Creating Image Previews In Aperture

by Scott Bourne


One of the first things Aperture 1.5 users will have to decide is whether or not they want to use the new image previews. These are not required if you don't plan to do offline library management, if you don't want to make slide shows, if you don't want drag and drop jpeg support and if you don't care about sharing images with iLife and iWork.

Beware that creating previews takes time. If you automatically create previews for all your new images, you'll certainly spend some time waiting before you can access a large group of photos that you're importing. I turned off the automatic previews, deciding that I will apply this feature selectively after I have made my pics.


2006-11-22 11:15:01
I'm still not sure exactly what the image preview is for. Is this what is being displayed in the aperture window when they're in thumbnail view?

2006-11-22 12:34:29
The previews are displayed when the master image is offline. For instance, if you keep your library on a laptop, but most of the masters are stored as references to an external drive, then you can use previews to view the images when the external drive is not connected.
Allen Rockwell
2006-11-22 14:05:27
In addition to the previous poster...

... Also previews are used by the iLife and iWork apps, they are used for Drag-And-Drop operations out of Aperture, and they are also used to display the image in Aperture while the RAW file (if it's a RAW) is being decoded.

2006-11-23 06:43:23
How large do these previews get? Do they have rasonable quality to view them full screen, say in a slideshow? I want to manage my library using my macbook, but macbook hard disk space is precious. If I could save my masters elsewhere and still be able to watch all my picures in good quality full screen, then the previews are exactly what I want... so how's their quality? fair enough for fullscreen? and just out of curiosity... are those previews JPEGs?
Allen Rockwell
2006-11-23 12:27:16
Look under the Aperture menu a the Preferences options. You can select both size and quality of the previews. And, yes, they are JPGs.
I have mine set to "fit within 1280x1280" pixels and quality "10" ... and they look great full screen on my cinema display.
Roy Levien
2006-11-23 20:33:55
This is good advice. Previews provide very little if any benefit within Aperture for images with accessible masters.

On any reasonably fast machine, previews provide scant improvement over simply waiting for an image to be rendered from the master. You can safely leave previews off and generate them as needed for (1) making selected images available to iLife/iWork, screen savers, etc., (2) preparing referenced masters that you plan to take off line for viewing, or (3) avoiding the delay at the start of a slideshow.

2006-11-24 00:06:16
Thanks. So by default, Aperture displays image previews instead of the master. What happens if I touch any of the image adjustments while a preview is on display. Will it switch over to the master before applying the adjustments, or will I have to evaluate the adjustments with the lower quality preview?
2006-11-24 00:06:59
oh and while I am at it... if you have masters that are not RAW but already JPEG, will it still create another JPEG preview on top of this?