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in Censhare

This is a fairly detailed guide to importing and editing visual media (photos and graphics) in Censhare. The basics are covered in the video below. For more information, use the headers at the top of the page to skip to specific topics. If you have any questions or suggestions for the improvement of this guide, don't hesitate to contact us.

Importing Images into Censhare

You can import one or more images into Censhare by selecting the image or group of images and dragging and dropping it onto the destination asset (every file in Censhare is called an asset). If you import one image, you will get a pop-up like this:

If you choose “New”, Censhare will create a new asset attached to the destination asset. This is the option you will use almost all of the time.

If you choose “Replace”, Censhare will replace the destination asset with the new image. This means that the old asset will be replaced everywhere it is being used (print layouts,, etc.). Are you sure you want to do that? You should only use this option if you really know what you’re doing.

If you choose “Cancel”, well, you get it.

If you import multiple images, you will get this pop-up:

All you have to do here is click the arrow icon on the left. You won’t need the other icons. Depending on how big or how many images you're uploading, you may have to wait a little while for Censhare to complete the upload.

Whether you’re importing one or more images, you’ll get another pop-up next: the metadata window, which brings us to the next section:


Entering metadata and keeping it up to date is the most important part of working with photos in Censhare, because:

  • The metadata is how everyone who uses Censhare knows what the subject of the media is, who made it, whether it's up-to-date, edited, or approved for publication, and perhaps most importantly, if we are legally allowed to use the media and under what conditions.
  • The Mediabox and Censhare searches and filters rely on the metadata and function only as well as the metadata is entered.
  • Enter the metadata so that a colleague who finds the asset 10 years after you're gone will understand exactly what they're allowed to do with the media.
  • Like everything in Censhare, Metadata should be entered in English in order to be useful for all users.

Whoever imports or edits images in Censhare is responsible for entering the metadata.

The metadata window:

...looks like this for one Asset
…and like this for multiple assets.

The basic functions are the same, the only difference is that with the mulitple asset window, you can edit the metadata for multiple files at once by selecting mulitple files on the left (marked blue in the image). This is handy if the metadata for all the assets needs to be the same, but you should be careful if each asset requires different metadata. By selecting each asset individually, you can edit the metadata one by one. For example, you could select each asset indivudually and give it its own name. Then you could select them all and edit the other metadata which might be the same for all assets.

When you’re done, press OK. If you make a mistake, you can press Cancel and start over.

Let’s take a closer look at the metadata window. The entries are the same whether you are in the single asset or multiple asset window. In the image below, you can see which metadata is required.

Name: a good name ensures that an asset will be searchable and findable in Censhare. Think about how a colleague might search for the image in the future. A name like "Vitra-279" says nothing about the subject of the image. Give assets useful, logical names, like "Lounge Chair with Ottoman, Akari 10A, Nuage" or "Vitra Design Museum - Hello Robot Exhibition".

Description (optional): if you have additional useful information about an image you can enter it here.

Mediabox filter: at least one selection from one of the six boxes must be made or the media will not appear in the mediabox. When you click on a mediabox filter window, a pop up like this one will open:

Open the relevant dropdowns and select the applicable categories for each image or group of images. Multiple selections from multiple windows are possible. The more applicable selections made, the better the mediabox filter will work. Take a few minutes sometime to look through all the various options so you will know which categories are the most relevant to the images you upload and use. If you think a relevant category tag is missing, let us know and we'll see about adding it to the list.

Creation date: is the date the image was created, not the date the image is imported into Censhare (the import date is recorded by Censhare automatically). For new photos, this is the date of the photo shoot. For historical photos, this is the date the photo was made. If the exact date is unknown, just enter January 1st and the year.

Creator: is the name of the person who created the original image, such as the photographer or the graphic designer.

Copyright owner: is the legal holder of the copyright. Depending on the agreement made between the image creator and Vitra, this could be Vitra, the photographer, the designer, etc.

Copyright state: is the legal status of the image according to the copyright agreement.

  • Green = free use.
  • Yellow = limited use.
  • Red = no use.
Compare to “Content State” which is the status of the image according to Vitra. (see below)

Allowed usage: indicates how and by whom the image may be used in relation to the copyright state. Select the most appropriate terms of use from the dropdown menu.

Copyright notice (required for Copyright state yellow or red) – explains why the image is marked yellow or red. This details a limit on the copyright or any special exceptions related to the copyright. For example: “Use only allowed for Home Stories supplement.”

Copyright contact: is the name and email address of the person who can answer questions about the copyrights.

Content state: is the status of the image according to Vitra. This indicates whether the image is approved for use by the project manager or product manager.

  • Green = free use.
  • Yellow = limited use.
  • Red = no use.
Compare to “Copyright state” which is the legal status of the image according the copyright owner. (see above)

Content notice (required for Content state yellow or red) – explains why the image is marked yellow or red. This details any practical limits or special exceptions related to the use of the image, for example “product no longer available”, “color not yet available”, “in editing”, “no use before Orgatec”, etc…

Note: An image may have Copyright state green (OK to use according to the copyright agreement) but Content state red (not OK to use according to the Product Manager or Project Manager).

If either Copyright state OR Content state are red, we are not allowed to use the image.

Channels (optional): if you want to publish the image in the mediabox immediately and you know which channels are appropriate, you can set them here.

Creating Variants

Underlying principle: Original images should never be edited and should remain in their original condition. Only variants (versions) should be changed or edited. Sometimes, however, the original image doesn’t work for a particular application. Some common examples are:

  • Image needs editing, retouching, color balance correction, brightening, etc.
  • Image is in the wrong file format – Tiff for print, Jpeg for online
  • Image needs to be cropped to fit

What to do? Create a variant!

Whenever an image needs to be changed, a variant should be created, which then can be edited. This way, we always retain the original image in our system, as received from the image creator.

How to create a variant (the right way):

1. Right click on the original image in Censhare
2. Variants > Create variant with update flag, like such:

A pop-up opens - notice that all of the metadata is automatically taken over from the original image:

3. Update Metadata:

  • Name: replace the “ V”with the appropriate suffix for the new variant. Here are some common suffixes for variants:
    _F – “Freisteller” - Cut out without shadows.
    _FS – “Freisteller Schatten” - Cut out with shadows.
    _web_16-9 – web image with 16:9 aspect ratio. Replaces web_parallax, web_inspiration, web_reference.
    _web_4-3 – web image with 4:3 aspect ratio. Replaces web_teaser, web_filter.
    _web_5-2 – web image with 5:2 aspect ratio. Often a family hero or a key visual image.
    _web_navi – web image with 265:208 aspect ratio. Only for use in the navigation drop-down.
    _web_sub_filter – web image with 4:3 aspect ratio. Always a variant of _F - cut out without shadows. Only for use as a subfamily filter image.
    _web_sub_hero – web image with no predefined aspect ratio. Either a variant of _FS - cut out with shadows, or of an In Situ image. Only for use as a subfamily hero image.
    _web – web image which doesn’t fit into any of the other categories.

  • Mediabox filter: update or add new categories, corresponding to the new variant suffix.
  • Workflow, Workflow target, Annotation: delete irrelevant or outdated entries.
  • Domain: check and update the domain, if necessary. Any media with a "_web*" tag is for use only (Domain: Root > Vitra AG > and should never have mediabox channels.
  • Channels: remove all unnecessary channels (especially mediabox channels).
  • Click OK – the new Variant has been created under the original image.

Done! Now the new variant (not the original!) can be edited to suit your application. See "Editing Images" below.

Multiple variants: if multiple versions are needed, for example for different aspect ratios, then a new variant must be created for each version. Multiple variants are often found under an original image for this reason.

Example of proper Censhare structure for images: multiple variants under original image, also variants of variants

Images should be connected to each other with “Variant with update flag” ONLY. The other relation types have specific functions and are used to connect images to other types of assets, like Product Families or widgets. Here are some common relation types and their uses:

 - Assignment: used to connect assets to each other, often with no active function. When in doubt, default to the assignment relation.
 - Picture: used to connect images to FAMs or SUBs and in some cases to connect images to widgets.
 - Planning: used to connect widgets to pages and in some cases to connect images to widgets.
 - Variant with update flag: used to connect variants with original images or variants with variants (variant of variant). This is the "right" way to connect images to other images.
 - Variant without update flag: not in use.
 - Web picture: used to connect:
  - one SUB filter image to each SUB or
  - one SUB hero image to each Product Page or
  - one FAM hero image to each FAM page
  Additional versions of filter or hero images shold be connected to the appropriate parent asset with the "Picture" relation.

That's great, but why should I do it this way?

These are the advantages of using this method to create variants:

  • The original remains original.
  • All essential metadata (copyright info, content state) is automatically copied from the original into the variant metadata.
  • The variant is always attached to the original with the correct relation (Variant with update flag).
  • The Censhare structure is automatically correct.
  • This avoids the confusion which arises when multiple versions of the same image have different or conflicting metadata, as well as the extra work required to correct these errors over multiple (often hundreds of) variants.

Editing Images

Once you’ve created a new variant in Censhare, you can edit it to fit your application. Here’s how to do it:

1. Open the asset to edit (the variant, not the original):

  • Double click on the image, or select the image or multiple images and
     - Ctrl+Shift+O or
     - Right click > Edit or
     - Click the pencil icon at the top left in Censhare

  • You may receive a pop-up asking for a local folder to save the image in. You can just click OK. This message only appears the first time you edit an asset from Censhare in another program.

  • The image opens in Photoshop.* You will see that a green check mark appears in Censhare beside the image. This means that you have checked the asset out for editing. Everyone else sees a red check mark which means they are locked out from editing the image as long as you have it open.

    * If the image doesn't open in Photoshop, then you'll need to set Photoshop as the default image editing program on your computer. Select any image on your computer (not in Censhare) > right click > Open with > Choose default program... > select Photoshop, checkmark "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file" > OK. You will need to do this for each file type (Jpeg, Tiff, etc.).

2. Edit the image in Photoshop. Some things to think about while you’re editing:

  • Images for use on the internet should be jpeg and color space sRGB.
  • You can also reduce the size of images which will be used on the internet. 3000 pixels on the longest side is plenty big for any internet application and reduces file space in Censhare.

3. Save the image in Photoshop.

  • If the image is already in the correct file format (Jpeg), just use "Save" and not "Save as".
  • If you need to convert the file format (e.g. Tiff to Jpeg), first make sure your color profile is RGB and not CMYK, then use "Save as". Change the filetype to Jpeg and checkmark "ICC profile: sRGB...", then click Save.
The image is saved into the same temporary local folder as it came from. If you choose “Save as” and save the image somewhere else, Censhare will not be able to find the image and you will not be able to check it back in.

4. Check the image back in to Censhare, like this:

Don’t forget this step or your changes will not be saved in Censhare! Select the image(s) you have just edited in Censhare and click the diskette icon with the little x (Save and close) at the top left in Censhare. The image is checked back into Censhare with your changes.

If you decide you want to cancel your edit or you do not want to save your changes, select the image(s) in Censhare and click the “X” (Cancel - Close without saving) at the top left in Censhare. The image is checked back into Censhare without saving changes.

Whenever you check an asset out of Censhare, ALWAYS remember to check it back in, even if you don't change it, otherwise no one else can edit the asset.

As you have read, there are lots of little details to remember. None of them are difficult, but it's quite a bit to take in at once. If you take the time to learn them, they will become automatic and using Censhare will be much more efficient and pleasant for you and your colleagues. Even if you only need an image once and don't care if you can ever find it again, please take a few extra minutes to properly enter metadata in Censhare for the sake of your colleagues, who may want or need to use the image in the future. A few minutes of consideration really can save hours of work later!

Image: Architypist2 via Wikimedia Commons