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Is it possible to save photos back into lightroom from photoshop while retaining the layers?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 21, 2020

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Hi. I've tried searching high and low for the answer to this, and maybe I'm just wording it wrong, but here's my issue, and my question.

So I select a file from lightroom, select 'edit in photoshop', and I edit it in photoshop. When I save it back to lightroom, while it saves the the edits I make, but it doesn't save the .psd file. So, say, I make some intricate selection in photoshop in order to edit my photo. When I save it back to lightroom, that selection isn't saved with it, which means I can't go back and edit that selection without having to make it all over again. Or at least this is my issue. Maybe it is possible and I just don't know how to do it. I understand that it is possible to both save the edited photo back to lightroom and also save it again, this time retaining the selections (or layers, to be more general) outside of lightroom as a .psd, either to my computer or to my cloud docs. But I'm wondering if I'm missing something easy here that will let me save the .psd file back into lightroom so that I can just click 'edit in photoshop' and it opens up the .psd file with my edits that I've already made, layers retained. Is this not possible, or am I missing something easy?

Any help would be emmensely asppreciated. Thank you in advance. 

 

Oh, in case it's important:

I'm using Lightroom Classic with Photoshop (both apps are up to date with the latest version)

Using an Imac '17 with latest OS

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by WobertC | Adobe Community Professional

The answer from The DigitalDog correctly suggests how to save selections as Alpha Channels which will preserve them when a PSD (or TIF) document is closed.

The answer from Theresa_J "Don't do any additional Lightroom edits to the Photoshop file because you can't have both Lightroom edits, and Photoshop layers."  is partially correct because most Lightroom edits applied to a PSD (or TIF) file CAN be re-applied when the image returns to Lightroom (but with this method you will not see these edits in Ps)

1) Apply edits to a PSD (or TIF) layered file in Lightroom-Classic

2) Send the PSD (or TIF) file to Photoshop as 'Original' -(Preserves the layers. The LrC edits do not show)

3) 'Save' the file in Ps

4) In the LrC Develop module- click on the very last, topmost, step in the Develop History: Your last LrC edits are re-applied! And the layers are still preserved in the PSD/TIF file.

 

 

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Is it possible to save photos back into lightroom from photoshop while retaining the layers?

Community Beginner ,
Jul 21, 2020

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Hi. I've tried searching high and low for the answer to this, and maybe I'm just wording it wrong, but here's my issue, and my question.

So I select a file from lightroom, select 'edit in photoshop', and I edit it in photoshop. When I save it back to lightroom, while it saves the the edits I make, but it doesn't save the .psd file. So, say, I make some intricate selection in photoshop in order to edit my photo. When I save it back to lightroom, that selection isn't saved with it, which means I can't go back and edit that selection without having to make it all over again. Or at least this is my issue. Maybe it is possible and I just don't know how to do it. I understand that it is possible to both save the edited photo back to lightroom and also save it again, this time retaining the selections (or layers, to be more general) outside of lightroom as a .psd, either to my computer or to my cloud docs. But I'm wondering if I'm missing something easy here that will let me save the .psd file back into lightroom so that I can just click 'edit in photoshop' and it opens up the .psd file with my edits that I've already made, layers retained. Is this not possible, or am I missing something easy?

Any help would be emmensely asppreciated. Thank you in advance. 

 

Oh, in case it's important:

I'm using Lightroom Classic with Photoshop (both apps are up to date with the latest version)

Using an Imac '17 with latest OS

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by WobertC | Adobe Community Professional

The answer from The DigitalDog correctly suggests how to save selections as Alpha Channels which will preserve them when a PSD (or TIF) document is closed.

The answer from Theresa_J "Don't do any additional Lightroom edits to the Photoshop file because you can't have both Lightroom edits, and Photoshop layers."  is partially correct because most Lightroom edits applied to a PSD (or TIF) file CAN be re-applied when the image returns to Lightroom (but with this method you will not see these edits in Ps)

1) Apply edits to a PSD (or TIF) layered file in Lightroom-Classic

2) Send the PSD (or TIF) file to Photoshop as 'Original' -(Preserves the layers. The LrC edits do not show)

3) 'Save' the file in Ps

4) In the LrC Develop module- click on the very last, topmost, step in the Develop History: Your last LrC edits are re-applied! And the layers are still preserved in the PSD/TIF file.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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In Photoshop, if you want to save a selection, you have to save an Alpha channel (or perhaps a Path). IOW, if you select something then close the document, that selection is gone. 

If you saved an Alpha Channel (selection) in a PSD or TIFF, that can be cataloged in LR, no issue. BUT if you apply edits in LR, for those edits to then be used, you have to render a NEW document, LR doesn't support layers so those would be gone in the process of LR making a new doc with those LR edits. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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By default, Photoshop will save the edit file as a TIFF file with layers. The TIFF is essentially the same as a PSD. You can do a save as from Photoshop to save a PSD but that isn't  necessary. You have to save the edited file to your hard drive, not cloud docs for it to get imported automatically back into Lightroom Classic. 

I recommend starting from a Collection not a Folder. If you send an image to Photoshop from a Collection, the edited file will get added back into the Collection where you will easily find it.

To open the layered TIFF or PSD back in Photoshop, choose the option Edit Original. If you choose one of the other two options, Lightroom will flatten the file. Don't do any additional Lightroom edits to the Photoshop file because you can't have both Lightroom edits, and Photoshop layers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 21, 2020

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The answer from The DigitalDog correctly suggests how to save selections as Alpha Channels which will preserve them when a PSD (or TIF) document is closed.

The answer from Theresa_J "Don't do any additional Lightroom edits to the Photoshop file because you can't have both Lightroom edits, and Photoshop layers."  is partially correct because most Lightroom edits applied to a PSD (or TIF) file CAN be re-applied when the image returns to Lightroom (but with this method you will not see these edits in Ps)

1) Apply edits to a PSD (or TIF) layered file in Lightroom-Classic

2) Send the PSD (or TIF) file to Photoshop as 'Original' -(Preserves the layers. The LrC edits do not show)

3) 'Save' the file in Ps

4) In the LrC Develop module- click on the very last, topmost, step in the Develop History: Your last LrC edits are re-applied! And the layers are still preserved in the PSD/TIF file.

 

 

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 9.4, Lightroom 3.4, Photoshop 2020 (21.2.1), Nikon DSLR, Windows-10.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 22, 2020

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@Wobert C. Thanks for the explanation. Yes, technically you can keep, or reapply Lightroom edits to a layered file after it has gone to Photoshop and back again, but it is so confusing I advise against it. Those of us who understand the relationship between Lightroom Classic and Photoshop can do this, but most of my students create some kind of unintended mess when they try.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 22, 2020

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Thank you, all. I get it now. So when I save the edited photo in photoshop (after commiting any selections to alpha channels), the file that is saved back into lightroom is now a new 'original' file, which is the version I want to open if I want to get access to the layers from my original edit in photoshop. I was under the impression that if I selected 'original' when reopening in photoshop I would be opening the original, original file, or the unedited RAW photo that I originally imported into lightroom to begin with. 

When I was searching for the answer to this I did read a couple people saying to open the 'original' file, but the explanations as to why weren't coherrent and I wasn't able to grasp what and why I would be doing by doing that. I get it now. Thank you for your well explained responses. I really appreciate it. 

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 22, 2020

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So I tried it and it works great. Thanks again. The only thing I would add is that I didn't have to save my selection as an alpha channel so long as I edited the selection and it showed up in the layers pannel as a mask on a separate layer.  So I'm guessing the only reason I would have to save my selection as an alpha channel is if the selection isn't represented as a layer mask on a separate layer? I'm not totally familiar with channels, so maybe anytime a layer mask is created it also creates a channel? And either way, I'm now able to do what I wasn't able to do yesterday, so thank you all again. 

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