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Plugin edits have no "import" step in history

Participant ,
May 21, 2023 May 21, 2023

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(Latest Lightroom Classic version on Windows 11)

 

I use some plugins in my LR workflow (e.g. Topaz). When I use "Edit in...", LR creates a copy of the image and applies the plugin functionality. When I am back in Lightroom - I have a copy of the image which I can continue adding adjustments to. The image is stacked with the original. So far so good.

 

The issue is that there are no "initial step" created in the history panel of this image, so if I apply some adjustments, there are no way in the history panel to click on the initial step and remove all edits. For the original image, I can click the "Import" step in the history to get rid of any adjustments.

 

If I manually create a virtual copy of the original image instead, it actually creates a step in the history "Create Virtual Copy", that I can use to clear all adjustments if I need to. It would have been good if the "Edit in..." also created such a step.

 

Here is the history panel of a "Edit in..." created image - with no "initial step":

history.jpg

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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I don't think this is a virtual copy, I think it is an actual copy. This is what "Edit in" means. Result is a freshly made file which contains forcibly different information than the starting image, because of the destructive action of the plugin (meaning, external) application. This altered copy does not also contain the starting information in an unaltered state.

 

But your Catalog still includes, alongside or possibly stacked, the instance of this photo that you carried out this external 'edit in' step FROM. That necessarily reports a different (original) filename and perhaps file type, than what the new image reports. And that original filename has not itself been touched by the plugin.

 

IOW: 'Edit In' is effectively a blank-state new start : a singularity in its own edit history that can't be unpicked. But because the starting image file, and its edits, are still there in the Catalog also - in the wider sense this operation has not been destructive. You still have the opportunity to show the image without the result of using that plugin, and thus, to roll back through all the prior history of that.

 

[tl:dr; I suppose there is one external edit method which is fully reversible: Smart Object editing into Photoshop, because in that case there is an embedded copy of the original file within the result. But even if you collapse this Smart Object down to plain pixels or delete the whole thing even, the Catalog still also holds whatever image edit version, and whatever different file on disk, jointly acted as the source for this external editing copy at time of its creation.]

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Participant ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Yes, it is correct as you say that it is not a virtual copy - but a normal copy. I have corrected the original message now to reflect that.

But the original issue still remains; how can I reject any subsequent LR adjustments done on images created by using "Edit in..." I do not want to delete the whole new image - the plugin might have used a long time to apply - but I just want to revert the subsequent adjustments done after the plugin finished its work. I wish there were an "initial step" in the histor (e.g. "Plugin adjustments applied"), that I could click to revert to the initial plugin-enhanced image.

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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OK thanks for the clarification, I understand your question better. You can use "Reset" to do this in effect.

 

In truth Reset does not return to any earlier point in History. It freshly re-imposes whatever are the current processing defaults relating to that particular kind of file. So - since it is unlikely that these processing defaults have been updated by you in the meanwhile -  you should see the same processing defaults again that this particular image version first showed.

 

Reset happens as a brand new History step. So that will itself be later rollable-back, if required.

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Participant ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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Thanks - I think this can be a handy workaround. But I really also hope that Adobe would consider an initial "Import" step in history - as they do for image import or creating virtual copies, which would make this consistent.

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Community Expert ,
May 22, 2023 May 22, 2023

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I think you are right: it would be more consistent to show such a step. For completeness there is also a Develop preset provided which will similarly 'zero out' all adjustments. As with Reset, that also will not be destructive of any recent History steps.

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