LIGHTROOM "Make images available offline" option

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Hi,

I'm very often on the road with my Macbook and I need to edit a lot because I'm rarely home. Most people say that a laptop is not perfect for this and they are right, but if you have no choice, you gotta do it.

Anyway, Smart Previews is great and I already used it. Takes some of the hassle and troubles away and that's great. But still, I regret that we don't have the option to easily put the images on the local drive (a temp folder for 'Lightroom Offline Use').

For instance, I now have multiple Collections with a number of images inside. I can select all images in the Collection and have LR built Smart Previews so I can edit with LR on the road. Very nice. But unfortunately I'm a perfectionist, so I do some PS editing too. And that's just not possible with Smart Previews of course...

Also, I can move a folder from external storage to local drives with LR, but I can't do this with Collections, it's just not possible to move a collection. And doing this manually? Mutltiple collections containing about 70 images from 45 different folders. It would take ages to do this from multiple(!) collections.

It would have been so cool, if you would have the choice between "Smart Preview" and "Offline usage".

A friend told me to edit with LR with Smart Previews and then, at home, do my thing in PS, but the problem is that I don't see these two seperated. It's not like I have a fixed workflow where I do 10 steps in LR and after that a few things in PS and finished. It doesn't work like that.. I mix between LR and PS and depending on what happens, depending on the image, the mood I'm in, the inspiration I have, I then decide to do something in LR or PS..

So something like "Make available Offline" would be a dream come true.

Thanks,
Kris
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kris.vandevijver

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Posted 5 years ago

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Rob Cole

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Would you mind clarifying what you would be able to do if "Offline usage" or "Make available Offline" was chosen. Edit in Photoshop? and do you want to retrofit back to original once online? or have I missed the point... It would be an alternative to "Smart Preview" ya say, but would not be the same as having the photo online? - I'm confused...
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kris.vandevijver

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Would you mind clarifying what you would be able to do if "Offline usage" or "Make available Offline" was chosen. Edit in Photoshop?

--> Yes, edit in Photoshop, which -as you know- is not possible with Smart Previews.

and do you want to retrofit back to original once online?

--> I think it would be better if a 2nd file was created (original name + "-1"). This way, LR would stay non-destructive and keep its originals untouched.

or have I missed the point... It would be an alternative to "Smart Preview" ya say, but would not be the same as having the photo online? - I'm confused...

--> I would have full access to the photo (for PS editing), alhtough a) the external drive would not be online for me, and b) the original file would be safe on the external drive, while I can work with an exact copy of it. Creating a TIFF at that point, would not be necessary anymore, because I'm already starting to edit a TIFF copy from the original. So, in other words : the original is at home on my external drive and an exact copy is on the local drive of the laptop. When I get home and the external drive is online again, LR will automatically move the edited TIFFs to my external drive (with changed file name, so original is not overwritten). If I want to edit on the road some more, I would need to check the (changed) pictures as "make available offline". An alternative would be that LR presents me a list with thumbnails of all images that are currently "made available offline" and then I can check/uncheck what I want to keep local and what I want to move to the external storage again.
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Rob Cole

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Thanks - I think I see what you mean now.

Sortofa "auto-sync" so a copy can be edited "offline" - good idea.

I suppose you are aware that the normal way people edit copies whilst traveling (or when "offline") is to export a catalog with photos and take that with you... - then you can edit as desired, in Photoshop and/or make virtual copies..., then re-import (the previously exported catalog, into your main/original catalog) upon return (or once "online" again).

The biggest problem with that approach that I see is that it's an all-or-nuthin' deal "offline-copy-wise" - no way to have all photos w/smart previews, but only some photos with an offline copy, I mean short of some manual intervention / file copying...

Cheers,
Rob
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kris.vandevijver

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..."export a catalog with photos and take that with you"...

So let's say I export a collection containing about 50 photos scattered over different folders on my NAS drive. I edit them on the road and then when I re-import the catalog : will LR know the original location of all these photos? And will the original photos be overwritten?

thanks,
Kris
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Rob Cole

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1. Yes.
2. Depends on which options you choose when importing.

Photos are identified by a database ID, and photos in exported catalog all have the same ID as in original catalog, even though the source path of the photo files will be different (if you export photo files along with catalog).

When you get back home, and load the original catalog and import the travel catalog, it recognizes same photos by their ID, and will incorporate settings and metadata as you've specified - whether raw and/or rgb photo files are copied too is up to you, depending on options chosen.

New photos will be recognized because they have no counterpart in original catalog, and when importing photo source files can remain in place or be moved, depending on option chosen.

To accomplish your specific goal:
1. Export entire catalog with smart previews but not source files (or whatever you want). *** See note at bottom.
2. Export a collection as catalog of photos to include source files.
3. Import catalog created in step 2 into catalog created in step 1 (or vice versa), and take it with you, edit..., and re-import it into original base catalog upon return.

Tip: Do a test run before leaving home, so you know it will work when you come back. The catalog export / import feature is really quite nice and painless (fingers crossed ;-}).

*** Note: Exported catalogs don't have publish settings, so if you want those whilst traveling, you have to make a copy of the original and strip stuff you don't want, instead of exporting stuff you do want (or re-create publish settings manually in travel catalog...).

R
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kris.vandevijver

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..."whether raw and/or rgb photo files are copied too is up to you, depending on options chosen. "...

and these options are presented during import of the catalog?

..."Exported catalogs don't have publish settings"...

I'm not sure what you mean by 'publish settings' ?
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Rob Cole

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Example of importing catalog:
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kris.vandevijver

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Ah okay, I see now what you mean with the options. Thanks for the screenshot.
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Rob Cole

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You bet. Do some experimenting with test catalogs before-hand, so you're not goofing up with important stuff in the "heat of the moment" ;-).
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kris.vandevijver

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thanks for the help Rob