I am on the verge of buying LR for the first time. Am I right in thinking that all adjustments made to the image within LR are either stored in the raw file, or a sidecar file, and can subsequently be selectively modified? I.e. in a similar way to how NX2 works.
No, by default the edits are stored in the catalog file. You can go back in your edit sequence and eliminate a sequence of edits, but if you want to selectively modify the edits, the Lightroom interface makes this easy. No need for sidecar files to do this. (Optionally, you can store the edits in both the catalog and a sidecar file, but as I stated, there's really no need for you to modify sidecar files, and by default, Lightroom doesn't use the edits in the XMP file anyway)
Then I am wondering how add-ons such as OnOne and Nik, and particularly Perfectly Clear, fit into this. At worst are changes from an add-on stored in the raw file as a new layer which at least you can delete and start again? Or is it better than that?
Well, the edited file from Lightroom is turned into a TIF or JPG which has the edits baked into it. You transfer the TIF or JPG to the add-on, perform additional edits and then transfer it back to Lightroom. Layers are not involved. Once the add-on edits are returned to Lightroom, they are disconnected from the original; in other words, if you continue to edit the original in LR, it does not affect the version edited by the add-on.
Lightroom stores the edits which you make in the catalog itself.
It does not make any changes to the original files. You are required to export the images in order to get new files with the edits or changes.
You may go ahead and create sidecar files for your images.
Click on the below link for how Lightroom catalog works.
Lightroom provides extensive and powerful image editing controls, you can use external editing plug-ins(OnOne, Nik, Perfectly Clear etc) to gain access to additional tools and techniques or perform highly specialized editing tasks.
Hope this helps.
I shoot almost exclusively in raw. When I use the Nik plug-ins from within Lightroom, when I choose to edit in one of the plug-ins, the first time Lightroom will create a TIF file. After I have started using the Nik plug-ins I won't do anymore adjustments using Lightroom until I have finished using Nik. So on subsequent Nik plug-ins Lightroom will give me a choice, and I will choose to edit the original. So when I am finished I have my original raw file with all of the adjustments reversible and my TIF file which has all of the accumulated Nik adjustments.
I know that others choose to allow Lightroom to create a new TIF for each Nik plug-in, but I prefer doing it the way I have explained.
Thank you guys, I think I am reasonably clear now on the first stage and what is happening. I think Jim I would follow your processing model. So when I get back from Nik or whatever, I have my original LR edited nef file (with the edits in the catalogue) and a TIF file combining my edited nef file and changes made by Nik.
If I then make changes to my nef file and want to go back to Nik, do I assume correctly that LR will make a new TIF file and thus my NIK changes will be lost?
(I am assuming, possibly wrongly, that the TIF file is an image rather than Nik statements)
If I just make some changes in LR and then want to print the result, is LR able merge my updated nef file with the TIF file? I am assuming yes as you seem to be saying that you may do this.
Ok I have just re-read DJ's post and think I am incorrectly thinking the TIF file holds a bit mapped image, when in fact it is text commands. So I guess there is a standard and if I want to print the result LR cancombine and interpret the commands in the nef file, the catalogue file and the TIF file. Yes?
TIF does not contain text commands, it is your photo as you edited it, the pixels have been changed to reflect your edits.
The idea of transferring the edits back and forth from Adobe application to non-Adobe application does not work the way you are describing it. The edit commands don't transfer and they're not available to the other application.
So I guess there is a standard and if I want to print the result LR cancombine and interpret the commands in the nef file, the catalogue file and the TIF file. Yes?
Ok so the way I thought it worked is the way it works. So in summary then you can edit once in LR and once in Nik. EG, if one of the changes I make in LR is to change colour saturation from A to B and then I go to Nik and one of the changes is changing colour saturation from B to C I cannot make anymore changes in LR as I will lose the colour saturation of C and indeed all the other changes made in Nik. So in summary again, non destructive editing and moving outside of LR is extremely limited.
Well, the way you are describing things, I don't think you have it right.
So, edit in Lightroom, send a TIF to Nik to have more editing, and then this TIF+Nik Edits returns to Lightroom. At this point, you can continue editing the TIF+Nik Edits in Lightroom, you don't lose anything, you don't lose the earlier edits from LR and you don't lose the Nik edits, and you are able to add addtional LR edits on top of your earlier LR edits and on top of the Nik Edits, nothing is lost.
What you cannot do is go backwards in the chain ... if you go back to your original LR edits (before you sent the photo to Nik) and make more edits there, the TIF doesn't change, the TIF+Nik Edits doesn't change, and the TIF+Nik Edits+Additional LR Edits does not change. Similarly, if you go back to Nik and make more edits to the TIF, then the photos in LR do not change.
I think you have the concept. I don't even think about turning to Nik until I have taken the image as far as I can using Lightroom. Once I start using Nik I work with the TIF image exclusively. And I don't make any more Lightroom adjustments to the TIF image until I have finished with the Nik plug-ins. Occasionally I find it necessary to adjust highlight and shadow clipping after I am finished with Nik. But if you go back and make changes to the original raw file then as far as I'm concerned the Nik processing starts over from scratch.
I am on the verge of buying LR for the first time.
Perhaps you should try the 30-day free trial before you buy it, and see if it does what you want.
Lol I would like to try the trial but even with Adobe support I cannot get it to run - otherwise I would have been trying this myself rather than taking up your kindly give time. OK I do have it totally now. What has been "confusing" me is mixing the phrase non-destructive editing and wanting to keep to one file i.e. my original raw file. When I saw the phrase non destructive editing in the overviews, positioned as an important point, I fixed that in my mind as all happening on the original raw file(I only shoot raw) - a misunderstanding on my part and of course what you describe is non- destructive - apart from the point that my raw file is a representation of the camera's sensor data by Nikon software engineers rather than Adobe engineers - which of course could be the same thing. Thanks for all your help and giving me a clear understanding of how it works.
All the adjustments you make in Lightroom are nondestructive. With nondestructive editing, your original file is not altered, whether it’s a camera raw file or a rendered file such as a JPEG or TIFF. Your edits are stored in Lightroom as a set of instructions that are applied to your photo in memory.
Nondestructive editing means you can explore and create different versions of your photo without degrading your original image data.
Hi Mrinmay, yes you are right, I understand now how LR provides ND editing. My question originated because right now I always use add-ons in my post processing for exposure management. It is clear to me now that even with LR that means that the processing will be destructive. Of course it maybe that there are functions in LR that are as easy (i.e. as fast) to use as in the add-ons; that is something for me to discover!