What is the truth about file handling of XMP as Develop Presets and Camera Profiles ?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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Hello everyone,
I am so confused about the way Adobe co-ordinate the workflow between camera raw filter and lightroom.
I have so many questions to Adobe, but this one is the most confusing to me.
-I understand that a preset in lightroom is represented in a metadata file format of  "xmp"
-Also an exported profile from adobe camera raw is a metadata "xmp"

What is the difference between them?
I've seen a couple of videos and read a few articles but I can clearly say that the authors have no idea what are they talking about, this is my understanding of the whole image idk if its right or wrong:

 

-In lightroom, the presets contains the image state setting with all its subsets (Basic, effects,...etc)
and I call this "xmp" type_1 its kind of limited comparing to type 2.

 

-In photoshop (which can also create a preset), in Camera RAW when creating a camera raw profile (which requires a secret key, Alt+ New Preset, god only knows why) this profile contains Image state + more advanced options, the most important option among them is adding a LUT, which in my opinion is the main essential difference between the Developing Presests and Profiles, profiles can be based on a LUTs, this Profile with these more advanced options makes the "xmp" type_2, which is accordingly has a size bigger than the type 1 (for ex: if type1 may be 1~4 KBs, Type 2 would be 100~400 KBs).

So, when you open the camera Profile into Lightroom which unbelievably doesn't support LUTs, the program apply it as a starting point, it sets the image colors to the LUT info created in the "xmp" type_2 if existed and from this point you can move forward edting your image, but you can't go backward as it doesn't support the other "advanced features" in the Profile "xmp".

I'm I getting this right? if not then would someone please explain the difference between them to me?
and if I'm right, then why can't Adobe makes Lightroom support LUTs and make one global "XMP" file that contains all the data from type_1 and type_2, I hope this is not a Confusion from adobe like the previous lrtemplate extension which ended up to be a xmp file in the end, then why didn't you create it as xmp file from the beginning.

Thank you.

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correct answers 1 Correct Answer

Community Beginner , Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021
Hi Ian, Thank you for providing me the right sources of information, I've watched the first video on its release day but wasn't much of a help, the speaker summed it all up in a line at the end of the video saying " Profiles can help you either establish a neutral starting point or apply creative effects to your images", but I found my complete answer in the second link; that article by Josh Haftel. In the second section he says:What are Profiles? "In photography and digital imaging, the term “...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2021 Feb 12, 2021

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I am probably not the person who can answer you need for "xmp" clarification; there are others including John Rellis who might be more able.

Below in quotes is some advice from him

"Lightroom Classic does not organise presets in physical folders anymore. You can organise them in groups in the presets panel like before, but you do that by using the 'Manage Presets' option within Lightroom. If you want the old behavior back, look at this plugin: http://www.johnrellis.com/lightroom/fixpresets.htm"
 

However Ahmed,  I thought the dng approach might give you an outcome that may work and yet be simpler to implement.

Some of the below applies to LR Cloud which may or may not be relevant to you.

 

First- Presets for Lightroom (Classic and Cloudy) are always XMP files.
The reason for DNG would be for people with the 'free' version of Lightroom on their phones or ipads.
 
The DNG file is  a raw image filetype that can have preset edits embedded within the file. The DNG file acts as a "Carrier" (like the Trojan Horse!).  Lightroom-Classic users would 'Export as Original DNG' after saving the editing metadata to the file. The DNG file is now imported into Lightroom-"free" and the embedded Preset can be extracted from the DNG.
 
Anyone with a subscription to the Photography Plan with Lightroom, can easily have XMP Presets Imported into Lightroom-Desktop (ie. Lightroom-Desktop on a PC/Mac) and the Presets will automatically sync to mobile devices. 'Carrier' DNGs are NOT required.
 
Otherwise the other forum might shed some light on this for you.
All the best Ahmed.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Hi Tony, 
First of all thanks a lot for taking time and effort to reply, 
I  know all about digital negative, but that was not my question, I was asking about the essential difference between Develop Presets and Profiles, I can't really seem to see a real difference between them except the one I mentioned before about the LUTs.

However, that fixpreset tool seems very handy, thank you for suggesting that, your reply is really appreciated

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Hi Ian,
Thank you for providing me the right sources of information, I've watched the first video on its release day but wasn't much of a help, the speaker summed it all up in a line at the end of the video saying " Profiles can help you either establish a neutral starting point or apply creative effects to your images", but I found my complete answer in the second link; that article by Josh Haftel.

In the second section he says:

What are Profiles? 

"In photography and digital imaging, the term “profile” can mean many different things.
Within ACR and Lightroom, a profile is used to render your photograph, converting it from raw camera information into the colors and tones that we see."

So that make sense, as they are created in the first place for RAW photos to help the users getting their raw photos to the starting point, say I am a photographer and I shot a wedding with my color checker in RAW format, then I import my photos into Lr or Ps and then create a color correction/WB profile for my camera (Even for this specific shot session) and apply it to all my photos to give them all equal starting point, then start my color grading or any other developing effects.

"For raw photographs, we build profiles for nearly every camera make and model we support.
Our profiles incorporate deep imaging science and take into consideration the colors of the filters used on top of the sensors."


But what about JPEGs these are already processed and compressed photos, would it make sense to use profiles on them? Josh says that this would be just a creative editing,by applying a profile to your JPEG photo you're starting the image with an already made effect look, then stacking more effects from the developing menus, Also the speaker in the first video said it at the end "apply creative effects to your images", basically they are saying though it's a tool made for RAW photos, you already have the tool so release your creativity and do what ever you wanna do.

"For non-raw photographs (like JPEGs and TIFFs), a profile isn’t needed to render the photo, as all of the rendering was done already (either in another raw processor or within the camera itself). However, profiles can be used for creative purposes to change the look and feel of the photo."

I can say that this is a convenient answer based on a real knowledge and accurate informations from Josh, it even explains why profiles can support LUTs, as some software exports camera profiles (either using color checker or not) as a LUT like 3D LUT Creator. So that's Basically the difference between Develop Presets (which is made for color grading and effects, the last step in editing an image) and the Camera RAW Profiles (whic is made for the proccessing your RAW photo out of the camera sensor into a starting point or a color corrected image, the first step in editing an image, which your can do further color grading or editing to using the developing presets) and using a profile on jpeg or any other proccessed image would be just like a game of playing creative edits or a work around to get your LUTs into Lightroom, which is really sth ridiculous that Adobe Lr in 2021 still doesn't support LUTs in a direct way, maybe that's sth they may add in the futur also with a simpler way to add older format presets into Lr.

In the end I would like to thank everyone who replied to my topic especially Ian, and I have to say 
that there is a lot of youtubers and creators out there who made videos about the difference between Develop Presets and Profiles who clearly has no clue what they're talking about. so always check if any information you're getting is correct or not.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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An XMP file is just a text file with a different extension. What is written in the text defines what type of file it is. Just like one text file could be a letter to your loved one, while another text file could be the code for an application.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Hi Johan,
Thanks a lot for taking the time to reply,
I do realize what a metadata file is, my question was what is the different between develop presets and color profiles that require making to different xmp files who behave differently, why don't we make just one file.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 13, 2021 Feb 13, 2021

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Because they are different things. It's the same as asking why you can't merge that letter and that application code. You can, but it wouldn't make much sense. Your loved one doesn't understand why you sent her all that code, and your application doesn't understand what you want to tell your loved one. It's both text, but that doesn't mean it's the same thing or serves the same purpose.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2021 Feb 14, 2021

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At it's simplist, any adjustments saved within a preset will be reflected in a slider position whereas adjustments saved with profiles are applied 'under the hood' (i.e. they don't affect the slider position).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 14, 2021 Feb 14, 2021

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Yes, and there is more. Presets and profiles certainly have some overlapp, but they are not the same. Presets are a bit like scripts. They move sliders. Presets can be saved for almost any slider and setting, including lens corrections and upright transformations. Profiles on the other hand change pixels, not sliders. That is why a profile can contain a LUT, but not a lens correction or upright transformation.

 

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 14, 2021 Feb 14, 2021

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"Because they are different things."
Yes, I wanted to know what are the difference? and why there's a difference in the first place?, and now I know the answers, and all of your further replies makes more sense.

Thank you

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 15, 2021 Feb 15, 2021

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@Ahmed Ateek wrote:

, and now I know the answers, and all of your further replies makes more sense.


 

You know the answers because others provided you with the answers, and yet you marked your own post as correct.

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 20, 2021 Feb 20, 2021

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Dear Ian,
It's not a competition on who gets the answer badge, you provided me with right sources of information and I already acknowledged that in my reply to your comment, but for the greater good and to save time for everyone who is going to visit this page in the future, I summed it all up in my reply to your comment, I didn't even make a separate comment on my own. If you would've taken the time and the effort to look up in that article and summrize these specific points like I did, then I would mark that as the correct answer. I hope I made my point clear to you, and thanks again.

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