P: Sync errors with tif files; smart previews possible culprit

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Mentor ,
Apr 16, 2014 Apr 16, 2014

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I am receiving sync errors when creating tif files passed between Lightroom and Photoshop. I’ll detail the issues in the steps below but first my setup and some definitions:

  • Using Lightroom 5.4 on Windows 7 64-bit and Photoshop CC 14.2.1 with latest Camera Raw 8.4
  • Using Lightroom mobile version 1.0.1 on iPad Air (32 Gb version)
  • Lrd = Lightroom desktop
  • Lrw = Lightroom on the web (lightroom.adobe.com)
  • Lrm = Lightroom mobile app
  • Ps = Photoshop CC

What I did:

  1. Sync a collection of Lrd photos to Lrm. In my case I successfully synced 50 dng photos to the mobile app. Lrw also shows photos correctly.
  2. Pass a photo from Lrd to Ps using Lightroom’s Edit In command. In Ps add a text layer (or an adjustment layer). The intent is to have a simple way to make a visible change and have the ability to easily turn the layer on or off. Save the file (Ctrl+W) which automatically adds the new tif file to Lrd and automatically syncs to Lrm. All Lightroom instances (Lrd, Lrw, and Lrm) all correctly show the image with text.
  3. Edit In the original tif file created in step 2 and turn off the text layer. Save.
  4. Lrd now shows an Error Syncing with Lightroom mobile badge on the tif file. In addition the photo is placed in an All Sync errors collection found in the Catalog section in the Library module. In a few moments the sync is completed (despite the sync error) but the photo in both Lrw and Lrm incorrectly show the photo with text intact while Lrd correctly shows the photo without the text.
  5. In Lrd apply a visually dramatic develop adjustment (Vibrance -100) to the tif file. This causes an automatic sync to Lrm. Note that Lrd correctly shows the vibrance change and no text. (Recall that the text layer was turned off in step 3.) However, after the sync both Lrm and Lrw correctly show the vibrance change but still incorrectly show the text. Reset vibrance to 0 to force a sync.
  6. Edit In the tif file (without Lightroom adjustments) and make the text layer visible and change the text contents. Save.
  7. This time the sync error is permanent with the photo placed in the All Sync errors collection. Note that there is no way to force a sync other than making a Lightroom adjustment.
  8. In Lrd set Vibrance to -100 to force a sync. Lrd correctly shows the vibrance change and the text change made in step 6. However, after the sync both Lrm and Lrw correctly show the vibrance change but incorrectly do not show the text change.
  9. Remove the tif file from Lrd which correctly deletes the photo from both Lrw and Lrm. Note that a photo or collection should only be removed from desktop Lr and never from the mobile app.

Conclusion and questions:

  • What is the cause of the sync errors in steps 4 and 7?
  • What restrictions, if any, does the mobile app have with tif files?
  • Why are changes made in Ps to a tif file not correctly synced to the mobile app? Note that I have performed the same tests on flattened tifs so I doubt layers are the issue.
  • What part do smart previews have in these syncing errors?
  • Where are smart previews for mobile syncing stored? They do not seem to be stored in the catalog location where smart previews are located if created on import or with Library>Previews>Build Smart Previews. Indeed, does mobile syncing use these smart previews (if created) or does the sync process create new smart previews for its own purposes?
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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Employee , Jun 18, 2014 Jun 18, 2014
This should be fixed in Lightroom 5.5, which is now available. -Ben

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 17, 2014 Apr 17, 2014

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I'm seeing this problem here too and I added a bug for the engineers to research and fix this problem.

Smart previews- If you manually generate a smart preview for a image we use the pre existing smart previews for Lrm. If a image does not have the smart preview we generate the smart preview and then discard it after syncing to Lrm

Thanks for the great description of the problem. It really helped when trying to reproduce the problem!
-Jeff

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 22, 2014 Apr 22, 2014

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Wolfgang,
Thanks for the detailed description - we believe we've found the issues preventing these externally edited files from being correctly synced and it should be fixed in the next release of Lightroom desktop. There is, unfortunately, no reliable workaround in the meantime.

We are not able to duplicate the sync errors (either temporary or permanent) that you are seeing. If you can duplicate these errors and send us a diagnostic log (after you get the error, go to Preferences -> Lightroom Mobile and hold the alt/option key, then click the Generate Diagnostic Log button that appears) that might help us figure out what is causing those.

To the rest of your questions:

* The mobile app should not treat TIF files (or any file type) different from any others; they are all managed as Smart Previews. This does mean you don't have access to the individual layers as is the case for Lightroom itself.
* If you have Smart Previews already generated, these will be used for sync. If they are not created we will generate them as needed, but we do not keep them on your machine.

Matt

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 18, 2014 Jun 18, 2014

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This should be fixed in Lightroom 5.5, which is now available.

-Ben

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LEGEND ,
Nov 02, 2016 Nov 02, 2016

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I am using the latest version of LR CC on a Windows 10 64 bit machine, and have just discovered that the constant stalling that occurs when syncing with LRm seems to be down to externally edited TIFF files. When the file is eliminated from the collection, syncing continues until the next tiff file is encountered and then stops again.

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 02, 2016 Nov 02, 2016

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Walterono,

The issue here is that the TIFF file is larger than Lightroom is expecting to have to send and so it fails when attempting to do so.  We are aware of this issue and are working on a fix though I'm not sure when it will be released.

I believe that this should only happen for really large files that were initially synced from another device or application (Lightroom for mobile or lightroom.adobe.com) and then - as you note - they are edited externally from Lightroom on the desktop.  In this case, Lightroom will try to send the full updated original file and it will fail.

Removing it from the collection (and thus from sync) will get sync 'unstuck' but it also means that that image is no longer visible in Lightroom for mobile or lightroom.adobe.com.  If you were to add it back to the collection, it should sync - even after additional external edits - because if it is an image that originates from Lightroom desktop we will send a smaller Smart Preview instead of the original.

That would get you closer to the state that you want to be in - though the master image file will no longer be available in the cloud any more.

Thanks,
Matt

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