Added images changed orientation when using RM8’s Drop New Media window

I attached some images this morning and from some reason most rotated from portrait to landscape when adding via RM8’s Drop New Media window. This was on my laptop.

The images in the media folder are in the right orientation and when dragged into the Drop New Media window dropped in they are in the correct orientation. When they then appear in the person’s media window the image is sideways.

In parallel I added the same media at the same time on my iMac using the Leister Reunion App. No problems there.

Anyone have any idea of what went wrong? Is there a way to fix this.

I do recall somebody having this problem with adding media, I think it was in RM7 and they were getting a rotation. As far as I remember it was something embedded in the image’s metadata.

Thanks Terry.

Any idea how to correct this? As I said it was not a problem with my Reunion App on my iMac. If I click on it in my Media Folder on my Windows Laptop it always comes up in the correct orientation. Roots Magic seems to be the culprit causing this.

Not really. Maybe somebody with more experience of delving into the metadata will have an answer. If it happened to me I would open it in my photo editing software do a couple of rotation changes saving it each time. Get it back to where you want it, save and re-attach to RM after deleting the old thumbnail in Media. May not be the technical answer but I always experiment a bit to see if I can find a resolution. If that doesn’t work wait on the expert!

I suspect that the images really are rotated if you just look at the pixels. I further suspect that there is metadata stored with the image that describes the orientation so that image software can rotate automatically to correct for the initial camera orientation. If you are seeing the images outside of RM with software that makes such automatic corrections, you may not realize that the images are really rotated.

Some image software supports the orientation metadata and rotates automatically. Some image software does not. I don’t know if RM8’s image viewer process the metadata for the orientation or not, but it sounds like it does not. If not, then you would need to use some sort of image editor from outside of RM to rotate the images. It would probably be helpful to get input from the RM HelpDesk on this issue before embarking on a massive project to rotate all your images.

Here is some further technical detail. JPG files can have metadata called EXIF data and IPTC data. If a JPG file does have orientation metadata, it will be stored in the EXIF data and it will be called the EXIF Orientation Tag. The Orientation Tag can have one of 8 different values, so it’s more than just rotated or not. It can be rotated by 0 degrees (unrotated), 90 degrees, 180 degrees, or 270 degrees (same as -90 degrees). Any of the four rotations can also be mirror imaged or not, which gets you to 8 different values for the EXIF Orientation Tag.

I use Irfanview as my primary image viewer. It is widely used and is free. From inside Irfanview, you can see the EXIF data by clicking Image => Information => EXIF Info. Not all JPG files have the EXIF Info. If not, the EXIF Info button will not appear. And not all EXIF metadata includes all the same data fields. If the EXIF Orientation Tag exists, Irfanview will display it as Orientation. If it is not rotated and not mirrored, Irfanview will say Top Left rather than Not Rotated or 0 Degrees or anything like that. If it says anything else other than Top Left, then the image is either rotated or mirrored or both.

If there is no EXIF metadata, or if there is EXIF metadata and no EXIF Orientation Tag, then the JPG is what it is. There will be no automatic rotation and every image software should display it the same way. If it’s rotated, then every image software will show it as rotated and you will never be fooled.

I just checked one of my photos that appears landscape in RM8. I took it portrait orientation on my phone. The width pixels in the metadata are less than the height pixels, I don’t see any other orientation for landscape or portrait in the metadata. In any case, that metadata does not appear to be editable in Windows 10 “Properties” “Details”

I think you have to have some sort of good image editor to be able see the EXIF data.

Based on your information, I downloaded Irfanview and found the EXIF on the picture that displays upside down. It is labeled as Bottom Right. My question is… can it be fixed so it displays properly in RM8?
You always seem to provide great information. Thank you.

I tried drag and drop on a jpg and a png into a RM8 fact and got no odd rotation on my mac in the person or media folder. However, RM8 failed to delete the media from the media folder when deleted from the person. Also deletion took several attempts to get it to actually happen. RM8 does not work well with even image media on mac.

Open your images in Preview and click on Tools Inspector to see Exif and other information about the image.

And those of us that use a single media folder for many different programs do appreciate this fact. Or even those of us that mistakenly connect Uncle George’s picture to Uncle Fred, and have to later delete it from Uncle George and attach it to Uncle Fred…

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You must have iron discipline not to mess this up. I am using separate folders for my real data in FTM and to test RM8 so buggy or user disasters have no lasting impact.

Just curious about what programs you find it useful to work on the same media?

I maintain copies of my genealogy data in RM7, RM8, Legacy 9, FTM2017, FTM 2019 and Family Historian 7. I use Irfanview and Paintshop Pro to tweak and edit various images, many of which are used by the aforementioned genealogy programs. Some of the images are being used in Microsoft Publisher and other projects of that ilk.

I will probably move the FTM Projects along to FTM2019 in the near future and assuming that I do, that means I would need to maintain no less than 5 media folders just for genealogical purposes and of that media, probably 80% of it is in use by all of the genealogy programs. That is a lot of duplication of media. I have thousands of images that need some tweaking, downloaded census images that need to be sharpened, images records from courthouse visits that need to be trimmed, images of newspaper pages that were downloaded whole and which I need to trim down to the specific obit or article…That means quite often when I work with an image, I would need to copy it all of those media folders. This way, I change the image once, and assuming I don’t rename the file or move it, it will be changed for all uses.

I also never make database backups with images in the programs that allow it. I simply backup the media folder at least once a day and backup the database on an as needed basis.

This has mostly been my workflow for the better part of the last 20 years. Haven’t had a catastrophe yet.

It did not fail. That’s by design. Media files exist on their own, independently of RM. All RM does is make a record of a media file’s name and location and assign a MediaID when the item is added to the RM Gallery. When the item is tagged to a person, fact et al, a record is made that associates the MediaID with the respective person, fact et al. Deletion (removal) merely deletes these records in the database.

Why on earth would you want it to do that? My media folders are not only used by RM.

Bottom right for the orientation flag means that there is a virtual rotation of 180 degrees. It’s a very quaint and odd way that JPG files say that they have a virtual rotation of 180 degrees, but that’s the way it works.

When there is no virtual rotation, the top left corner is displayed in the top left. When there is a 90 degree clockwise virtual rotation, the top left corner is displayed in the top right. When there is a 180 degree clockwise virtual rotation, the top left corner is displayed in the bottom right. When there is a 270 degree clockwise virtual rotation, the top left corner is displayed in the bottom left. And that’s the way the orientation flag is described.

I sometimes think this way of describing the virtual rotations is not just quaint but is awkward, and I wish the rotation flag would just say 0 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, or 270 degrees. I suspect that the orientation flag is displayed the way it is because the flag actually has eight different values rather than just four. The other four values are the result of the fact that an image can also be virtually reflected in addition to being virtually rotated, like a mirror image reflection.

I don’t think Irfanview has a way to turn off or change the orientation flag. I think it can only display the flag. What you need is a tool that will turn off all the orientation flags in bulk - for every JPG file in a given folder. Such tools exist, but I have no experience with them. Even after running such a tool, there may remain some JPG files that have actual rotations you need to get rid of rather than virtual rotations specified by the orientation flag. You can fix these one file at a time by rotating the file with an image viewer and resaving the file. The trouble with this approach is that saving a JPG file is a lossy operation and will degrade the quality of your images slightly. What you need is a tool that will do what is called a lossless rotation of a JPG file. Again, such tools exist but I have no experience with any of them.

Thank you. I have rotated the images but, in RM8, they always show what I assume is the original rotation. I’ll see if I can find a lossless rotation tool.

I found 2 jpg lossless rotator tools. Malwarebytes stopped the first ( from getting installed. The other installed easily ( JPEG Lossless Rotator) and worked easily. I fixed 2 images and they now have proper orientation in RM8. Again, thank you for your great information. Always helpful.

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Well you can dump RM7 for 8 in perhaps a year and FTM 2017 for 19 now but I see why you use one folder.

Ancestry has a nice documents download feature in the Tools menu which results in one PDF file containing the document, any transcript and the source citation.
Preview (adobe reader on steroids) lets me crop and rotate images. If they are tilted or need enhancing then I pull them into Photos which has good auto edit features and then export them back out for my FTM 2019 media folder.

Have you tried the free FTAnalyzer? It uses a gedcom to find errors and other issues that you can then fix in your source database. The mac version is a partial port from the more powerful windows version.

I checked FTM and it too does not modify the Finder…Win Explorer level media files when you delete them from the database. Probably a good design choice.

No, I can’t. I have no intention of using RM8 for any reason other than TreeSharing if TreeShare in RM7 stops working. I don’t actually TreeShare anything other than the whole file. 4 times a year, I delete my Ancestry tree and TreeShare up another. I don’t do updates like many people.

Yes, I do use FTAnalyzer and have off and on for several years.

So, does all this mean that RM8 will not allow editing of an added media item to rotate it to the view it should be? RM7 does this so why doesn’t (apparently) RM8 or have I missed something? Vital records in the UK are landscape but they scan as portrait on an A4 paper size scanner. When saved into Pictures in Windows 10 I rotate them to landscape and that’s how they are filed. When put in to Roots they go in as originally scanned as portrait (presumably) for the reasons mention above. If these cannot be rotated in RM8 then RM8 is no good to me at all; back to RM7. Is this the end result?
Is it correct that media items can only be added by drag & drop?
Thanks for any help/comment or otherwise that would assist me.