Lightroom Classic: Crop improvements

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  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)
One of the areas where Lightroom Classic has remained inadequate/under-developed has been the crop tool.   I offer the following suggestions (which unfortunately should have been incorporated years ago.)

1)  Content-aware crop for all images (not just panos).  This should have been added years ago, shortly after it was added to PS.  As LR is designed for processing many photos, telling customers we can just export to edit in PS is a weak cop-out.   There is no good excuse for not offering this in LR Classic, as it should have been there at least 2 years ago.

2) Additional/expanded custom/user preset crop ratios.  Like other presets and settings, we should be able to add more preset crop ratios and re-order them in the menu.

3) Improved Crop Aspect Controls.  For years now, the crop tool has only had 2 poor options for crop orientation.  Either click on "aspect" and then click on photo and drag and hope that you stop dragging while the crop box alternates between vertical and horizontal as the program chooses what it "thinks" you want. (That's being generous.)   For how many DECADES have we had "page setup" options where you can just click on Vertical/Horizontal (portrait/landscape) orientations, yet this basic, fast, easy-to-use tool isn't available in Lightroom's crop dialog.  We should be able to click or toggle between the two aspect, not be forced to click, drag hope we get the right orientation and then still need to adjust cropping.  It is slow and falls way short.  Your other suggestion is to unlock the crop and manually drag the sides.   Another WEAK work-around instead of just having the obvious, industry standards that have existed for decades.

4) Improved Sync features.  LR Classic needs the ability to easily sync our workspace settings via the cloud.  ALL (or selected) presets, develop settings, panel layout, watermarks, and the like should be able to be synced via the cloud.   This is even more important and obvious than raw files.   Raw files/photo files are not stored in "hidden" places or system folders, the most important thing to offer to sync is the stuff that is harder for customers to find and requires more work to sync manually.   When it comes to "sync" this was the most obvious thing to add, and the most needed... but it wasn't a priority because it doesn't use enough cloud space to be a new revenue stream by selling storage.  

Frankly, I'm disappointed that I even need to be here to post this.  These things should be totally obvious, especially to a company that thinks they are an industry leader.

These things are "no-brainers", yet these obvious things remain missing.
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Doug Berger

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Posted 6 months ago

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avpman

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#3 constantly drives me crazy.
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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#3 use KBSC 'x" to flip the crop orientation?
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Doug Berger

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I've been using LR since version 3.. and had never seen that KBSC.. and in fact, years of contact with Adobe, that KBSC has never even been mentioned to me, either by support or design channels, so I'd say GREAT that is there but shameful that it isn't made more obvious visually, as I've never gone into the "settings" text menu while having the crop tool open to see it.

That said, that "x" would work awesome with a visual icon/shortcut like used in page setups.. and then the "x" would change that showing portrait/vertical, plus it could be clicked on to flip.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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[Cmd]+[ / ]  will give you available shortcut keys for any module. 

 
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Greetings,

Thank you for your enthusiasm for the Lightroom family of products. For your Ideas to gain more prominent notice and have maximum impact with the team, there are a few things you could do to help.

Ideas, or feature requests as some call them, work like this on the Feedback Forum:  Each individual Idea is single post anchoring a thread. All of the people who have a similar idea and relate their rational will be merged into a single master post that contains all the comments on a single topic.  This has a few advantages:

1. It gives Adobe a place to accumulate votes (by either creating a thread that is merged into the master thread or by hitting the [Me Too] button in the upper right corner. Adobe can see at a glance, search for, and rank the top features being requested without having to search for scattered posts. The engineering staff can read the user’s comments and divine the best ways to implement a given request.

2. By being a part of this master Idea thread, when an Idea comes to fruition and becomes an active feature in the software, Adobe updates this thread. Participants in the thread, those who’ve been merged in and those who have hit the [Me Too] button will be notified by email to updates and feature announcements related to the original request.

You can help us out by doing a few things to maximize your ideas’ impact.  First, if you have an idea, search to see if idea is already posted as a formal Idea. If it is, hit the [Me Too] button and if you like add your individual comments to the thread. Second, if you don’t find the idea is already posted, create a new thread and post your idea for a new feature.  Please keep the Ideas as one idea per thread so that we can merge them with the correct master threads if necessary.  We don’t have a way to merge an Idea into multiple threads so if you make multiple feature requests in a single post, it is likely to get lost in the shuffle, lessening its impact,

Here are some existing threads to which you might want to add your voice:

#1 https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/name_custom_crops_in_lightroom

#2 https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-classic-cc-please-add-content-aware...

#3 Use the [ X ] key to toggle Landscape/Portrait in Crop mode

#4 Sync feature development takes place in the Lightroom Ecosystem clients. Lightroom Classic currently only receives performance and bug enhancements. 

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom_synchronize_presets_and_settings_using_creative_cloud

Consider voting for these existing feature requests and adding your thoughts to each. That is really the best way to get impact. 

Thanks!

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Doug Berger

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BTW, "here are some existing threads to which you might want to add your voice"...  #2 there appears to be MY thread in the first place!!

#4 Can you please translate "sync feature development takes place in the Lightroom Ecosystem Clients" into plain English?

Also "LR Classic currently only receives performance and bug updates", are you saying there is no product development or feature additions being planned to LR Classic?  If that is true, that is a problem that needs to be fixed.
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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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As previously announced:  (paraphrasing)...

New Sync Features and Functionality are only planned for the Ecosystem Clients (Lightroom for Desktop (Currently 3.1), Lightroom for Mobile (Android, iOS, iPad and Apple TV, and Lightroom Web.).

Lightroom Classic is not a Lightroom Ecosystem client but does have limited access to sync features and can interact in a limited fashion across the cloud-based Lightroom products ecosystem.  Lightroom Classic currently is not planning any additional sync features. Work continues on improving sync performance and fixing bugs. 

Lightroom Classic continues to have active development in many areas but sync is not one of those areas. 

There are several other threads where this has been discussed at length. 
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Doug Berger

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Thanks Rikk, unfortunately I have NFC what "Lightroom for Desktop" is or why Adobe thinks they need so many different, confusing versions of the product, such that you think "Lightroom for Desktop" should be different than "Lightroom Classic",

Has no one at Adobe never watched Shark Tank to hear about the problems with creating too many versions of the same thing?

The more you're saying, the more you're convincing me that Adobe is throwing spaghetti against the wall for Lightroom and hoping something sticks.

Unfortunately, you're rapidly making me LESS convinced Adobe and Lightroom will have the future worth sticking with.  It already has the same problems every time you do a major update and eats more and more memory/storage all the time.

Too much sizzle, not enough steak.   It seems like you're looking to shift focus away from working professionals and our needs.

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Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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Here is a handy chart for you Doug - to explain what Lightroom and Lightroom Classic are: https://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop-lightroom-classic/lightroom-cc-vs-lightroom-classic.html
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Doug Berger

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Thank you for the chart.

If I may though, as the chart illustrates, you have 4 or 5 versions of Lightroom, yet none of them do what is needed, so maybe, if Adobe could spend more time on just 1 or 2 versions instead of 4 or 5, we could get better programs instead?

Here is my suggestion:

Lightroom Classic/Pro/Deluxe:  Same product as Classic currently is, but keep adding features, including enhanced features for syncing and the ability to work with all versions of LR.

LR with cloud-based Storage: Personally, I'd brand it as Lightroom mobile or Lightroom Everywhere or Lightroom Global, or Lighroom On The Go, or Lightroom , as Adobe has already confused the hell out of things with "creative cloud" and "cloud" and desktop and web and classic and everything.  Go back to KISS principle, it exists for a very good reason.  If the main differentiation is where the original files are stored, that should be key in how you identify them.

Currently, do a web search for "lightroom desktop" and you only get matches for Lightroom Classic, yet you have an originals in the cloud desktop 3.0 version that has no matches.. clearly, you guys are doing something wrong, and one of the most frequent complaints I've heard in the last couple of years is that ever since you released Classic, folks don't know what to buy anymore. They don't know which is the correct version, and I'm sorry, that is full of fail when people wanting to buy your product have trouble doing so because your names/descriptions are too confusing.

Further, what about those of us professionals that would like a professional Lightroom that lets us make use of the best of both..

When I have big gigs, I'd like to be able to have some way to upload unprocessed images (either raw files or smart previews) to have other persons (assistants) assist with keywording or flagging rejects, and/or performing other work on the 1000's/10,000's of photos from a shoot.   Now, with my current event, I began with 750gb and over 30,000 photos, and one would not want to need to upload raws of all of that.. but a smart, professional version of lightroom that could upload much smaller smart previews that assistant(s) could view and and assist with would be a big help.   Even with that though, I still want my original files on local disks.

Does Adobe have a plan for that?  with 4-5 versions of Lightroom, how come there isn't a Deluxe version that does everything we need?
(Edited)
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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For #1, content-aware crop would need to be able to run in real-time and produce the same result every time. That is a challenge. 

Pano merge is ok since in the end, it creates a new DNG. Crop workflow isn't like it.
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Doug Berger

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If it can create a new DNG in pano merge, it can create a new DNG when using that feature in content-aware-crop, and would still be far superior to the current situation of needing to export to PS.. it would also be far better at system memory management by not requiring the launch of a second memory-intensive program.

I will agree though regarding a challenge, as LR's retouching (cloning) tools are so out of date... but with things like the popularity of cell-phone portrait orientation and creating these from horizontal pics that are cropped/chopped off top or bottom, it would be good to have a way to expand the image without needing to always export to PS.
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David Converse

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I'm going to vote no. There are a LOT of other priorities for Adobe to get to before investing development resources in the crop tool. The UI is a mess, there are lots of documented bugs, performance has improved but its still an issue, Catalina support is spotty... when a need like this can be easily handled in Photoshop then I don't see it being a big issue.
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Doug Berger

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Try processing 1000's-10's of 1000's of photos instead of 2-3 photos per outfit and you'd understand why "easily handled" in Photoshop isn't an option...  too many people trying to steer Lightroom are users where everything can be easily handled in Photoshop, so I don't see their wants being a big issue for Lightroom.

That said, nothing I've described above would require a lot of development resources, they could knock them out in a few days, if not a week, if they really wanted to... it is just a matter of not picking "good enough" and trying for "lets make this even better" using programming they already have.

It's not like I asked them to fix the horrible way the dehaze slider works when images have a strong color balance and the dehaze tool thinks it needs to correct that instead of just doing the darn dehaze function.