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12-24-2019, 03:44 PM   #1
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A Workflow Issue to do with LR (Presets and Luts) and 'Edit In' PS (advanced fixes).

Hi everyone,

I'm taking some time off over this festive period and reflecting on my workflow this year and how I process my images for clients, from the moment I take the shot through to delivering satisfactory images for the client.

Here is my current workflow;

1) Camera; Take pics (mainly RAWs, DNG's)
2) LR; Import to LR (involving culling)
3) LR; Basic Adjustments and pass exported files (smaller size) for client to choose selection for which to edit
4) LR; From the selection, rendering style is chosen, 3Dlut, presets, tweaks and further basic adjustments to suit
5) PS; If necessary, at this point, right click>Edit In PS and then do cloning, Frequency Separation, Dodging & Burning or access 3rd party plugin as a layer etc, finally hitting 'Save'
6) LR File is now .Tif in LR, Export As.

Done.

My issue with this is that the rendering is done before the PS work. The renderers/3Dluts in LR seem to prefer the RAW dng file, not the PS Tif file.

If I do;

1) Camera; Take pics (mainly RAWs, DNG's)
2) LR; Import to LR (involving culling)
3) LR; Basic Adjustments and pass exported files (smaller size) for client to choose selection for which to edit
4) PS; If necessary, at this point, right click>Edit In PS and then do cloning, Frequency Separation, Dodging & Burning or access 3rd party plugin as a layer etc, finally hitting 'Save'
5) LR File is now .Tif in LR
6) LR; From the selection, rendering style is chosen, 3Dlut, presets, tweaks and further basic adjustments to suit
7) LR; Export As

then the render/3dLuts are not the same as they applied to .tif, they are not as good/accurate as to what they are when being applied to a RAW DNG file.

The crux of the issue is, when working for a client, if you hand over your final edits and they are not pleased with your render style, then you have a lot of work to do all over again, including the PS cloning stuff. I was hoping to do the PS work first, then apply the render, then if they do not like that render choice/style you can fairly easily change to a different selection, but that doesn't really work great under Tiff'd PS files compared to their native RAW DNG versions.

I had one friend suggest that you introduce an extra step that once you do the basic adjustment and they have chosen the images they want you to work on, then offer a max of 3-4 rendering styles for the rest of the work to be completed under. Then you (both) settle on a render, do PS work, Export and done.

My problem with this is with large events such as weddings, a single render style might not work for some of the other lighting scenarios throughout the day (including artificial/flash monents vs natural light). You might come up with 3-4 different renders that work well for the 200 odd photographs, example;

A: Morning of wedding ; 50 photos all under similar lighting conditions, Render using preset 'A' is fine.
B: Midday (Ceremony); 50 photos all under similar lighting conditions, Render using preset 'A' is not good, must choose a new style/3dlut
C: Formal Shots; 50 photos all under similar lighting conditions, Render using either of above styles not good, new style must be used
D: Evening reception; 50 photos all under similar lighting conditions, Render using either of above styles not good, new style must be used

It feels like too much client involvement and in fact a good deal of the 'big reveal' lost in the process. It would mean offering the client 3-4 different rendering styles for A, B, C and D... In addition to that, I can still see clients saying "Oh... that is nice... I know we agreed on style 'X' but could I now have a look at them all in style 'Y'?", so sometimes I fear giving too much choice to the client, endless circle of over editing/styling...

I'm wondering if its time to ditch LR and head over to another program that is more of a 'all-in-one' system, everything under one roof, just so that I can avoid the LR>PS>LR>Render issue...

Thoughts?

TIA!

BB

12-24-2019, 05:04 PM   #2
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I don't have a 3Dlut plugin but I do a lot of Photoshop <-> CameraRaw editing.
what I often have done is very similar to your workflow but when I put my image in Photoshop, I have it as (raw) Smart Object Layer which retains full raw editing capacity (no conversion to TIF, all setting is intact.), . Maybe you can try that? I use CameraRaw rather than deal with LightRoom Classic's database things. but I think LightRoom is using the CameraRaw's engine so I guess you can tell Lightroom to open your raw image in Photoshop as a smart object layer just like CameraRaw and go from there. (raw) Smart Object in photoshop can export back to .dng as well. Usually, I will just keep it as PSD. and the original DNG will automatically turn to a backup file.
Note that the raw smart object layer in Photoshop is not the same as converting a layer to a smart object because raw smart objects can export back to DNG as mentioned but typical smart objects or layers can not export back to DNG.
-- edit --
Or another option in the Photoshop layer (not sure if it will work with your plugin), you can try Filter > CameraRaw filter. That will give you tools similar to Lightroom and hopefully, you can see the plugin there. But the best way I have found is still the same. Import DNG as raw SmartObject into Photoshop layer. That way we have full function DNG raw file which can be export back to .dng again if needs.

this is where to find the import DNG to Photshop smart object. (skip #2)



---edit2---

Here you go, I found an instruction for Lightroom to do the same.

“– Lightroom : When you have completed the edits in Lightroom, you are able to open the image for further edits by selecting “Develop mode: Photo/Edit/Edit in Adobe Photoshop”, however, if you choose “Develop mode: Photo/Edit/Edit as a Smart Object in Adobe Photoshop”, the file will open inside Photoshop as a Smart Object. When inside Adobe Photoshop you can round trip back to Adobe Camera Raw (Note not Lightroom) by clicking on the image thumbnail inside the originally created layer.”

Source: https://blogs.adobe.com/richardcurtis/2012/06/29/improve-your-camera-raw-workflow-using-smart-objects-in-photoshop/

*Note, I think the author made a small mistake when he said: “Photoshop will keep the link back to the Original RAW file”.
*When say “link”, it usually means; if I move parent file(PSD), I have to keep the structure of the children files (DNG) as is, or the parent (PSD) won’t be able to fully function because It cannot find the children files.

As on my workflow, Photoshop does NOT link back to the original raw file. The raw DNG is instead “embedded” into Photoshop. And we can export it back to a new DNG. The original DNG will remain as a separated file.

Last edited by tokyoscape; 12-24-2019 at 08:19 PM.
12-24-2019, 05:42 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
then the render/3dLuts are not the same as they applied to .tif, they are not as good/accurate as to what they are when being applied to a RAW DNG file.
Therein might be part of the problem. "Edit in" is equivalent to an export to TIFF and the lack of accuracy may be due to coercion to a narrower gamut (LR Develop uses a variant of ProPhoto RGB called Melissa) and/or lower bit-depth (choose 16-bit). Check your External Editor settings for your choice of external editors and also be aware of the settings chosen in the "Edit in" dialog if you are configured to allow that screen.

That last illustrates some of the messiness of working with RAW in PS from LR. If one only configures the top box "Edit in Adobe <your version of PS>" PS will open the RAW (will display yourfile.RAW) with the "edit in" settings only applied when you actually save from within PS. At that point the display will change to "yourfile.tif" and will also open the copy-tiff in the LR stack of the original RAW. Once that is done, the PS edits will show in LR on the newly created copy-tiff.

I am not a PS user (use Affinity Photo for raster editing) despite having Elements installed. As a result, LR will prompt me for my editor of choice and will do the conversion to TIFF and creation of the copy-tiff immediately after my agreement to an "edit in" dialog where I am allowed to override the general LR settings. The TIFF then opens in Affinity Photo with all the LR edits and export settings applied. The power for PS users comes with defining additional PS settings as one or more external editors in the lower pane of the External Editor settings tab.

From that foundation, there is a little-exercised LR feature that might soften the impact and allow you to see more clearly, in real time, how your PS work is seen by LR. As mentioned above, once the external editor is working against the TIFF, LR will show the external edits in real time as they are saved. I generally create a virtual copy of the TIFF and open that within the Develop module and use that to monitor my Affinity edits. I can also do a split-window compare against the LR copy before creation of the TIFF and the Affinity edits. Cool, eh?

Oh...as for using an all-in-one solution for what LR does and what PS does; I have both Affinity and PaintShop Pro installed and have played with the RAW processing and CMS features of both and have not been tempted to replace LR with either.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-24-2019 at 06:08 PM.
12-26-2019, 01:27 PM   #4
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I agree with tokyoscape that sending the image to Ps as a smart object might solve the problem. And it's easier to deal with LUTs in Ps than Lr as well.

12-27-2019, 03:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by tokyoscape Quote
I don't have a 3Dlut plugin but I do a lot of Photoshop <-> CameraRaw editing.
what I often have done is very similar to your workflow but when I put my image in Photoshop, I have it as (raw) Smart Object Layer which retains full raw editing capacity (no conversion to TIF, all setting is intact.), . Maybe you can try that? I use CameraRaw rather than deal with LightRoom Classic's database things. but I think LightRoom is using the CameraRaw's engine so I guess you can tell Lightroom to open your raw image in Photoshop as a smart object layer just like CameraRaw and go from there. (raw) Smart Object in photoshop can export back to .dng as well. Usually, I will just keep it as PSD. and the original DNG will automatically turn to a backup file.
Note that the raw smart object layer in Photoshop is not the same as converting a layer to a smart object because raw smart objects can export back to DNG as mentioned but typical smart objects or layers can not export back to DNG.
-- edit --
Or another option in the Photoshop layer (not sure if it will work with your plugin), you can try Filter > CameraRaw filter. That will give you tools similar to Lightroom and hopefully, you can see the plugin there. But the best way I have found is still the same. Import DNG as raw SmartObject into Photoshop layer. That way we have full function DNG raw file which can be export back to .dng again if needs.

this is where to find the import DNG to Photshop smart object. (skip #2)



---edit2---

Here you go, I found an instruction for Lightroom to do the same.

“– Lightroom : When you have completed the edits in Lightroom, you are able to open the image for further edits by selecting “Develop mode: Photo/Edit/Edit in Adobe Photoshop”, however, if you choose “Develop mode: Photo/Edit/Edit as a Smart Object in Adobe Photoshop”, the file will open inside Photoshop as a Smart Object. When inside Adobe Photoshop you can round trip back to Adobe Camera Raw (Note not Lightroom) by clicking on the image thumbnail inside the originally created layer.”

Source: Improve your Camera RAW workflow using Smart Objects in Photoshop

*Note, I think the author made a small mistake when he said: “Photoshop will keep the link back to the Original RAW file”.
*When say “link”, it usually means; if I move parent file(PSD), I have to keep the structure of the children files (DNG) as is, or the parent (PSD) won’t be able to fully function because It cannot find the children files.

As on my workflow, Photoshop does NOT link back to the original raw file. The raw DNG is instead “embedded” into Photoshop. And we can export it back to a new DNG. The original DNG will remain as a separated file.
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Therein might be part of the problem. "Edit in" is equivalent to an export to TIFF and the lack of accuracy may be due to coercion to a narrower gamut (LR Develop uses a variant of ProPhoto RGB called Melissa) and/or lower bit-depth (choose 16-bit). Check your External Editor settings for your choice of external editors and also be aware of the settings chosen in the "Edit in" dialog if you are configured to allow that screen.

That last illustrates some of the messiness of working with RAW in PS from LR. If one only configures the top box "Edit in Adobe <your version of PS>" PS will open the RAW (will display yourfile.RAW) with the "edit in" settings only applied when you actually save from within PS. At that point the display will change to "yourfile.tif" and will also open the copy-tiff in the LR stack of the original RAW. Once that is done, the PS edits will show in LR on the newly created copy-tiff.

I am not a PS user (use Affinity Photo for raster editing) despite having Elements installed. As a result, LR will prompt me for my editor of choice and will do the conversion to TIFF and creation of the copy-tiff immediately after my agreement to an "edit in" dialog where I am allowed to override the general LR settings. The TIFF then opens in Affinity Photo with all the LR edits and export settings applied. The power for PS users comes with defining additional PS settings as one or more external editors in the lower pane of the External Editor settings tab.

From that foundation, there is a little-exercised LR feature that might soften the impact and allow you to see more clearly, in real time, how your PS work is seen by LR. As mentioned above, once the external editor is working against the TIFF, LR will show the external edits in real time as they are saved. I generally create a virtual copy of the TIFF and open that within the Develop module and use that to monitor my Affinity edits. I can also do a split-window compare against the LR copy before creation of the TIFF and the Affinity edits. Cool, eh?

Oh...as for using an all-in-one solution for what LR does and what PS does; I have both Affinity and PaintShop Pro installed and have played with the RAW processing and CMS features of both and have not been tempted to replace LR with either.


Steve
Thanks for some pointers in the general direction chaps. I still have some issues and felt a 'short' video was better way to explain where I'm stuck with things;

12-28-2019, 09:33 AM   #6
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Thanks; now I understand. But oof, no idea how to deal with that. I'd suggest asking on a Ps forum, since I think it might have to do with some differences in how layering is working in a pixel editor. Dealing with groups of parametric edits in Lr is complex enough, but since layers are blended I would just guess it's even more complicated. But both are out of my league, although your helpful video has shown me that some problems I had in the past, on just a few images, might be the result of the same order of work. If you do discover why this is happening, please post back here, and good luck!
12-28-2019, 10:42 PM   #7
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Your first question:
I can think of 2 ways which is what I have been doing,
1. Try to retouch / clean up / cloning as much as I can use the Lightroom/CameraRaw "spot removal" tool. It is not as flexible as Healing brush tool in Photoshop though. Next Open in photoshop as smart object > apply another filter as need.
2. Do it the way you do then select all the re-touched layers + effect and convert them to smart object. After that, add a Camera raw filter to that new smart object layer again by go to Filter > Camera raw filter.

Your second question at around 8:00 minutes
I guess some 3rd party filter does that. Photoshop need a little push to re-render some effect. Photoshop own effects seem to be working ok. Sometime Crop tool in combination with Transform tool in Cameraraw sometime need that too. I remember load settings from a saved setting (from another image) and see Cameraraw apply all adjusting but left out crop and transform effect until I go into the Crop tool page one, don't change anything and just click OK. After that everything re-render and it looks fine.

Last edited by tokyoscape; 12-28-2019 at 10:53 PM.
12-31-2019, 05:12 AM   #8
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Follow up vid;



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