Adjustments look different on Raw vs. Tiff

New Here ,
Nov 24, 2019

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Hi everyone,

 

I posted another question thinking I had pinpointed the source of my issue but I think I was mistaken, so here we go again! 

 

Essentially, I am applying adjustments to a Raw image, then I want to correct something in Photoshop (add a blur, for example), but when the Tiff comes back to Lr, the same adjustments look completely different between the Raw and the Tiff, even though the base looks the same. I copy all develop settings from one to the other, and it simply doesn't look right. 

 

I noticed that 'Adobe Standard' (on the Raw) is now 'Embedded' (on the Tiff) and I suspect this is what is causing my issue (as the WB sliders display different numbers in this profile...?)

 

I suppose I don't know enough about camera profiles to figure this out but all I really want is to be able to apply the exact same treatment and overall 'look' to the Tiff that I applied to the Raw — is there any workaround?

 

I've tried saving the metadata to the file before opening it in Ps but this hasn't made a difference (I am also fairly sure Lr is doing this already as I've ticked 'Automatically write changes into XMP' 

 

The only other option I see is 'Include Develop settings in metadata inside JPEG, TIFF, PNG, and PSD files' which I have toggled on and off and also see no difference... unsure whether I should have this selected now or how it affects my workflow. 

 

Any advice is welcome as I'm completely lost now and it's stalling progress on work!

 

Thanks 

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How to, Presets or profiles, Problem or error

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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I'll add my way of explaining smart objects which is that it is a way to do non-destructive editing in Photoshop, which was originally not designed to do that. A smart object allows you to do certain filters and edits to an original object without 'baking in' the edit. I.e. they remain parametric. If you are dealing with a raw original, the camera raw operation becomes a 'filter' that you can see in the editing chain in the layers panel. You can always double click on it and the camera raw interface will come up allowing you to change the raw rendering paremeters. You can stack this with a number of other filters such as blurs, sharpening, and also with standard adjustment layers which will all dynamically adjust to the changed raw parameters if you change the underlying camera raw settings. You can have multiple smart objects (even multiple raw-based smart objects) in a file and the smart objects can be masked, so you can composite this way too retaining the possibility to go back to the raw rendering parameters. Smart objects are really powerful in Photoshop but they do cause file sizes to balloon quickly which can be a consideration. Also, not all Photoshop operations are possible on smart objects. Note that this is only important if you want to be able to go back on your raw settings in a workflow that involves both camera raw/Lightroom and Photoshop.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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Lightroom Smart Object Workflow

Pros: 100 Non-Destructive

Cons: Much larger file size, Raw file editing must be done in PS

In the below example I used both object and layer ZIP compression.

Smart Object.JPG

Once you've converted a raw file to a smart object the only way you can apply additional non-destructive edits is by opening it in PS. IMHO for most PS edits this is overkill and unnecessarily cumbersome. I use the procedure as outlined in my reply earlier for 99% of my Edit in PS work with no issues. For specific images that need it go for it, but keep in mind the above.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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COmpletely agree Todd. It's very rare for me to use the smart object route but it is nice that it can be done. For me 90% of images are completely edited inside Lightroom and never touch Photoshop or others. 5% sees Photoshop but usually only after being fully edited in Lightroom and there is touch up that can't be done in Lightroom such as removing parts of trees sticking into the image borders. 4% goes into Topaz Denoise - typically wildlife at dusk or astro stuff but never enters Photoshop. Only ~1% enters Photoshop as a smart object. Of course this all depends on what style you shoot.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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Adobe could add the ability to edit the smart object raw data from inside both PS/ACR and LR. Then you would only need to leave LR to add or change PS specific edits. Something as simple as XMP data sharing is all that's needed along with LR code to apply it to smart object TIF files inside LR. I probably shouldn't use the word "simple," but I'm sure it can be done.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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Todd_Shaner wrote:

“Adobe could add the ability to edit the smart object raw data from inside both PS/ACR and LR. Then you would only need to leave LR to add or change PS specific edits. Something as simple as XMP data sharing is all that's needed along with LR code to apply it to smart object TIF files inside LR. I probably shouldn't use the word "simple," but I'm sure it can be done.”

 

The technology is in place; I use a workflow like that. I Option-drag (Alt-drag) a raw photo from the Lightroom Classic grid into a Photoshop document so that it places as a Linked Smart Object (shortcut for File > Place Linked).*  The workflow is built on principles including:

  • Both Lightroom Classic and Camera Raw can read/write the same XMP file containing the image edits.
  • As a Linked Smart Object, a raw file can look back to the source file and update if it changes, so if I edit it in Lightroom Classic and press the Save Metadata shortcut, when I switch over to Photoshop the Linked Smart Object gets updated.
  • Similarly, if I edit the Linked Smart Object in Camera Raw in Photoshop, those changes update the XMP file so that Lightroom Classic picks them up if I choose the Read Metadata from File command.

 

Naturally it isn’t as simple as that. There are some odd quirks with the Lightroom Classic History panel, and sometimes you have to take an extra manual step to kick Lightroom Classic, Camera Raw, or Photoshop into noticing that changes have been made somehwhere else. You have to stay on top of where you are in the process; the complexity makes it an advanced technique for now. These could all be ironed out if, as you suggested, Adobe streamlined this process. But if you can deal with those, everything stays current, and editable from either end, so no file is dead-ended.

 

However, if you do something in Photoshop that involves pixel layers based on the Linked Smart Object, like clone stamping, those pixel layers are fixed to the appearance of the Linked Smart Object at the time that retouching was done. If I edit the tone or color of the raw file in Lightroom Classic, that updates the LSO in Photoshop so that it no longer matches the pixel layers that were rasterized based on an earlier edit. If that type of retouching will be needed, I still try to get it right as much as possible at the raw stage before basing Photoshop corrections on a specific raw edit.

 

(In the Adobe video applications, Adobe Dynamic Link technology allows this sort of nondestructive editable embedding of content among applications. So they’ve done it before.)

 

*This is different than using the Lightroom Classic command Open in Photoshop as Smart Object, which creates an embedded Smart Object — disconnected from Lightroom Classic and copying the raw file into the Photoshop document, using more storage space.

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Explorer ,
Aug 04, 2020

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Many thanks to all for all these additional insights. Particularly in view of the large resulting file (not to mention the incredible complexity), it seems to me that the Smart Object route is a nice theoretical solution but, in practice, it seems best to avoid mixing workflows to the extent possible. In the end, I realized that in this case I am after all able to handle all my needed edits in Lightroom (including patial opacity clone stamping), thereby avoiding Ps altogether. Really it woudl only be in the case of combining multiple images via masked layers that I would need to engage Ps. Thank you again

Andrew S Klug // ASK

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