Photoshop/Lightroom: Face recognition data removed when moving from Lightroom to Photoshop and saving

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  • Updated 3 years ago
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I've searched for two hours but can't find anything related to the issue I'm having, so I finally gave in and decided to create this thread. I apologize if this has been answered before but I couldn't find anything.

I'm having an issue with facial recognition being removed when opening a photo from Lightroom into Photoshop and then saving.

In Lightroom, I import my raw photos, convert to DNG, do all my picks, keywording, facial recogntion, etc., and save the metadata. Then I open the photo in Photoshop for editing. After doing all the work, I save the file (TIF or JPG) and the new file is added to the stack in Lightroom. When I look at this photo, it has all my metadata saved except for the face regions that were added to my original photo in Lightroom.

Can someone please tell me what I need to do in order to have Photoshop save the face regions with the new file that gets created? Or, is it not intended to work the way I'm trying to use it? If it is not intended to work this way, what is the workflow you recommend?
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Shannon Cayze

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Posted 3 years ago

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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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Hi Shannon,

This is a known limitation because Photoshop (and many other applications) does not know how to properly handle the standard image region XMP metadata  (Download the specification (PDF: 1.7M).) that Lightroom adopts to encode the facial data. Following the standard, the external editing application is supposed to transform the face regions when the image is transformed geometrically (cropping, scaling, transforming etc) to keep the image region metadata current so that the application such as Lightroom does not need to know what the upstream application has done to the image when it comes back.

So rather than having Lightroom second guessing possibly misplaced face regions, we decided to treat the image that comes back from Photoshop as a new imported asset and the face detection will rerun.
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Shannon Cayze

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Thank you, Simon! That really helps because I thought I must be going crazy or missing something really easy. At least I now know how it is supposed to behave.

That said, going forward, I think I'll wait until all my photos for a shoot are completely edited before applying facial recognition. The only downside is that I still have many photos where faces are not recognized (from the side, wearing sunglasses, etc.) and I have to apply them manually. This is not a criticism...I'm a software developer myself and can imagine how difficult facial recognition would be to implement. However, is there any way to sync them from one photo to another, even if you must adjust them manually after a crop (I usually crop in Lightroom first anyway)? For example, from the original photo to the newly imported one.

Thanks again!
Shannon
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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The Syncomatic plugin will sync metadata from the top of a stack to the other photos inside the stack. However, I'm pretty sure that it doesn't currently handle the region metadata used by face recognition. However, you might ask the developer to add that as an option (and also, an option to sync from the bottom of the stack rather than top). (The plugin SDK doesn't allow plugins to directly modify the region metadata, though the LR 6 SDK provides enough tools to allow it be done using Exiftool.)
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Shannon Cayze

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Thank you, John! I was wondering if there was a way to sync that data. I'll look into the plugin. Honestly, almost $10 for what it does right now is kind of steep, but if they add facial recognition syncing, I may have to part with my money :).