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66 Messages

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1.2K Points

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 9:11 AM

24

Lightroom: Add Layers to Lightroom

I've seen a plugin that adds layers to LR which would save a lot of to-ing and fro-ing to Photoshop. The plugin is actually stand-alon, but also integrates with LR to some extent. It allows many of the layer options found in Photoshop. Not tried it but seems like a cracking idea! :-)

Making LR more of an editor could make Photoshop redundant for pure photographic work

Responses

1.5K Messages

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20.1K Points

9 years ago

Until (and if) Adobe provides this large engineering, there is this useful plug-in:
http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-good...

Don’t forget to read the reality check behind this plug-in you mention:
http://regex.info/blog/2011-04-23/1753

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 years ago

Yes, it was OnOne I was thinking of. I use OnOne presets in LR and their Phototools plugin for Photoshop. Both are useful but the Photoshop plugin has to switch the color scheme to Win 7 Basic everytime it is called as it can't seem to cope with Aero.

The website says: "With Perfect Layers you can create and edit multi-layered files directly from Lightroom and Aperture, " This is true in the sense that there is a link but it isn't integration within LR does it? As the blog linked in your post points out, if you have Photoshop you don't need this!

Although Adobe own both LR and PS they seem to deliberately keep LR development funding low and leave the team to get on with it in some remote corner. Presumably they're worried that no one would buy PS if too much editing functionality was added to LR?

62 Messages

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1.8K Points

9 years ago

When LR passes an image to PS, you typically get 3 choices. Edit original, Edit Copy, and Edit Copy with LR Adjustments. It seems that only the last one sends the LR adjustements to PS. So, let's say you apply adjustments in LR, then go to PS (with LR adjustments). In PS you create some layers and do some other things. When you close the image in PS, it askes to save your changes and if you say "yes" your PSD file now shows up in LR with all the edits (both LR and PSD). Your PS layers are preserved such that if you go back to PS again, you're layers are still there.

Now comes the tricky part. Let's say you make a second set of adjustments in LR (this time to the new PSD file). Now, if you go back to PS you can either have your image with your layers but without your 2nd set of LR adjustments, or keep your 2nd set of LR adjustments and lose your PS layers giving a single flattened layer. This is the problem.

As we know, when you make adjustments in LR, those adjustments are stored in the catalog. So, when you export an image to PS (with LR adjustments), it's actually taking your image file, applying your saved LR changes to the pixels in temporary copy of the image and then sending that copy to PS.

So, Here's a suggestion for the LR development geniuses.

If you have an image in LR that supports layers (e.g. PSD) and you have made LR adjustments, when LR packages the image to send it to PS, place the LR adjustments on a new Layer ("LR adjustments 1"). Now when you arrive in PS, you'll see your original file as the BG layer and an "LR Adjustments 1" layer. If at this point you add more layers in PS fine and good. When you save, and go back to LR, LR will retain all your layers and will show your image as if you had flattened the image as it does now. However I suggest the history panel should show you a new new entry called "external editior changes" on top of the original LR history steps. This now forms a new logical baseline for additional LR changes. So, now let's apply more LR adjustments and send it back to PS. This time LR will take the pixels as returned from PS the last time and apply the 2nd set of LR changes on another new layer called "LR Adjustments 2" and send you to PS.

In PS, you'll now see all your layers: BG layer (original capture), LR Adjustments 1, any layers you added in first trip to PS, LR Adjustments 2.

This process could be repeated as many times as you wish. Each time you go to PS, the LR adjustments made since the prior trip to PS would show up as a new "LR adjustments xx" layer while still preserving any layers added directly in PS.

Maybe I'm an idiot or don't understand something, but I think this could work.

Dan

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Preserve PSD Layers in LR to allow back and forth editing.

677 Messages

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8.7K Points

Forked to re-merge into a more appropriate thread. Please reference the new topic here: Lightroom: Preserve PSD Layers in LR to allow back and forth editing

8 Messages

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472 Points

9 years ago

I was a bit disappointed with LR4 beta. Nothing much sees to have improved and all the (supposed) new items have been borrowed from Aperture 3. Still it could have been worse you might have tried to add face recognition.
What about Layer support?
Rotating the clone tool areas to allow for more accurate "lining up" of curved shapes.
The ability to change the colour of the little spot for quick collection.. and why only one quick collection?
C'mon guys we are talking version 4 here not 3.7

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom 4: Layers support.

1.5K Messages

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20.1K Points

9 years ago

>>Nothing much sees to have improved and all the (supposed) new items have been borrowed from Aperture 3.

You’re either kidding or really haven’t looked very deep! Just the 2012 PV is a huge improvement in raw rendering over PV2010. Just the improvements in highlight recovery alone within PV2012 is huge. Let alone Soft proofing, better smart collection options, DNG improvements etc. Nothing at all like Aperture.

As for Layers, don’t hold your breath. And LR has to render out all additional parametric edits you make from a layered doc (it has to be processed through it’s engine) so you lose the layers. If you follow a logical workflow for processing your raw data, using LR as the tool it is, then pass the rendered data to Photoshop which is a pixel (not parametric) editor, use layers and be done with the Develop module as you should, you’ll be far better off. The two tools are vastly different! You can’t turn a kitchen knife into an effective tool to handle screwing in screws any more than you can use Photoshop’s type tool as a substitute for MS word or InDesign. Use the right tool for the right job instead of hoping all your tools are Swiss Army Knife compromises.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

8 Messages

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472 Points

I take your point. I just don't think that there have been sufficient changes to warrant calling it Version4. Still it's only in Beta so we might see some tweaks before it's launched. A new suite of adjustment tools would have been more interesting than maps. If we have to flip out to PS anytime we need to do anything useful why not use ID or AI for books and proofing. Tools for the job and all that..

2 Messages

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84 Points

9 years ago

If you have not been asked yet, probably you have already, will LAYERS be a possibility in LT4 or later?

Regards Vic

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: want layers.

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 years ago

There is no reason why Lightroom couldn't be developed to be both a parametric adjustor as it is at the moment plus a bitmap pixel editor with layers. There are plenty of applications now that combine bitmap with vector editing for example.

Such an application would be all a photographer needs since I find much of Photoshop is rarely used when just editing photographic images. Having said that, the link between PS and LR is such that switching an image between the two is painless.

I particularly like how after editing in PS and returning to LR, I can later re-edit that image in PS and still have all my layers and masks from the last edit.

1.5K Messages

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20.1K Points

9 years ago

>There is no reason why Lightroom couldn't be developed to be both a parametric adjustor as it is at the moment plus a bitmap pixel editor with layers.

Well there is no reason why Lightroom couldn’t be Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop all rolled into one huge, expensive application assuming you are willing to wait for engineering to do this (and Adobe was willing to spend the time and money too). Yup, LR Pro that does all of the above, due to ship summer of 2016 at a mere $3000.

Anything is possible.

Now back to reality...

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

8 Messages

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472 Points

9 years ago

Well yes but with limited resources it would have been better to have layer support (Adobe Elements) manages this and that's hardly an expensive program. Then we have the Books module??? surely InDesign does this already. I just don't understand the thinking behind the developers. they seem to say if you want layers use PS but if you need to do a book (hey we took the trouble to build that in for you )
The problem here is what we have seen at Apple everything is being "dumbed down" it's only a matter of time before we are shooting everything on camera phones anyway. LR4 is being aimed at the advanced amateur which to be honest probably has more time and money to play with software than working photographers do

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 years ago

Andrew, you seem very negaive, you don't work for Adobe do you? :-)

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

9 years ago

Adobe employees have a badge indicating it.

I don't see much of a case for Lightroom having layers. It's not Photoshop for one thing, and how much of layers would you want to have? I imagine you'll want masking, blending modes too, blend-if should be there.... Text layers? Shapes? Layer styles? By the time you've implemented layers on more than a very amateur level you've got a tool that still isn't going to satisfy those used to proper Photoshop style layers. And yet it will still be over the heads of the many Photoshop users out there who remain so frightened of layers they never use them.

Rather than ape Photoshop and become a compositing tool, it's better that Lightroom continues with its style of adjustments - pins, grad filters.

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 years ago

As a photographer, I find Lightroom lacking when it comes to making localised adjustments and cloning. I thus have to edit in PS to make use of its layers, selection and masking tools. There is no alternative within Lightroom is there? So why so anti layers?

Why would a photographer want shapes, styles, text and so on as you suggest?!

1.5K Messages

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20.1K Points

9 years ago

>So why so anti layers?

Because there are existing tools that exists that were built to do this, Photoshop (or Elements) and because adding this would be huge engineering and would suck resources from a much smaller engineering team to implement functionality more beneficial for the larger LR audience and it’s core aim.

I suppose if a year ago folks could vote for either, PV2012 or Layers, they would vote for Layers? You’d really prefer to duplicate functionally that already exists in many products and continue with poorer raw rendering processing? Or you’d swap Soft Proofing using metadata edits on Virtual Copies that interface with the Print Module for Layers?

Just about anything could probably be built into LR but at what price?

It is all about resources and building a tool that is designed for a specific task and audience. You want layers, get Elements or Photoshop. You want a word processor, get MS Word or similar.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

9 years ago

A very narrow definition of a photographer? Never produced an ad for a trade magazine or another graphic? But I mentioned those as one extreme of a range of layer features, and wherever you choose to place your arbitrary "why would a photographer want x" cut is going to leave your Lightroom layers without key features of layers and a dumbed-down implementation. Lightroom's just not the right tool for compositing.

If you want better localised adjustments and better cloning, just ask for them?

8 Messages

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472 Points

9 years ago

The problem here folks is that Photoshop was seen as too heavy. So LR was born. Designed from the ground up to be an essential tool for photographers. To ask for a feature that would require a rewrite ( like layers or focus point indication) is regarded as heresy. At the end of the day LR is pretty good at what it does. (that's why we all love it...right?)
It would be great to have better local adjustments a simple rotate control on the clone tool would be fantastic. As for layers all I can say to people that don't understand the need for them have never had to shoot group pictures on a daily basis