At last I'm ready to start the file renaming project within Observatory.
I have purchased a Solid State 4TB drive which should hold me for a while.
I've been looking around for more details on doing the file naming for Observatory but very little is out there for this. I couldn't even find a YouTube related to this software. Within the Code Obsession forum I am seeing different members within this thread who have posted in how the software is great, but fails in one specific area. I'm not looking to do stacking within the software, I'm going to be doing this from a pure observational organization stand point. I may be interested in some of the plate solving capabilities.
I'm trying to determine the best organizational structure for the least headaches down the road.
Within the software documentation it sounds as if they recommend an approach similar to DJL's approach. They would be using date as the primary sorting criteria, using a year, month, day format. This would make for easy sorting.
I keep my Astrophotography on an external drive.
Top level folders for Finished, working, originals. Finished photos get converted to jpeg and added to Mac Photos.
Inside Originals and Finished, folders like so (a snippet of my campaign to capture the Spaghetti Nebula):
--- 2021-01-03 - SH2-240 L-extreme
--- 2021-01-05 - Flats <gain> <time> <filter>
--- 2020-01-07 - SH2-240 RGB
When I decide to process a particular tarkget, I assemble all the files in one folder in Working folder structure. This means I am never editing in the Originals folder - avoiding changing any files as well as clogging it up with intermediate processing files. In the folder for the target, I stage the files into folders by session and filter and calibration file type flats, darks etc. If using Siril I would use Siril's naming convention.
This makes it easier to import multi-session multi-channel captures into AstroPixel Processor.
Their approach appears to differ somewhat as within the documentation they seem to suggest multiple libraries where there are different stages of images. They suggest libraries of Original, Pre-process, Complete and Temporary. I believe that DJL's method is to keep completed photos at the top level of each folder.
I would have the tendency to separate my stages similar to the software documentation. In my case I would have the originals, APP and then StarTools.
There is one thing that is a little perplexing to me; in both the Observatory documentation and DJL's library structure the main headings are by year, and it is not by subject.
My tendency would be giving a subject name as a heading in different areas. Perhaps this doesn't sort well in Observatory though. What I have been doing is something like this:
Astro Pixel Processor
So as you can see my subjects would be both the stage of processing of the images as well as the subject name of what I imaged. To be even more complicated I have 3 different setups which have varying apertures and focal lengths. I left this out of my above sorting as it would have tripled the amount of folder names.
I am getting the idea that what I have been doing wouldn't fly well within the Observatory structure as Observatory might want to divide things up in it's own way, and it flat out might not be very sortable the way I have been doing this.
I still would have to say that if I was to imagine how I would want to see things sorted, each would seem to be better organized in a separate library;
Originals: I would like to be able to sort through the originals image by image within each evening session so I could throw out the bad images and make sure that the settings match correctly.
Astro Pixel Processor: I would like to retain all of the calibration masters as well as the finished integrated FITS image. This would help if I had future projects to perhaps add more images to stack or just searching for the completed FITS to reprocess in StarTools.
StarTools: Here I would like to retain the finished images for viewing in the catalog.
It appears that to make this work correctly I will need to start my folder name by date and follow it by the image target name. Just like DJL showed in his folder structure. I would want to have the folder structure not separate by target and just sort by date.
As far as separating by my separate setups I would want to either have a text file inside the folder describe this and or do some tagging to the images so I could perhaps view my images sorted by aperture size.
I am seeing that batch editing image tags is possible and the Observatory documentation does recommend this at one point.
As far as text files, for some reason the Observatory documentation recommends simple .txt type files and not word or excel type documents. I would have no problem in doing this. It would be nice however to make a master template that could be edited by category for each session instead of making one from scratch each imaging session.
Perhaps I am making this more complicated than what it actually is, but it does appear that getting the structure correct in the 1st place will save some headaches later. I do wish there were more YouTubes or even simple tutorials on this software.
I'll feedback once I get this project underway.