With the latest update (ACR version 14.0) .acr files has begun to pop up in Bridge - and as far as I can associate it's always when a mask has been created with the new masking system.
Se attached screen copy. The arw file above the .acr file - showing the same name - is featuring a number of masks.
Yes, you are correct. The .acr file is a new sidecar file (along with the xmp files) that hold the information of changes made to a raw file. In specific, theses files hold the information of the new masking capabilities.
There are some peculiarities with these files: normally if you change the name of a file, the name of the xmp file changes as well but not with the .acr files. So you may have to manually rename them.
Probably the easiest way around these issues is to just convert the files into the DNG format which are container files (like the jpg and tif format). That way, both the xmp and .acr files are contained within the DNG file and are never lost and move with the file. FWIW, I've been converting my raw files into DNG for many many years and have never looked back.
All right - a new side car. Not what I had expected with an improved interface.
I also think these .acr files act strangely. When I think a couple of days back I have used the new mask feature more than six times, but I have only observed the .acr file 2-3 times.
So, minutes ago I made a new mask in a raw file that had no masks in advance - but no .acr file turned up in Bridge. Then I made the same change in the tif file via the camera raw filter - still no .acr file. So, it's interesting what it takes to actually get an .acr file to pop up.
Regarding dng vs raw. I think you mentioned the advantages with dng not long ago in another discussion. And actually I did convert some of my arw files to dng for about a year ago after having read an article that convinced me about the more universal design. But I still had the feeling of loosing data. My 60 Mb arw files typically ended up at half the size as dngs, which of course is great if you want to save disk space. My primary concern though was that the difference in size could be due to an actual loss of data and not just a consequence of a more effective conversion. This worry was confirmed when I found a utility called "A7 Info" for Sony A7 cameras. It can show where the focusing pattern was positioned on the subject when the image was taken. Was the lens focused on the key spot or not? That's an interesting question if you shoot a number of images and nothing but the focusing points have moved. That utility could not be used with the dng versions, as no focusing patterns could be derived. So that's a reason for me to stay with the raw files.
Couple of things: as I had stated above, the tif format is a container format so any xmp or acr sidecar files will be inside the tif file. Think of container files as a folder.
The reason for the decreased size of dng files (one of the benefits (but not always, read on)) is that there is some zip-like compression on the contents. Some files decrease a small amount others more. There is generally no loss of data BUT as you found out the focusing point is an issue. The problem here is that Sony, with many raw format creators, is very proprietary about THEIR format and will not release the necessary information to Adobe, or anyone about this feature. Otherwise, Adobe creates what they do by "backdoor" methods so as to not violate the copyright of Sony and others.
There are many who have Sony cameras who do convert (to DNG) and many who do not. There is no right or wrong. Like all of photography, it's a compromise. Sorry I could not help you more.
Don't be sorry, Gary.
The dng discussion was just an interesting side track.
My original question about the .acr file has been partly confirmed.
But I am still very much in doubt about the purpose of those .acr files. I have not heard anybody enthusiasticly introducing the new masking system that have mentioned the .acr file type a single time. I think that is strange, as if the file is regarded an ugly duckling! - a unwanted consequence of some kind.
Then further - Bridge running on my pc shows no .xmp files, so why should the .acr files block the view. They are rather annoying as they take up the same space in the interface as the image files - and they are completely useless. As far as I can see the visibility of those files seems to be random. As if a part of the functionality is on/off and the .acr files are created or becoming visible coinsidentally.
Via the ACR settings it's possible to have the .xmp files embedded when using dng - but I use arw - and still no .xmps are visible?
So, I am still a bit confused.
I have tried to search for the .acr file in the guides and "help" features - but without any luck.
Interesting point Eigil, I agree. You'd think that more people would point out this new file popping up all of a sudden. I can't explain why that is. But like I said, if you're working with ACR on a JPG or TIF file, you will not see the .acr file or the .xmp file because they are contained within the parent file.
And, you will also not see the .acr file if you do not use the new masking features.
FWIW, this is probably the best introduction I've seen on how to use the new masking features even if it is using LRC. There are a few subtle differences between LRC and ACR with the new features, I belive that the key commands for zooming are a bit different (but that's understandable since the key commands for zooming are different in ACR, LRC, LRD, and Photoshop. It's a pity that they were not made by the same company! ;>)
Anyhow, it's worth a watch if you've not already seen this:
Yes, this time I hit Blake before Matt. They are both good to learn from.
Personally I am very satisfied with the new layout and the linking and integrations. Should I wish for more it would be a way to further manage the edges of the masks.
Thank you for the link, will take the trip with Matt too.
Just to mention that Lightroom users apparently don't experience the .ACR files. So maybe a smarter integration exists for Lightroom.
And it seems that Mac users in general doesn't have the problem either - or maybe they won't admit it.
So now I get paranoid. Could it be, that users like me, who prefere to run Bridge/ACR and Photoshop on Windows again are taken hostage with market policies build into the software? I experienced that with Capture One 21 - big time - and that forced me back to ACR and Adobe.
Any Mac users out there who have met these annoying .acr files when they use the new masking feature?
The LRC issue: that's because the .ACR information is contained within the Catalog. If you save the XMP and ACR data to the folder the images are located, you'll see both.
It is not a Windows or Mac thing.
It is the sidecar file that contains the new Mask data. The XMP file cannot support the Mask data so Adobe had to put it somewhere and they chose to put the .ACR data when using ACR's new masking feature.
I use ARW files and I can't see the XMP files in Bridge - only the ACR files.
And actually I don't know why the XMP files are invisible - that should only happen if I had chosen to embed them in a DNG file - right?
So, when the XMP file can be made invisible - for some reason - it would be nice to know how to make the ACR files disappear too.
As I've never had a camera that can generate ARW files, I can only guess it contains the XMP file but doesn't know what to do with it.ACR files. But that is 100% speculation. Hopefully, someone can chime in here who has more experience with ARW files.
I can say that no one "chooses" to embed .xmp files into a DNG, it just happens. And neither the xmp or .acr files disappear, they are just placed into the container file. Probably the best analogy is to think of a container file as a standard folder. When you place a file in a folder, it doesn't "disappear," it is just not visible inside the folder.
Piece of trivia: when the Mac first came out. I'm talking 1985 here, When you were in icon view, you could put something into a folder, but if you were in List view, the files that you put into a folder were shown adjacent to the folder. In other words, the folder on the screen was only an abstract of the visual presentation and did not actually function as a folder as we know them to work now.
I know that the sidecars don't disappear (I'm an elderly amateur photographer without much knowledge about the technical side of Photoshop, etc. - just love to use these products). So, of course the sidecars must live in the background - but preferably out of sight. This is because the ACR file takes up the same space in the image column in Bridge as an ordinary ARW or TIF file and that's about a third of the height.
Interesting if ARW is able to contain the XMP.
Ha! If you wish to avoid the technical side, you just ran into it at this point. I just looked it up and the XMP file is plain text, but the .ACR file is a binary file. As such, to store plain text kind of data, the XMP file has been fine for storing the general data provided by Adobe Camera Raw. But the new masking features require the data stored as a binary file, and since you cannot mix plain text and binary in the same document, you needed two sidecar files to satisfy the updated Adobe Camera Raw (and Lightrooms).
Yes, I have been peeking with Notepad - it's black magic.
Hope Adobe will find a way to join the data in one invisible file.
Of course Adobe is in a position to update the .xmp file standard to include AI mask data. And binary data can be included in XML files by encoding the binary data as text data, changing the binary bytes into ASCII bytes using an algorithm such as UUencode and base64 encoding. Nice that acr files are not be visible in Bridge and Lightroom libraries, but Adobe has unecessarily complicated file management for their customers who want to move or backup image files.
@10902 Being in a position to, and being able to are two different things.
If you think Adobe was able to do this, why do you think they chose not to? Talking to the engineers at MAX this year about this, it wasn't for lack on wanting to.
Thanks for the feedback. .acr are new sidecars in ACR 14 which contains masking information. We have added their support in Bridge 2022. It seems like you are using Bridge 2021 with ACR 14 and that is why they are visible as older Bridge does not recognize .acr as a sidecar file. Also please check that View->Show Hidden Files is not checked.
Hi kpulkit (?),
I didn't know I could run an older version of Bridge while subscribing to Creative Cloud with it's continuous updating.
But you are right, I was running Bridge 2021, and after installing Bridge 2022 the .acr files seems to have become invisible. Hope it's permanent and the .acr files will follow renaming without problems.
It would have been nice with this information up front.
Unless the option has been selected, for DNGs, to embed XMP data, for both RAW files and all others, sidecar files are visible in any system browser. As for XMPs only, they may not necessarily contain masking information. They contain any kind of RAW parameter and can contain ALSO masking, until we get to the ones obtained by using Ai.
So as long as the masking is
- gradient (radial / linear)
- range (color, luminance) *
... everything still remains contained in XMP alone.
When we go to "select subject" and "select sky" (October 2022) then the .acr file appears.
I hope it was useful to someone 🙂
* I have never seen depth range in action and would love to!