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

>>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".

Who said otherwise? Myth? I took umbrage with something you wrote quite clearly:

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!

>If you do not save over the original what gets destroyed?

In the case of Photoshop, the iteration. In the case of LR, with raw data, nothing.

>The only difference: LR uses metadata to remember how to "push"/"destroy" those pixels in the working copy again.

The original data is unrendered raw data. There is nothing to destroy. If you edit that rendered data in Photoshop, then yes, there can and is some data loss.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

9 y ago

"Who said otherwise?"
You wrote earlier: "You can’t turn a kitchen knife into an effective tool to handle screwing in screws".
You were thus suggesting that LR (kitchen knife) cannot be turned into something that supports layers (screwing in screws). This is incorrect. One may not want layers in LR for several reasons, but it is not a case of changing a tool against its nature.

BTW, AfterShot Pro (formerly known as Bibble5) demonstrates how layers can co-exist with parametric editing.

"Myth?"
The perceived chasm between "pixel pushing" and "parametric editing" is often used to explain to people that LR cannot do things that PS can do. Even quite prominent figures who associate themselves with Adobe would have you believe that for instance retouching will never be part of LR because only a "pixel pushing" program like PS can "push pixels" whereas LR is a parametric editor and that one really needs to understand the difference between the two fundamentally different image editing paradigms.

"I took umbrage with something you wrote quite clearly:"
You take umbrage, because you are reading something into it that I didn't write. In my statement (you take issue with) "Here's how Lightroom is destructive just as Photoshop is: For instance, when you clone one area over another, the target pixels get destroyed."
a) the "target pixels" (that get destroyed) are of course not the pixels of the original. In both LR and PS, the target is a working copy.
b) you can replace "destructive" with another term if you like. The statement just says LR and PS are no different in how they need to change working copies.

All my statement, you take issue with, is saying is "If you call PS 'destructive' you can call LR 'destructive' as well since both have to 'push pixels' in working copies. I'm effectively trying to say that the issue with PS is not that it is "destructive" (it isn't if you don't saver over originals), the issue with PS is that it is "non-remembering" (in the sense of not being able to replay edits on demand). I hope that is clearer now.

>If you do not save over the original what gets destroyed?

"In the case of Photoshop, the iteration. In the case of LR, with raw data, nothing."
In the case of PS, nothing ever needs to be destroyed ever, as long as you keep inventing new names for every iteration. Again, the issue is not destruction. The issue is the ability to replay edits.

BTW, whether the original is RAW or not is irrelevant. In either case LR does not overwrite original image data. In either case PS need not overwrite original image data.

"If you edit that rendered data in Photoshop, then yes, there can and is some data loss.". Again, no rendered data ever needs to be destroyed / lost.

The only thing that gets lost when editing in PS vs LR are the editing actions. The latter are stored as editing instructions as part of the metadata in LR. They are lost in PS. That is the only fundamental difference.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

9 y ago

You were thus suggesting that LR (kitchen knife) cannot be turned into something that supports layers (screwing in screws). This is incorrect.

No, I stated (didn’t suggest) one should use the right tool for the right job, I stated that given much time and money, “LR Pro“ could do everything all single Adobe App’s do today. I never said it was impossible. I said it was impractical and unnecessary. And a Kitchen Knife is a great tool... in the kitchen (I’m not knocking that specific tool).

The perceived chasm between "pixel pushing" and "parametric editing" is often used to explain to people that LR cannot do things that PS can do.

So you say, but it wasn’t here. What was stated is that there is limited engineering time and money to make a kitchen knife into a screw driver. Both tools exist. Just get one of each. Or maybe you subscribe to the $10,000 military toilet seat mode of software among other things.

The statement just says LR and PS are no different in how they need to change working copies.

I disagree in terms of the results of the processed data. I could care less about the original since I never alter the original data in either application (the old Save As point).

In the case of PS, nothing ever needs to be destroyed ever, as long as you keep inventing new names for every iteration.

So the adjustment layer that has to be flattened doesn’t alter the data? And if it does, you are saying there are no rounding errors which are destructive to the data?

BTW, whether the original is RAW or not is irrelevant. In either case LR does not overwrite original image data. In either case PS need not overwrite original image data.

For the third time, the original data isn’t under discussion, it is what results from the original data! If you never want destructive edits of pixels, don’t edit them!

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

9 y ago

Andrew, I don't think there is much progress, so I think it is time to not continue this discussion.

I feel that you have moved from your original "Educate yourself before you talk further nonsense" position that you confronted me with, but I do not see the value in exchanging further posts on the same subject.

Let me just quote something you wrote in your last comment: "Both tools exist. Just get one of each.".
My answer is "No, thank you."

If both tools cooperated to work on one object, I would agree with you. If I could use the screw driver to poke holes into a coconut in order to break it and then could use the kitchen knife to separate the edible parts from the shell, I'd get both tools.

However, the LR & PS situation is different. These tools do not work together on one image. They cannot be used in a collaborative fashion, achieving a non-destructive imaging (NDI) approach.

Whatever comes out of PS is different to what went into it. This means in LR we are dealing with at least two copies of an image. This does not support seamless NDI. This is not what I want. Hence I won't "get one of each".

If PS could be used as a rendering engine in the background while all management and editing control is exerted from within LR then I may "get one of each".

But then again, I don't need the full power of PS for e.g. better retouching support and/or few other additions. So why buy and use a super-duper-gianormous swiss-army knife (Photoshop) in the background to support a regular kitchen knife (LR), if it is more straightforward (and cheaper, and less demanding on the executing hardware) to add a tiny little bit from the super-duper-gianormous swiss-army knife to the existing kitchen knife?

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

9 y ago

Andrew, I don't think there is much progress, so I think it is time to not continue this discussion.

That is a smart tact considering you ignore the points made, the questions asked of you but worse, and put words in my mouth such as “ Educate yourself before you talk further nonsense" or “ You were thus suggesting that LR (kitchen knife) cannot be turned into something that supports layers (screwing in screws).

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

9 y ago

Andrew, I believe that "Educate yourself before you talk further nonsense" was a fair summary of your statements "That, like much of your post is incorrect and shows a huge misunderstanding of the processing." and "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.".

I purposefully didn't put the summary statement in italics because you didn't say it verbatim. I'd be very surprised if you were now seriously claiming that my summary does not reflect the message you sent with your actual statements.

And what were you intending with your "You can’t turn a kitchen knife into an effective tool to handle screwing in screws" analogy, if you weren't talking about LR and layers?

Your "get both tools" advice does not work in the case of LR & PS, but you chose to ignore my point.

Yet you accuse me of ignoring "points made". On the contrary, I put in effort to try and explain why your "points" don't make sense. Initially, you were very concerned about that LR does not alter data whereas PS does. After I refuted that point, you suddenly could not care less about originals. Your remaining point about precision ("rounding errors") could be easily refuted as well. Could, if one had the patience. Excuse me for having ran out of patience.

Please, try to use your Adobe contacts and ask them whether anything I've written is wrong. I understand you talk to the public about Lightroom and other Adobe products, so it would be good for you to spread the correct facts, not to tell those who have a correct understanding that they have a "huge misunderstanding" and need to read some white paper.

66 Messages

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1.2K Points

9 y ago

Cough...

I've just had a look at AfterShot/Bibble and that seems to use layers for adjustments......

15 Messages

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326 Points

8 y ago

I just downloaded perfect layers for lightroom.
I find this little plug in amazing, for the ease of use and the power and possibilities it offers
1 thing though is lacking, and i think if lightroom would finally come out of the box and give us such an important tool would be AMAZING!!!

Having the possibilities to work with 2 different pictures like in perfect layers, but at the same time being able to change for each picture any slider of the develop tool.

this function i think would really give to lightroom an edge to any other program out there, and give to user such a huge control and great way to improve quickly images, without the tedious way to have to work the image in an external editor like photoshop

PLEASE
PLEASE

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Perfect Layers dream.

5 Messages

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122 Points

8 y ago

In addition to the resize option I mentioned earlier, I would like to see an overlay option so that I can combine two photoes.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Layers and compositing.

4 Messages

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142 Points

8 y ago

I recently replaced our Express Digital Software package that we used to organize, show clients, sell, and print from with Lightroom 3. I has been wonderful. The one thing that it does not have is the ability to do quick collages with a overlay. Do you think Lightroom will be able to import files with transparencies and/or do layers. This would give a studio the ability to create cards and collages quickly. We are in the process of creating a training video directed at the professional portrait studio on how to use Lightroom in the studio.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Allow more sophisticated overlays with Layers.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

8 y ago

>>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.

OK, let's back up since we may have a semantics issue here.

Let's take your suggestion above. You say nothing has been destroyed. So let's make this simple. Take your above Photoshop layered doc. What happens in terms of destructive editing to pixels if I flatten the doc? Wait, you answered this:

>Surely flattening layers (or other destructive operations) makes the editing destructive

OK, so just what do you suppose happens if:

I don't flatten but I print the document in Photoshop? The underlying pixels do not get affected? Of course they do. What if I convert to another color space? Either the pixels and layers are all combined to produce the new appearance or none of the numbers are affected in which case, explain how the image now appears different.

You have a single pixel with a value of R35/G55/B65 OK. Now I pop an Adjustment layer on top such that the values will be R37/G55/B65. Only ONE value has changed. Your take on the PS processing is, the original values are sent to the printer or the NEW values? If the NEW values are sent, it's a destructive edit due to the rounding errors.

Maybe the version of Photoshop the people on Star Trek use can alter color and tone appearance of digital images without altering any values but that isn't how image processing works in 2013.

If I apply an edit in a 8-bit per channel document, there's more data loss that could even be visible compared to doing the same edit in 16-bits per channel. WHY are all the high bit scanners, cameras, and software just wrong about asking us to work with a file twice as big? WHY is there high bit data for editing then? The answer is to avoid data loss (destructive editing of pixels) with such padded data that the loss is moot, something I said yesterday and a year ago. But the data loss is there. HOW can you call this non destructive editing?

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

4.5K Messages

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76.3K Points

8 y ago

I'm sure Adobe could implement non-destructive layers in Lightroom, if they wanted to (I mean without extreme contortion...). C1 has done it, as has Bibble... granted, since Adobe already has layers implemented in Photoshop, they have less incentive than C1 and Bibble did.

Adobe has not designed Lr to readily support true layering, and since they have it already in Photoshop, it may be a while before we see it in Lightroom.

But there is no question in my mind - it is not less suited for non-destructive editors than it is for pixel editors, and I'm sure PhaseOne and (the people who were working at) Bibble Labs would agree, even if some fairly knowledgeable people would not.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

8 y ago

>>I'm sure Adobe could implement non-destructive layers in Lightroom, if they wanted to.

Agreed! And if memory serves, before LR had selective edits of any kind, C1 and a few raw converters others had this functionality and a bit later we saw this in LR.

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

513 Messages

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11.1K Points

8 y ago

Andrew, when I wrote my last comment, I didn't see that you had asked some questions in another post.

>> OK, let's back up since we may have a semantics issue here.
We do have a semantics issue because your understanding of "non-destructive" is different from mine.

Your notion of "non-destructive" seems to involve the idea of information preservation. If there is any kind of information loss, you seem to see a case of "destructive editing".

My notion of "non-destructive" means that you can always revisit earlier editing decisions without losing editing effort you put in after making the editing decisions you are revising. This, of course, includes the decision to undo (or deactivate) all editing adjustments you have made to an image, which gives you back the original image.

The original image can always be retrieved when using non-destructive editing (often referred to as "parametric editing) because the original pixels are never changed. All editing is based on the notion of "transformation". A curves adjustment in LR does not change the original pixels, it transforms them into new copies. The same holds true for a curves adjustment layer in PS. It does not destroy the pixels of the layer(s) below it. The latter are untouched and retrievable on demand. It only generates (you called it "create") new pixels that may be transformed by further adjustment layers.

Now the fact that you can export, print, "save as", etc., an image that consists of pixels that have been created by a transformation chain (the chain can be LR's image pipeline or a stack of PS adjustment layers, it doesn't matter) and that by doing this you of course do not have the same information in the target artefact you started with, does not matter at all.

The target artefact (exported image, image print, etc.) has no "non-destructive" properties. However, the transformation process that led to the artefact has. You can always change your mind about transformation steps, including throwing them all away to be left with the original image. You can change your mind about the first transformation step you decided to do (e.g., making a curves adjustment), alter the parameters (here, the curve), and see the effect ripple through all the subsequent transformation steps (e.g., hue adjustments). As a result, the latter transformation steps are still as effective as they were when you created them. In other words, you haven't lost your edit adjustments that followed the initial curves adjustment, even though you have changed your mind about what curve is the best to use. That is the essence of non-destructive editing for me.

>>OK, so just what do you suppose happens if:
I don't flatten but I print the document in Photoshop? The underlying pixels do not get affected? Of course they do.

The original pixels are not affected. PS creates a new rendering from all the layer information and sends that new rendering to the printer. After printing, you can switch off all layers and see your original image. How would that be possible if these pixels were ever "affected" as you write?

>>You have a single pixel with a value of R35/G55/B65 OK. Now I pop an Adjustment layer on top such that the values will be R37/G55/B65. Only ONE value has changed. Your take on the PS processing is, the original values are sent to the printer or the NEW values? If the NEW values are sent, it's a destructive edit due to the rounding errors.

Of course the NEW values are sent, but because the old values are still available, i.e., they have not been destroyed, the editing was non-destructive.

Note that when you use a brush and paint over your R35/G55/B65 pixel so that it is a R37/G55/B65 pixel afterwards then it was a destructive edit. Once you leave PS and the undo history is purged, there is no way you can retrieve the original R35/G55/B65 information. The situation is different if an adjustment layer creates a new (temporary) pixel by transforming the R35/G55/B65 into a R37/G55/B65 pixel, because in this case the R35/G55/B65 pixel is still available to revert to, or to base a different transformation on.

>>WHY are all the high bit scanners, cameras, and software just wrong about asking us to work with a file twice as big? WHY is there high bit data for editing then? The answer is to avoid data loss (destructive editing of pixels) with such padded data that the loss is moot, something I said yesterday and a year ago. But the data loss is there. HOW can you call this non destructive editing?
Even if information is lost in a transformation process, such as going from a 16-bit image to an 8-bit image, the editing paradigm can still be non-destructive if it is always possible to revert to the original 16-bit data. This can be achieved by not overriding the 16-bit data with 8-bit data, but by generating the 8-bit data as a new copy through transforming the 16-bit data into 8-bit data.

All LR editing panels can be thought of setting the parameters of a particular transformation stage in the LR image pipeline.

Every adjustment layer (not regular layer) in PS can be thought of a transformation stage in a transformation chain that is made up by the entirety of all adjustment layers.

This is why PS can (partially) offer a non-destructive editing experience and, conversely, why all what is considered hard core pixel pushing can be incorporated in LR if it is treated as a transformation rather than a (destructive) overriding of data.

2.1K Messages

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24.8K Points

8 y ago

>>My notion of non-destructive means that you can always revisit earlier editing decisions without losing editing effort you put in after making the editing decisions you are now revising. This of course, includes the decision to undo (or deactivate) all editing adjustment you have made to an image, which gives you back the original, untempered images.

OK, we're getting somewhere in terms of our definitions. So let me ask you. Any application that has a Save As command, or multiple levels of Undo is therefore non destructive? That would mean MacPaint from early 1985 or so was a non destructive editor. The original IS not undergoing destructive edits. To which I'd say so what? .

My take is this is just a recent (within less than a decade or so) marketing hype language if we both agree that any application that can save off an iteration leaving the original alone is supposed to be 'non destructive'. MS Word is a non destructive editor, as are nearly ever application I own. I can always revisit earlier editing decisions without losing editing effort.

My take was, the result of the edit, the data you end up with (because you want that edit) IS destructive due to rounder errors.

The term Non Destructive edit SHOULD tell us about what we just edited, not what didn't get touched, wouldn’t you agree?

>>However, the transformation process that led to the artefact has.

Agreed! The result of the edit may lead to artifacts. But isn't that what's important here? The result of what we do to the image? Didn't the new iteration suffer some data loss? If so, how is this a non destructive edit?

>>The original pixels are not affected. PS creates a new rendering from all the layer information and sends that new rendering to the printer.

Agreed, so the edit isn't non destructive in terms of what ends up being sent to the printer right?

>>Of course the NEW values are sent, but because the old values are still available, i.e., they have not been destroyed, the editing was non-destructive. non-destructive.

I'm concerned with the results of the edit, not what didn't happen to the original. That's why I brought up the differences in high bit (what Photoshop calls 16-bit) and doing the same editing on 8-bit per color channel. I think we both agree there's data loss in both, but one is so highly 'padded' with data, it's moot. But there was data loss. But the 8-bit per color document has undergone data loss to the degree we could see the result of the edit. In this context, why is the original that wasn't touched important, how is this a non destructive workflow?

If I don't edit an image, that too is non destructive in terms of the original data. So what?

Let's now move to LR/ACR. In the marketing hype description, the original raw isn't touched. But how about the resulting rendered data from the parametric instructions? Are we not creating new, virgin, rendered RGB pixles from raw+instructions? Is this not more a real non destructive edit? I'm concerned with the data I receive AFTER an edit, not before.

This is a bit like the question, if a tree falls in the forest and on one hears it, did it make a sound? I say yes. If I edit an image and the original isn't altered because of either a Save As or an adjustment layer, is there data loss? I would say yes (on the edited data). The original isn't touched agreed, but why did we edit the image and what is the result of the image we DID edit?

Author “Color Management for Photographers"