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Improvement of the book module of LT4

May 8, 2012 5:35 AM

Where should I post my request for improving the book module of Lightroom 4.0? This module is a great advance in Lightroom. However, compare to other software available, this module suffer from a lack of flexibility. Examples given are possibilities to place the picture or text cells wherever we want on the page, or to do a rotation. Does anyone know if this will be improved in the next version?

 
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    It is my view that the "possibilities to place the picture or text cells wherever we want on the page" is a fairly basic requiremernt for a book module.  Equally, the ability to include metatdata on a print template is also a failry basic requirement (ie correctly place titles under a print). I have been waiting for this basic print feature since version 1. I am not optimistic that this feature will even make it to version 5. It is my view that Adobe have deliberately hobbled Lightroom not to compete with InDesign.  I look forward to been proven wrong.

     

    So, I hope your request gathers traction, but I am gobsmacked to think that a vendor would put a book module on the market with such basics missing. I already own InDesign and have upgraded all products to CS 6, but the correct place to provide the basic features are within Lightroom and leave InDesign for the more sophisticated projects.

     
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    May 8, 2012 2:42 PM   in reply to gnits999

    I agree gnits999 ... the Book module in it's current state is a huge disappointment ... It is so limited and confined compared to other options. If only the development team had just cast an eye at some other options instead of focusing on a single source, they might have planned differently and we wouldn't be so hobbled.

     

    I too do not want the Book module to necessarily be InDesign lite ... but it certainly should be much more than it is now ... Why it had to be tied to ANY vendor is beyond me. I think in many ways this was purely intentional and the features that are in place are to provide output that this one and only source to work with ... Why the Lr team painted themselves, and we users, into a corner is beyond comprehension.

     

    It took a huge amount of discussion/complaining just to get jpeg export from the Book module (in Lr 4.1 RC 2) though without the ability to create custom page sizes ... it was an exercise in futility ... and don't get me started on the Slideshow module ...

     

    I'm just hoping Apple has a new version of Aperture on the horizon so I can possibly find a complete workflow solution ... while I love the Develop and Print modules ... if I have to jump through hoops and use other software solutions to create dynamic slideshows or wedding/photo albums ... why bother? I may as well go back to a Ps/Bridge/ACR workflow and sell my Lr licenses ...

     
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    May 8, 2012 2:54 PM   in reply to Butch_M

    As usual I totally agree on your take on the book module... !

     

    Now that LR4.1RC2 has jpg-output, how are our chances of getting custom page sizes, maybe in LR 4.1final?

     

    But then: how to deal with these damned fixed templates.. Just add additional or less borders around a fixed middle? Add more templates, at least the DIN formats for European Users?

    Difficult, when the initial specification is such a trap !

     
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    May 8, 2012 3:15 PM   in reply to Butch_M

    I can undersand why Adobe might partner with Blurb to get the engine warmed up, but I cannot understand or excuse the hobbling (is there such a word)  of basic features (ie adjust templates, boxes, allow full use fo metadata, export any way the licensee wants, etc). Apple have a lovely feature which allows you to place a metadata field in a book. So simple, so easy, so achievable. 

     

    The Blurb standalone app is a model for what Adobe should have been striving for. The drawback with the Blurb app is that it is hard to get output sharpening fine tune, whioch would be a non issue for the Lightroom book module (ie it knows the size of the image and the type of paper, so can output  sharpen appropriately)

     

    I have given up on the Slide Show Module a long long long time ago.  Another example of a half finished product.  It seems to me that Adobe  just want to tick a box and move on.  [Photdex is my tool of choice. ]

     

    I put a fair amount of energy into the discussions when the beta came out and subsequent  iterations, but feel that it has been a total waste of time.  My big gripe is that Adobe build a huge big v8 engine to allow us get metadata into a database and then hobble our use of this (I am thinking in particular of the Print Module, but also the Book Module, Photoshop and InDesign. I have upgarded to CS 6, but am doing it just to stay current.  I am bitterly disappointed that one again, metadata tools are completely ignored. I have looked at all the pre /post launch videos. To be honest, I do not see any obvious new feature that is worth for me the upgrade. (I am thinking Photoshop and InDesign in particular).  I do not shift people around in photos or want to be creating artificial blur. Ok, those features are now there, maybe I will find something useful in time. There is a big emphasis on increased performamce.  I have not experienced it, but so far, it takes a long long long time for me to load the new CS products. I do see flashing and weird graphics behaviour which I never saw before.

     

    There are obviously lots and lots not 100% correct with LR4.  Maybe the delays will allow some real basics to be included with the final release (Not at all optimistic but forever hopeful  )..

     

    (Ps.. InDesign is a great layout tool, but you cannot create a PSD file from InDesign and I cannot import an InDesign file or PDF to Lightroom... how is that for joined up thinking So much for a Creative Suite.)    (Maybe its possible and I have not found out how to do it yet).

     
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    May 8, 2012 3:29 PM   in reply to gnits999

    gnits999 wrote:

     

    (Ps.. InDesign is a great layout tool, but you cannot create a PSD file from InDesign and I cannot import an InDesign file or PDF to Lightroom... how is that for joined up thinking So much for a Creative Suite.)    (Maybe its possible and I have not found out how to do it yet).

    How about if they would just allow InDesign to reference RAW images during the layout process so you wouldn't have to exports hundreds of derivative files, that may or may not get used ... or the images you may need to revisit in Develop to customize for the layout design, then re-export ... for me that adds up to hundreds of hours each year ... this would likely mean working from DNG rather than proprietary RAW, but that wouldn't be a big deal .... you would think after all these years of ACR and Lr being so widely used, this would be up on the list of things to do ... Heck there was once a plugin for Aperture that would let InDesign have access to the jpeg previews A3 generated ... I never used it so I don't know how well it worked ... but they were on the right track ...

     
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    May 8, 2012 4:39 PM   in reply to Butch_M

    The elephant in the room for me is output sharpening.  If I take an image out of Lightroom, (ie decide on its ppi, dimensions, type of paper, etc) and the re-scale it within InDesign (or Photoshop) then I lose my output sharpening settings.

     

    There is a great feature within InDesign where I can grab an image from a (Windows / Mac) folder and drop it on an InDesign page (not the Place command, but O/S drag and drop).  By default, it places the image at the size and ppi specified in Lightroom.  The fantastic guides within InDesign then allow me to place the image without creating complex templates. (This is a major timesaver for me relative to using Blurb). A few seconds per image.

     

    Secondly, there is now some metadata tools within InDesign which allows you to place metadata text (I use Title and Headline). So, I do 95% of my editing and wording for books within Lightroom, then drop the image onto an InDesign page.  The metadata tools are still generation 1, really clunky (others may disagree, but for example conflicts arise when grouping images and metadata and trying to place metadata on specific layers).

     

    Before I create a book I decide on a set of standard image sizes I will use for the book.  I then use Lightroom presets to export the images at the size I want  so I do not have to do any re-sizing within InDesign.

     

    I do not mind having the intermediate files.  I often have a large image and several postage stamp size images on a page. If they were all dropped in as raw, then I might have massive InDesign file sizes.

     

    The key point is that most of this effort could be avoided by properly tooling up Lightroom (and as you express above, provide better integration).

     

    I appreciate your comments/ feedback.

     
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