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Author Topic: Lightroom and PS workflow  (Read 4794 times)
GeraldB
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« on: October 27, 2010, 06:57:39 PM »
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I'm struggling to come up with a workflow that does not confuse me. I use both LRM and PS to edit my photos driven by their strengths and my knowledge. I then end up with no single file that is a master with all the changes. Is there a way out of this? Here is what I typically do:
1 - edit raw file in LRM for basic goodness
2 - go to PS for cloning or funky stuff and save as tif.
3 - realize the photo needs a little more sharpening or something that LRM does really well, so I make the edit to the tif.
4 - repeat to taste

then I'm screwed, because half the changes are in the raw file and half are in the tif. Sometimes I create virtual copies of the tif and re-edit them in LRM - then I'm even more screwed.

Of course there is a really simple way out of all this. What is it? (hopefully)

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Jeff Magidson
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« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2010, 05:12:36 PM »
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Here is how I work: I take the image as far as I can in LR working on the raw file, If I need to do more work on it in PS, I hand it off to PS, do the work and then hand it back to LR. If I need to make ANY further changes to the image, I Re Open the PS file FROM LR and do the work in PS. I NEVER make changes to a PS file in LR because as you said, that will just make a complicated mess of things.

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john beardsworth
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2010, 03:47:22 AM »
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I think Jeff's advice is the most practical approach.

That said, on the occasions when I decide to re-edit the original in LR, I will have the PS file open in PS, make my changes to the raw in LR and then choose Edit in PS. I'll then drag my newly-edited file's background layer into the existing PS file, holding down the Shift key so it's centred, and replace the existing PS file's original background layer. Depending on your familiarity with PS, this isn't too tiresome. However, it depends what you mean by "funky stuff". I would always do cloning on a separate layer, and it may look OK with the newly-edited image, while other funky stuff may still look fine. But often it won't and I'd be doing as Jeff does.

The other approach you may like is to switch to working with "smart objects". Instead of "edit in Photoshop" you would choose "edit as smart object". This places the raw file directly in the PS file as a smart object, not a regular background layer. If you subsequently want to adjust the raw image data, you double click the smart object layer and Adobe Camera Raw launches. So you'd have access to exactly the same adjustments as you would have in LR. This is the approach I'd recommend if you are using compatible versions of LR and PS, so LR2/CS4 or LR3/CS5.

John
« Last Edit: October 29, 2010, 07:40:29 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

bobtowery
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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2010, 04:35:11 AM »
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Gerald - I realize your discussion is meant to be generic as to the edits you do in PS, but you specifically mentioned cloning. Why not use the cloning tool in LR? Excepting one type of "clone operation" I prefer LR's cloning over PS's.

(the exception being a long line of cloning.) I rarely use PS anymore for manipulating my images.

Bob.
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GeraldB
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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2010, 06:45:03 AM »
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Great advice on smart objects John, I am going to give it a try. I've managed to avoid them till now. Jeff, I find I don't really know how to do "clarity" in PS (CS5) for example, or sharpening using the mask. That's why I sometimes want to go back to LRM to do stuff. Also, more stupidly, I sometimes forget to do something like camera auto profile.
Bob, for me cloning works really badly in LRM except for simple spot removal. I cannot adjust the hardness of the brush. I have it on max but still get a soft edge whether I want it or not. No rotation of clone source etc.
Thanks for the replies.
cheers
Gerald
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GeraldB
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2010, 07:39:17 PM »
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John, the smart objects works great and get me almost exactly what I wanted. The only major feature I found that is not supported is the content aware fill which I find I use in lieu of cloning and for pano's that are not quite straight etc. Pity about that, but otherwise very nice. No obvious difference in file size that I can see.
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BertWaife
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2010, 09:07:56 PM »
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I am using LR3 and CS4, so will the smart objects method work for me?  I don't understand the method of removing the background?
My concern is what happens to the cr2 file after it is imported to PS, I mean I still want a the raw file in LR to be available for the future.
I seem not to see the file once I import to PS and save as a tiff, however LR says the file is there when I try to import off my camera card?
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 02:41:56 AM »
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I am using LR3 and CS4, so will the smart objects method work for me? 

Not really because double clicking the smart object layer in PS will launch the older version of ACR without lens correction and the range of image quality improvements that came with ACR6/LR3. You're better off following Jeff's earlier advice. Also, you need to be careful when you send files to Photoshop with Ctrl E (Cmd E if Mac). You need to "render using Lightroom" so you get lens corrections, IQ etc.

John
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PeterAit
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« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2010, 09:54:35 AM »
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Perhaps I am not understanding your steps, but I don't see a problem. In step 3 you are using LR to further edit the TIFF, which already contains all the original LR edits plus the PS edits. If in step 3 you used LR to edit the raw file, then you'd have a problem.
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Peter
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2010, 10:14:54 AM »
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Peter - the problem is (was) editing the raw data once it's already been baked into a TIF. Hence the smart object suggestion.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2010, 12:50:14 PM »
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A problem with Smart Objects is that some PS commands and some plug-ins don't work with them.
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Peter
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2010, 01:31:08 PM »
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Some don't, but there are other advantages which they do provide, more with each version of Photoshop, and one of those has always been being able to re-edit the raw data.
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PeterAit
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2010, 03:06:47 PM »
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Don't get me wrong, I think that SOs are a great idea, just not as useful as they might be.
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Peter
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k bennett
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2010, 12:11:49 PM »
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Also, you need to be careful when you send files to Photoshop with Ctrl E (Cmd E if Mac). You need to "render using Lightroom" so you get lens corrections, IQ etc.


I know this is an older thread, but this post directly addresses my current problem. I  have started using LR 3, along with Photoshop CS4. When I use the "Edit in Photoshop" command, the raw file is clearly processed in ACR, since none of my Lens Correction settings show up in the rendered image in Photoshop.

I have searched everywhere in Lightroom for a Preference or a Setting that would let me choose "render using Lightroom" -- please, please tell me where I can change that setting...

Thanks in advance.

Ken
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nma
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2010, 12:49:03 PM »
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I know this is an older thread, but this post directly addresses my current problem. I  have started using LR 3, along with Photoshop CS4. When I use the "Edit in Photoshop" command, the raw file is clearly processed in ACR, since none of my Lens Correction settings show up in the rendered image in Photoshop.

I have searched everywhere in Lightroom for a Preference or a Setting that would let me choose "render using Lightroom" -- please, please tell me where I can change that setting...

Thanks in advance.

Ken

Hmmm. Something does not seem right. When I do this I get a pop-up that offers me several choices, and I select render with LR. It creates a tif, writes it to disk and opens same in CS4. I am assuming that it is being rendered with LR, as it states.
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smahn
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2010, 12:53:29 PM »
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Depending on how heavy a retoucher you are, replacing the background layer (or updating a Smart Object) is impractical. For instance, if you have pixel layer edits (merged layers, sharpening, composites, cloning, etc) above you're dead.

If I want to make LR edits on top of a TIF, I make a Virtual Copy of the TIF, edit that, then render it as a TIF (Edit Copy with LR Adj) and drag that layer on TOP of my original layered TIF. Name the Layer "VC Adj" or some such thing.

This way all you have to do is click the top layer on/off to return to the previous state, and you have all your masks at hand to reuse if you need to make additional PS adjustments on top of that.

That's the PS end of things. What I haven't figured out yet is whether to save the VC and how to make sense of all the VC plus TIF iterations in LR. I end up with multiples of huge PS files, redundant VCs, etc.

One might ask why bother even rendering the VC as a TIF, or bringing it into your master document. The reason is to have a LR exit strategy. Don't make yourself beholden to any single brand.
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Costas
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2010, 01:38:14 PM »
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.... When I use the "Edit in Photoshop" command, the raw file is clearly processed in ACR, since none of my Lens Correction settings show up in the rendered image in Photoshop.

I have searched everywhere in Lightroom for a Preference or a Setting that would let me choose "render using Lightroom" -- please, please tell me where I can change that setting... ....

Not sure if its a LR bug or designed to work that way, but to get the dialogue you want; you need to set up CS4 as the additional external editor. You will then be prompted to render the file in LR
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k bennett
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« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2010, 01:40:55 PM »
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Brilliant. Trying that now. Thanks.

Edit: That worked.

Is there any reason why I would want to Stack these edited files with the original raw, rather than have them next to the original when viewing the catalog?
« Last Edit: December 03, 2010, 01:43:57 PM by k bennett » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2010, 02:11:05 PM »
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Stacks are just one more way of organizing your images (grouping them in this case).  Some people use them, some people don't.

Mike.
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GeraldB
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2010, 07:26:06 PM »
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I've tried using the approach that Jeff and John suggest early in the thread, however I've not managed to keep up using smart objects as not everything works in them. I've come to the conclusion that my problem is that I don't know how to do in PS all the things I can do in LRM. For example its so easy in LRM to paint some Clarity into the picture in selected areas. I don't really know how to do that in PS. I could learn but it comes back to the fact that if I want a clean workflow I need to be able to do everything in PS once the basic raw file prep is done in LRM. However that hardly makes LRM worth having and is really calling for a different workflow. So for now I'm still back with my LRM adjustments on my PS edited Tiff. Pondering where to go from here.
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