Lightroom: The "Creator" field in metadata is truncated to 32 characters on export, also doesn't accept commas

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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I have set up an Import metadata scheme to be applied to incoming Nikon RAW images, for an office with several photographers. The "Creator" field has a string that is 50+ characters long, including a comma, ex. "Very Long Company Name, Office of Photography". These fields are needed for a digital asset management system that's on the horizon for our office, to distinguish proprietary assets from customer assets. I have no problem entering into the fields what I need. The problems arise when I export to JPG.

On export, the value with the comma is reduced to just the second part of the string, ex. "Office of Photography". If I take out the comma, the Creator value is cut off after the 32nd character total (including spaces), ex. "Very Long Company Name Office of".

I don't see any setting that look like they can change any of these actions. Any help is much appreciated.
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Eric Connolly

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Posted 6 years ago

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Rob Cole

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I could add a "preserve Creator field" option to Exportant, if you'd use it.

What it would do is read the creator field, prior to export, which is presumably intact, then use exiftool to bootstrap it back into the exporting file, before passing it along...

One thing I would want to be sure of though is whether Adobe did it on purpose - I haven't checked the exif-spec for this field - have you?

I understand, even if it stretches the spec a tad, you may still want to do it, if all software in the loop is on the same page - as I said: I dunno...

R
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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My understanding of what you're observing:

The Creator field in the Lightroom metadata panel gets stored in several metadata fields in the image: EXIF:Artist, XMP:Creator, IPTC:By-line. The first two fields don't have a maximum length, but IPTC:By-line has a maximum length of 32 bytes. If you enter a field in LR longer than 32, LR will truncate IPTC:By-line to 32 but the other two fields won't be truncated.

The IPTC standard allows for mulitple instances of the By-line field (each limited to a maximum of 32 bytes). The LR metadata panel interprets comma as a separator for entering multiple By-line values.

I don't know what tool you're using to examine the metadata of exported images, but when I use Exiftool to examine the metadata of an exported file, I see that a value of "Very Long Company Name, Office of Photography" entered into the LR metadata panel gets stored as to values in the IPTC:By-line field, "Very Long Company Name" and "Office of Photography".
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Eric Connolly

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Thanks for the responses. I'm using Photo Mechanic to check. I just checked in Bridge and the entire string show up either way. I might get in touch with them. When it cuts off at 32 characters, I can still add more in their program, but it's not reading the whole string output by Lightroom.
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Rob Cole

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What is "the digital asset management program on the horizon"?

I mean, if we assume Lr won't be changing anytime soon, you'll either need to alter the dam system, or intervene in Lr's exports, or of course stick to 32bytes no commas.

Or maybe there's something else I/we haven't thought of (?)

Does it have to be "Creator" field? - on obvious option is to bastardize some other IPTC field - are you using both caption & headline already? (there are plugins that can transfer metadata from one IPTC field to another).

R
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Kaffeesegler

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It's very strange that LR does always copy the "Creator" to the "Artist" field
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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This behavior is defined by a standard developed by Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, and others -- Guidelines for Handling Image Data, Version 2. Among other things, this standard tries to unify the usage of the overlapping EXIF, XMP, and IPTC standards, which have different fields for storing the same values (e.g. EXIF:Artist, XMP:Creator, and IPTC:By-line).