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Author Topic: When will Lightroom take over PhotoShop?  (Read 8657 times)
The View
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« on: June 21, 2007, 11:08:11 PM »
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After I read Martin Evening's book about Lightroom, I got the idea that Lightroom is the much more modern software, better organized, and much more streamlined.

Why shouldn't all those great PhotoShop features be a part of a new section, adding to library, develop, etc... a section called "advanced editing" or "Pixel  editing" or "effects".

After all, photography is, in my opinion, much more in the center of any graphic work than it used to be when PhotoShop was created.

Naturally, the price would increase.

Or you could by Lightroom, and and Lightroom advanced. No more importing and exporting, no more PSD format, just all in DNG.

Wouldn't that be great?
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« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2007, 11:34:38 PM »
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It's not called PhotoShop. . .it's Photoshop™ (the intercap is wrong on several levels) and no. . .

There's a huge difference between pixel editing (Photoshop) and parametric editing (Lightroom). It ain't an either/or situation.
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macgyver
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« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2007, 11:45:40 PM »
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It will never fully replace it, but (IMO) will be much closer when it's Library system has more flexibility (read: Bridge) and the whole thing is faster (read: Photo Mechanic).
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« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2007, 03:44:50 AM »
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2007, 04:55:50 AM »
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I'm so glad I woke up this morning.
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« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2007, 07:31:49 AM »
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It will never fully replace it, but (IMO) will be much closer when it's Library system has more flexibility (read: Bridge) and the whole thing is faster (read: Photo Mechanic).
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124306\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I wonder if there will ever be a more flexible library system like Bridge.  I have both on my HD, but really only use Bridge/PS.  When ACR 4.1 came out, that pretty much cinched it for me which to use.  I totally understand some really liking the library/printing system in LR--so my feeling is that it suits certain photographer--and not others, and may never suit others.

I always go into PS, I prefer my own organization of files and want to be able to easily find archived files on my external HDs and I don't process hundreds of files at a time.  I think there is room for both, obviously, as Jeff states, because they aren't created for the same reason.  I do have Qimage, but since I usually print one image at a time with my 3800---I find printing with PS just fine (I size and sharpen, using PKS, my own without any problems).  I admit I have not tried printing from LR.

Diane
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The View
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« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2007, 07:54:54 PM »
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There's a huge difference between pixel editing (Photoshop) and parametric editing (Lightroom). It ain't an either/or situation.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124303\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So why wouldn't one be able to integrate pixel editing into the modular Lightroom software? Instead of exporting to Photoshop, you'd just open up the image in the pixel edit module.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2007, 07:55:40 PM by The View » Logged

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Schewe
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« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2007, 09:54:31 PM »
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So why wouldn't one be able to integrate pixel editing into the modular Lightroom software?[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124445\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Asking the question means you don't understand what parametric editing is...you don't edit pixels, you edit parameters. There is really no room in Lightroom for editing pixels and while Photoshop may try to incorporate more parametric editing at it's core Photoshop is built for edtiting pixels, not parameters...
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The View
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« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2007, 11:52:49 PM »
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Asking the question means you don't understand what parametric editing is...you don't edit pixels, you edit parameters. There is really no room in Lightroom for editing pixels and while Photoshop may try to incorporate more parametric editing at it's core Photoshop is built for edtiting pixels, not parameters...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124453\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What's there not to understand?

A way to get beyond general comments and into giving informative details would be: to state the basic workings of Photoshop (I guess I got the software name right this time on ALL levels, even the deepest), and those of Lightroom, and why what they do couldn't be joined into one application.

The pixel editing in a separate part, module, of course.

If you export images into another application for editing pixels(to Photoshop)...
...or...
...if you open another module that does not do "parametric editing" (oh, this sounds so distinct, somebody will get drunk on this terminus technicus tonight), but pixel editing, that can't be so very much different.
In short: instead of exporting, you open another module.

So, maybe someone, who knows about writing software, could state why software for pixel editing demands so very different software writing and PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE that it cannot, under no circumstances, be a part of a software like Lightroom.

This would be one of two reasons to make it impossible to have a pixel editing module in the otherwise "parametric editing" software Lightroom.

So: how are they written, Photoshop and Lightroom? In what programming language? So different they would hate one another in the same "enclosure", called an application? I can't believe this.

There could be another issue: FILE FORMATS. Maybe one cannot do pixel editing in a DNG file. Or layering. But Lightroom could make an automatic file conversion when opening a photo in the "pixel editing module", and when you go back with the result into the library, it would automatically be converted back to DNG.

I hope someone is reading this who can give me information on these matters. I think the future of photo editing software is fascinating. Who would have dreamed of a software like Lightroom five or six years back?

Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 23, 2007, 12:01:01 AM by The View » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2007, 01:04:35 AM »
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So, maybe someone, who knows about writing software, could state why software for pixel editing demands so very different software writing and PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE that it cannot, under no circumstances, be a part of a software like Lightroom.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124463\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Resources...Photoshop is optimized to contain the entire image in ram (if you have enough-or scratch if ya don't) to run processes (you know, algorithms) to change the pixels in an image...Lightroom only changes the parameters of an image not the pixels so it doesn't been to "open" the image. Lightroom is designed around a database to maintain all the data about those parameters as well as all the other images in the database. That is a very bright line in the sand.

Could somebody put a "module" for pixel editing in Lightroom? Sure but it would still take the ram footprint and require all the processing clicks that Photoshop does. For what? It would still require rasterizing the parameters. In effect, it would still be Photoshop.

Could Lightroom and Photoshop get better integrated? Sure..but Photoshop at version 10 and Lightroom at version 1 still have a lot of growing to do to be better integrated.
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paulnorheim
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2007, 01:46:10 AM »
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My interpretation of Jeffs answer is: not now, but perhaps in the future...
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paul norheim
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« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2007, 09:29:13 AM »
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My interpretation of Jeff's answer is "you're asking Lightroom to do something that it was never designed to do, and almost certainly never will do".


If Adobe started to offer pixel editing in Lightroom, the feature creep would be dreadful. People would be asking "why can't we have this from Photoshop", "my favourite Photoshop feature is missing" and "can you add support for Photoshop plug-ins". Before long, the to-do list is to reimplement Photoshop in Lightroom. Why bother? Lightroom already works well alongside Photoshop, much as there's scope to improve things.

It's not really a programming language thing - though the way Lightroom is written doesn't lend itself easily to pixel editing code. The biggest problem is a design paradigm one - offering pixel editing in Lightroom would break Lightroom's paradigm very badly. Breaking an application's design paradigm, or at least changing it dramatically, is one reason why applications become confused and confusing. The changing uses of Photoshop over the years, and the amount of bolted on functionality is much of the reason behind its confusing nature for those new to it, and there often being several different ways to do the same thing.

Just one example - how are you going to store those pixel edits? They can't go in the database - no SQL implementation is that great at handling huge blobs of binary data, and the database would become huge. If you're putting them in separate files, why not use .psd for compatibility purposes - at which point, why not use Photoshop anyway?


Lightroom's design paradigm is very elegant - it's a metadata based photo manipulation package, based around a relatively lightweight database. The history implementation in Lightroom works because each change is a relatively small chunk of metadata - that is not the case when pixel editing. Lightroom has no concept of layers, and almost every time I'm working on a photo in Photoshop, I'm using layers - whether it's different versions of the same image blended together, bracketed shots, different versions of the same image (you can do some fantastic things with group shots in Photoshop CS3!) or putting several images together to make a panorama.

To get the most out of Lightroom, you have to embrace it as it's designed - not try to force it into your existing workflow. I wrote this post over at photo-i in reply to someone who was really trying to use Lightroom as Bridge on steroids, and was finding it deeply frustrating. It talks about the strengths and weaknesses of Lightroom 1.0 as I see them, why I find Lightroom such a rich environment in which to work, and it mentions Jeff Schewe's comment to me in these forums that Lightroom is an 80/20 application.


Lightroom is written the way it is for a reason. It does not have all the bells and whistles of heavyweight DAM, the pixel editing capabilities of Photoshop, the high end features of some of the Photoshop plugins we use, and the full power of the likes of Flash, Dreamweaver and Qimage on the output side of things. There again, with that power of those applications often comes a steep learning curve and confusion as to what's the best way to achieve things.

Lightroom is largely free of a steep learning curve and confusion over how to do things at the moment; long may it stay pure to its design goals! There's neat time-saving tricks to learn with Lightroom, but it's the sort of application where it doesn't take that long to become very productive. Can anyone really say the same about Photoshop, or other heavyweight and powerful creative applications like InDesign and especially Flash (you're never going to start to write complex ActionScript overnight, especially if you don't have a programming background)? You don't tend to see posts about "how do I achieve this effect in Lightroom" - the sort of post that often fills Photoshop forums. If you can do it in Lightroom, someone can give you a preset for it, and examining that preset tells you all about how it was done.


Lightroom is a highly productive environment for sorting, culling, rating, captioning, keywording, developing and cropping images, with more power than we ever had with ACR 3 for toning, spotting, monochrome conversions and - once we get the ACR 4.1 feature set in Lightroom 1.1 - capture sharpening and a local contrast enhancement like technique (which I love - Clarity is an excellent feature). In other words, Lightroom offers a rapid way to do all that most of us do to most of our images without needing any other software.

Lightroom also offers us a lightweight DAM setup which is sufficient for many tasks, such as "show me all the images with this keyword" or "show me all the images at this location", as well as the Collections functionality. You can't do that with Bridge, at least not without a whole bunch of disk searching.

Lightroom interfaces well to Photoshop. If you need the power of Photoshop, all your Lightroom edits can be made available either via Lightroom's Edit in Photoshop (which I confess I don't like, because you can't choose the folder and filename used, also you can't open a file as a Camera Raw Smart Object in Photoshop CS3), or via XMP and Photoshop.


Eventually we will get a Lightroom SDK - though Tom Hogarty has said it won't be in 1.1. Lightroom can't use Photoshop plug-ins for fairly deep architectural reasons - a Lightroom plug-in would have to be more akin to a Photoshop CS3 Smart Filter than a traditional filter, also much of Lightroom is written in Lua whilst Photoshop uses, I believe, a mixture of C and C++. Tom has said that Lightroom plug-ins will interface in Lua, and I believe part of the delay is to get the internals of Lightroom right before designing the interface to external modules. Once the interface is designed and the SDK issued, it will be very hard to change. Getting this sort of software design right can be a very long and exacting process - I've done it professionally. What seems logical to a software engineer with an engineering mind often turns out to be nonsense for the users. Get the SDK wrong, and it's very hard to change in the future. I lost track of how many times I had to redesign a user interface I was working on, and that was before it would pass critical peer review with my colleagues.


When we get a Lightroom SDK, it should allow developers to create parametric versions of the plug-ins that I commonly use in my workflow. I could certainly have a version of PTLens, and I would be grateful for some of the features of Photoshop CS3's Lens Distortion (particularly the perspective correction - I'm not fortunate enough to have a tilt/shift lens).

Noise Ninja would be great, though I would expect it to lack the noise brush (which I never use anyway; I use masks - Picturecode, if you're listening, I'd love a Smart Filter version of Noise Ninja, as I've already mentioned in your forums). If Lightroom could somehow expose the edge masking functionality that is under the hood in the sharpening features of ACR 4.1, that would probably be all the masking I'd need for Noise Ninja (I tend to over-correct noise on a second layer, then apply a edge mask to protect my edge detail). That illustrates how important it is to take the time to get the SDK design right - exposing the right Lightroom functionality to plug-ins will make for a better experience for developers and ultimately users.

If I had PTLens, Lens Distortion, and Noise Ninja (without any masking features other than some way to mask edges), that would cover the majority of images I take into Photoshop. If Adobe could either get Lightroom plug-ins working in ACR (which might be difficult, as the UI code is different in ACR and Lightroom; I don't think ACR's UI is written in Lua) or round tripping into Photoshop as Smart Filters that are set up to correspond to your Lightroom plug-ins, that would be an excellent state of affairs.


I appreciate that some people have specialist sharpening workflows, using the likes of Photokit Sharpener. I believe part of this is addressed with the new capture sharpening in ACR 4.1, which will be in Lightroom 1.1. Output sharpening in Lightroom may need beefing up as well - but creative sharpening, because it isn't a global transformation, probably is going to need Photoshop or similar. I'm not holding my breath for the Lightroom SDK helping those who want creative sharpening capabilities in Lightroom.

As soon as you start to have too sophisticated a requirement - especially for transformations that aren't global - you're going to need something like Photoshop. I suggest using Photoshop - whilst it undoubtedly has some cruft that has built up over more than ten versions (though Photoshop CS3 is 10.0, there was at least one x.5 release), it's an environment that many of us know how to harness, and there have been significant improvements from version to version.

If there's going to be any significant redesigning and improving, I think it's far more likely to happen in Photoshop. CS3 shows that photographers are being listened to - for example, the revised Shadow / Highlights algorithm in CS3 that curbs the tool's tendency to clip.


I avoid pixel editing whenever I can - my workflow is very parametric and non-destructive in nature, though some of my parametric adjustments are masked (such as colour fill adjustment layers in Photoshop coupled with a layer mask to correct colour temperature differences in part of the image). I look forward to a future where more of the parametric stuff can be done without leaving Lightroom, but there'll always be a place for Photoshop.

In the end, Lightroom and Photoshop are complementary tools for me. If I want to scan an image, retouch some defects, sharpen it, set a clipping path and take it into InDesign, Photoshop is the right tool to use. If I want to manage a bunch of mixed assets, Bridge is the tool to use. When I want to go through a day's shoot with my digital SLR, Lightroom is the quickest way for sorting, culling, rating, captioning, keywording, developing and cropping images. It has an important place in my workflow for those reasons.



David
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Schewe
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« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2007, 01:11:23 PM »
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(though Photoshop CS3 is 10.0, there was at least one x.5 release)[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124521\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

There were two .5's...Photoshop 2.5 & 5.5. It's also interesting to note that Thomas Knoll was working on Photoshop 20 years ago while his brother John was trying to "sell" it to somebody...eventually Adobe. And Thomas is directly involved in Lightroom by virtue of owning the Camera Raw pipeline upon which Lightroom is built.
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The View
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2007, 12:11:54 PM »
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I look forward to a future where more of the parametric stuff can be done without leaving Lightroom, but there'll always be a place for Photoshop.
David
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Thank you, David,  for this very instructive reply.

I see that the strength of Lightroom is to concentrate on the essential for photography, which is what makes working with it so great as it doesn't take your mind off the photography.

I also gather, that there are additional features that could be added without endangering this quick and streamlined application.

I have not used Photoshop much (I only did some work on it in version 4.0 years ago) and I dread a little to start with it, as I don't want to be abducted from photography into a realm of technicalities. But sooner or later I'll take that step. (my wish of integrating Photoshop features into Lightroom was a wish of getting a solution for pixel editing as logic and integrated as Lightroom in its parametric way of editing).

So it is both programming language and file formats that makes joining the applications impossible, as well as  the sheer number of Photoshop features.

But I like your mentioning certain plug-ins and improvements in sharpening, noise reduction.

That's possibly the way it will go: get as many features that can go into Lightroom without blowing up its speedy and streamlines workflow, and leave the pixel editing, which most photographers only apply to a small number of his pictures, to its own wild world of Photoshop.

Robert
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PS: As somebody who doesn't watch TV I just found out via a Variety article, that there is a TV show called "The View". My screen name means the view over a landscape and has nothing to do with a TV show I have never seen. Better google screen names before using.
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The View
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2007, 12:14:46 PM »
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I wonder what happens to a photo that gets re-importet from a pixel edit in Photoshop. Lightroom stores it next to its orginal, but in which format? Tiff or Psd?
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2007, 12:51:55 PM »
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That depends on how you got it out of Lightroom. You can choose either PSD or Tiff with 'Edit in Photoshop' or if you export it out, you can add Jpeg to that too.
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DavidW
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2007, 04:35:11 PM »
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Thank you, David,  for this very instructive reply.

I see that the strength of Lightroom is to concentrate on the essential for photography, which is what makes working with it so great as it doesn't take your mind off the photography.

I also gather, that there are additional features that could be added without endangering this quick and streamlined application.

I have not used Photoshop much (I only did some work on it in version 4.0 years ago) and I dread a little to start with it, as I don't want to be abducted from photography into a realm of technicalities. But sooner or later I'll take that step. (my wish of integrating Photoshop features into Lightroom was a wish of getting a solution for pixel editing as logic and integrated as Lightroom in its parametric way of editing).

So it is both programming language and file formats that makes joining the applications impossible, as well as  the sheer number of Photoshop features.

But I like your mentioning certain plug-ins and improvements in sharpening, noise reduction.

That's possibly the way it will go: get as many features that can go into Lightroom without blowing up its speedy and streamlines workflow, and leave the pixel editing, which most photographers only apply to a small number of his pictures, to its own wild world of Photoshop.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124993\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
It's more than just programming language and file format that makes pixel editing so hard to introduce to Lightroom. It's the whole paradigm of Lightroom. Lightroom was designed to make global transformations to images, represented as a series of parameters which are a form of metadata. It wasn't designed to handle pixel level transformations.

You could download a trial version of Photoshop CS3, update it to Camera Raw 4.1 and, if you're using RAW files rather than DNG, export your settings from Lightroom as XMP (in Lightroom 1.1, there's a setting in Catalog Settings that you can choose to make this automatic - it was elsewhere in Lightroom 1.0, but that need not worry us now than Lightroom 1.1 has been released).

Once you've done that, your changes from Lightroom will carry over into Photoshop. Indeed, you can open the RAW file as a Smart Object in Photoshop, so if all you want to do is apply something like the Lens Distortion filter (which you can apply as a Smart Filter in Photoshop CS3), you can keep full editability of the Camera Raw settings even after doing other things to the image in Photoshop.


I prefer the Develop module in Lightroom to the Camera Raw interface (the only thing that you can do in the Camera Raw interface but not the Develop module are 'full' curves, defined by a series of points - but they're not often needed). It's only after doing everything I can in Lightroom that I go into Photoshop - most commonly for noise reduction or distortion correction (which I hope will be possible via Lightroom plug-ins in the future), but there are images where I do things in Photoshop that will never fit into a Lightroom type workflow.


Photoshop is a very changed beast since version 4. It certainly has a learning curve attached, but it's a very rich environment for photographers as well. There are wonderful synergies with Lightroom because of the shared Camera Raw engine. To that end, don't see Photoshop CS3 as anything other than complementary to Lightroom - you can start out in Photoshop by learning the techniques that you want for your pictures after getting as far as you can in Photoshop.

When you've finished in Photoshop, you can import the PSD file to your Lightroom catalog (I don't like Lightroom's Edit in Photoshop option, even in its improved Lightroom 1.1 incarnation - but maybe that's me), and use it in the Slideshow, Print and Web modules.


Adobe have committed to releasing an SDK for Lightroom so that third parties can write plug-ins. I expect many plug-ins that are parametric in nature (particularly those that operate as Smart Filters in Photoshop CS3) will be made available for Lightroom in the future. For now, I use Photoshop for these tasks.



David
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Schewe
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2007, 05:22:58 PM »
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I think the future of photo editing software is fascinating. Who would have dreamed of a software like Lightroom five or six years back?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=124463\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually, parametric editing has been around a lot longer than that. Some people may remember Live Picture? Once to converted an image from tiff to the LP format you imported the image in LP and all the edits were done as stored edits that were not applied to the final file until output rendering. Live Picture came out in 1995-96 as I recall. Kai Krause was involved in the development (it was written by a French guy-Bruno something). Ironic that the UI designer for Kai was a fellow named Phil Clevenger (I don't think Phil was directly involved in the LP UI but was invloved with "Soap") and Phil is now the chief UI designer for...Lightroom (which actually has a passing simularity to Soap).

Live Picture was needed back then because of file size and processing limitations. Lightroom is now tackling not file size but file numbers...vastly more individual digital captures instead of a few really huge scans. But the problem of pixel editing is very similar when looking as a few very large image or a whole lot of smaller images.
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The View
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2007, 06:48:24 PM »
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It's more than just programming language and file format that makes pixel editing so hard to introduce to Lightroom. It's the whole paradigm of Lightroom. Lightroom was designed to make global transformations to images, represented as a series of parameters which are a form of metadata. It wasn't designed to handle pixel level transformations.

You could download a trial version of Photoshop CS3, update it to Camera Raw 4.1 and, if you're using RAW files rather than DNG, export your settings from Lightroom as XMP (in Lightroom 1.1, there's a setting in Catalog Settings that you can choose to make this automatic - it was elsewhere in Lightroom 1.0, but that need not worry us now than Lightroom 1.1 has been released).

Once you've done that, your changes from Lightroom will carry over into Photoshop. Indeed, you can open the RAW file as a Smart Object in Photoshop, so if all you want to do is apply something like the Lens Distortion filter (which you can apply as a Smart Filter in Photoshop CS3), you can keep full editability of the Camera Raw settings even after doing other things to the image in Photoshop.
I prefer the Develop module in Lightroom to the Camera Raw interface (the only thing that you can do in the Camera Raw interface but not the Develop module are 'full' curves, defined by a series of points - but they're not often needed). It's only after doing everything I can in Lightroom that I go into Photoshop - most commonly for noise reduction or distortion correction (which I hope will be possible via Lightroom plug-ins in the future), but there are images where I do things in Photoshop that will never fit into a Lightroom type workflow.
Photoshop is a very changed beast since version 4. It certainly has a learning curve attached, but it's a very rich environment for photographers as well. There are wonderful synergies with Lightroom because of the shared Camera Raw engine. To that end, don't see Photoshop CS3 as anything other than complementary to Lightroom - you can start out in Photoshop by learning the techniques that you want for your pictures after getting as far as you can in Photoshop.

When you've finished in Photoshop, you can import the PSD file to your Lightroom catalog (I don't like Lightroom's Edit in Photoshop option, even in its improved Lightroom 1.1 incarnation - but maybe that's me), and use it in the Slideshow, Print and Web modules.
Adobe have committed to releasing an SDK for Lightroom so that third parties can write plug-ins. I expect many plug-ins that are parametric in nature (particularly those that operate as Smart Filters in Photoshop CS3) will be made available for Lightroom in the future. For now, I use Photoshop for these tasks.
David
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=125258\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks, David. I'll definitely start an expedition into Photoshop CS3 rather sooner than later.

I know Martin Evening's Photoshop books are pretty good. Any others you could recommend?
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BlueD
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2007, 08:07:00 PM »
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After I read Martin Evening's book about Lightroom, I got the idea that Lightroom is the much more modern software, better organized, and much more streamlined.

You didn´t understand ANYTHING of that book, or for what matters, of the basic difference between the two programs.

Lightroom will never substitute Photoshop, they´re two completely different beasts.
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