Lightroom/Photoshop: Is it possible to take an image I've created layers for in Photoshop CS5 into LR and then later back out to CS5 with the layers in tact and not flattened?

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Add support for multilayered PSD files created in Photoshop in Lightroom. I would like the ability to take an image I've created layers for in PS CS5 into LR and then later back out to CS5 with the layers in tact and not flattened.
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Lloyd Roseblade

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  • hopeful

Posted 7 years ago

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john beardsworth

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Lloyd, do you know that this is already possible? You choose Edit Original.

Update - original post was edited and changed into a question
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Sean Phillips

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Yes, as long as you save it in PS CS5 as a PSD or TIF with all the layers. From Lightroom right click the image, choose "Edit In", "Edit in Photoshop CS5", then choose "Edit Original", and click the Edit button.
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Lloyd Roseblade

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Thank you! I was certain I had tried this some time ago and since then just thought it always flattened the image when it exported back to LR.

Thanks John, Sean!
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dan

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When LR passes an image to PS, you typically get 3 choices. Edit original, Edit Copy, and Edit Copy with LR Adjustments. It seems that only the last one sends the LR adjustements to PS. So, let's say you apply adjustments in LR, then go to PS (with LR adjustments). In PS you create some layers and do some other things. When you close the image in PS, it askes to save your changes and if you say "yes" your PSD file now shows up in LR with all the edits (both LR and PSD). Your PS layers are preserved such that if you go back to PS again, you're layers are still there.

Now comes the tricky part. Let's say you make a second set of adjustments in LR (this time to the new PSD file). Now, if you go back to PS you can either have your image with your layers but without your 2nd set of LR adjustments, or keep your 2nd set of LR adjustments and lose your PS layers giving a single flattened layer. This is the problem.

As we know, when you make adjustments in LR, those adjustments are stored in the catalog. So, when you export an image to PS (with LR adjustments), it's actually taking your image file, applying your saved LR changes to the pixels in temporary copy of the image and then sending that copy to PS.

So, Here's a suggestion for the LR development geniuses.

If you have an image in LR that supports layers (e.g. PSD) and you have made LR adjustments, when LR packages the image to send it to PS, place the LR adjustments on a new Layer ("LR adjustments 1"). Now when you arrive in PS, you'll see your original file as the BG layer and an "LR Adjustments 1" layer. If at this point you add more layers in PS fine and good. When you save, and go back to LR, LR will retain all your layers and will show your image as if you had flattened the image as it does now. However I suggest the history panel should show you a new new entry called "external editior changes" on top of the original LR history steps. This now forms a new logical baseline for additional LR changes. So, now let's apply more LR adjustments and send it back to PS. This time LR will take the pixels as returned from PS the last time and apply the 2nd set of LR changes on another new layer called "LR Adjustments 2" and send you to PS.

In PS, you'll now see all your layers: BG layer (original capture), LR Adjustments 1, any layers you added in first trip to PS, LR Adjustments 2.

This process could be repeated as many times as you wish. Each time you go to PS, the LR adjustments made since the prior trip to PS would show up as a new "LR adjustments xx" layer while still preserving any layers added directly in PS.

Maybe I'm an idiot or don't understand something, but I think this could work.

Dan

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Preserve PSD Layers in LR to allow back and forth editing.


Note: This topic was created from a reply on the Lightroom: Add Layers to Lightroom topic.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Preserve PSD Layers in LR to allow back and forth editing.
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Shellette

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This is what has kept me from using LR all these years. Now I am finally liking LR and still wish they solved this. I like this idea ... Hurry Adobe ... make it so.
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Craig K Lewis

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LR only "understands" one layer, the composite layer. If you just use LR as storage, and do not do anything to the image in LR, you can edit the image in Photoshop, apply plugins, save and return to LR. HOWEVER(!) if you do any editing in LR, you can only open the flattened image with your LR edits applied or the original, unedited image. I've found that the newest version of LR does such a good job enhancing my images that the only plugin I really need is Silver Effects Pro 2. Your mileage may differ, of course.
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Ross Dillon

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OK, so from LR4 I do an "edit in" CS5 and do some serious healing and cloning, "convert to smart filters" and then apply a couple of Nik filters. I save and quit and the edited tiff file appears in LR4. Fine. I then want to do some more editing on the same tiff file, so I select "edit in" CS5 and regardless of the option I select ("Edit a copy with with Lightroom adjustments", "Edit a copy", or "Edit Original"), I see a background layer only and none of the smart filter layers I used to get? In other words, I can't disable a filter or change it.

Being able to go back and make tweaks is why I bought the Photoshop version of the plugins...and that feature now isn't working.

Note that this worked fine in LR3. Always saved as tiff, always use smart filters, and "edit original" always worked. Now if I open it directly into CS5, it opens it correctly. Opening it from LR4...not so much.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Re-editing a file in Photoshop strips layers.
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Craig K Lewis

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I just exported a psd file with several layers from Photoshop Lightroom 4.1 and found that the exporting had flattened the file. I suggest that there should be an option to preserve layers when exporting an image as either a psd or tif.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LIGHTROON: Need Option NOT to Flatten Exported PSD OR TIF images.
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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You need to export with the image format set to "Original".