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Documentation & User Guides | FotoWare

Masking assets to hide the content of thumbnails and previews

Usage scenario

In some environments the assets that are stored in the system may be of a sensitive nature. To this end FotoWeb can be configured to mask such assets, allowing users to search for, retrieve, caption, and process the assets in workflows, while the thumbnails and previews of the assets in question are hidden behind a grey curtain.


This can be configured by creating a marker that is applied when a certain metadata field e.g. contains the tag "sensitive". That tag may for instance be set by an archive manager, who also has access (using a metadata editor) to remove the mask at will. It can also be applied at an earlier point in time, for instance in a workflow involving a Color Factory channel that updates the metadata with the tag.

Creating the mask marker

First, let's configure the marker that applies the mask

Create a new marker in the FotoWeb site configuration.

Creating a new marker

Start by naming the marker and adding a description of what it does.

Next, set the conditions that apply when the marker is applied. Choose the field and the information it should contain.

Now set the marker type to Mask, and choose to apply it both to Thumbnails and the Asset details page.

Finally, click OK to save the marker.

Testing the marker

To easily test the marker you can create and assign a metadata set to the archive that lets you edit the field that the mask is linked to. Adding the tag that you configured should then result in the asset thumbnail/preview being hidden behind a mask. Removing the tag makes the original thumbnail and preview reappear.



A marker is applied to assets based on evaluation of asset metadata. If a user has access to edit the contents of that metadata field or run an action that changes the field's value, the mask may be overridden. Hence, the use of masking should not be seen as a means to enforce access control to assets.

Additional possibilities

It may be desirable to allow certain users of the system to be allowed to override the mask and see the asset's actual content.

This can be accomplished in more than one way:

  1. You can set an access list on the mask marker based on a user group and ensure that users who should be allowed to see assets without the mask are not members of that group.

  2. You can assign the mask to a particular archive with one access list tied to it, and then clone the archive and assign a different access list to the new archive. Since the mask is only applied in the original archive, you can give "power users" access to the new archive without mask restrictions.

  3. You can create additional interactive markers that only show for privileged users. These interactive markers are configured to toggle the state of the field you evaluated when applying the marker, Clicking one marker removes the restriction tag and renders the asset viewable, while clicking another sets the restricted tag so that the asset becomes hidden again. Note that changing the actual metadata in the assets like this will affect what all users see, so potentially users may be given access to see content they should not be allowed to see. Hence, suggestion 1 or 2 above may prove to be better approaches.

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