Students vertically oriented iPhone pictures are sideways in discussion forum posts. Anyone know why and how to fix?
Can't wait for some super smart techie to answer this question!!!
Hey Canvas Mobile Users Group! Does anybody have insight they could share? I'd chime in, but I do not have an iPhone...
Hi, Sterling Worrell! Just to clarify, how are students posting the images in the discussion board? Are they posting existing photos from their camera roll? Or are they taking new photos and posting them?
I just tested this both ways, and had my screen rotation locked in portrait mode to ensure my camera would not rotate by human error (even as a professional photographer and someone who shoots with my phone a lot this happens more than I care to admit), and I was unfortunately unable to replicate the issue on my end.
If you let us know exactly how the students are posting their photos, we can help out with this a bit more and maybe someone can replicate on their end.
Hi, Thanks for the reply. The students have been taking pictures (portrait orientation) on their phones then uploading them to GDrive, emailing, etc up to their Macbook Airs. When they embed the pictures into the discussion forums (different laptop browsers), they are sideways (in several cases upside down). I hear others are experiencing this also so its not just a thing for my students.
I am asking my students to explain the workflow they used i the hopes that this might help to problem solve this. Hopefully they take the time to reply:)
I teach photography so we certainly can't be looking at sideways and upside down images.
That should help, Sterling Worrell. Is there any reason you are having your students bypass the Canvas App? With the app, they can access the discussion threads and post their pictures there as opposed to going through the multi-step process to get to Canvas on their laptops.
We can't use the app as it strips the camera metadata from the picture files (unless this problem has been solved by the developer).
Apple apps often change pictures by applying their own filter. That means the original image remains untouched but any apple app that open it will read the filters and affect the picture the same way. But when you open that image in a non-apple app, the app doesn't have the filters and displays only the original image. Students wouldn't know the image is unturned if they didn't open it in a non-Apple app.
I've had similar problems scanning docs into PDFs, rotating with Apple preview, only to realize later the the PDFs are still sideways. I have to use a non-Apple app to rotate them.
That at being said, your best bet is something along the lines of what Kenneth Rogers said, having students lock the phone rotation.
Hi Sterling Worrell...
I'll add my $0.02 here. Earlier this year, a similar question came up: Image rotation. I'm not sure if that particular topic will help at all, but it might be worth reading through.
It's def not an iPhone rotation lock issue. I had my students upload to a test discussion and it didn't matter... still sideways and upside down.
The problem happens when the students upload the iPhone pictures by way of their laptop. Most of the students do the all too common email/text stuff to themselves routine and this is when the image rotation information gets confused. This rotation problem does not happen when the images are posted via the Canvas app.
Problem is I teach visual art/photography and image metadata is important for teaching/learning so we can't use the app as it strips the metadata off of image files.
Sterling Worrell You said "When they embed the pictures into the discussion forums" - so, when they FIRST put the picture in the discussion post it is already rotated? Or it looks correct until they submit? (I don't have a solution for you, I'm just wanting to help nail this one down!)
I'd say there are two feature requests here that you may want to submit. 1) To stop stripping meta data when submitting photos through the app. There are more reasons to include this info than a K-12 fine arts program wanting to upload photos taken from their device. 2) Image rotation within the RCE. 99% of the time the image is correct, until Canvas rotates the image for you
As soon as you upload it to "My Files" it rotates it and shows with the incorrect orientation.
This inserted iPhone image is sideways in Canvas (funny not here in Jive).
Ok Sterling Worrell...this one is really bothering me! I've gone through multiple tests to work through this and so far I have 1) replicated it and 2) confused myself even more. With my post, I am hoping that individuals that are significantly smarter than me can weigh in, because the work around I have is annoying. So, with this info, and Don Bryn's post above, hopefully we can figure something awesome out.
Tech info:iOS 6s Plus running 10.0.1
Windows 8 running Office 2013
Chrome version something updated
Dropbox on iPhone and Desktop
What I've done:
So, it appears as if the only work around I've discovered is to have it saved to your machine and rotate it with an application on your computer (assuming you have the issue before you get to Canvas). Like I said above, Don Bryn is on to something I'd say, especially because my issue isn't that Canvas is rotating the image, but my image rotation is starting before I hit Canvas.
Do any Canvas Developers or Canvas Admins have ideas?
We're an Apple school. So all of my tests are on MacBook Pro and the students have Airs. The images rotation looks fine on the laptops in any software (Preview, Photos, Adobe Photoshop, etc) and only in Canvas is the rotation messed up.
As part of my experiments, I download the image back out of "My Files" in Canvas to my laptop and it returns to the proper orientation. Don't know if that means anything to a developer?
That's awesome. I love that you can download it and it goes back to normal! That's nuts.
I meant to put in my other post that I'll test on my personal MBP tonight or tomorrow; just don't have it with my at work today.
I think this is such an anomaly that it's either a) functioning as designed or b) a bug. Remind me, have you submitted a ticket with Canvas?
What usually works for me is to open the photo on a desktop and then export and rename the photo. This is really easy on a Mac using Preview; for Windows Photo Viewer you may need to make a copy of the image file and rename it. From what I understand, creating a new file in the desktop environment strips the EXIF tags that are causing the problem.
Thanks Emily. Sure would like to avoid a tedious work around step like that. I can certainly handle that and have done that in the past but teaching 100's of students to do this work around would be painful. Surely, this Canvas glitch is correctable.
We often need the metadata too so can't have that stripped.
Sterling Worrell...want to know something amazingly frustrating? I just can't leave this alone, so I wanted to test an additional way to see if the expected behavior works backwards.
I also used a third party app (vsco cam) to e-mail myself a picture and embed in a discussion post. It maintained the orientation but stripped the metadata Makes me wonder if there's a third party camera out there that will maintain correct orientation AND metadata to hopefully overcome the issues.
But, from my experience during this conversation, you're probably going to come back and tell me that y'all are already using a third party app for your camera!!
This article does a really good job of explaining what's going on with the images (and that this battle occurs across the web.) It might be helpful if you are wanting to understand the issue at hand: http://iphonephotographyschool.com/iphone-photos-upside-down/
....The easiest way to avoid the orientation glitch is to avoid using the volume buttons on the iPhone to snap photos.
Thank Emily Nicholl Liepe. That article really helped spell things out more clearly. I'm not sure about Sterling Worrell's students, but I wasn't using the volume buttons - the issue is solely with Apple not including the appropriate data for orientation.
So, I tested using Camera+, then saving to Dropbox, and everything worked just fine. I assume vscocam would have worked fine as well, but I was saving the image from my Outlook and it's possible it was stripping exif data.
Workaround: use a third party application, like Camera+, and upload from iOS device to cloud hosting service (such as Dropbox), and then post into Canvas. This method will preserve image orientation and metadata information.
Sterling, can you confirm on your end?
Great thoughts people, thanks. No it doesn't seem to be about using the volume controls for the shutter release button. People hold the phones with all of the four sides up. I encourage/require my students to explore more natural horizontal compositions and not just taking pictures the way you usually hold the phone for texting, apps, etc, etc. Some students rotate left, some right.
I wonder how Facebook figured this out, it doesn't happen there. I tested it out with the same images.
Why does the top of this discussion say "assumed answered"?
I found a feature idea, which received enough votes, but was shot down because you can rotate with a different application. I hope you don't mind, Sterling Worrell, but I carried your torch over there and informed the product manager that responded of your issue.
Please chime in! To be able to Rotate an image inside the Rich Content Editor.
We have this happen all the time. While we wait for the capacity to rotate an image in the Rich Content Editor, we are telling our students to open their image in whatever image program they have on their computer, rotate it there, save and upload. However most of our students have very low technical skills and it is extremely hard to get them to understand why this is happening and what they have to do to fix it. Providing a tool for rotating IN Canvas would save us untold hours and frustration.
@Anne-Marie Bouché - I agree with you. Canvas states that there are 3rd party applications that can be used to fix iPhone picture rotation glitch and that it's an Apple problem. I don't think the developers understand that devising a solution and teaching it to 150+ educators and 2000+ middle and high school students is really an unreasonable and time consuming work around.
We do not have this issue with Google Classroom (the other LMS we use) and I have not run into this issue on Facebook or other web based services.
Ideally, Canvas should fix this glitch or at least provide image rotation tool in the editor. Thanks.
I just wanted to chime in and agree with this statement... No other software I use presents this alleged "bug" and I don't know of any other software that would blame the origin of the media like this. This needs to be fixed.
I agree that "assumed answered" is a wrong assumption. The problem is still not solved, nor is there a good solution to use in the meantime. It is not an "Apple problem" -- it is a Canvas problem. What we need in CANVAS is a "rotate image" tool that could be used in Files to rotate a picture file correctly, before it is linked to a discussion post or page. Such things exist in many other applications, so I'm not sure why it could not exist in Canvas.
What we are currently doing is: (1) Dinging students significant points for "production standard" when images in their posts are displaying sideways, and (2) In the assignment Instructions, we give them a link to Pixlr, an external, web-based, very intuitive image editing app that doesn't require that they download and install anything.
We don't like forcing students to use third-party applications, but we are at least giving them a useful tool and skill that they can apply in other contexts and classes going forward. Not ideal, but we can justify it. So far, after two semesters (900 students) we have had no students, that I know of, who had problems using the Pixlr tool once they tried, or who needed our help with it. I don't know what Pixlr does to the metadata though.
This approach is reducing the total number of sideways images, but it is an extra step in an already complicated photo insertion process (uploading, then linking), and some just students give up or can't get it right. The technical demands on them start to dominate over any intellectual activity and students find that frustrating and discouraging. And when students bring in their phones and their laptops to our offices (this is an online class, but most of them are on campus) and we try to help them in person, the rotation issue IS very hard to solve sometimes, even with the Pixlr app.
Ideally, Canvas will be able to fix the bug so images come in right side up, Secondly option would be a rotate button but that doesn't solve the problem of Canvas not being able to read the mobile device image rotation metadata.
I do think it is at least a little bit of an apple problem (I use all apple products so I'm not anti-apple). Many edits made on the iPhone in apple apps are simply "filters" that are applied to the image without altering the original. It's possible that rotation is one of those filters. That means that the picture edits will only be visible on other apple apps, but when sent elsewhere might be only the original (un-rotated) image. iOS 11 is out, so maybe this will work differently. sidenote: don't update to iOS until all your apps have working updates too!
I'd like to throw a few more glitches into this issue. I have an instructor (I'm an admin) who has students take a picture of something and upload it as their assignment. The instructor contacted me because all of the images appear sideways for her. When I logged in and viewed all of the images, they appeared correctly. So I tried a different browser and they were all sideways. So I don't think this is an iPhone issue or a Canvas issue (completely) but rather a browser issue. Chrome worked, IE and Firefox did not so my question for Canvas is why????
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