dan_1844859's profile

62 Messages

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1.8K Points

Fri, Jan 20, 2012 6:17 PM

Lightroom: Preserve PSD Layers in LR to allow back and forth editing

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 conversation has been merged. Please refer the main conversation:

Lightroom: Add Layers to Lightroom

Responses

Adobe Administrator

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15.9K Messages

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295.3K Points

9 y ago

Have you tried "Open As Smart Object in Photoshop"? This will create a Smart Object layer that embeds the original raw data + the development settings. Then, if you double click that Smart Object layer in Photoshop you can adjust the layer's raw settings.

Sr. Product Manager, Adobe Digital Imaging

62 Messages

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1.8K Points

9 y ago

Hi Jeffrey,

"Open as Smart Object" doesn't seem to solve the problem of maintaining layers added in PS followed by edits in LR. The goal is to retain your PS layers across a trip back to LR (where additonal edits are done) and then back to PS.

Even with Smart Object, when you go to PS the second time after making a change in LR, no matter which option you use, all the layers are gone. If you haven't made an adjustments in LR then you can get back to PS with your layers intact.

Thanks -- Dan

Champion

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677 Messages

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8.7K Points

What you mean, gone? If you create a derivative from a derivative — of course, the're gone. But you shouldn't.

You should Edit the original derivative, not create a derivative of a derivative.

62 Messages

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1.8K Points

By "gone" I mean when the image opens in PS, it has only 1 layer (BG). The prior changes are there in the image but the layers that caused those changes have been flattened to a single layer.

My point is, using your terminology, that it is perfectly reasonable to want to create a "derivative from a derivative". I'm not sure why you say "of course they're gone". I know it works that way now but I don't think this is a "law of nature" nor do I think one shouldn't apply multiple edits to a single image. After all, any change you make in PS could be considered as resulting in a "derivative" (in your terminology) so the second change creates a derivative of a derivative even if you stay completly in PS. Are you suggesting that this shouldn't be done?

Let me explain it this way. If I stay completely within PS, I can make hundreds of changes all of which can be seen in the history panel and which can be contained in many layers. At will I can turn on or off various layers to see the image without the changes reflected on that or those particular layers. I can also go back in time to a prior history level (thus discarding changes made after that point), and continue editing from that point in time.

Now, let's take the scenario above, but instead of doing all my work in PS I, for one reason or another, use a different tool (LR) to perform one or more steps in my list of changes. The mere fact that I chose a different tool should not eliminate the history list available to me nor should it flatten all my layers which prevents me from further tweaking the layer - for example moving the text on a text layer to a different spot.

I understand of course that specific changes made in an external tool such as LR can't be adjusted in PS but if all the changes made in a trip to LR showed up on one "external adjustments layer" in PS, that one layer could be turned on/off and the trip to LR could be shown in the PS history list. Probably the only things you could do in PS with the proposed "LR" layer is make it visible/invisible with the eyeball, or delete it, but the main point is to keep the other PS created layers intact as seperate layers across a round trip to LR (where changes may be made) and back.

322 Messages

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7.5K Points

9 y ago

That's why once I have taken an image into PS ... I don't make any further Development adjustments in Lr for that image ... If it needs tweaked, I go back to photoshop and complete the task ... double dipping back and forth only leads to problems ....

Though I wouldn't be opposed to adding a layers feature to Lr so I wouldn't have to go to PS in the first place ... hint .. hint ... :)