Why is there no gradient map in lightroom (as easy as the one in photoshop)?

Explorer ,
Jan 06, 2019 Jan 06, 2019

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Dear all,

I am still searching for a fast way to match different images in color and tone such that they result in a pleasing series. The best I can get is to export each raw image to photoshop and apply a color gradient map based on a color palette. That means however, that I have to return a tiff to Lightroom.

I assume many of us constantly try to match images (while using pleasing colors). Are you also using gradient maps? Why is there no gradient map in Lightroom? The Plugin capture monkey seemed to do something similar, but recent posts say, it‘s not working?

Thanks

Chris

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , Jan 06, 2019 Jan 06, 2019
chrisPhoto89  wroteThe best I can get is to export each raw image to photoshop and apply a color gradient map based on a color palette. That means however, that I have to return a tiff to Lightroom.
Applying a gradient map in Lightroom has been possible since Adobe rebuilt the Lightroom/ACR profile system to allow LUTs to be passed between Photoshop, Lightroom, and Camera Raw. It takes a short amount of time to set it up, but once you create a gradient map LUT and create a profile from that, you ...

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LEGEND ,
Jan 06, 2019 Jan 06, 2019

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Just to address one of your questions: We are not Adobe in this forum, we are just other Lightroom users and so none of us here can answer "Why?" questions about Lightroom. None of us designed Lightroom, none of us programmed Lightroom. So you will not get an answer to "Why?" in this forum. The best we can say is that Lightroom was never intended to have every feature that is in Photoshop.

I'm sure someone here can answer your other questions.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 06, 2019 Jan 06, 2019

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chrisPhoto89  wrote

The best I can get is to export each raw image to photoshop and apply a color gradient map based on a color palette. That means however, that I have to return a tiff to Lightroom.

Applying a gradient map in Lightroom has been possible since Adobe rebuilt the Lightroom/ACR profile system to allow LUTs to be passed between Photoshop, Lightroom, and Camera Raw. It takes a short amount of time to set it up, but once you create a gradient map LUT and create a profile from that, you can apply it in one click in Lightroom, saving you the step of sending all images to Photoshop.

First, create your gradient map in a Photoshop document in whatever way is easiest, and use the new Export > Color Lookup Tables command to export a .cube color table of the document's color palette.

Open Camera Raw (from Photoshop or Bridge), load any image (it'll only be used as a placeholder), open the Presets tab, and Option/Alt-click the New Preset button. This opens the New Profile dialog box. Select Color Lookup Table at the bottom of that, and load the .cube LUT you exported earlier. Name and save this profile.

The next time you start Lightroom or Camera Raw, the profile you just created will be available in the User Presets section of the Profile Browser. It's all set up at this point, so simply click your gradient map profile in the Profile Browser and the image takes it on. One click. No more trips to Photoshop.

If you need details on the steps, here are some links:

Export color lookup tables from Photoshop

How to Make Your Own Camera RAW Profiles for Lightroom and Camera Raw

Attaching a LUT to a Lightroom preset

One interesting benefit of the way they did it is that if you migrate user profiles to Lightroom CC desktop, they'll sync to your mobile devices, so you can apply your gradient map in Lightroom CC on your phone. (Haven't tried this yet.)

As for why there isn't a direct gradient map in Lightroom, probably because Lightroom isn't designed to have everything that Photoshop has. But they do add in what they consider essential; they just might not do it all at once, phasing them in as resources allow. I guess they do consider gradient maps essential since they now provide a basic way to make it happen. Is it as easy as Photoshop? No. But a year ago it wasn't possible in Lightroom at all, and today it is possible, if not immediate. Next year, maybe it will be more immediate. This follows the iterative model used by many applications today: Start simple to get it in there, and make it better later.

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Explorer ,
Jan 07, 2019 Jan 07, 2019

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thanks Conrad, exactly what I was looking for!

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2022 Apr 01, 2022

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Thank you so much for the detailed instructions!
Have a blessed day my friend.

-Mart

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