10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 9, 2010 10:51 AM by Tai Lao

    ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color

    Jeff_N Level 1

      CS3 / ACR 4.6,

      Is it possible / how would you... using Bridge and ACR4.6

      I open Raw files and make tonal edits, cropping, etc. and then batch process them all later.

      What I want to do is take the same raw file and make edits so it will process (later) as two files, one color and a second as a B&W. It that possible?


      thanks in advance...

        • 1. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
          JimHess-DIrcbP Level 3

          I have never done this, but I suppose you could probably do it with the Image Processor, which can be called from Bridge.  But it would require that you create an action in Photoshop that would convert the image to B&W.  Then, in the Image Processor dialogue you would configure two different processes.  One of them would call the B&W action as part of its process.  I don't know if you would get consistent satisfactory results this way because quite often B&W conversions require some tweaking.

          • 2. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
            Jeff_N Level 1

            Ya, that won't work, as you said you need to make individual adj. to each file.

            That's why what I want to do is go thru in Bridge and open up (not process) each file to make edits. One of the edits would be in color, and another edit might be to convert to B&W and adj the tones as needed.

            Then after doing this to several hundred images, batch process using the image processor, process them all over night. The color edits are remembered in ACR for processing later. But I want it to remember two sets of edit instructions, one for color and one for B&W.

            • 3. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
              JimHess-DIrcbP Level 3

              In your other thread that I responded to, you mentioned that you are going to use Lightroom 2.5 (I recommended that you go to 2.7).  Have you considered just using Lightroom and creating a virtual copy of each image and converting the virtual copy to B&W?  Then all you would have to do is export everything.  It would really be simple that way.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
                Jeff_N Level 1

                Jim- funny you should mention that , because that is the very reason I'm looking into Lightroom. (but it's another new app to learn ). My workflow has been using ACR in Bridge. But when I want to process out a raw file as both a color and b&w there is not an easy work flow. I know LR has a virtual copy where you can process out several versions, keeping each file and it's adjustments seperate without duplicating the file ahead of time. But again there's that upgrade loop that we get forced into.

                My work-around for ACR in Bridge / CS3 is to adjust my settings for a good looking b&w then I need to process the raw file on the spot using the image processor in Bridge and save to the same folder with all the raw files I'm currently working on. Then reopen the raw file in ACR and remove the b&w settings and set the color adjustments I want. ACR will remember those settings and then later I can batch process all the raw files.

                I'll look into LR2.7, but I assume that LR2.5 can be updated to 2.7 at n/c thru the Adobe site.

                • 5. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
                  JimHess-DIrcbP Level 3

                  The only reason I mentioned Lightroom in the first place is because you said you were going to use it.  Lightroom 2.7 is just an interim upgrade of 2.0.  All "dot" releases are free.  Do you have Lightroom or not?  If you don't, and you are considering purchasing, then I would get Lightroom 3.0.  Otherwise, just download and install Lightroom 2.7.  It will upgrade what you have the latest version available to you.  But, that is all up to you.

                  • 6. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
                    Jeff_N Level 1


                    I'm stuck in the upgrade loop

                    Running a G5 dual, max'd out ram, and HD, On OS10.5; but does what I need it to do, and it's paid for

                    The problem is Adobe won't just update ACR in away that it will run on older versions of photoshop or as a stand alone. So we are forced to shell out more $$$ to get the lastest version of photoshop. Unfortnaitly  CS5 or LR3 won't run on a  PPC, they require an intel processor. So that means I'm forced to fork over more $$$ to upgrade my Mac to a Intel based MacPro.

                    So I'd have to stick with LR2.x for now.

                    • 7. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
                      JimHess-OxQsWQ Level 2

                      Then, in that situation, it seems to me that your best workflow would be to convert your raw images to DNG.  If the camera you are using is a newer camera that is not supported by your version Lightroom, then you could download the latest version of the DNG converter, convert the images as you import them to your hard drive.  Then, all you would have to do is "add" them to your Lightroom catalog.  With the DNG files in Lightroom you could create a virtual copy and convert it to B&W.  You would have all of the adjustments available to you for the virtual copy.  It works very well.  I use virtual copies for that purpose frequently.



                      Actually, there is a much easier solution, but you are going to disregard it just like most others on this forum will.  You could shoot your B&W in JPEG mode and not worry about it.  I'm not joking.  I think everyone gets so hung up on shooting everything in raw that they forget about how good JPEG images are in today's cameras.  I did some shooting of my grandkids this weekend.  Had my camera set so it would take both raw and JPEG.  As I went through the images many of the JPEG's were just simply ready to go straight from the camera.  And there was no huge quality difference that screamed, "I'm a raw image and I'm a JPEG image."  I'm not advocating shooting JPEG for everything.  But JPEG images are very good quality.  They don't have to be avoided as though they were the plague.

                      • 8. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
                        Jeff_N Level 1

                        Actually I would agree with your assessment of the jpeg quality out of todays dslrs.

                        Most of my family snap shots are shot in jpeg for that exact reason.

                        But there is a reason for shooting Raw for me.

                        As a professional wedding and commercial advertising photographer; when I'm shooting a wedding it's a "run and gun" situation.

                        So I shoot Raw for that. It gives me a lot of creative leeway to change the look or feeling of an image after the fact. That's also where the b&w comes in.

                        There is not time during a wedding shoot to be changing back and forth between color and b&w in the camera. And I don't have time to decide on the spot if I want the photo I'm about to take in b&w or not. So when I'm editing and processing the images this is the best time for me to evaluate the images and decide what look, effects, I want for each image.


                        The DNG is a viable solution. I've never used that format, so there is a bit of angst with trying something different and changing my workflow. But it is the solution to the problem without upgrading my hardware.


                        thanks for your thoughts.

                        • 9. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
                          JimHess-OxQsWQ Level 2

                          I think you will find that there is nothing to fear with using DNG.  It is the same raw image data, but in a more open and well documented file format.  I would suggest that you try converting on download, and save a second copy.  If you use that option you will have your original raw files to turn to if necessary.

                          • 10. Re: ACR4.6 Process B&W & Color
                            Level 4

                            Jeff_N wrote:


                            …The DNG is a viable solution. I've never used that format, so there is a bit of angst with trying something different and changing my workflow…


                            That apprehension is not entirely unreasonable.


                            It turns out—for instance [canary in a cold mine]—that DNGs generated by the Adobe DNG Converter are not always identical to the DNG files recorded in camera by a camera capable of shooting native DNG files, such as the Pentax K20D and newer Pentax DSLRs.


                            Gordon B. Good has written a neat utility to remove a magenta cast from badly underexposed, high ISO images from that camera.  That utility works on certain characteristics of the in-camera DNGs, and it fails on raw files converted to DNGs by the Adobe DNG Converter utility because the latter strips whatever features are necessary for the magenta deep-shadow removal.  I can't remember off the top of my head what that feature is, but if interested, you can do a search of this forum on Pentax K20D, as this has been discussed here before.




                            Wo Tai Lao Le