24 Replies Latest reply on Dec 30, 2009 4:31 AM by John Joslin

    How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?

    qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

      Hi

       

      I started converting my CR2 raw images (Canon) with Adobe DNG Converter in order to keep the DNG files only.

      But when I open a new DNG file and apply settings in Camera Raw it does not create an XMP file and instead it’s the DNG file that’s modified. So I can’t find out how to revert to the original picture

      Yet I selected the Preference

      “Save the image settings in: Sidecar “.xmp” files”

      and the “Ignore sidecar “.xmp” files”” option box is not checked.

       

      Did I miss something?

       

      Nick

        • 1. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
          JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

          DNG files do not use XMP sidecar files automatically.  The information that is stored in the XMP file is stored within the header section of the DNG file itself.  You don't mention what program you are using to do your additional editing.  But if you are using Photoshop/Bridge, in Bridge you can right click on your DNG file and click on camera settings, and one of the options will be to clear the settings.  It differs with different versions, but it's there.

           

          If you want to use XMP files with your DNG files, it is necessary for you to designate them as read only files and this has to be done at the operating system level.  For instance, if you are using Windows, it could be done using Windows Explorer.

           

          The DNG file has the same non-destructive editing capabilities as the original raw images.  It's just that the metadata is by default stored with the image file itself.  The image data is never modified.

          • 2. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
            qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

            JimHess wrote:

             

            DNG files do not use XMP sidecar files automatically.

            So what’s the purpose of the Preference “Save the image settings in: Sidecar “.xmp” files”?

             

            The information that is stored in the XMP file is stored within the header section of the DNG file itself.  You don't mention what program you are using to do your additional editing.

             

            Sorry. My environment is:

            Mac OS 10.5

            PSE 6

            CR 5.4

            Bridge CS3

            But if you are using Photoshop/Bridge, in Bridge you can right click on your DNG file and click on camera settings, and one of the options will be to clear the settings.  It differs with different versions, but it's there.

             

            I read about that feature but I don’t have it in the contextual menu in Bridge CS3. I couldn’t find how to upgrade.

            If you want to use XMP files with your DNG files, it is necessary for you to designate them as read only files and this has to be done at the operating system level.  For instance, if you are using Windows, it could be done using Windows Explorer.

             

            It works but on one hand it’s pretty awkward even though I can automate it and on the other it’s a good precaution anyway.

            The DNG file has the same non-destructive editing capabilities as the original raw images.  It's just that the metadata is by default stored with the image file itself.  The image data is never modified.

             

            I’m pretty confident the data are not altered. I only would like to toggle easily between original and modified. The bright side of the sidecar file is that you can keep different versions.

             

            Nick

            • 3. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
              JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

              If you don't designate to save image settings in sidecar XMP files, then those changes are stored in a central database for your raw images.  This does not have a reference to DNG files, as far as I know.

              I have never used Camera Raw with Photoshop Elements.  So I don't know how it behaves.  I don't have CS3 here at work, but at home I recall that the context menu has an option for Camera Raw settings, or something like that.  And in that menu there is an option to clear the settings.  Like I said, I don't know what is available in Photoshop Elements.

              • 4. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                JimHess wrote:

                 

                If you don't designate to save image settings in sidecar XMP files, then those changes are stored in a central database for your raw images.  This does not have a reference to DNG files, as far as I know.

                 

                So once again: what’s the purpose of the Preference “Save the image settings in: Sidecar “.xmp” files”?

                I should probably report a bug.

                Camera Raw Preferences.jpg

                 

                I’m a little confused about this Preference pane:

                1. The “Save the image settings…” doesn’t work.

                2. “Default image settings” are not documented. What is that?

                3. “DNG File Handling”?

                Are they stuff that don’t work with PSE 6?

                 

                I found no trace of the Camera Raw Database where it’s supposed to be: Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences and found no file with that name.


                I have never used Camera Raw with Photoshop Elements.  So I don't know how it behaves.  I don't have CS3 here at work, but at home I recall that the context menu has an option for Camera Raw settings, or something like that.  And in that menu there is an option to clear the settings.  Like I said, I don't know what is available in Photoshop Elements.

                 

                In Bridge CS3, there is no mention of Camera Raw either in a contextual menu, in the Edit menu or in the Preferences. Moreover I don’t want to bother with Bridge and I don’t want toclear the settings.

                 

                My purpose is, and that’s one of the reason I decided to upgrade to PSE6:

                * Store the original file as it was shot.

                * Apply settings in CR in a reversible way. I don’t want to “clear” my settings. I want to be able to toggle between original and modified. The “Default” and “Auto” options apply only to tones but not to Crop or Straighten.

                * I would like to apply and keep separately different settings for different uses.

                * Generate a copy in JPG format when needed without necessarily storing it once it was used.

                 

                Nick

                • 5. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                  JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

                  Unfortunately, I don't think I can offer you much more help.  I don't use Photoshop Elements, so I don't know how Bridge interacts with it.  In Photoshop, the right-click menu offers an option Camera Settings (or something similar, I don't have it in front of me) that has additional options.  I don't know what you have in Photoshop Elements.  From what I have read I have drawn the conclusion that raw editing is quite "crippled" in Photoshop Elements compared to what can be done with Photoshop.

                  You might consider Lightroom.  It's possible to create virtual copies of your images and modify each of those copies.  They take up very little space on your hard drive.  And there is a very simple switch the original image versus the edited image.  Lightroom has all of the controls and features that are available in the full version of Photoshop.  Then you could use Photoshop Elements for doing the additional editing when it's necessary.

                  That may not be an option for you.  But from my understanding of what you are trying to do, it won't be as easy with Photoshop Elements.  Hopefully, I am wrong.  Maybe someone else has better ideas for you.

                  • 6. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                    qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                    JimHess wrote:


                    That may not be an option for you.  But from my understanding of what you are trying to do, it won't be as easy with Photoshop Elements.  Hopefully, I am wrong.  Maybe someone else has better ideas for you.

                    Thanks for your help anyway. My problem is that PSE doesn’t do what’s written in the documentation and in the Preferences.

                     

                    Nick

                    • 7. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                      PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                      >"So once again: what’s the purpose of the Preference “Save the image settings in: Sidecar “.xmp” files”?

                      I should probably report a bug."

                       

                      It should read  “Save the image settings in: Sidecar “.xmp” files for all the formats that do not allow the XMP to be stored in the header”

                      XMP can be stored inside JPEGs, TIFFs, PSDs and DNGs.

                       

                       

                      • 8. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                        qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                        PECourtejoie wrote:

                         

                         

                        It should read  “Save the image settings in: Sidecar “.xmp” files for all the formats that do not allow the XMP to be stored in the header”

                        XMP can be stored inside JPEGs, TIFFs, PSDs and DNGs.

                         

                         

                        I’m sorry but if what you say is true it’s outrageous! This is not an arcane game with encrypted messages. Rule #1: a message should mean what it tells.
                        I read in the documentation that settings can be stored in the file headers, not that they have to be. It’s mentioned everywhere as an option… and there is an option you can chose in the Preference pane. As a matter of fact it’s one of the reasons I chose CR and PSE.

                         

                        Now I have an issue: I tried the Bridge feature of importing photos from my camera. So far I was using Canon’s Camera Window that stored a .CR2 file. So I got .DNGs.
                        Confidently, I tried some settings in Camera Raw, including cropping and straightening.
                        So far I had done tests with .CR2s and my settings where written in .XMPs.
                        I was surprised it didn’t do so with .DNGs.

                         

                        So my question is: how do I revert to the uncropped and unstraightened original photos?

                         

                        Nick

                        • 9. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                          Singh, Shangara Level 1

                          You think it's "outrageous" because you don't understand DNG doesn't strore XMP data in a sidecar file by default, and nor do JPEGs and TIFFs modified in Camera Raw.

                           

                          Following from the Ps CS4 documentation:

                          "Metadata for adjustments made to images stored as DNG files can be embedded in the DNG file itself instead of in a sidecar XMP file or in the Camera Raw database."

                          http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/11.0/WS28528BC6-FE79-48c8-8D0A-B2097E885671.html

                           

                          It does NOT say adjustments can be embedded in the DNG file OR saved in a sidecar XMP file OR the Camera Raw database!

                           

                          To remove CR settings from a DNG, use the Edit > Develop Settings > Clear Settings command in Bridge.

                           

                          I read in the documentation that settings can be stored in the file headers, not that they have to be. It’s mentioned everywhere as an option

                           

                          As you don't list the source, it's not possible to verify what you say. The option refers to raw files. I have NOT seen it mentioned anywhere for DNG, JPEG or TIFF files, only for raw files.

                           

                          Yes, the label could have an expanded explanation at the bottom of the Preferences dialog but you can also inform yourself better by reading the documentation.

                          • 10. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                            qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                            Jumping Walrus wrote:

                             

                            Following from the Ps CS4 documentation:

                            "Metadata for adjustments made to images stored as DNG files can be embedded in the DNG file itself instead of in a sidecar XMP file or in the Camera Raw database."

                            http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Photoshop/11.0/WS28528BC6-FE79-48c8-8D0A-B2097E88567 1.html

                             

                            It does NOT say adjustments can be embedded in the DNG file OR saved in a sidecar XMP file OR the Camera Raw database!

                             

                            It says “can be embedded” and not “are embedded” which implies it’s an option "instead of" which definitely means the option of using an XMP does exist too or... it's a very tricky.

                            So I ask the question once more: what’s the purpose of the Preference “Save the image settings in: Sidecar “.xmp” files”?

                             

                            Here are some of my sources from the pdf files (same contents as the Help files). I did the underlining. Since the Photoshop Elements 6 User Guide skips many features I am using the document Using ADOBE  PHOTOSHOP CS4. Unless I’m mistaken, what’s referred to as “camera raw image file” is CR2s, .NEFs, .RAFs as well as .DNGs. I read nowhere that the question of Sidecar “.xmp” files is different with DNGs and the other formats.

                             

                            "When you use Camera Raw to make adjustments (including straightening and cropping) to a camera raw image, the image’s original camera raw data is preserved. The adjustments are stored in either the Camera Raw database, as metadata embedded in the image file, or in a sidecar XMP file (a metadata file that accompanies a camera raw file)."
                            p.80

                             

                            "As with all other adjustments applied in Camera Raw, local adjustments are nondestructive. They are never permanently applied to the photo. Local adjustments are saved with an image in the same way that global adjustments are saved: in an XMP sidecar file or in the Camera Raw database, depending on what’s specified in Camera Raw preferences."
                            p.97

                             

                            "Choose a preference to specify where the settings are stored. The XMP files are useful if you plan to move or store the image files and want to retain the camera raw settings. You can use the Export Settings command to copy the settings in the Camera Raw database to sidecar XMP files or embed the settings in Digital Negative (DNG) files."
                            p.104

                             

                            "Sidecar “.XMP” Files
                            Stores the settings in a separate file, in the same folder as the camera raw file, with the same base name and an .xmp extension. This option is useful for long-term archiving of raw files with their associated settings, and for the exchange of camera raw files with associated settings in multiuser workflows. These same sidecar XMP files can store IPTC (International Press Telecommunications Council) data or other metadata associated with a camera raw image file. If you open files from a read-only volume such as a CD or DVD, be sure to copy the files to your hard disk before opening them. The Camera Raw plug-in cannot write an XMP file to a read-only volume and writes the settings to the Camera Raw database file instead. You can view XMP files in Adobe Bridge by choosing View > Show Hidden Files."
                            p.104

                             

                            I have a problem with Bridge which doesn't offer this option and anyway I don't want to erase the settings.

                             

                            Nick

                            • 11. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                              JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

                              You ask again, what is the purpose of the option?  I answer again, it is to tell camera raw where to store the information for native raw images.  Unfortunately, you don't seem to have enough background about how raw/DNG works yet.  I would recommend a book, but it is geared towards Camera Raw running under Photoshop and would probably frustrate you because many of the features will not be available to you.

                               

                              With native raw images, you have a choice to use XMP sidecar files or to store the information in a centralized database (similar to what is done in Lightroom).  With the other file formats it isn't optional, with one exception.  As I explained previously, if you make your DNG files read-only before opening them in Camera Raw, it will force the creation of XMP files.  But it is not the default method.  The centralized database method does not seem to be as popular with many of the users.  At least that is the conclusion I have drawn from my reading.  If you use the centralized database it becomes more difficult to move raw images and all the changes from one computer to another.  With DNG files running in the default configuration, that isn't a problem because all of the changes are stored within the file.

                               

                              As I told you before, I have never ACR with Photoshop Elements.  But I think you should take a closer look at Bridge.  Surely on that right click menu you should be able to find a place to clear the settings.  Don't look just for something saying Camera Raw.  There is an option there for camera settings that will enable you to reset your images.  At least there always is in Photoshop.

                               

                              Many of your quotations are referring to working with native raw files.  Working with DNG files is different.  Perhaps you should do some searching for more information on good DNG workflow options.

                              • 12. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                Singh, Shangara Level 1

                                There are very few cameras that originate DNGs. If you read the text, it say '...to a camera raw image." NOT to a DNG, which you have converte to, or a TIFF or a JPEG.

                                 

                                I don't have time to read lenghty posts or get into hair splitting that just wastes time.What you are looking for is instructions in French or Latin. Enlish is the language of poets, not technocrats (read some contracts by drafted by lawyers and you will see why it is NOT a precise language).

                                 

                                I 'interpretted' the instructions correctly based on my reading of the documentation and experience of using Photoshop, Camera Raw, Lightroom, etc, and my grasp of the English language, whereas you didn't. I have nothing more to add.

                                • 13. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                  JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

                                  Jumping Walrus wrote:

                                   

                                  There are very few cameras that originate DNGs. If you read the text, it say '...to a camera raw image." NOT to a DNG, which you have converte to, or a TIFF or a JPEG.

                                   

                                  I don't have time to read lenghty posts or get into hair splitting that just wastes time.What you are looking for is instructions in French or Latin. Enlish is the language of poets, not technocrats (read some contracts by drafted by lawyers and you will see why it is NOT a precise language).

                                   

                                  I 'interpretted' the instructions correctly based on my reading of the documentation and experience of using Photoshop, Camera Raw, Lightroom, etc, and my grasp of the English language, whereas you didn't. I have nothing more to add.

                                  I hope you understand that I wasn't criticizing your translation.  I was commenting on the other person's interpretation and trying to read something into the documentation that isn't there.

                                  • 14. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                    qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                                    I’m sorry to say the only useful information I’ve got so far about my basic question, how to make CR store settings in a sidecar XMP file (as the option chosen in the Preference BTW), was to lock the DNG file in read-only status.

                                     

                                    You should give me your source which tells explicitly that CR never stores a DNG file settings in a sidecar XMP file but only inside it or in the database. That would mean the Preference option is useless.

                                     

                                    Your only purpose is to make me feel cheap (I didn’t understand this or that) and you don’t answer my very basic question.

                                     

                                    Bottom line: there is a bug.
                                    Discussion closed for me.

                                     

                                    Nick

                                    • 15. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                      Singh, Shangara Level 1

                                      I gave you the source. You are ignoring it because it suits your POV.

                                      • 16. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                        JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

                                        qaiozrhfqskejnf wrote:

                                         

                                        I’m sorry to say the only useful information I’ve got so far about my basic question, how to make CR store settings in a sidecar XMP file (as the option chosen in the Preference BTW), was to lock the DNG file in read-only status.

                                         

                                        You should give me your source which tells explicitly that CR never stores a DNG file settings in a sidecar XMP file but only inside it or in the database. That would mean the Preference option is useless.

                                         

                                        Your only purpose is to make me feel cheap (I didn’t understand this or that) and you don’t answer my very basic question.

                                         

                                        Bottom line: there is a bug.
                                        Discussion closed for me.

                                         

                                        Nick

                                        First of all, you are still mixing apples and oranges.  The choice of central database or XMP files is for native raw images, not DNG files.  The DNG file contains the raw image data and is considered to be a raw file, but it is DESIGNED specifically to hold the metadata within the DNG file itself.  It is one of its main advantages.

                                         

                                        In the book, "Real World Camera Raw with Photoshop CS(x)" by Jeff Schewe there is a discussion about these features.  But there are a couple of problems with the book.  It refers to a lot to the features not available in Camera Raw running under Photoshop Elements, and that is why I hesitate to recommend it to you.  The other problem is that the book must be read in order to be understood.  Unfortunately, one cannot glean the information through osmosis.

                                        • 17. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                          qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                                          It’s a “Yes, my question has been answered, err… by myself.” message. Let’s share it, folks.

                                           

                                          I found the solution by chance and had to do some experiment to find out exactly how it works. It’s just a little tricky.
                                          FYI, my configuration is:
                                          Mac OS 10.5.8
                                          PSE 6
                                          CR 5.4

                                           

                                          It doesn’t matter whether the settings are embedded in the .DNG headers file or stored in an sidecar XMP file.

                                           

                                          Here is how to:
                                          Original photo:

                                           

                                          Statue 1.jpg

                                           


                                          Crop and/or straighten a .DNG file in Camera Raw and save it. What follows is the same in either case. Here is what it looks like after a Crop and Tilt:

                                           

                                          Statue 2.jpg


                                          Close the CR dialog box.


                                          Open it again in CR and here are the 2 magic tricks (they have a small difference):

                                           

                                          Trick 1.
                                          1.1. Click on the Crop Tool. The complete image is displayed with the cropping zone (or the straightening zone depending on what you did first) so it looks like when doing the cropping:

                                           

                                          Statue 3.jpg


                                          1.2. Press the Escape key, and voilà. Save the file as usual.

                                           


                                          Trick 2. Way more complicated, there is one more step, folks!
                                          2.1. Click on the Straighten Tool. The complete image is displayed with the cropping or the straightening zone, like in 1.1.
                                          2.2 If you press the Escape key it closes the CR dialog box. Instead you must click-and-drag in the image as if you were doing another straightening.
                                          2.3. Press the Escape key, and voilà. Save the file as usual.

                                          So Trick 1. is the way to go.

                                           

                                          Nick

                                           

                                          PS
                                          I must admit it’s rather mean of me but I just can’t resist. You guys, may need the answer to my question “How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?” so you’ll be able to give it to someone else and hence look smart for good.

                                          • 18. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                            JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

                                            In Photoshop CS3, using Bridge, if I right-click on a DNG file, I have this option.  If that doesn't work for you then someone who uses Photoshop Elements will have to help you.  Perhaps you should ask the question in the Photoshop Elements forum.

                                             

                                            Reset.jpg

                                            • 19. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                              qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                                              As I already said, this specific line is missing in the contextual menu of my Bridge CS3 release. So it doesn't help. As a matter of fact I still prefer the sidecar file configuration because it allows to create several versions of settings.

                                               

                                              Nick

                                              • 20. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                                JimHess-5IFZWq Level 3

                                                I apologize for trying to help again.  I had told you previously where it was, but I couldn't remember the precise wording.  If you are so set on using XMP files, why not just use the original raw images?  There's nothing so magical about DNG that makes it that much more desirable to use than the original raw files, especially when you are looking for the XMP file.  My last suggestion, good luck.

                                                • 21. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                                  luscombe989m

                                                  i originally asked my son, after i couldn't follow this discussion.  he answered:

                                                   

                                                  an easy way,

                                                   

                                                  in camera raw, in the right panel, find "basic" and to the right, see an icon with 3 small lines and an arrow.

                                                   

                                                  select that icon, then options open,  select "reset camera raw defaults".  that is it.

                                                   

                                                  i haven't tried to see if one can toggle back and forth between edited and original, but my interest was in a way to return to the original unedited file.

                                                  • 22. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                                    qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                                                    Hi luscombe

                                                     

                                                    Thanks for your input.

                                                     

                                                    The problem is that this “menu” is practically undocumented in the PS6 User Guide.pdf file.

                                                     

                                                    Furthermore the CR version the Guide documents is 4.2 for Windows while mine is 5.4 for Mac and there are a number of differences.

                                                     

                                                    So its items:

                                                    Image Settings
                                                    Camera Raw Defaults
                                                    Previous Conversion
                                                    Custom Settings
                                                    Clear Imported Settings
                                                    Save New Camera Raw Defaults
                                                    Save Camera Raw Defaults

                                                    make little sense if any to me.

                                                     

                                                    Which ones apply to the current files and what they exactly do and which ones apply to CR is unclear.

                                                     

                                                    If someone could give an explanation it would be nice (reminder: I’m using PSE 6 so many details are different from the PS CS4's version).

                                                     

                                                    As a matter of fact I got used to CR’s idiosyncrasies and I manage to use it in a rather satisfying way. I consider this soft a work in progress. It has plenty of potential but it’s still rather rough and its documentation is still too thin.

                                                     

                                                    I usually lock DNG files before processing them so CR creates an XMP file. But if the file is unlocked and if I change its settings CR deletes the XMP and embeds them in the DNG! CR really doesn’t like me going for sidecar files!

                                                     

                                                    Nick

                                                    • 23. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                                      John Joslin Level 6

                                                      qaiozrhfqskejnf wrote:

                                                       

                                                      ...As a matter of fact I got used to CR’s idiosyncrasies and I manage to use it in a rather satisfying way. I consider this soft a work in progress. It has plenty of potential but it’s still rather rough and its documentation is still too thin...

                                                       

                                                      It is a work that is continually running to keep up with new cameras (and their proprietary information) as they are produced and is also continually being improved functionally.


                                                      If the documention is too thin, buy the book.


                                                      http://www.amazon.com/Real-World-Camera-Adobe-Photoshop/dp/0321580133/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

                                                      • 24. Re: How to revert a DNG file to the original picture?
                                                        qaiozrhfqskejnf Level 1

                                                        John Joslin wrote:

                                                         

                                                        It is a work that is continually running to keep up with new cameras (and their proprietary information) as they are produced and is also continually being improved functionally.


                                                        If the documention is too thin, buy the book.

                                                         

                                                        The commonly admitted guidelines in the industry recommend that all the basic functions of a software should be fully documented by the vendor. Books are for the people who need to go a step further.

                                                         

                                                        Furthermore this book is for the PS CS4 version so most of it doesn’t apply to my case.

                                                         

                                                        I had for a long time PSE4. When I needed to improve I did my shopping around and investigated the other offers, including the free ones like the GIMP. Eventually I decided to upgrade PSE. It’s rather expensive compared to the others but it really delivers in terms of features and user interface. OTOH, the vendor’s duty is to document its products.

                                                         

                                                        Nick