Lightroom CC: Ability to create virtual copies

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For better editing and comparison I think a "create a virtual copy" option would be very nice.
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Martin Dörsch

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Posted 5 years ago

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This another feature missing from LR Mobile that makes it incomplete. It's a huge part of my workflow on the desktop (Classic). I know this feature request is 4 years old but I figured another voice wouldn't hurt.
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+1 here as well. I have wanted to have this a couple times. Had to resort to losing edits :(
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Matt Fleming

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled create virtual copy.

It would be great to be able to create virtual copies so that I could offer clients multiple edits of a photo. For instance a colour and a B&W version. Right now in Lightroom CC there is no way to create a duplicate copy of a photo.
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William Keith

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Simon Stuart

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Here we are again. Another basic feature, requested for the mobile version over a YEAR ago, and still no sign of it on the horizon.

Adobe clearly aren't listening to us users. It's time for me to go elsewhere. I've decided I won't be renewing my membership. The mobile version, which SHOUD be the most useful to me given that I take my iPad Pro to every shoot, while my larger (heavier) laptop stays at home, is missing so many fundamental features. In this day and age, it's simply not acceptable to say "use the desktop version to do that."
Mobile devices are now the norm. Adobe is now too far behind to realistically compete. I've given up waiting, I've given up hoping, I've given up trying to work around absurd limitations.
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Antoine Hlmn

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Any idea what tools you will be using? I’m thinking about doing the same. The price is just too high for a non pro use...
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I'm sure Adobe has a large prioritized list of LR Desktop features to add to LR Mobile. 

How about adding your vote at the top right of the original post.

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Simon Stuart

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I'm looking at Affinity Photo as my alternative.
What's the point of voting when the features clearly aren't being delivered, but the money taken?

The point of the "Subscription Model" (beyond giving the company a lot more money in the long-run) is that the user sees progressive advancements along the way.
I'm seeing money leaving my account, but no progressive enhancements.
What, exactly, am I paying for when fundamental (and rudimentary) features, requested MORE THAN A YEAR AGO (and in some cases even further back in time than that) have no sign of ever materialising?

It's just not good enough. How many more years will the subscription money leave the bank before something as simple as the ability to create virtual copies arrives? Let alone HDR, Panorama Stitching, and all the other fundamentals already found in the Desktop version?

I'm not willing to wait until thousands have left my bank balance.
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Ondrej Stanek

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New to LR CC mobile. Impressed by UI design and app itself. Though ability to duplicate a photo seems to quite basic.
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Robert Campbell

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While I share your frustration, your REQUEST is not a work order for Adobe. You are, of course, free to hire your own team of developers to create a custom solution that fulfills all your wishes.

It seems pretty clear that Adobe is working to bring the features of the desktop (I think you actually mean LR Classic CC) version to Mobile LR CC and Desktop LR CC. Once both Lightroom CCs achieve feature parity, I suspect Classic will be declared obsolete and the Desktop & Mobile LR CC apps will march forward in lockstep. Its sort of like they are developing the new LR CC in the open, letting users jump onboard, even though it is still a subset of the full LR feature set.

It seems that LR Mobile was developed before Adobe came around to the idea that Mobile apps should be feature complete versions of the desktop apps. And before that, LR was very much designed to operate on a single computer, more than any other Adobe application I've used, and Adobe has had a hell of a time bolting CC compatibility onto it. Now they need to rebuild the whole thing from the bottom up. It's certainly a lot of work. I'm happy to give them the benefit of the doubt for now. They seem to be moving toward the promised land of Mobile & Desktop being synced and having the same features.
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Andy Hewitt

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I would like to add that as well as introducing Virtual Copies in LR CC, it would be a great idea if they would convert (or offer the option to, preferably) any duplicated originals that have already been migrated from Lightroom Classic.
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Jordan Russell

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VCs is top of my mobile wishlist
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Kelly Spore

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Create Duplicate.

Creating a duplicate of a photo in mobile version of Lightroom CC. The desktop version supports but mobile doesn’t. Often I want say a monochrome version and a color, or I want to experiment on a photo I’ve already edited and don’t want to lose those edits. Like many the mobile version is my primary editing tool and the desktop version is used little.
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Troy Phillips

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Add an option to make virtual copies in Lightroom CC for mobile..
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David Creagh

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled In iOS add virtual copies and watermark as setup in Lightroom Classic CC.

I work on my iPad frequently and would like to see the ability to create virtual copies and to be able to use the watermark/branding I have setup in Lightroom Classic CC
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Kent Yousif

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Hi everyone! I'd like to also request Virtual Copies also be made on mobile. I use my Ipad Pro a lot and I sometimes run across pictures I'd like to make a VC of and edit that to keep a "more true to reality" shot and then a more artistic one, but in its current itteration I'd have to go on my desktop and create it and then continue it on my mobile ... but then why would I continue on mobile if I've already booted up the beast :D
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Christoph Fauser

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+1 for virtual copy
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Simon M. Hansen

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Feature request - "Make copy / Create virtual copy for Lightroom Mobile CC".

I often create multiple versions of a photo. Unfortunately, this does only work on the desktop version but I would also have the option in the mobile app, please. 
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Steve Clark

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Dying to have this as well. I am loving this app and really want to be able to create virtual copies.
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Floris van Eck

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Hope to see this functionality sooner rather than later. For me it is also about experimenting with different edits e.g. black and white, cross-process etc. while keeping the original file true to life. Would be great if the virtual copies become stacks, perhaps stacking vertical vs horizontal for burst shots.
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Floris van Eck

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I have given this some more thought. At the moment I am working in Lightroom CC multiple hours per day so I am getting a better idea of how I would like to see this implemented. 

Traditionally, most photo editing software has this concept of a "virtual copy". Basically you take an original and make a reference copy which shows up as a "separate photo" next to other photos in the library. I am not sure if this is the best way to implement this, although the most common implementation definitely is workable, I think Capture One has one of the better implementations of the feature since it allows the user to select "all 2nd or 3rd virtual copies of the original images". Lightroom CC has a worse implementation since it makes a 1:1 copy of the original image that takes up extra storage space, and also cannot be distinguished from the original since both appear the same with even the same apparent filename. Bad design no matter how you look at it. I want to see which image out of X is the copy!

The problem I have with (virtual) copies is that when you create multiple copies of an image, and edits don't differ much, it is very hard to distinguish which photo is which edit. Copies also make the library appear more crowded, taking up precious screen estate e.g. it often looks like there are duplicates in your library (and how do you separate burst shots from a set of "virtual copies". If you would lets say make 10 virtual copies with different film emulation stocks, the overview of your photo album/library becomes messy and overly crowded and sometimes the differences are marginal and thus hard to spot purely based on a grid view without titles.

I therefore thinks there is a better way to implement this. Ultimately, this function is used to create different "sketches/looks" of a photo e.g. a black and white version, a old film-stock emulation, different crops etc. But they are based on the same source, and I am of the opinion that each source image should be unique, and never be duplicated or shown double in the library/album view. 

It therefore would be better if the "virtual copy" would be more like how a layer is displayed in Photoshop, or a snapshot is made in virtualization software.

The way I envision this is:
  1. Each image gets an "original" state at import which is always the beginning. This already exists but it is not explicitly made visible: right click the 3 dots and reset original or Shift + R. 
  2. The moment you start editing a new state is created automatically "original edited", one could be created every X minutes
  3. The interface should have an option to save current state with a pop-up input field where you can type the name e.g. black and white conversion, fuji astia emulation etc.
  4. One I edited this new saved state, a new automatically created state is created again with state name + (edited) and maybe a timestamp
  5. These explicitly saved states should be visible somewhere in the interface, the right (or maybe left?) toolbar panel makes the most sense or otherwise a dropdown menu somewhere. States could be displayed similar to presets in the preset view panel (visual: large, small; list) 
  6. Snapshots can be converted to presets/templates at any point in time via a simple "save as preset/template" button/dropdown menu
  7. The way the above functions is very similar to how certain presets and (workspace) settings are already saved in Lightroom Classic and other Adobe programs. This design pattern can be repurposed.
The above is different from a simple history function, where I only see the actions I did on an image but I can't really save a specific point in time which constitutes "a satisfying version of an image at that moment".

This allows the user to:
  1. Keep an overview in the library view without crowding it with virtual copies, which are sourced from 1 source image
  2. Try out new looks quickly and save them on top of original master image, which should always be the one and only source (current copying functionality is very bad user experience design from my point of view, since it creates a 1:1 copy that is indistinguishable from the original)
  3. Pick up work from a different starting point then the original image (which is currently the only option)
  4. Quickly jump between multiple edits without losing/overwriting any work
  5. Work collaboratively (in the future) and review/play with other people's snapshots/save states
Bonus points if I can export an image with all saved states in a container (like a PSD or how Capture One does it) which can then be imported by someone else!

Curious to learn what other people think of the above and what other ideas they might have. Please add to this idea what I might have missed. The goal of this future should be rapid experimentation with the source image instead of making endless "file-based" copies, easier recovery from mistakes and an easy way to save multiple edits of the same source image without crowding the library with clones/copies.

TLDR: snapshots/save states are more practical/functional versus copies/virtual copies as they exist today in Lightroom CC/Classic.

Bonus point if I can export an image with all saved states in a container (like a PSD or how Capture One does it) which can then be imported by someone else!