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non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

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  #1  
Old 01-03-2014, 05:46 AM
de666 de666 is offline
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non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

hello, I read this forum for a few months, this is my first post here

I use Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik Collection. I have few years of experience in photography and huge collection of photos, I need to organize everything to make my workflow as non-destructive as possible.

My plan is to store photos in 3 main folders:

1) originals - all RAW files
2) retouching - PSD files with RAW as smart-object, then adjustment layers, dodge/burn, smart filters
3) finished - TIFF files

The first stage is already accomplished. I pushed LR postprocessing to the limit. I can do a lot with wb/curves/hsb/toning. I miss layers - so I could peform curves more than once or use masks.

The second stage can be acomplished in PS - I can send image from LR to PS as smart object, then I am free to use adjustment layers, smart filters (like color efex pro) and even dodge/burn (as gray layer or curve layers), then I store everything as PSD and I can reopen it later and change everything in non-destructive way: I can disable any layer, I can edit camera-raw settings I can change control points in Nik.

The third stage are full scale, 16-bit, flat images exported from PS. They can be edited further, but it’s not possible to go back. They are just flat single layer images without more info inside.

The biggest problem right now is how to use clone/healing brush. I don’t mean skin softening, I mean fixing most visible issues on skin but also stuff in background which can be distracting. My initial idea was to perform this type of retouching at the end, in the “finished” stage. However, I realized it doesn’t work this way. It’s best to do all color correction, dodge/burn and effects on “clean” image.

If I will do initial clone/healing in PS, then I will lose my camera raw smart object - for instance if I move back to camera raw and make my photo brighter - the cloned layer will not match the current background layer.

I can do non-destructive healing in LR just like I did in the past, but it’s very limited when compared to PS.

I can do clone/healing in last stage, but then I will need to repeat it after each change in the future. And photos in my second stage will be “dirty”.

Also the whole idea of frequency separation requires images which are not smart objects, am I right? Or is it possible to do frequency separation as smart filter?

What are your experiences with non destructive workflow?

PS. Is it possible to peform Lightroom adjustments (including healing brush) twice on same image and store everything non destructive in PSD? I know I can call LR on TIFF exported from LR, but I can call LR on smart object as smart filter in PS?
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:31 PM
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artofretouching artofretouching is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

I Think you would benefit from the non destructive workflow shown at the link below. It uses Camera Raw, but Lightroom works the same way,where you can export as a smart object to Photoshop.

Http://www.theartofretouching.com/smart-objects-rp
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:31 AM
de666 de666 is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

hi John,

I watched your video titled "Smart Objects Inside Smart Objects" and it was exactly about what I asked - you cloned on camera raw output, and then you changed camera raw settings.

But as you said in the video - the old way to resolve that problem was to add another layer over clone layer and make everything darker instead going to camera raw again. And the "new way" seems to work same way. There is an old camera raw smart object, which we can't touch anymore, and there is a new camera raw object, which has cloning already applied. So what's the reason to have this old camera raw smart object? It's not really smart anymore - we can't do anything with it. We could use plain image instead and the result will be same.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:16 PM
lvalics lvalics is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Ok, here is my suggestion (actually is Calvin Hollywood style).
When you open in PS as Smart object, you can do a new layer and then rename as Retouch layer. Then on this layer you do all healing stuffs, cloning all retouching. In this way you can have nondestructive method also on healing/cloning.
Hope this help.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:00 PM
de666 de666 is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvalics View Post
Ok, here is my suggestion (actually is Calvin Hollywood style).
When you open in PS as Smart object, you can do a new layer and then rename as Retouch layer. Then on this layer you do all healing stuffs, cloning all retouching. In this way you can have nondestructive method also on healing/cloning.
Hope this help.
When you do heal/clone on new layer and then you change something in smart object you will notice that your heal/clone doesn't match anymore. This is visible on video I mentioned in previous post.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:13 PM
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artofretouching artofretouching is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

That is true, if you use Camera Raw as a Smart Object, and then a Cloning Layer on top, the Cloning Layer is a problem, if you alter the Smart Object (Raw) below it.

One Work around is any color corrections should be Adjustment Layers above everything, so those will overlay the cloning, and Smart Object. But you are right, it is no longer very smart.

The other work around (as shown in the video) is to turn the smart object, and the cloning layer into a new smart object, and then use Camera Raw Filter on the new smart object.

But, at the end of the day, once you clone, you have no way to edit the smart object. It will not forward that information onto the clone layer. I suspect in a future update, they will allow for layer linking, where it will allow updates to clone layers. However, I am not an engineer, and do not know the complexity behind it.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:25 PM
lvalics lvalics is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Now, yeas, this is indeed possible, but now on RAW you do probably a few small readjust.
Here I see a possible workaround. You can also the retouch edit layer in RAW filter and apply the same settings ... depends on settings you touch on RAW file.
The other option, more better one I think, is to do the corrections in layer adjustments or with tools in Photoshop.
Also a 3rd workaround can be that let's say you work on a hair and have done some retouching on whole image, then you edit the original RAW. Before do this, create a copy via "New smart object via copy", then edit it, let's say the hair, as you want, then mask it the hair to show on new layer and the rest will be untouched.
I saw this way of editing by a russian girl if I remember well, she have done a beauty retouch for the same image, by around 5-6 layers with same RAW file, copied like I mentioned and in this way for each part, eyes, skin, hair etc had the 100% control over it, but it is require a lot of masking.
Regards.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:01 PM
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artofretouching artofretouching is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Quote:
Originally Posted by lvalics View Post
edit layer in RAW filter and apply the same settings
This does not work, sadly. When you try, it will set the values to all "0".

So you need to know the exact values of any changes for it to work. If you change the exposure to +.40, then this is easy, just make the new Camera Raw Filter exposure to be +.40.

If you do a gradient, or other Local Adjustment, then you are pretty out of luck.
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:28 AM
lvalics lvalics is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

I did not tried that solution, cause usually I do not go back to edit in RAW or if I need to do it, then I do as I suggested, "New smart object via copy", then I can edit this new layer with his own settings and then masking the zone I needed.
Also could be a Smart Object layer and Retouch grouped together and converted into smart object. It is not a perfect solution, but in this way both layer are handled as one, but you lose I think the original raw layer properties (I think).

I still think "New smart object via copy" is the solution and mask then.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:41 AM
de666 de666 is offline
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Re: non destructive workflow (LR+PS+Nik)

Let me ask different way. What's the point to open camera raw as smart object if I can't change its settings later, because it will break my clone/heal? Does it mean that I have to use clone/heal after I finish color correction and dodge/burn? Then I can go back to camera raw during these phases. But what if I want to remove distracting objects in the background or spots on face/body in the first place? Should I open background image standard way instead as smart object?
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