Lightroom: Build Thumbnails Faster (was Love Lightroom 4 except for this!)

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  • Updated 6 years ago
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I love lightroom 4 however there is one critical flaw. The thumbnails take forever to build. Also they stop building when they hit the bottom of the screen. This is a major slow pain in the neck! Why cant you just click on the folder and have all the thumbnails in the entire folder build?
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seth holtzman

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Posted 6 years ago

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Rob Cole

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I agree there is room for improvement in automated/background preview/thumbnail generation. But, you can get around this by manual generation. See library menu -> previews. If you have multiple folders with missing previews, consider building for whole catalog and get it over with... (if lots need to be rebuilt, may take several hours, maybe run overnight...).

PS - Lr4/PV2012 rocks! :-)
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jdv, Champion

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Remember that previews eventually expire (check your prefs to see), so if you are going to be rolling through the entire collection, expect delays or regen them.

A good technique is to use collections to capture work you are interesting in, and regen the previews for those ahead of time.
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Rob Cole

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Only 1:1 previews expire (as dictated by pref). However any preview becomes stale if image is edited, and will not be automatically regenerated except by revisiting in library, or when manually forced (e.g. via preview menu).
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seth holtzman

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Hmm. First thank you for your help. When I rebuild the previews whats the difference between the standard size and 1:1? John, I understand your point the problem for me is when I have a client that I haven't worked with in a while and she requests a couple of images. When I go back and look I have to scroll, wait, scroll, wait and repeat. I am happy to let lightroom build all the previews overnight. But I am frustrated that they are going to expire because the next time I have a client that does the same thing I will have to do this all over again. Am I missing something? I realize there could be something on my end that I am not looking at or not doing.
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seth holtzman

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Oh wait I think i just solve it! I didn't realize I could just highlight the images I wanted to regenerate and just regenerate all of them at once. Not the entire catalog or just one image. This way I can highlight want have it render the thumbnails do something else and get to work when they are all done.
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Rob Cole

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1:1 builds:

1:1
half size version of 1:1
half size version of the previous
half size version of the previous
half size version of the previous
half size version of the previous
thumbnail which is half size version of the previous
ACR cache entry / fast-load data.

standard builds everything except the first and last of those in the list above.

Unless you know that the ACR cache entries are up2date and/or you won't be needing the 1:1, I recommend generating 1:1. And, you might as well set pref to never discard, unless you don't have space or never revisit older photos...

Yep - you can just do it for selected photos :-)
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seth holtzman

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Ok great thanks Rob and John!
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Robert Frost

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> standard builds everything except the first and last of those in the list above.
Hi Rob,

I seem to remember reading that elsewhere, but I am currently building 65K of standard previews, and the acr cache folder that I cleared before starting is now filling up again - 36K of .dat files so far and I can see them being added.

So building standard previews DOES create acr cache dat files.

Bob Frost
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Rob Cole

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New behavior @Lr4? (wouldn't surprise me, since cache files are so much smaller than previous Lr versions)