brian_brains's profile

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

Tue, Aug 23, 2011 9:11 AM

25

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

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

9 y ago

>It would be great to have better local adjustments a simple rotate control on the clone tool would be fantastic.

Now you’re talking. Probably not huge engineering and something you don’t see at all in Photoshop with parametric edits. I still think that for the foreseeable future, selective cloning in LR will be far less robust than Photoshop which is after all a pixel editor with very precise controls. I’m not asking LR to do the kind of work a high end retoucher could do in PS (cause I own PS and would use that anyway). Take out a row of telephone poles and lines in an image in LR? Crazy. But remove a pole sicking out of one person’s head? OK, I’m game.

It boils down to using the right tool for the job. You can use a Kitchen Knife as a screwdriver. Occasionally. Maybe with one screw. If you are a carpenter, you’re going to use that high quality electric drill to do the job. And you are not going to use that tool to cut your steak. Trying to make LR into Photoshop is as folly as trying to make Photoshop into InDesign or Premier. Given the time and money, probably possible. Would be hugely expense for all users, hugely complicated to use.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 y ago

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

Please can I have better local adjustments... and more controllable cloning please?

I really didn't think it would be such a big ask to add layers in LR nor did I realise the feelings it would generate. I use Lightroom to import and process my raw files and to organise them. They invariably require further work and so I edit them in PS. Lightroom isn't some sort of holy cow that mustn't be touched for heaven's sake. It's a tool and I maybe naievly thought that taking some code from PS and adding it to LR wouldn't be a big thing. Turning Lightroom into a better featured image processor and editor isn't heresy nor, I suspect, as difficult as some suggest.

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

9 y ago

"...the feelings it would generate"? No emotions here, just disagreement with the suggestion. As for "heresy", again no - just an explanation that pixel editors and parametric editors are different kinds of tools.

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 y ago

>just an explanation that pixel editors and parametric editors are different kinds of tools.

I fully understand that but don't accept that that precludes having both in the one application. As I said before vector and bitmap editing exist side by side in many applications don't they.

Well it seems there's no likelyhood of my wishlist becoming true anytime soon then.

1.3K Messages

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22.5K Points

9 y ago

But if what you really want is improvements to local adjustments (even more than in LR4) and particularly more flexible cloning, there's probably a consensus.

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

9 y ago

There is no inconsolable difference between "pixel editing" and "parametric editing".

Here's how to turn Photoshop into a parametric editor: Record all users input (mouse movements and clicks). Replay all user input as needed (rendering always starts from an original that never changes). Allow user input recordings to be deleted. Allow the parameters for the tools that receive these recordings to be changed. Voilà, non-destructive image editing in Photoshop. But the pixels get pushed, you say? Only for the rendering of the output. As you can always remove user input sequences, you can always go back to the original.

Here's how Lightroom is destructive just as Photoshop is: For instance, when you clone one area over another, the target pixels get destroyed. Ouch! But don't fear as we are only modifying a working copy that is used to accumulate changes so that we obtain the final rendering. We never change the original source, so we can always go back to it and/or use only part of the changes we apply to it (on the working copy). Same as above.

So, please, let us lay to rest this myth of some things being possible for a pixel editor vs a parametric editor. Surely, there is a performance challenge. Generating final renderings by replaying user-input on original sources takes the longer, the more complicated changes you allow. But, for instance, it would be quicker to replay one long clone brush stroke than fifty healing spots, all aligned as pearls on a string to mimic the long clone brush stroke.

Conceptually, Lightroom already uses layers. One can think of its image pipeline as using a curves adjustment layer, followed by a HSL adjustement layer, ..., followed by adjustment brush layers, ..., followed by a sharpening adjustement layer. The LR UI just does not expose the layers to the users. And that's reasonable, AFAIC. I don't see Lightroom becoming a compositing tool, the watershed to Photoshop has to be somewhere and compositing is where Photoshop rules. Hence, Lightroom does not require layers and can try to allow image adjustments without using a layer metaphor.

Adjustment brushes, for example, can be thought of using layer masks (containing the brush strokes) and layers with the working image copied but with all brush settings applied. But all the complexity of creating a layer, creating a layer mask, changing the layer and then brushing the mask to show parts of the new layer on the working copy is hidden to the user. I feel that Lightroom should continue to hide complexity this way.

In summary, no layers for Lightroom but not because there is an inconsolable difference between pixel pushing and parametric editing, but because the complexity of layers is kept in Photoshop land. By the same token, of course, this means that better retouching support is possible and should be implemented rather sooner than later.

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

Well said TK.

248 Messages

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4.1K Points

An excellent summary TK. I frequently wonder why "pundits" push this pixel pushing vs parametric editing idea. Andrew must have been having a bad day when he "took umbrage".

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

>>I frequently wonder why "pundits" push this pixel pushing vs parametric editing idea.

Because we actually understand the differences between the two processes and the results each produces. We actually understand the role of differing applications as tools and use them on the data they were designed to process.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

Andrew, do you have a technical argument as well?
How do you counteract the technical arguments I've made?

The differences between "the two processes" are current de-facto differences that are historically rooted and are only weakly justified by technical arguments.

Are you rejecting adjustment layers in PS because they are not "pushing pixels", but are an example for parametric editing? Why are adjustment layers in PS not an inadequate mixing of "two processes"? Have adjustment layer been added to PS by someone who does not "understand the difference between the processes and the results each produces"?

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

I already told you nearly a year ago that layers are NOT non destructive. Well if you decide you want to do anything with the image outside of Photoshop or print it, or convert it to another color space the layers (edits) ARE applied and boom, you've got a destructive edit.

Parametric instructions are just that. They tell a raw processor HOW to CREATE RGB pixels. That is non destructive. You're not editing pixels, you're creating them. But in the year since we last talked, you don't see to have moved past the differences which are rather significant.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

Andrew, my sincere apologies for forgetting about the long debate we had. I would not have asked you any questions, had I been aware of the debate.

However, my points stand and you are mistaken on the nature of adjustment layers. You claim they are "NOT non destructive", but clearly they are non-destructive. The reason is that you can revisit the parameter settings of each adjustment layer at any time and any changes to the parameters will be reflected in a new rendering.

Imagine a layer stack of five adjustment layers, each controlling some different aspect (such as hue, levels, posterisation, etc). You can change any of the layer parameters at any time and the overall effect is exactly like the LR experience. You can change sharpness, levels, colour, etc. at any time in any order.

The adjustment layers of PS "create" pixels just like a step in the LR image pipeline "creates" pixels.

This is what parametric editing is about; that you can always revisit your decisions and change them without losing any edits you have done after you made your initial parameter choices.

The non-destructive nature of adjustment layers is their raison d'être. Before adjustment layers, you had to bake in any adjustment (such as a curves adjustment, for instance) into your image and you couldn't go back, change the parameters (e.g., the curve) and enjoy the different result (without losing, for instance, hue adjustments you made subsequently to the curves adjustment).

The fact that the effect of adjustment layers has to be applied once you export a file ("...do anything with the image outside of Photoshop...") is completely immaterial. It exactly corresponds to the "export" step in LR. Are you saying, just because LR can export images and therefore "boom" has to become "destructive? makes it lose its non-destructive status?

P.S.: I should perhaps add that PS adjustment layers are only non-destructive as long you do not combine them with regular destructive layers. The latter will of course be able to override the pixels the adjustment layers "created" (to use your terminology) or create copies of them that won't be updated anymore upon further changes to the adjustment layer. But if you stick to only using adjustment layers, you can replicate a non-destructive LR experience in PS. Again, has this been made possible by a person/team who does not truly understand the difference between the -- according to you so fundamentally different -- "processes"?

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

>You claim they are "NOT non destructive", but clearly they are non-destructive.

Clearly? Think about the process and I think you'll see it's quite clear layers are destructive. What do you think happens when you print the document, the layers somehow disappear? That the edits are NOT applied? Of course they are. And there IS data loss. No way around that (and as I said a year ago, moot in high bit but data loss none the less).

The ONLY time adjustment layers are NOT destructive is when you view the image in Photoshop. Flatten, what happens? The edits are applied. You can't edit pixels and change their values and not lose data to rounding errors. The second you do anything like print, flatten, save as a different color space etc, the edits IN the layers ARE applied to the underlying data. There's no other way around this fact you find so unclear!

>>The adjustment layers of PS "create" pixels just like a step in the LR image pipeline "creates" pixels.

No, they don't. You seem to misunderstand not only the processing of the data in these two applications, you seem to not realize that LR cannot alter pixels, it has to render them from sets of instructions. Rendering is the process that takes original data, instructions and creates a new set of pixels from both. With a raw file, that's non destructive. You are (for at least the 3rd time), creating pixels. IF you take a rendered image (TIFF) run it though LR.'s engine, the original is untouched but the rendered iteration is not a non destructive action if you take this edit and compare it to the original data. But we want to alter pixels so you either do so an end up with some data loss or you leave the pixels alone. Adjustment layers alter the pixel value (or you'd see nothing happening).

>This is what parametric editing is about; that you can always revisit your decisions and change them without losing any edits you have done after you made your initial parameter choices.

Yes, ONE part of the process. But look what you wrote and think about it with what I've written: you can always revisit your decisions yes, and since you must render a new iteration, it's original data + instructions equals new iteration from a rendered image and a new creation from raw.

>It exactly corresponds to the "export" step in LR.

No it doesn't. Not even close. Export is a rendering where again, new pixels are created from two possible data sources. In Photoshop, you're directly altering pixel values. Whether you do it without a layer or with a layer, the net results at any time expect just viewing the image in Photoshop is the same.

Alter existing pixels= data loss. Creating pixels is completely different. In high bit, the data loss isn't visible but the data loss is there and one can view the differences between the two easily using the Subtract command with both docs.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

You write "In Photoshop, you're directly altering pixel values., but this is wrong for adjustment layers.

Andrew, do yourself a favour and start PS, and create a background image with differently coloured brush strokes. Then stack a B&W adjustment layer on top of it. Now stack a curves layer on top and make it create a very high contrast. By manipulating the B&W adjustment layer alone, you can now make brush strokes appear and disappear, because the curves adjustment layer will respond to the new pixels that the B&W has "created". Nothing ever gets destroyed. Your original brush strokes are always untouched. There is only transformation (as in LR), never destruction.

With adjustment layers, there won't ever be any data loss due to direct pixel manipulation as you described. Why is that? Because PS (just like LR) "creates" pixels (as you call it) when producing the result of an adjustment layer. If it didn't how could a change at the bottom most layer ripple up through further adjustment layers? If the curves adjustment layer in the example I mentioned above deemed a pixel value to become pure black in one instance, how can it transform it to white, even though you only changed the mapping from colours to gray values in the adjustment level below? The reason is that the curves adjustment layer works on pixels that the B&W adjustment layer "created". You could say "re-created" based on new parameters. This is no different to what happens in the image pipeline of LR.

We can avoid references to the image pipeline altogether, though. Just explain to me how the user experience you can have in PS with adjustment layers only is any different to what the user experience in LR is. Only when you take an image outside PS (or make a destructive step like flattening layers), you commit to certain adjustment layer values, just like when you commit to certain edit parameters when you export an image from LR.

Surely flattening layers (or other destructive operations) makes the editing destructive but that is completely besides the point. I never claimed that all of PS is non-destructive (it isn't by any stretch of imagination). You are insinuating that I don't understand that "print, flatten, save as a different color space etc" implies an application of the layers to the underlying data. Of course, I understand that and at this point of course the non-destructive train that adjustment layers provide stops. But the very same is true for LR. Only as long you stay within LR, the non-destructive train is running. Export an image, and there is destructive pixel baking just like with "save as" (or similar) in PS. Obviously, the "destructive pixel baking" does not refer to the raw original. Just like the original brush strokes you made in you PS background layer will never be altered. Think about this Andrew: You'll be saving transformed versions of the original brush stroke pixels when you do a "Save for Web" for example. But PS will never destroy your original brush stroke pixels and any stacked adjustment layers will always be fluid in how they respond to the untouched brush stroke pixels. "Destructive pixel baking" as I used it above only refers to the exported image since you cannot take it and revisit any editing choices you made. Same for PS and LR.

Champion

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677 Messages

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8.7K Points

Adjustment layers? I thought this thread is about real, pixel layers...

Aren't Lightroom's local corrections the same as Photoshop's adjustment layers? Except they are not called so and don't look like that.

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

Dorin, regarding your first question: Yes, the thread is about layers, but as some (like Andrew) are arguing that PS and LR are fundamentally different (and layers hence have no place in LR), I used adjustment layers as a vehicle to illustrate what the real essence of non-destructive editing is (and that hence things that are often considered to be reserved to "pixel pushing" applications, like retouching, could very well be a part of LR without breaking its non-destructive paradigm).

Regarding your second question: Many LR adjustments (including global ones) are like PS adjustment layers, sometimes combined with implicit layer masks (in particular when local corrections are concerned). Note that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the "layer on/off"-eye symbol for a PS adjustment layer and the "on/off" switch for an LR panel. The similarities are really in one's face, but Andrew appears to remain unconvinced.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

>>Note that there is a one-to-one correspondence between the "layer on/off"-eye symbol for a PS adjustment layer and the "on/off" switch for an LR panel.

It appears that way because you fail to understand the difference between a pixel edit and a parametric edit that THEN requires rendering to create pixels. This has nothing to do with destructive or non destructive editing and more to do with the processing workflow, path and engine. Photoshop doesn't render pixels, they are already pixel based. LR and ACR have to take instructions and build pixels.

What do you think happens under the hood in LR when you take your raw data (have you even seen with non demosaiced image data looks like?) a set of instructions and export (setting the rendering) to build, create, compose NEW RGB pixels.

The once amazing "Layers" product that started this thread doesn't do anything differently than Photoshop but it isn't at all working within the LR engine. So you might as well just use Photoshop or any pixel editor that supports layers. The product mentioned first renders the pixels just as if you exported an image in LR to a size and color space from raw data, opened them in PS and added layers. The LR engine is completely out of picture when this plug-in, like all the others that have no access to the LR parametric rendering engine start working. They can't deal with the LR engine, don't understand the parametric instructions etc. The processes are different (and to round trip this discussion, one is destructive).

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

FYI, I've written my own RAW converter once. Just to play with some ideas.

I initially wrote that I'd stop my attempts at explaining my point of view here, but that was before I saw your latest post in which you asked some question. I hope the answer will help to consolidate the discussion.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

9 y ago

>Here's how Lightroom is destructive just as Photoshop is: For instance, when you clone one area over another, the target pixels get destroyed. Ouch!

That, like much of your post is incorrect and shows a huge misunderstanding of the processing. There are no pixels affected until you render the data (original, be it raw or existing rendered data plus instruction of edit used to create new set of pixels). The area you see in the preview is simply what will, I repeat will result only if you render the data to a new iteration. It is not destructive, it has no effect on pixels that as yet have been rendered.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

Andrew, I posted a reply to your inappropriate criticism below.

P.S.: I looked at the "non destructive imaging" document you linked to. Where does it contradict anything I wrote? It even explains that Photoshop's adjustment layers are an example of non-destructive editing, just as I used the term "adjustment layer" when I talked about conceptual layers in the LR rendering pipeline.

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 y ago

I look forward to LR4. I did take a quick look a couple of months ago but as it wouldn't use my existing catalog without re-importing everything, decided to wait for the final release. Reading the link TK, shows there is a demand for better retouching tools so will download the latest beta for another peep. -:)

62 Messages

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1.8K Points

9 y ago

Here's my 2 cents worth. I personally do not desire layers, per se' in LR. However I do desire a more robust targeted adjustment tool and the ability to retain PS layers. Let me explain:

1) I applaud the improvements to the targeted adjustment tool in LR4. Especailly the ability to target sharpening, noise and WB. What is now needed is some more options on the brush used for targeting to simulate some of things one can do with PS Layer Masks. e.g., something for "refine edge", perhaps a way to draw a line around the target area rather than painting with a brush, and something like the magic wand.

2 I posted this elsewhere but here it is again. If I edit in LR, then go to PS and add a layer for some reason the new PSD or TIFF file shows up in LR. If I just right click it and go right back to PS, my layers are still intact. However instead if I edit in LR then right click it to go back to PS my layers are all flattened. I'd like LR to not flatten out my PS layers but rather just add a new layer for the 2nd set of LR adjustments so that when I return to PS my original layers are still there.

Thanks

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 y ago

I've been caught out by that too Dan. When you return to LR from PS, the file retains its layers as it is now a photoshop bitmap file. But if you make adjustments to it in LR, it has to create a further flattened copy for its adjustments to work on.

If you then elect to edit it further in PS you will be exporting a LR file not the PSD version with layers. You can always elect to "edit a copy" which will retain the layers but will loose those last LR adjustments.

For other reasons too, I think the workflow should be such that bitmap editing is the final stage.

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

9 y ago

Andrew, you write "There are no pixels affected until you render the data". That is incorrect, since obviously the preview is an image made of pixels as well.

The preview, i.e., the image you see in the Develop module, is the result of a sequential application of changes to a working copy. The initial working copy is a copy of the original (e.g., demosaiced RAW image), or a smaller version of it.

Of course, when you export an image in LR then the rendering starts afresh with a certain target size, etc. But obviously the preview is just another form of rendering (in LR3 the preview sometimes omits noise reduction but that doesn't change the overall principle).

The term "destructive" is somewhat inappropriate in discussions like these because even pixel editors like Photoshop are not "destructive" in the true sense of the word when you don't save over your original but always keep inventing new names for your image versions. Assuming you do that, the only remaining difference to parametric editing then is that a parametric editor can replay edit actions, should you decide to change parameters, remove some earlier edit actions, etc. That's where you non-parametric editor gets stuck. You can revert to an older version of your image, but you cannot replay the edits that followed with different settings or replay a subset of them only. Since a parametric editor can replay all edits, it does not need to keep intermediate copies; it just keeps starting from the original, replaying all edits.

Andrew, there is no "huge misunderstanding of the processing" on my behalf. I challenge you to get an ACR programmer to state that what I have written is wrong. I'm a software engineer and I know how this stuff can be programmed.

Please be more cautious with your judgment.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

9 y ago

>>The preview, i.e., the image you see in the Develop module, is the result of a sequential application of changes to a working copy.

It is a proxy preview and has no direct bearing on the actual data which as yet has not been edited (let alone, as you incorrectly point out, have an destructive edit applied). You’d do yourself some good, save the rest of us some time if you would read the Adobe White Paper (URL above) by Peter Krogh. You don’t need an engineer here, the paper was produced by Adobe and written by an authority on the subject.

>The term "destructive" is somewhat inappropriate in discussions like these because even pixel editors like Photoshop are not "destructive"

And yet today you wrote:
Here's how Lightroom is destructive just as Photoshop is : For instance, when you clone one area over another, the target pixels get destroyed. Ouch!

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

9 y ago

Andrew, what is the "actual data" you are talking about? As far as previewing is concerned, the data used for creating the proxy preview is the "actual data". How do you think that proxy preview is created without "destroying" some pixels? Of course, the "destruction" only affects pixels in a working copy, so no harm done.

Rest assured I understand the difference between rendering a preview and rendering a final output file. What you do not seem to understand is that both preview and final output need to be rendered (using the original data + metadata).

I have looked at the Adobe White Paper (URL above) by Peter Krogh. Where does what I have written contradict anything Peter Krogh writes? There is no contradiction. Again, I challenge you to get someone from Adobe to support your position that I have written something that is incorrect.

You quote me with "The term "destructive" is somewhat inappropriate in discussions like these because even pixel editors like Photoshop are not "destructive" ..." assuming that I'm contradicting myself. However, you should have just included the part that followed the quote you truncated: "... in the true sense of the word when you don't save over your original but always keep inventing new names for your image versions." In my initial comment, I was using "destructive" as many use it in this context. Later on, in a different comment, I remarked that "destructive" is a problematic term. Again, I do not see the problem you are seeing.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

9 y ago

>As far as previewing is concerned, the data used for creating the proxy preview is the "actual data".

It is a proxy generated from the original data. How do you explain that the preview is the raw data? Clearly it isn’t. It was generated from that raw data source as a proxy preview, based on the current rendering instructions. And that preview (depending on the module) is a low rez version simply used to show you the current state of what the rendered data might look like IF you render it.

>Rest assured I understand the difference between rendering a preview and rendering a final output file.

Good. Because it is the rendered data we all end up with (whether we send it though the print module, ask for it to end up on the web, or export). There IS an option to print the data from a existing preview if you want to get precise here (Draft Mode Printing).

>>However, you should have just included the part that followed the quote you truncated: "... in the true sense of the word when you don't save over your original but always keep inventing new names for your image versions."

No, I think you are still contradicting yourself because the original data in this case of a raw is always left untouched. I’m referring to the rendered data. To say that applying a clone stamp as a metadata instruction in LR destructive and the same in Photoshop where one app takes the raw data and the instruction and renders virgin pixels from the two, and suggesting the same is true in a pixel editor is a poor way to describe the differences in the processing and resulting data.

IF you want to say that non destructive editing is such that the original is left untouched, without taking the iterative data into the discussion, you can say we’ve had non destructive editing in every application ever made, since computers have provided a Save As command.

With an Adjustment layer, the data (source) is non destructive. And the iteration is too, until you flatten the layer (or print the data). 99 times out 100, that has to happen. You started with exiting rendered data, you edited that data. There is some data loss due to rounding errors (we can agree that it is moot but the facts of the resulting data are what they are). When you take raw data and instructions, you render data for the first time. How then is this destructive?

>>In my initial comment, I was using "destructive" as many use it in this context. Later on, in a different comment, I remarked that "destructive" is a problematic term.

Yes, it is. Especially when one doesn’t separate the original data from the derivative.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

9 y ago

"[The preview] is a proxy generated from the original data. How do you explain that the preview is the raw data?"
I never stated that the preview is the raw data. I only said, the preview is rendered from the raw data, just like any other output.

"No, I think you are still contradicting yourself because the original data in this case of a raw is always left untouched."
I never said or implied that the original data is ever touched.

I always said that changes are made to a "working copy".

"To say that applying a clone stamp as a metadata instruction in LR destructive and the same in Photoshop where one app takes the raw data and the instruction and renders virgin pixels from the two, and suggesting the same is true in a pixel editor is a poor way to describe the differences in the processing and resulting data."

I did not attempt to wipe away any differences which are clearly there. My point was to destroy the myth that is based on the assumption that "pixel pushing" and "parametric editing" are so fundamentally different that "pixel pushing" supports certain operations that "parametric editing" does not. My point was that using terminology like "destructive" and "pixel pushing" are poor ways of suggesting that Photoshop does something that LR does not do. They both, by necessity, need to "push pixel" (destroy pixels). The question is just
a) do you write the result over the original, and
b) do you keep a record of how the user "pushed pixels" so that you can do it again?

Since Photoshop allows not writing over the original, it need not be "destructive" in terms of "a)". The only aspect in which PS really differs is regarding "b)" for some operations. Other operations (like adjustment layers) are as non-destructive like LR.

So this is my point: The only significant difference between the "non-destructive" vs "destructive" paradigms are that you keep editing instructions in the former case but not in the latter. Hence one paradigm cannot be fundamentally limited compared to the other (leaving performance aside).

"IF you want to say that non destructive editing is such that the original is left untouched, without taking the iterative data into the discussion, you can say we’ve had non destructive editing in every application ever made, since computers have provided a Save As command."
If you do not save over the original what gets destroyed? Let me quote from the document by Peter Krogh you pointed me to: "NDI has always been achievable by simply saving the file as a new file, once adjustments were made. By preserving the original file in its original state, the user is free to make additional derivative files without compromising the integrity of the source image.".

"When you take raw data and instructions, you render data for the first time. How then is this destructive?"
It is not destructive w.r.t. the original data. But if you do not save over the original data in PS, there is no destruction either.
It is destructive in the sense that in the working copy of the image used in the rendering pipeline, pixels need to be "pushed"/"destroyed". Just like in PS. The only difference: LR uses metadata to remember how to "push"/"destroy" those pixels in the working copy again. PS doesn't. You either save the working copy as a new file or save over the original.

947 Messages

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13.9K Points

"So this is my point: The only significant difference between the "non-destructive" vs "destructive" paradigms are that you keep editing instructions in the former case but not in the latter."

I would argue that that point is very loosely connected to reality. In one case, you only have to apply one operation at a time, and thus the performance of the application is dependent largely on the performance of EACH operation. In the other case, all the operations have to be performed each time any operation is changed, thus the performance is dependent on the performance of the SUM of all operations. Secondly, in the destructive case, you need not turn each operation into a set of instructions (a "recipe"), but can instead apply them as you go, such as while using a brush or the liquify tool. In the non-destructive case, you have to convert every motion or brush stroke into metadata that can be applied later as other settings are changed. These are quite fundamental differences that definitely limit what each method is capable of accomplishing.

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

Lee Jay, your "very loosely connected to reality" comment is a stark exaggeration.

The only counterpoint you are making regards performance. Note that I mentioned "performance aside" or similar multiple times.

Of course there is is penalty for
a) recording user actions while they happen (negligible, though!) and
b) the need to replay all editing actions ever performed on an image.

However, there are optimisation techniques, such as caching. It is therefore not true that "all the operations have to be performed each time any operation is changed". As a very simple example, a change to an operation that occurs at same stage in the rendering pipeline does not need to retrigger any rendering stages before it as long as a cache of each stage is kept. Other optimisations (that may or may not slightly impact on previewing fidelity) are possible.

In summary, I do not accept your conclusion that the parametric approach excludes certain image operations because of performance considerations.

Furthermore note that certain workarounds users have to apply right now -- e.g., use fifty healing circles in a row to retouch a longish object -- are surely slower to process than a single healing application allowing the definition of a longish area (by brushing, by polygon, by an ellipse, ...).

P.S.: Final renderings will of course always require full re-renderings (i.e., imply the full sum of costs) unless enormous disk caches are used, but I believe most users care more about editing interactivity.

For those who cannot wait for their final renderings to finish there is
a) PS.
b) Bibble 5 which artificially limits the number of editing operations you can apply to an image. Hence, there will be a limit to rendering times as well.

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"Of course there is is penalty for
a) recording user actions while they happen (negligible, though!)"

Actually, if you aren't quite clever and careful about how you do it, the metadata for that can easily grow to be larger than the image itself.

"However, there are optimisation techniques, such as caching. It is therefore not true that "all the operations have to be performed each time any operation is changed"."

Yes, it is, if you want the results to be an accurate reflection of how the image will look when exported, which I think is pretty critical to the editing process.

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I fear the current way of storing metadata in LR is not very clever (catalogs compress enormously using simple WinZip and that's not even exploiting a lot of redundancy in catalogs). With reasonable cleverness applied, metadata should not outgrow image data. But I think we agree on this point.

We also agree that the Develop module preview should be an accurate reflection of the final result. Yet, we both know that this is not the case for LR3 (noise reduction and yellow/orange highlight rendering). LR4 may have improved things, but there is certainly a precedence for a "good enough" approach.

Furthermore, either you edit at "1:1" magnification at which point you don't need to render all of the image (thus saving time), or you edit with less magnification which makes it possible to take certain shortcuts as some details won't be visible unless you look at them at "1:1" magnification (or higher).

Finally, note that "good enough" need only apply for the time it takes to generate the next best approximation of the preview. Remember, you agreed with Rob Cole's suggestion?

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That comment applied to noise and sharpening, not local adjustment which need to be accurate as you lay them down.

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First, I don't understand your point. The local adjustment won't be accurate if the underlying noise reduction and sharpening isn't accurate. The latter are examples for shortcuts taken in order to gain performance. Whether they affect the image on a global or local level does not seem to be relevant.

Second, where is the problem of achieving performant local adjustments? It is just like using a layer in Photoshop with a layer mask. I don't see why you regard local adjustments as a challenge.