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non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

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  #11  
Old 01-05-2014, 01:00 PM
andrewrodney's Avatar
andrewrodney andrewrodney is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Best to think of a SO (Smart Object) as just a raw (assuming that's the original data) embedded into the original Photoshop doc, then having editing access within Photoshop using ACR. If you kept the original raw data outside the PS doc, you would not 'see' this data in the rest of the layer stack so that's useful. However, if you just did all your parametric (instruction based raw processing) first, then rendered that into Photoshop and continued, the net results would be about the same (certainly with that raw data). So nothing magical is happening with the SO in the grand scheme of things other than it's all together and now visible as a Photoshop doc (which can be a TIFF, there's no reason to ever save PSD expect if you're messing with Duotones).

Once you are in Photoshop proper, technically the non destructive workflow is over in terms of the data you are editing. That is, there is always rounding errors applied to those exiting numbers so it's not technically non destructive. Now if you want to call the ability to move back in history or not stamp the edits non destructive, let's define that as such. If you flatten the data, or just print it, which is the same as flattening, as far as the data going to the print driver is concerned, you've applied edits that are 'destructive'. Do it in high bit, it's rather moot (but data loss occurs). Parametric edits on raw data truly is non destructive. Until you render instructions + raw data to produce new RGB pixels, no rounding errors and no edits applied anyway. You are viewing a preview (proxie) with current instructions.
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  #12  
Old 01-05-2014, 04:26 PM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

just jump original layer and work on copy like that you have the original art work and can go back anytime retouching is destructive, adjustment layers aren't.
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2014, 09:32 AM
de666 de666 is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

I think there is lack of clear definition what "non destructive" really means.

Similar problem was mentioned in this thread
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/pho...structive.html

To me - non destructive means that each operation can be disabled at any moment, and each parameter can be changed. For instance Lightroom (or Camera Raw) is an example of non destructive processing. Any time I can change white balance or tone curve or HSL and it won't break any other changes.

In many places I see opinion that working on separate layer is "non destructive" because the original layer is untouched and we can always back to it. I disagree. One can copy any image to another file and by that definition any editor will be "non destructive" because we can always open original file.

I can achieve non destructive workflow with following operations:
- adjustment layers (curves, selective color, etc)
- dodge/burn, gradient, textures, etc
- smart filters (like Nik plugins)
But I can't with clone/heal.

Let's say that I am working on image and I am done with all color correction, dodge/burn, etc.... and now I want to finish it by using clone/heal. So I spend some time on it (let's say 10 minutes). Then next day I realize that I was wrong and I need this image warmer or colder. If I change any layer under my clone/heal correction then I will need to repeat clone/heal process again (and lose 10 minutes). You can say that I can make image warmer/colder by adding new adjustment layer above clone/heal - that's right, but it means that process is not non-destructive.

I wasn't able to find any way for non-destructive clone/heal (except the one in LR) so to avoid this problem I think I should do clone/heal first, and then start working on color correction:
1) primary color correction in Lightroom, basic clone/heal if possible
2) move to PS
3) frequency separation, clone/heal
4) non-destructive operations
5) save PSD

In this scenarion I can always go back and change all non-destructive operations without affecting my clone/heal.
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  #14  
Old 01-07-2014, 12:09 AM
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artofretouching artofretouching is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Lets just establish that Cloning is Destructive. Unless your do it Camera Raw (and it sucks there). End of story.

I guess what you need to do is have a sit down with yourself, and think about your own workflow. Personally, my work is 98% Non Destructive (I can turn on/off just about anything at will). If yours is not, then think about what order of doing tasks in, can give you the best results.

For me, I first use Smart Objects based on RAW data, then I clone. Once I clone, I start using Adjustment Layers. If I ever need to use RAW Tools again, I suck it up, and SO the whole thing, and use a Camera Raw Filter. I hate it, but it's just the way we currently need to use it.

For what it's worth, reading about your workflow, it seems to be the best. The only area we disagree on is that I do not do Frequency Separation. I find it way too much trouble for the results. While I may get heat for saying that, i stick to my guns. I simply clone/heal on one or two layers, and call it a day. That has always done well for me so far.
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  #15  
Old 01-07-2014, 06:41 PM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Quote:
Originally Posted by artofretouching View Post
Lets just establish that Cloning is Destructive. Unless your do it Camera Raw (and it sucks there). End of story.

I guess what you need to do is have a sit down with yourself, and think about your own workflow. Personally, my work is 98% Non Destructive (I can turn on/off just about anything at will). If yours is not, then think about what order of doing tasks in, can give you the best results.

For me, I first use Smart Objects based on RAW data, then I clone. Once I clone, I start using Adjustment Layers. If I ever need to use RAW Tools again, I suck it up, and SO the whole thing, and use a Camera Raw Filter. I hate it, but it's just the way we currently need to use it.

For what it's worth, reading about your workflow, it seems to be the best. The only area we disagree on is that I do not do Frequency Separation. I find it way too much trouble for the results. While I may get heat for saying that, i stick to my guns. I simply clone/heal on one or two layers, and call it a day. That has always done well for me so far.
Not that the split isn't useful, it is for certain things but it's not used by any working pro I know of.
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  #16  
Old 01-07-2014, 07:06 PM
RobertGarcia RobertGarcia is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

My friend do yourself a favor and go to Lynda.com and check out Tim Sextons retouching videos. He's a real deal high end retoucher so you get an idea how it's done in the really exclusive shops in NYC.
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  #17  
Old 01-10-2014, 11:10 PM
RobertAsh RobertAsh is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Quote:
Originally Posted by de666 View Post
I think there is lack of clear definition what "non destructive" really means.

...

I wasn't able to find any way for non-destructive clone/heal (except the one in LR) so to avoid this problem I think I should do clone/heal first, and then start working on color correction:
1) primary color correction in Lightroom, basic clone/heal if possible
2) move to PS
3) frequency separation, clone/heal
4) non-destructive operations
5) save PSD

In this scenarion I can always go back and change all non-destructive operations without affecting my clone/heal.
You figured it out Namely, you've figured out that there is no such thing as non-destructive workflow -- unless you restrict yourself to reversible operations.

Patch Tool and Healing are not among those reversible operations. They require working on duplicate layers if you want to reverse what they do, especially after closing the file or exhausting your History steps retention limit.

Cloning is reversible and can be non-destructive. The way to do non-destructive cloning is to create a blank layer above the layer you're working on, then clone with the blank layer selected instead of that image layer being selected. Make sure Current Layer and Below is selected when you have the Cloning Tool activated.

Using a new blank layer for cloning you can change its opacity, erase portions of it or delete it entirely if you mess up or want to change something. You can create another new blank layer if you want to use different approaches and compare them.

Also, not everything works with Smart Objects, some filters don't work, etc.

Finally, unless you set Photoshop to write your entire history into a file you lose all your history when you close the image. Then your history steps become non-reversible.

Lightroom preserves all history since you imported the object, which is a huge improvement but to be fair Lightroom can afford to do that because typically you're not going to do 100s or 1000s of steps in Lightroom like you will in Photoshop.

The reason it's called non-destructive workflow is because you can do so much that's reversible compared to, say, painting on the Background layer then being unable to reverse that the next day after you've close the file then open it again.

Technically instead of being called non-destructive workflow it should be called less-destructive workflow (which is not as catchy from a marketing sloganeering perspective ) or minimally-destructive workflow (which doesn't roll off the tongue quite as nicely).

So fortunately or unfortunately we're stuck with the name and just need to learn to understand what non-destructive means in context and learn which operations are reversible and which are not, and when they are or aren't.
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2014, 12:01 AM
skoobey skoobey is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

You got it right. Key to doing things nondestructively is not to do a "look defining" conversion, but save it for adjustment layers.
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