Camera Raw: Please restore crop tool dimension parameters

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ACR 8.1 removes the functionality to set image dimensions in the crop tool. PLEASE RESTORE THIS FEATURE. In previous versions I could set my crop in a variety of increments (pixels, inches, centimeters, etc...) from within the crop tool so when I opened or exported the document, it was ready to go in the pre-specified dimension. I can no longer do this and it throws a HUGE wrench into my workflow. Again PLEASE RESTORE THIS FUNCTIONALITY TO THE NEW VERSION OF ACR!!! New software should come with MORE functionality, not LESS!
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Tom Tomkinson

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  • VERY UPSET

Posted 5 years ago

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Christopher Neely

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Ditto x2 - I've had this on my computer for about 4 days now and this is unbelievable.... as far as my workflow goes this make it unusable, I output everything to specific sizes. This is like a Camera Raw Version 1Beta. Between this and the lack of any way of exporting batches of the same pictures in different sizes for web and print because the Output module has gone from Bridge. I'm going to have to go back to the previous version for day to day work.

This is the second time the functionality has got worse with an update, Bridge CS5 could work with files of mine that CS6 can't, I was hoping the problem may have been fixed with this update, instead it's lost features.
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Christopher Neely

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Further to that, even worse, I've just worked out it doesn't even maintain an existing crop size, for example a Raw image previuosly cropped to 6x9 inches in CS6 opens in CC as a completely random size, based on a 6x9 ratio, whatever size the bit you have cropped out of the image is compared to the original pixel size. This is frankly ridiculous for a cutting edge photo editing program, this is basic!!!!
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Christopher Neely

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OK so I'm answering my own complaint here but I now see that you can do all that with the added functionality at the bottom I guessed there had to be a reason for the added stuff. when the "resize to" option is clicked it makes the crop that size not the image which is really what you would expect, the first time I looked at it it didn't seem to work that way, sorry for accusing you guys of making stuff worse... I guess you can replace the functionality of the Export panel through here too but I haven't tried it yet.

I stand by my issue with the disk images files CS5 could handle the subsequent ones can't, but apologies for giving off about the crop tool.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Yes, in general the revised image sizing options available in Workflow Options should let you do more (more flexibility) than what could be accomplished before. It is a different interface, however.

If there is something specific in your previous workflow that you're not understanding yet how to accomplish with the revised interface, please tell us specifically what your old workflow was. We can hopefully explain how to use the new interface to accomplish that. (Going forward you will understand better why we went with this revision. There is more goodness coming.)
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Katharine Schroeder

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Eric, I work on a website that uses photos as banners sized 980 pixels x 372 pixels. In the previous version of camera raw, I had the choice to crop using pixels. Now there is only a choice to crop using ratio. Can you tell me how to set up Camera Raw so that I can crop in there to a specific PIXEL size (height and width)?
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Katharine,

Please try the following:

Set the crop ratio in Camera Raw to 980 and 372 (wide and tall, respectively). Then in the workflow options, you can check the Resize to Fit box, choose Width & Height from the popup menu, choose Pixels from the popup menu below that, and enter 980 and 372 for the W and H fields, respectively. This should let you crop correctly and automatically open an image into Photoshop (or save an image) with the correct pixel dimensions and aspect ratio.
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Katharine Schroeder

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I did what you said and although that works, if you finish with one photo and then leave those settings, it opens the next file in a tiny size, ready to be resized to the same dimensions but leaving no room to crop. This is not a reasonable solution to the problem. I want to be able to open an image and then choose to crop to various sizes like in the former Camera Raw! This is causing me to add so many steps to my workflow! Isn't there a way to create a custom crop that I can choose when I need it? Not for each time?
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Christopher Neely

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Hi Katherine.

Do the first one, then use Bridge, copy the crop, select all your images and paste te crop into all of them. They will then open in in Camera Raw with the correct size of crop box and you can individally fine tune position as you edit them. Hope this works for you.

This new system freaked me out a bit when I first tried processin stuff but it's quite workable with.

Pity about the loss of the drag and drop resize facility in the Export panel that's been remoe though...
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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There will be more and better facilities in this area coming, so don't be too concerned if you're not fully comfortable with the new workflow yet.
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Tom Tomkinson

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Depending on your workflow, it is either manageable or completely destroys it. Having to go into two dialog boxes PER IMAGE is unacceptable, particularly on edits on the order of thousands of images where cropping is part of the creative process that happens on a per-image basis. Please just restore it back to how it was a soon as possible.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Tom, it is still unclear to me what your actual multi-image workflow is. The new crop design is here to stay (though the image sizing features will be expanded on) so the more info you can provide about how your workflow actually works, the more likely we are to cover your needs.

And no, we don't consider visiting the dialog on per-image basis acceptable, nor do we believe that workflows should call for doing so.
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Pedro Marques

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Eric, you would be surprised about what we had to invent on our workflow. We do not use inner crop tool any more.

My team (14 retouchers) have to crop on each day from 3500 to 5000 raw images that had been shoot the day before on our 12 live model/still photo studios.

We have 2 different crops (scripts) and it is a bit too much to explain what they do. The crop moment in the script it is only a small part.

Some topics:

- we use normal crop and proportional crop (proportional crop is very useful to put the % and the x,y of the crop just like the previous cropped image (we group open images by the same path origin)

- we have created the ability to have our own grid designed by us to our needs, so it is now easy to put the objects at the exact distances from the image sides and to align it seeing our grid

- our grid read xmp metadata and the styling specifications written by the stylist to the retouchers (automatically if they exist);

- we are upgrading our crop system to have even more abilities: to automatically generate thumbnails from all or only part of the opened images and imeddiatly have a panel with all thumbnails working as buttons and letting them get the clientX clientY mouse listeners so the starting crop will be automatic placed.

We would be much honored to have you visiting us one of this days if you came to europe.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Pedro, thank you for these enlightening details regarding your crop workflow and specific cropping needs. Are there specific changes you'd like to see in our crop tool? I'm a little unclear as to whether our recent changes to the crop tool are helping or hurting your cropping needs. Most of the things that you mentioned above (e.g., specific offsets and positions) weren't supported in our previous crop tool implementation, nor in the current one.
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Pedro Marques

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Thanks Eric for your interest.

On behalf of your curiosity, I have to clarify that in fact 'specific offsets and positions' were not on the crop tool.
That was 1 of the reasons I decide not to use it at all.
In fact our crop crops not by tool but by script.
First I build a grid using painting on quick mask (rectangles and lines calculated by script with our fixed ratio) and at the end I have my own grid as a normal selection (escaping quick mask).
Then I use a simple Transform selection (here I can get rotation, center point, etc) and I can detect errors (for example if it uses skew, or alter ratio if the user press Alt button) and force transform again.
Then it crops.
It adds also background pixels or transparency if the area goes outside of the image, maintaining the ratio.

What I would like to have on a future crop?

In small words, less drags, less clicks or even more:
No drags at all and no clicks at all.
And you know? It is so possible! You have all the tools to do it!

I'm a visionary. I'm not a native development guy, I come from creation and retouching but I have always like to code.
In my team avoiding 1 click and 1 drag on every single image or crop means avoiding 600 clicks and 600 drags on a single editor on a single day.

I would suggest that crop tool should be designed to 2 different client needs:
- 'quality clients' (majority, photographers, creatives, illustrators, ...);
- 'produttività clients' (like us)

There will be a new normal crop and a productivity crop.

The productivity crop should be scriptable, scalable, and should be able to catch text description if exist on metadata (I'm planning to put that inside my future new script crop that will have not a selection anymore but a imported image with a text layer).

The productivity crop should be faster, and have some options regarding passing the last behavior to the group of images that have the same folder origin (we generally open 15 to 25 images at a time from 4, 5, 6 folders). It should be able to not crop the same way if the image is the 1st on that specific origin group (1st by index opening order).

And last but absolutely not least, the most important issue for me:
Crop automatically with no drags and no clicks and jumping to the next image of the group.

Context:

On our fast workflow, an editor starts on Bridge and opens 5 or 6 raw images from a folder using ACRaw plugin.
Then while all images are opening on photoshop he uses that time to return to bridge and open on ACR the next 5 image group from another folder.
And so on until he has several groups opened on photoshop.
At this moment, he runs the crop script from the last opened image to the 1st image of the last opened group.
Then we use the bach save to save all images from the last group and again crop the last group.

This means that the crop could be much more intelligent and could get other new listeners to be more productive and fast.

My solution:

Adobe CameraRaw plugin is a major issue to our workflow and I think it represents 30 to 50% of our editing time.
But it lacks on something that might be a major issue to the new crop productivity tool:

ACRaw plugin does not record the positions of any created color samples (1, 2, 3 or 4) and it does not pass those to the opened image on photoshop.

I have already tested and it works very well.

If a crop detects any color sample existence on an image (and they could be created before on ACRaw or on photoshop as a second moment to adjust position), the crop could automatically crop image with no drag and no click.

Then there will be other options.

If 2 color samples, we could crop with rotating detection vertically or horizontally preferred or without rotation, and if ratio must exist, it could centralize the color samples by top-bottom or left-right surrounded by ratio.
If 4 color samples, the same logic but without rotation (rotation was done before on ACRaw).

__
p.s.
In the last months I have had contact with Tom Ruark and I will be honored to have you both here on summer.
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Tom Tomkinson

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alrite, here goes:

I open say 30 images at a time out of 1-3k for an edit. Each one receives it's own crop based on a creative decision. In the old ACR, while in the crop tool, I could right click, go to custom and set my image dimension, typically in inches (8x10, 10x10, 16x9, etc...). My resolution would be set in the workflow options panel below. Very easy, very useful way to crop. NOW I'm only given a ratio option in the crop tool. So I have to set the ratio in that box THEN open the workflow options panel (hence the 2 dialog boxes) and set the inches parameter there...FOR EVERY SINGLE IMAGE. This just doesn't work, at all. So much so that I would look into switching to lightroom but lightroom handles cropping THE EXACT SAME WAY, which is why I never switched in the first place. So what are my options? Well, as far as I can tell nothing so basically I am out of luck.

So pretty please, with sugar on top, replace the options that were available to us in the custom crop field (inches, pixels, etc...). I can't imagine it being more than a day of coding but I'm guessing the code is still around as it has been in every previous version of ACR until now.

Please! Begging here...
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Ok Tom, this does help, and it's a good start, but I need some more info. You mention setting crops for each image individually (based on the aesthetic needs on a per-image basis). I get that. The part I don't understand is what you do after that. Once you've cropped the images ... what's the next step? Do you click Done so that the settings are saved and the dialog goes away? Or, do you click Save and save out TIFFs/JPEGs, etc. to disk? Or, do you click Open and open the files into Photoshop?

Thanks,
Eric
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Tom Tomkinson

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Typically I hit done and move on to the next 30 or so images until all are processed. Then I open them all at once and save them all out. Often however I will crop and adjust in ACR then open the file in photoshop and continue creative adjustments there with plugins. It just depends on the job.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Thanks Tom. Now, just to be sure I understand this correctly: The important part for you is being able to specify not only the aspect ratio (16:9, 3:2, 1:1, etc.) but also the physical output size (10x10 inches, 16x9 inches, etc.). Is that right?
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Tom Tomkinson

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Exactly. Aspect ratio is the least important, inches and pixels are the most important.
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Christopher Neely

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Tom did you try creating and then batch pasting of a specifically sized crop to multiple images in Bridge as suggested above to Katherine's query? Then they will all open in ACR with a correctly sized crop box already there ready to fine tune? This is what I do now I figure it solves the issue pretty much.
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Tom Tomkinson

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Unfortunately this solution doesn't apply for me as each image get's a unique crop both in dimension and location on the image.
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Christopher Neely

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Sorry I thought you needed to output all your images to the same size. So you get thousands of different images each needing to be output at a different size?
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Tom Tomkinson

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Well yes and no. No, 1,000 or more different images do not need 1,000 different sizes. But they do need a handful of specific sizes and crops (10x10" 8x10" 8x12" 16x24", etc...)

Before it was as easy as right clicking to quickly go about this. Now it's so time consuming it's really no longer feasible and it's literally the very first thing I do to an image so to have such a critical feature missing at that stage of an edit is just a game ender. And what's worse, ACR was, to my knowledge, the only decent photo management software that let you do this effectively and efficiently. Now it's just as pro-sumer as everything else.

Incredibly disappointing. And there doesn't seem to be a good reason for it either.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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That's what it sounds like to me. The part of Tom's workflow that isn't addressed covered by the current revision of the workflow options is the ability to set a unique size that is tied to the aspect ratio. For example, 16:9 is actually 16 inches x 9 inches, and 10 x 10 (or 1:1 aspect ratio) may actually be 10 x 10 inches. There's not a way at present to specify the physical dimension within the ACR dialog anymore.

(My two cents: I actually think it's a better approach to decouple the aspect ratios from the physical sizes until it comes time to do printing, or an output process that actually relies on specifying the physical dimension.)
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Tom Tomkinson

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Eric-

If I decouple it then I get a completely random image dimension and resolution which is often not adequate enough for print by the time it get's to photoshop or export to clients and archiving services. My output process DOES rely on the physical dimension, that's why I do it in the first place.

In the old ACR, the image was ready to go in photoshop right from the start, I didn't have to ad additional steps to size the image.

We should at least have the choice to do this like we always have.

Are there any plans to restore this functionality? How can I as user further advocate for this? Why was this removed in the first place?
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Hi Tom,

The reason for the change was that we felt it was advantageous to decouple the aspect ratio (for a "master image" that has been edited for creative content, but not yet optimized for an output of a specific physical size) from physical dimensions.

For example, a set of 1000 images can each have its own unique aspect ratio to suit the content. This can be done independently of how small or big those images are to be printed.

When it comes time for batch output, say, a set of prints that need to be done at a given size (20" on the long side), the new setup makes it very easy to go through a large number of images to output at that given size, regardless of their aspect ratio. (And upcoming refinements will make that even easier.)

Having the aspect ratios & physical sizes decoupled has been enormously useful and popular in Lightroom and that was largely what motivated this change.

It is not clear to me your point about getting a "random" image dimension or resolution. That is not true. I also don't understand why you feel you're not getting enough resolution. The resolution is determined solely by the number of pixels you have to begin with in the input image, not the physical size / resolution you specify in the workflow options or (in the old way) crop. Even if you were used to specifying, say, 16 inches x 9 inches at 360 pixels/inch using the previous method, ACR would simply interpolate ("blow up", "upsample" etc.) pixels as needed. And indeed if you were choosing a fixed physical dimension, you might actually be losing resolution if your input image was a large file. For archiving it's much better to keep the image at its original (native) resolution instead of storing a pre-interpolated version.
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Christopher Neely

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What might be useful is some method of saving a few presets somewhere in the ACR crop dialogs the way you can save crop presets in Photoshop. I have always thought this would be a useful addition. Seems that would help with Tom's issue too...

Eric as for the decoupling aspect I always thought it was fairly straightforward to resize say a batch of 6x9 inch images to a different output size, is the raw file not a master image anyway.

I can't comment on Lightroom as it doesn't suit my workflow in any way, Bridge with ACR I couldn't survive without it...
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Tom Tomkinson

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I'm having a hard time knowing where to begin here

-the output scenario you suggest is way too idyllic and not real world at all. Outputs have a variety of lengths on the long side of the image, so that negates your solution right there. The new set-up makes it un-reasonalby time consuming, particularly for outputs of a large number of images.

-That's great for lightroom, keep the change in lightroom. There are plenty of reasons a majority of working photographers hate lightroom (trust me, they do) and the non-specific crop tool is surely at or near the top of that list. Why have two different software suites in the first place if they behave the same way? If anything make the crop tool in light room more functional and specific (ie give users MORE functionality and control over their images, not less.)

-As far as the random image resolution, let me explain. If I set my crops the way I used to but instead of getting inches I just get a ratio AND I don't have the time to dip into the workflow options panel for every image to resize each one specifically, I get images with dimensions all over the map but rarely if ever the one I need. Yes the resolution might be there, but they are far too small.

-It's just not feasible to archive images online at native resolutions. Yes, they're native on my own master library but for archiving and displaying online? Please, it's just not the way it works. You think Getty or any stock house wants thousands of 20 or 50mb files?? C'mon now... They are INCERDIBLY specific about how they want their images formatted and this change just crushes a photographers control over their exported images.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Christopher, there's the raw file which is the original, and then there are the master edits. The edits that represent your adjustments (including the crop) irrespective of the desired output size. After all, a master image can be repurposed for many different types of output (press, inkjet glossy, screen), and many different sizes (web sized, 20" on long side, original size, etc.).
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Christopher Neely

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Yeah, so an edited RAW file with it's .xmp is a master image, master edit or whatever. But, even with a crop ratio set, at some point before output it has to be allocated a physical size to meet a client's requirement, if they then come back looking for another size it will still need another edit. I'm not clear how removing functionality from the crop tool at the top helps simplify this, it just moves it.
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Christopher Neely

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Having had a few months to work with this what I now find the biggest nuisance with the crop tool is the way any crop size is is global, so if I output a series of images small using the "size to fit" dialog all the images I open in Raw after that are then resized at the last setting unless I actively un-resize them - even images with no crop allocated are resized. The old system of the crop being specific to the image unless it was changed , and images with no crop applied being left original image size was a lot more convenient. Is there no way that an option could be introduced to save the crop with the image, and to leave un-cropped images un-resized, so that if I have something I am working on as a NEF at A4 say it won't need resized the next time I open it if I have been working on some web size images. If I needed to re-size a batch of images in this way before I just pasted a full frame crop. 2 seconds work. If I don't crop it I don't need it resized. I don't need it done for me when I don't want it. Simple.

To be honest this crop tool is not an improvement, it's got some increased functionality sure but it's lost some too and tends to be a pain more than a help.
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Christopher, I suggest you try using the new Save Dialog presets. You can set one up for the resizing workflow (e.g., web sized images or a specific print size) and one for the no-resize workflow (preserve original number of pixels). Then when you need to batch-process several images with resizing, use the former preset, and when you want to batch-process several images without resizing, use the latter.

(Note that presets in the Save Dialog are new to 8.2 and are separate from the Workflow Options. This means you can choose to keep the Workflow Options as full resolution (no resizing).)
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Christopher Neely

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Eric I was stil on 8.1.

This is much better it addresses the issue I just discussed along with the rest of the stuff in this topic, plus an issue that I have always had about Raw not being able to save crop presets.
Excellent!
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Eric Chan, Camera Raw Engineer

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Christopher, just FYI: another shortcut for Workflow Options presets is that you can right-click on the workflow options text link at the bottom-center of the dialog.

Doing so will bring up a list of your Workflow Options presets (you can create these presets in the Workflow Options dialog box).

This provides a quick way to switch between your common and preferred Workflow Options settings, without having to keep going into and out of the Workflow Options dialog box.
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russell lloyd

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upgrading to CS6 has really messed up my workflow. I typically open 50 or 100 images in raw. some images are cropped to 30MB and others are cropped to 40MB or larger.
I now have to decide which are going to be what size before I open them.
I use Fotostation, camera raw and Photoshop together.
I seriously can not be messing around pasting crops from Bridge.
come on I've got work to do!

I still recognize Photoshop as the best tool for editing creative images but can anyone suggest an alternative for crunching through hundreds of raws?

ps. the crop tool in photoshop also slows me down. fine for fiddling around with a few images but a pain when you've got hundreds to do. I hate the fact there is a crop already over your picture. its usually in the wrong orientation or you have to wind down the image to be able to pick up the crop corners quickly.