats what..

    Ideas???

    Thanks
     
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  2. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Being a visual database, Portfolio provides you with any number of approaches to organizing your clipart.


    You can preorganize it in any way that makes sense to you .... by collection, by topic, you name it. If you set your input settings properly, then when you add each folder into the database it will also pick up the path name making each name in the path a keyword. So if you feed in images from a folder named "birds" each image will also be assigned a keyword "birds" making finding them easier later. The same is true for file names of course, so if you have a file named "cardinal" in a folder named "birds", then both names will be assigned as keywords when you add in that image.

    Unfortunately you opted for a pirated collection that was put together with no concern regarding ease of use, so you have quite a chore ahead. We organized about 9000 images in Portfolio a few years ago and, with individual keywording, it took over two months.
     
  3. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    Apr 18, 2003
    I've tried Portfolio and it wouldn't recognize many of my files. I also tried ThumbPlus and it seems to work better for my stuff. I have CDR, AI and EPS files for the most part and ThumbPlus just seems to pick them up better. I've tried several demos of multiple products, and I've yet to find one that will grab all my files. Some work better on one file type than another, just wish ONE would do it! I do have to recommend Extensis Suitcase for font management.
     
  4. idsign

    idsign Member

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    Apr 11, 2003
    smullen,

    Depending on the minimum result you are willing to accomplish and software you already own...
    Corel 11, Acrobat and Photoshop 6 (and up) have tools to manage thumbnails and catalogs.

    Corel will handle all* Adobe formats but Adobe does not handle .cdr, .cmx (correct?)

    Since I already own Corel 11, Acrobat and Photoshop 6, I am not running out to spend $200 on Extensis. ThumbsPlus v.6 at $40 might have some worthwhile features.

    Since Acrobat reader is free to anyone with a PC, I have chosen to put my portfolio in bitmaps and .eps in a PDF catalog on CD-ROM. That shoud be enough to impress any prospect I am interested in.

    Barry
    the frugal (cheapa$$) sign guy©

    look I posted right after Chris. Does he look like an aerospace engineer to you?
    I think I'll take the bus. (just kiddin' Chris!) HIS SIGN CALC IS GREAT!
     
  5. ChiknNutz

    ChiknNutz Major Contributor

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    Apr 18, 2003
    Barry,

    How do you use Corel to generate thumbnails? I too have Corel (v9, 11 and 12) but am certainly no expert on the subject. Please elaborate if possible. I've thought about getting VMP, but wasnt' sure if I could justify another program since Corel does so much already. I have the VMP demo, but still haven't really got into it yet (time as usual). Any opinions?

    Don't worry about the planes, the bubble-gum and bailing wire is MORE than adequate...trust me.
     
  6. idsign

    idsign Member

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    Apr 11, 2003
    Chris,

    Glad you have a sense of humor. What's today's inflight movie? :biggrin:

    Corel in itself does not automatically generate individual uniform thumbnails like Photoshop (unless I am missing something). But what I noticed Corel can do is:

    Say you have a CorelDraw 'letter' size page layout, multi-page even. That is a good reference size use for Acrobat with regard to screen resolution.

    Then you can take a whole slew of bitmap and vector images in one folder - example - .cdr, .cmx, .bmp, .gif, .tif, .pcx, .jpg, .ai., .eps... select all of the muts at once!

    in the import mode, HIGHLIGHT ALL THE ONES YOU WANT TO FIT ON THAT PAGE
    and click on IMPORT. A the cursor turns into a tool that looks like a old time photo corner. Just position cursor / photo corner - click and drag to size and you have imported one image - cross platform bitmaps and vector.

    Repeat process until all the files you have highlighted are visible. What that means is that you only have to open the IMPORT diaglogue box ONCE! And Corel automates the import function for 1-20 (plenty more?) files. Resize them, reposition them, label them, frame them - whatever...and then FILE / PUBLISH TO PDF. Man that is simple and fast!

    So without a bunch of cumbersome steps, open, select, click, reopen., blah, blah, blah...
    you can create a multi page PDF catalog with cross platform file formats.
    All you really have to do is set-up your creative and colorful page template and for simplicity put all the files you want in the catalog folders before importing.

    When you publish it to PDF, it automatically sizes your images to high quality thumbnails on that page. Most prospects / viewers are not savvy enough to extract images from PDF so they are fairly secure from theft and misuse.

    It might be better to sort the files to be imported into category folders and import in order of folder content. That way there is no need to cut and paste a truck job out of the page you were displaying banner work in.

    So with a little organization of your images before importing, a multiple page Corel document is a simple and labor saving way to publish a PDF catalog.

    THUMBNAILS -
    Photoshop function of: FILE / AUTOMATE / WEB PHOTO GALLERY will create a file folder full of thumbnails with just a couple clicks. That said, I could have hundreds of bitmaps: an example is one might be 1200 x 650 pixels at 4 x 2 at 600 dpi in a folder with a bitmap 400 x 541 at 120 dpi. I SELECT ALL(.eps and .ai, too) for the PHOTO GALLERY, chose the source and destination folders, click and I can walk away while it generates thumbnails of uniform size and resolution (I didn't even read a manual to figure that out...hehehe)

    GTG, hope that helps. Jump in on this thread anyone.
    Lets all save time & cash to earn more more profitable jobs in one simple (software) operation.

    Barry

    quick and dirty PDF sample from corel - took 30 seconds
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Barry, Illustrator 10 opens a Corel CDR flawlessly.


    As to Photoshop catalogs vs. Portfolio, I think you're missing the point. Portfolio is a visual database. It not only creates thumbnails, it also stores searching information for finding images across any organized galleries you might create as well. If I want to see every image I have of a tree, I just Control +F to open Find and type in "tree". I then am searching among more than a dozen collections I have cataloged and within every category in those collections. The result will pull from categories of plant life along with Christmas trees from holiday categories etc. Double click the thumb and you're looking at a full screen version. Right click and click on Edit to open the file in Illustrator.

    So in seconds, with a client present, I can show and select the graphic for a sign, price it and close the sale. That, to me, is worth the price of admission.

    Chris, I still am using Portfolio 4.0 so I don't know if the latest version will work with a Corel CDR, but 4.0 flawlessly creates thumbs for AI, EPS and Corel CMX files.
     
  8. idsign

    idsign Member

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    Apr 11, 2003
    Fred,

    Your reply illustrates what makes a forum great and a thread immensely valuable. I post what I know, you add to it, critique it and pretty soon it is virtually a complete primer on the topic!

    Glad to know Adobe is not shunning Corel anymore.

    With you being a creator / distributor of art files, I agree 110% that you need a powerful databasing software for images. Oh and I am with ya that when we need the right image, we need it right now. Every minute lost could be a dollar (approx.) not earned.

    Nice reply - especially the part -the most important part - about CLOSING THE SALE.
    Amen, brother. I scream inside when I know that the selling price is remaining a constant while the sales cost goes up, up, up with extra time selling, proofing and making customer requested changes. Most customers think we cannot raise our price when they create undue extra effort for us.

    Look for my thread in the near future about customer wasting my time when wanting perfect PMS color match in paint and vinyl and doesn't feel they ought to pay extra!

    Barry

    AWESOME SITE! Fred. The link to vbulletin.com is especially helpful. Nice software to integrate in our music booster's and church's websites.
     
  9. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Thanks for the very nice post.

    I would point out here though that we use our Portfolio database for our sign business. We don't use it at all for our clipart publishing. What we're all faced with these days is too many choices. Thousands of fonts, tens of thousands of vinyl ready clipart images, and millions of print ready clipart images/stock photography.

    I use Typograf for the fonts, Portfolio for the vinyl-ready clipart and mostly use a subscription to Clipart.com for additional clipart needs. It's a competitive world and unless you're like OP and wanting to create everything from scratch, you need to be able to deal with fonts and art requirements efficiently. Otherwise you spend half a day gathering resources for a $200 job. You won't prosper in that kind of environment.
     
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