Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Raw File Shuffle

Text And Photography By George Jardine Published in Photography Software Technique
The Raw File Shuffle
Now that the dust from the revolution is settling, the ideal workflow is coming into better focus. Lightroom can manage all of your digital photo assets—raw or RGB. And it can help you move things back and forth to Photoshop when retouching on the pixel level or when compositing is required. This article is about the various nooks and crannies that you'll encounter when taking a raw file from Lightroom to Photoshop for editing. In a subsequent article, we'll look at the workflow for RGB files.

Why Do Lightroom And Camera Raw

Need To Be Synchronized?

Adobe Lightroom and the Camera Raw plug-in for Photoshop share the same code for raw processing. But that code is changing all the time, with the addition of support for new camera models, tweaks to the features or the processing code, etc. So when one is updated, they should both be updated together. At the time of this writing, Lightroom is at version 3.4.1, and Camera Raw is at version 6.4.1.

Both Lightroom and the Adobe Creative Suite applications periodically make an automatic check to see if they're up to date. But Lightroom doesn't update the Camera Raw plug-in (part of the Adobe Creative Suite applications), and the Creative Suite doesn't update Lightroom, so they can occasionally become out of sync.

When you're starting with raw files, Lightroom always tries to give the Camera Raw plug-in the responsibility of rending the raw data into an RGB image. (This isn't always true when starting with an RGB file.) So you can see that if you're correcting a complex lens-distortion problem in Lightroom, for example, your Camera Raw plug-in will have to be using the same code in order to be rendered properly. This is why you may see the Compatibility Dialog if your version of Lightroom doesn't match that of your current Camera Raw plug-in.

To be sure your version of Lightroom is up to date, go to the Help menu, and choose Check for Updates. To check your Camera Raw plug-in, go to the Help menu in Photoshop, and choose Check for Updates.

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