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Author Topic: No Plugins for LR 2 - Feeling the need to try Aperture  (Read 3835 times)
budjames
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« on: December 10, 2008, 04:00:49 AM »
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I own a number of great plug-ins for PS CS4, however, I really do most of my stuff totally in LR2 these days. I attended the PhotoPlus Expo in NYC in October and visited a number of the vendors' booths who make the plug-ins that I use.

The folks at NIK told me that Adobe is not playing nice, therefore, no plug-in compatibility with LR2. In contrast, NIK has a lot of Aperture compatible plug-ins.

I never used Aperture or even considered it before since I've been an Adobe customer since the first version of Photoshop, but now I'm thinking that I should give it a serious look.

Anybody out there who is using Aperture with NIK or other vendor plug-ins care to share their experiences?

Cheers.
Bud James
North Wales, PA
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Bud James
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Schewe
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 07:02:46 AM »
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Quote from: budjames
The folks at NIK told me that Adobe is not playing nice, therefore, no plug-in compatibility with LR2. In contrast, NIK has a lot of Aperture compatible plug-ins.


The folks at NIK are full of it...sure, they make plug-ins so the fact that Lightroom is a parametric editor and not a pixel editor leaves them out. Tough. Aperture? Sure, you can run plug-ins...course, The raw file ain't raw anymore when you do cause Aperture must render them to tiffs to run the plug-ins on them. Same as Photoshop. Oh, wait, got plug-ins you like in Photoshop? Why not just render them and run your plug-ins? Which is EXACTLY what Aperture must do.
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NikosR
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 01:06:37 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
The folks at NIK are full of it...sure, they make plug-ins so the fact that Lightroom is a parametric editor and not a pixel editor leaves them out. Tough. Aperture? Sure, you can run plug-ins...course, The raw file ain't raw anymore when you do cause Aperture must render them to tiffs to run the plug-ins on them. Same as Photoshop. Oh, wait, got plug-ins you like in Photoshop? Why not just render them and run your plug-ins? Which is EXACTLY what Aperture must do.

Yeah, so what if one does not want to spend almost a thousand euros for PS. Then what? Please...
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Nikos
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 01:24:43 PM »
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Quote from: NikosR
Yeah, so what if one does not want to spend almost a thousand euros for PS. Then what? Please...


Then get Photoshop Elements...it's $99.00 or, if you're REALLY cheap, try GIMP and set it as Lightroom's external editor.
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 01:39:48 PM »
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Quote from: budjames
I
Anybody out there who is using Aperture with NIK or other vendor plug-ins care to share their experiences?

Cheers.
Bud James
North Wales, PA

Bud, I'm using Aperture and I've also got NIK Silver EFX ... but I wouldn't have bought it (NIK) if it wasn't for the fact that the license includes both the Photoshop & Aperture versions.  I have use it inside Aperture, but it is much more flexible in Photoshop, and if you're going to "dead end" a file then you might as well create a PSD version... then you're free to do other stuff at no "extra cost". And you can use layers or smart objects.

So, although I'm one of the very, very few to have switched from Lr to Aperture, I would not say that Aperture's plug-in functionality is a reason to go through the significant pain of changing workflow tools. It's a convenience, it is actually better than it sounds, but Apple certainly haven't figured out how to handle the potential issue of multiple conflicting instructions from multiple plug-ins (not to mention native adjustments) and render them all in real time, any more than Adobe.
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mrcmrc
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 02:01:56 PM »
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I'm using Aperture 2 from one year now. Tried the trial version of all Nik plug-ins with it and with Photoshop. But my problem isn't with Nik plugins but I'm little tired to the slowness of Aperture. For me it's very strange to start working relatively fast with the first photos and then getting a slow responsiveness from Aperture after ten minutes of work inside it. I think this is not about how many photos you have in the library, but instead on how Aperture is built.

Now I'm running Lightroom 2 trial and seem more fast then Aperture.

Beware Bud: the problem here is not the difference from Nik under Aperture or Lightroom, but from working in Aperture or in Lightroom...

(Or perhaps I'm biased being a Jeff and Michael fan...   )

Best,
- Marco.

(MacPro Dual-Core, 2.66GHz)
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 03:43:10 PM »
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seems to be much complaining about Aperture being slow as well as Lr being slow (a cursory inspection of the Apple or Adobe forums for example)

Me, I just wonder if maybe people's expectations are not a just a tad too high.

I'm running Aperture on a Mac G5 2.5Ghz, and I find it usually very responsive. Sometimes it takes a few minutes to catch its breath, but usually because I've asked it to do something. Maybe my expectations are lower (or just maybe, as I sometimes suspect, the Intel Mac Pros are actually not significantly quicker than the last generation G5s)

Beware of the "grass is greener" syndrome. Applications in demo mode - with a just few files loaded up, and no production environment stress - often seem a lot faster than they might turn out to be in real life.
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mrcmrc
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 04:04:34 PM »
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Quote from: drm
Beware of the "grass is greener" syndrome. Applications in demo mode - with a just few files loaded up, and no production environment stress - often seem a lot faster than they might turn out to be in real life.

David, true. In fact I'm thinking about the eventual switch. I'm not so quiet to jump to LR.

Thanks,
- Marco.
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CatOne
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 10:03:59 PM »
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Quote from: Schewe
The folks at NIK are full of it...sure, they make plug-ins so the fact that Lightroom is a parametric editor and not a pixel editor leaves them out. Tough. Aperture? Sure, you can run plug-ins...course, The raw file ain't raw anymore when you do cause Aperture must render them to tiffs to run the plug-ins on them. Same as Photoshop. Oh, wait, got plug-ins you like in Photoshop? Why not just render them and run your plug-ins? Which is EXACTLY what Aperture must do.

Except the workflow in using Aperture with the NIK plug-ins is MUCH easier than learning Photoshop.  The downside to Photoshop plug-ins is... Photoshop.  Seriously, it's unfairly difficult to use.  The rigamarole of destructive editing aside... the Viveza plug-in in Aperture is easier to use than LR's local editing tools.  I definitely prefer the fact that the edits are non-destructive, but the UI is a bit balky.

It's perhaps fair to mention that NIK competes with Pixel Genius, the latter of whom has technologies that are incorporated into Lightroom.
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budjames
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 10:17:02 PM »
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Quote from: CatOne
Except the workflow in using Aperture with the NIK plug-ins is MUCH easier than learning Photoshop.  The downside to Photoshop plug-ins is... Photoshop.  Seriously, it's unfairly difficult to use.  The rigamarole of destructive editing aside... the Viveza plug-in in Aperture is easier to use than LR's local editing tools.  I definitely prefer the fact that the edits are non-destructive, but the UI is a bit balky.

It's perhaps fair to mention that NIK competes with Pixel Genius, the latter of whom has technologies that are incorporated into Lightroom.

Are edits in Aperture one-way (destructive)? I thought that Aperture is a meta data editor similar to LR.

Bud James
North Wales, PA
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CatOne
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2008, 10:19:58 PM »
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Quote from: budjames
Are edits in Aperture one-way (destructive)? I thought that Aperture is a meta data editor similar to LR.

Bud James
North Wales, PA

Edits in Aperture are non-destructive.  If you use an "Edit with..." plugin (i.e. the NIK products, or Aperture's "Dodge & Burn" plug-in) a TIFF file is rendered that the plug-ins work on.  This is destructive.
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jjj
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2008, 10:31:16 PM »
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Quote from: CatOne
Edits in Aperture are non-destructive.  If you use an "Edit with..." plugin (i.e. the NIK products, or Aperture's "Dodge & Burn" plug-in) a TIFF file is rendered that the plug-ins work on.  This is destructive.
This is why I do not consider the Aperture plugins to be proper plugins, more external editors than are sort of in Aperture, but don't actually do Aperture/LR like, non-destructive editing.
The fact that you can do local adjustments like dodge and burn in LR, along with grad filters makes Aperture look like a distinctly poor relation.
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budjames
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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2008, 10:35:57 PM »
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Quote from: CatOne
Edits in Aperture are non-destructive.  If you use an "Edit with..." plugin (i.e. the NIK products, or Aperture's "Dodge & Burn" plug-in) a TIFF file is rendered that the plug-ins work on.  This is destructive.

Wow, that make's a difference! If you use Aperature plug ins as external editors that result in new files and not an overlay meta data edit, then I might as well stick with LR and use PS CS4 as my external editor for the same purpose.

Overall, I'm pleased with LR2 and the new feature set. I have over 70,000 images (95% are various Canon RAW files) in my LR database and it works very well. Of course, I am using LR on my a Mac dual quad core with 12gb RAM and an internal RAID0 (2x1TB disk) for image storage.

Thanks for the collective input from all who responded to my original post. Not that's a community!!!

Bud James
North Wales, PA
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CatOne
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« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2008, 10:39:28 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
This is why I do not consider the Aperture plugins to be proper plugins, more external editors than are sort of in Aperture, but don't actually do Aperture/LR like, non-destructive editing.
The fact that you can do local adjustments like dodge and burn in LR, along with grad filters makes Aperture look like a distinctly poor relation.

Horses for courses.  LR's local adjustments can't do what Viveza can do.  And they certainly can't do what Silver FX Pro or Color FX Pro can do.  Yes, you can use the same plug-ins in Photoshop, but as I've explained previously, in many cases I do not WANT to round trip to Photoshop.  Because, more often than not, it gets in my way.  I don't use it that often, and every time I used to want to make a small tweak in Photoshop, I would spend literally HOURS trying to re-learn how to create a selection, mask, etc.  And I don't want to do that, and I also don't want a 1 GB file because it's saved my layers.

Would I like to see non-destructive Aperture plug-ins?  ABSOLUTELY!  Does the fact that they're currently "destructive" mean they're no better than (and in fact are worst than, because they're less flexible than) the same plug-ins or a complicated workflow in Photoshop?  Absolutely not!  When you've gotten as far as you can with Aperture's global edits, and you want to do some tweaks late in the process, and then use Sharpener Pro, they're GREAT for that.  A new version is created, and there you go.

There's also distinctly less performance penalty for the TIFF files without layers.  I know many, many people who upgraded their computers because LR 2.x stunk up the farm, where LR 1.x performed just fine.  Is that due to the local corrections, or what?
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CatOne
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« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2008, 10:44:16 PM »
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Quote from: budjames
Wow, that make's a difference! If you use Aperature plug ins as external editors that result in new files and not an overlay meta data edit, then I might as well stick with LR and use PS CS4 as my external editor for the same purpose.

If you're comfortable with CS4, that's a good approach.  Also, there are some nice things about the LR2 + Photoshop integration... specifically panos, HDRs, and the smart object integration which you can't get with Aperture alone or Aperture + Photoshop (if you want to do a pano or HDR, you must export the originals, do the work to merge and generate a TIFF or PSD in Photoshop, and re-import and stack in Aperture... which is what you had to do in LR 1.x).

Quote
Thanks for the collective input from all who responded to my original post. Not that's a community!!!

Glad to help provide a little clarity.
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2008, 03:52:18 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
The fact that you can do local adjustments like dodge and burn in LR, along with grad filters makes Aperture look like a distinctly poor relation.

In that particular context, in this particular iteration, you're probably right, although I'm not so sure that Lr maybe has gone just a little over the top in the retouch tools area. It does seem to be becoming a fully-fledged alternative to Photoshop, which is an interesting dilemma for Adobe, and which Aperture is not intended to be. At least so far.

Aperture offers quite incredible depth of editing (as in sorting, rating, comparing, etc) tools, which really feel like some unheralded soul's labour of love. They represent one of the best examples of UI engineering I've ever seen.  They're not as immediately "sexy" as retouching tools, bit in their own way they are truly jaw-dropping. It's a pity that (a) so few people will ever see them, (b) that Aperture is Mac only, and © that the Aperture team is constrained by Apple's ridiculous Great Wall Of Cupertino, and could not engage in the fantastically successful viral marketing operation that so boosted Lr (not that that would have helped if Lr sucked. It doesn't, not by any means).

I think the main issue remains this: once you've chosen to commit your time and energy to a "workflow tool" such as these two, the barrier to exit is so high that you'd need a very, very compelling argument to switch.
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