Lightroom Classic: Linked Smart Object Support for Lightroom | Better Photoshop integration/synchronisation

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
As photographer I love the simple UI of Lightroom but regularily want to hop to Photoshop for advanced editing and back to Lightroom for publishing.Considering the desire to working non-destructively this process should be synchronized what causes a lot of pain (manually reopening as SO). I'm not aware of any feature (besides Jeffrey Friedl's Layers in LR Plugin) adding simple synchronization between both.Fortunately there was Linked Smart Objects added to Photoshop givinga foundation to implementing features like this.Please make it possible to open an Image from Lightroom as Linked Smart-Object in Photoshop.Right now this only kind of works while manually opening the RAW file as Link from Photoshop. When doing so PS automatically opens it in CR and Camera Raw utilizes the developement settings lying next to the file in XMP format.Considering .tiff files having Lightroom development-settings i'm not aware of any to tell Photoshop utilize (and synchronize) Lightroom's development. Adding Open as Linked Smart Object in Photoshop could force Photoshop to sync development between Lightroom and Photoshop.This would soooo much simplify non destructive workflow. What do you think? Any objections or ideas?Thank you for your hard work and effort creating the best software for creating great media.


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  • Looking forward to spreading non-destructive workflow all over the planet!!!! :-)

Posted 7 years ago

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Marcus Kjeldsen

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Yes please!
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Carlos Sanchez

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I travel and always have my laptop. I use smart objects in LR 5.5 but really find it an inconvenience having to carry my portable hard drive to edit into photoshop cc. I've trimmed down the amount of gear I have to carry and less is more freedom. I'm not a professional but just a man that loves landscape and architectural photography and so take a photo trip every chance I get. Less stuff and clutter would be really helpfull.
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Oh god, yes please.
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This would be huge for a non-destructive workflow. I'm wasting tons of time on linking  manually...
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Tom Pike

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Add "Edit in" > "Open as linked object in Photoshop".

"Linked objects" in Photoshop
are particularly useful when creating collages containing a large number of images.Such PS files quickly grow into several GB in size if they are loaded using “Openedas smart objects ..” or “Open as layers in Photoshop” while if they are loeaded using LinkedObjects the file size remains manageable. However, I have not found any way to create linked objects straight fromLR. In PS it is very cumbersome and time consuming to create each linked objectlayer manually searching for the right files in physical catalogue structure inthe file browser searching for the right file name or tiny thumbnails one byone. A very time saving feature would be if LR could add a new choice under"Edit in ..." namely “Open as linked object in Photoshop.  This way a whole collection could be opened inone operation.  Preferably on should begiven the choice to either lead each image as separate PS files or as a stackof layers in one PS file.
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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom: Open As Photoshop Linked.

Currently there is no quick way to open a Lightroom DNG in a correctly sized PSD as a linked document (the equivalent to Creating a PSD and choosing FIle > Place Linked.

Please add a File > Open In > Photoshop as Placed File

This would allow the DNG to be managed by Lightroom and have the changes picked up by Photoshop. This would be really useful for lots of workflows where a DNG used in a comp or template might be iterated on once the comp had been started. Breaking the link to Lightroom by opening in PS as a smart object doesn't make any sense in such a case.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Currently, this can be done via drag and drop

Start dragging the image from the grid or film strip in Lightroom. Then hold down opt/alt and drop it in your doc in Photoshop.
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Johan Elzenga, Champion

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Right. This ‘work around’ is getting quite complicated. What you can also do is open as smart object from Lightroom as usual, and then in Photoshop change the SO to a linked one. Overwrite your original raw file with it and you’re done.
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Tom Pike

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Thanks for looking into the drag and drop feature not working in Windows, Jeffrey. Much appreachiated. I really need a better way to open multiple images as linked objects.
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Tom Pike

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Jeff, yes I'm starting the drag ---> then pressing alt.  (and tried all kinds of variations thereoff without success)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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I've reported the Window's issue. Thanks.
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john beardsworth

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As far as I recall, drag and drop has always been that way on Windows. I complained about it in the early days, but eventually one gives up....