Lightroom and other editors

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
MisterBG
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Re: Lightroom and other editors
In reply to Barry Margolius, 5 months ago

Barry Margolius wrote:

malch wrote:

ArtieD wrote:

My questions are about 1) what happens when you use multiple editors on an image, and 2) the extent to which using one or more editors may multiply the number of related files.

Although many systems (like Lightroom) have non-destructive editing capabilities, pretty much every program uses a different technique. So you can't share the edit steps/commands between programs.

This means you have to import/export a full image each time.

That's not a big deal provided you save the files as a 16-bit TIFF (which most programs support). It's fine to also use LZW or ZIP compression since those methods are not at all lossy.

Moving the files around in 8-bit JPEG format is not good and the image quality will be harmed.

Bottom line: moving your images between multiple programs is fine provided you use a 16-bit format and that generally means TIFF.

Malch: I think you've basically got it right here, but I quibble with your choice of the words "import/export".

ArtieD: The programs you mentioned (with the possible exception of Perfectly Clear) set themselves up in LR as external editors. When you ask LR to use an external editor on a RAW file, it asks you whether you wish to edit a copy of the file (jpg, TIFF, or PSD) including your LR changes. If you say yes, it launches the external editor and you edit your image.

This is correct.
The only addition I'd make is to say "Bottom line: moving your images between multiple programs is fine provided you use a 16-bit format and that generally means TIFF or PSD"

I think it is important to emphasize that once you leave Lightroom you are no longer working on the raw file but, as the dialog says, a copy with the LR adjustments applied.
All the external editors only work on a jpg, tiff or psd file, and once you apply your adjustments the image is then saved in that format, even when you are returned to Lightroom.
As long as you keep your external file as a 16-bit tiff or psd file you should not have any concerns over applying numerous edits/adjustments.
I'm using Lightroom with NIK, Topaz and OnOne PerfectPhotoSuite and I see no quality loss when switching between them to apply multiple effects to an image using either 16-bit psd or tiff.
However, one thing to watch out for is that every time you select an external editor you are prompted with the "Edit a Copy with LR adjustments/Edit a Copy/Edit original" dialog.
If you want to preserve the intermediate edit stage (as I do) and choose to edit a copy, it's very easy to generate multiple copies of an image.
I accept this so can return to an intermediate step.
When I've achieved the final effect I want, I'll go back and delete any unwanted intermediate images.

If you select a non-RAW file to edit, LR asks you if you want to edit a copy of the file with LR changes, without LR changes, and it also gives you the option to edit the actual file rather than a copy.

Once you've saved an intermediate stage, you've saved the LR adjustments, so I then continue working on a copy of the saved intermediate image, which has the LR adjustments applied (unless of course you made some further LR adjustments to the saved version).

I don't know how LR interacts with Perfectly Clear

I'm not familiar with Perfectly Clear either, but their website says it's a plug-in for Lightroom, so I would assume it can be used in the same way as all the other external LR editors.
It's certainly not necessary to use PaintShop Pro just to give you access to one effect.
For me, Lightroom plus plug-ins allows me to do just about anything I want.
OnOne PerfectPhotoSuite allows the use of layers, which give you the option of sky/background/object replacement, which you could previously only do with another editing program.

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