Lightroom: allow for reordering the develop history

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Sometimes I get the order of operations on a file incorrect and after some editing, I want to back out some changes but not all.

It would be nice of the develop history had some amount of drag-n-drop to it so that I could move a "Lens profile" assignment from last place to first place, etc.
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D

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Posted 7 years ago

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Rikk Flohr, Champion

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In Lightroom, order of the adjustments in practice or in history is really irrelevant. What matters is the final position of each slider. You may move the Black slider 5 times over the course of the edit but really its final position is the only thing that affects the image.

Once you have done your editing, Lightroom applies the edits in a preprescribed order. Meaning, it doesn't matter when you do your Lens Correction, it is applied in the Develop pipeline in a specific order with respect to other adjustments. Adobe has not shared that order with us so I can't tell you when Lens Correction is applied but I am betting it is always before Local Adjustments and Spot Removal!

The ordering history request you are making would have zero affect on the final image.
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D

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It's not the final image that I care about so much as if you want to remove a step (or collection of development steps) but there is one you want to keep that is before those then you have to make a note of the one(s) you want to keep and reapply those after deleting others.

So if it doesn't matter when I do the lens correction, why can't I drag it from the top of the develop history to the bottom? This would then mean I don't have to go back to the lens correction panel and redo whatever it is that I did just so that I can remove the two steps directly below the lens correction.
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Lee Jay

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The history is really irrelevant. If you want to undo something, just counteract it. If you added exposure +1, just change it back to 0. If you added an adjustment brush pin, just delete it.
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Brian

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WRONG!!!  Ordering is relevant!  If I decide to crop the image as the first step.  I am now F'ed because I can't undo the crop without doing half an hours work after I did the crop.  Yes, I could redo the steps again.  OR some developer could simply add a delete button to a history item.  I have found hundreds of people asking the same question all over the internet over the last six years, so why doesn't Adobe care about making their users happy?
(Edited)
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D

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It's much easier if I can drag the lens correction from the middle or top down to the bottom and then just "delete" everything on top of that.

Sure, it is possible to "undo" other steps by making corrections, but that's tedious and error prone.

I want Lightroom to be easy to use.
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john beardsworth

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LR's History is just a log - nothing more than that. Reordering and deleting items would have no effect whatsoever. To change the lens correction setting, for example, simply change it in the right panel.
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D

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But why do I need to do it twice? Just because I want to delete a bunch of other steps? If you're not supposed to delete steps and just add counter steps, why is it possible to delete?

With the Develop history, I can click on any specific item and see what the image looks like after all of the changes up to and including that one. Now if I make any changes from the point on, all of my original changes are lost unless a snapshot was made.

If I can choose arbitrary points in the develop history from which to continue developing, why can't I reorder or delete specific steps?

The develop history is not just a log because you can rewrite it or delete steps. A log would not allow that.
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john beardsworth

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Well, it's a log which doesn't record steps you've not done - ie undone.

If the History confuses you, just hide it - you can use Lightroom perfectly well without it.
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Brian

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So if it is JUST a history log then add a delete button, so that item can be deleted then.
(Edited)
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TK

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I have argued for "More Flexible "Undo" and More Structured History in the Develop Module" before.

My initial example was ill-chosen but I followed up with a better one. Imagine you do some tweaks to the tone curve (tweaks "A'). Then some other edits. Then some further tweaks to the tone curve (tweaks "B"). Then many more further edits. Eventually you discover that the tweaks "B" to the tone curve are not achieving what you want and you want to start tweaking the tone curve starting with the tone curve that was achieved by tweaks "A".

Currently there is no way to do that without losing all edits after tweaks "A". This is unnecessary limiting. Precisely because the order of editing steps does not matter, one should be able to remove some steps at any position.
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john beardsworth

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Then the stupid question will be - I've removed a step from history but my picture still looks the same? Precisely because the order of develop adjustments does not matter, it would be a waste of development time allowing users to delete steps at any position. Rather than faking History, development effort would be better spent on a filtering mechanism for the panel and on making History searchable.
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TK

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You cannot prevent stupid questions from being asked. The possibility of a stupid question cannot imply not providing a tool. If one wanted to adopt such an assumption, the only reasonable conclusion would be to not offer LR at all. Too many opportunities for stupid questions.

For the reasons outlined in earlier posts, it would not be "a waste of development time allowing users to delete steps at any position." You may have never tried to craft a tone curve that accomplishes challenging tasks. You may never had to restart shaping it. You may never have discovered that you need to reshape it from a known starting point. That's fine, but please don't dismiss the needs and requests of others as a "waste of development time".

Can you please explain why would anyone want to search the history, if they cannot make any changes to it anyhow? Why not simply pile on any changes required rather than rummaging in the history?
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john beardsworth

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If you use a little imagination, it should be pretty obvious why someone might want to search / check what has been done to pictures. For example, there's a very recent thread about wanting to find when files were exported. That information is already in History. Another example is a smart collection that finds high ISO images where no noise reduction setting has been made. Etc.

If I think something is a waste of development time, I'll happily say so, thank you, and this is one such occasion.
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Brian

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You are the one who has ZERO imagination if you can't image how someone would need a tool to be useful.
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TK

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You can (happily) do what you want. Whether it is constructive behaviour is another matter.
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john beardsworth

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Thank you for your insight.
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D

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As is often said,there is no such thing as a stupid question.

I believe that there's another topic for searching history, please discuss that elsewhere.

As for deleting a particular item in the develop history and it having no impact, well that depends exactly on what is deleted. If, for example, you delete the "exposure -1" and there is no later "exposure correction", then yes, it will have an impact. If on the other hand, someone were to just remove "exposure -0.5" and there is a later step that sets exposure to -1 then, no, the removal won't have an impact.

But this topic isn't about deleting arbitrary elements of the develop history, it is about being able to reorder them. Whilst the order in the history doesn't impact the final image that you see, it does impact creating short cuts and removal of develop steps at the top of the develop history for which you obviously do see a change in the image.
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Brian

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There is no way to do -1 on cropping the image.  The claim is that Lightroom is non-destructive.  Thus, any user should be able to easily remove a step from history and it should not DESTROY anything.
(Edited)
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TK

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Note that an arbitrary re-ordering (without affecting the image) is only possible, if the recorded adjustment steps in the history are recorded/interpreted as relative adjustments. For instance, "exposure -0.5" means reducing exposure by "0.5" whatever it was before. This implies that any deletion of any step will affect the image.

If you interpret recorded steps as absolute changes, e.g., "exposure -0.5" means exposure is set to "-0.5" whatever it was before, you cannot reorder steps arbitrarily without affecting the image. OTOH, you could delete some history entries without affecting the image.

I guess you are imagining the first scenario above, in which case the "delete a step but not see a change"-argument would not apply.