5 Replies Latest reply on Apr 1, 2008 7:29 AM by (Ricardo_Amaral)

    Working in DNG -> Edit in Photoshop -> Rework on DNG

    Level 1
      Hi there,
      I'm bit confused by this whole thing about DNG and editing in Photoshop for pixel based editing and so on...

      Let's say I have some photos in RAW and I convert them do DNG using Lightroom, then, I do some modifications and update the DNG metadata so I don't have to export the changes to a new DNG file.

      Now, there's something I need to edit in my photo, for instance, remove a person that's on my photo and I don't want it, I need Photoshop for that. How should I go in doing this? (not the actual person removal)

      I mean, if I click on the photo and then on "Edit in Photoshop" I'm presented with a dialog that only allows me to edit a copy of my DNG file and I leave all the options at their defaults (TIFF, bla bla bla...). A TIF file is created alongside the same directory of the DNG file and Photoshop is opened.

      How do I go and edit my file in Photoshop, save the changes and apply those changes made in Photoshop to the DNG file I was working before?

      Basically, I want to keep my photos as DNG but the problem is how do I do that if I need to do some pixel based changes. I ask this because Photoshop does not allow me to save files in DNG format. And if I edit the TIF file in Photoshop and save it, back at Lightroom, I'll have 2 files, one in TIF and the other in DNG. The DNG is the original where the TIF is the edited one. However, the TIF file lost all of the original settings, for instance, I had a cropping and if I go to the DNG file I can change the cropping if I think it needs retouching but I can't do that to the TIF.

      Does this mean that I should all my pixel based editing before I decide to develop my photo in Lightroom? What if I forgot or what if I only realize I need to do some more pixel based editing after starting developing my photo in Lightroom?

      P.S: Sorry for the long post...
        • 1. Re: Working in DNG -> Edit in Photoshop -> Rework on DNG
          JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
          Regardless of what file format you are working on in Lightroom (RAW, JPEG, TIF, PSD, DNG) the changes are stored in the Lightroom database. The only way you can pass an image to Photoshop and include all of those changes is to create a copy. Once the copy has been opened in Photoshop you can do additional editing and save that copy with all of the Photoshop changes.

          But you cannot open a RAW file or a DNG file (which is also raw image data) in Photoshop and then save the changes to the raw image. Photoshop does not write to raw images. Once you have opened that raw image in Photoshop it has to be saved in another format, and then you do additional work on that newly saved file. The same is true if you are using Photoshop/Camera Raw. As far as Photoshop is concerned, raw images (including DNG) are read-only. And if you think about it, that is really how you want it to be. You can always clear the metadata and have the image in exactly the same condition it was in when it was first downloaded.
          • 2. Re: Working in DNG -> Edit in Photoshop -> Rework on DNG
            Panoholic Level 2

            there is no way to achieve what you want to. However, much of that can be saved, depending on the adjustments you are making.

            Just for the purpose of recreating an image from the raw, I keep as much of the adjustments in Photoshop in forms of adjustment layers and masks as possible. Smart objects can be a great help as well.

            When I re-create an image from raw, I replace the old layer in the TIFF with the new one. This saves me lots of work (particularly tedious selections). As I leave some actions anyway for the time I create a presentation copy, like final cropping, resizing, local contrast, sharpening, it is realistic for me to start from scratch and then skip over to a later stage.
            • 3. Re: Working in DNG -> Edit in Photoshop -> Rework on DNG
              Level 1
              @Jim Hess
              As far as I know, I can update the DNG metadata with the changes I've done on Lightroom. But yes, I know I can't open the DNG in Photoshop just like any other file format, and then save the changes to the file.

              @G Sch
              I don't like that approach cause like I said, I want to save all my photos in DNG format for the future and keep them like that in a way I can revert back any setting if I want. And if I do do pixel-based editing after all developing in Lightroom, I'll loose the original file cause I don't want that nor I want to keep with 2 copies from the same photo (Original DNG/Edited layered PSD).
              • 4. Re: Working in DNG -> Edit in Photoshop -> Rework on DNG
                JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                But you cannot have it both ways. It doesn't work that way, and it never will. Lightroom editing, as well as ACR editing, is stored as metadata. But once you open the image in Photoshop you are switching over to pixel editing. You are changing the actual pixel data in your image. That is why we cannot save Photoshop changes back to the DNG file or the original raw file. That is also why a new file has to be created. Lightroom just does it at the beginning when it transfers the image to Photoshop.

                Everyone has their own workflow, and I'm not suggesting that you follow mine. But I do as much editing as I possibly can in ACR. I don't have Lightroom, but Camera Raw (ACR) works under the same principle. When I have done as much as I can in ACR I save my work as a PSD or TIF image, and that is the file that I use as my master for creating other versions. You just have to rethink your workflow because you cannot save Photoshop changes back to your raw images. It isn't logical, and it is not desirable.