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A Computer Darkroom Feature Preview

It  been quite a wait, but today (18 October 2017) Adobe  announced the latest version of Lightroom. The question many customers will ask is - what's new?

 

New and enhanced features

The answer to above question really depends on whether you're currently a Creative Cloud Photography subscriber or have a perpetual license for Lightroom 6. If you fall into the former group then the answer is - not a lot, at least not much in the way of new features or visible enhancements. On the other hand, if you're in the later group you'll now have access to all the features added after Lightroom 6 first shipped. 

So, what else has changes? I suspect most existing customers will  immediately notice that this latest version of Lightroom has a new name (i.e. Lightroom Classic or Lr Classic). The name change comes as a result of Adobe launching a new cloud focused version of Lightroom along with new versions of Lightroom for iOS, Android , Web and Apple TV. All of these will share Lightroom CC moniker. No doubt this will cause some initial confusion, but I expect it will eventually sort itself out. The other big change is that Lightroom will no longer be available with a perpetual licence. As such, all customers will need to make a decision as to whether to stick with Lightroom 6** and miss out on all the features added since it was first released, sign up to the Creative Cloud Photography plan, or seek out a non Adobe alternative. No matter which option is eventually chosen, I suspect a considerable push back on the loss of the perpetual license from customers on various photography forums.

** Note: Adobe will release two further updates to Lightroom (i.e. Lr 6.13 and Lr 6.14) in the remainder of 2017. These will provide existing customers with additional camera and lens support, but no new features. At that point, Lightroom 6 will become a legacy product and no further updates will be released.

Returning to features and enhancements. Lightroom 6 was predominantly about Library and Develop module enhancements such as Facial Recognition, HDR and Panorama, and GPU acceleration. This time round, and as alluded to above, the Lightroom team have largely focused their attention on performance enhancements.

The following table lists the new features and enhancements included in this latest version of Lightroom, albeit some will only be new to those upgrading from the perpetual licence version of Lightroom 6.

Library Module:

  • Import: significantly faster import and shorter time to build standard-sized, 1:1 and smart previews.

Note: this improvement will only be visible on systems with Quad-Core or higher CPUs.

 
  • Embedded Previews: enables faster image review and culling experience by utilising camera generated embedded previews or JPEG sidecar images.

 

  • Import Sync: syncing images to/from Adobe cloud will pause during import for improved import speed.

 

  • Preview Generation Settings in Preferences: under the Performance tab, a new option of 'Generate Previews in parallel' has been added. The preference is ON by default.

 

  • Export: following customer feedback that they often don’t want to share the settings or changes to an image You can now conceal these details by choosing from the drop-down menu: "All Except Camera Raw Info" in Export > Metadata > Include.

Note: This is not applicable for DNG or Original Export.

 
  • Adobe Cloud Sync Enhancements (new with Lr 2015.7): these include a feature to prevent syncing of duplicates, and an update on how 'All Synced Photos' is handled

 

  • Photoshop Elements 2018 support: added support for importing Photoshop Elements 2018 catalogs into Lr Classic CC.

 
  • Library module odds and ends: additional search options for smart collections (i.e. title, lens profiles and corrections).

 

 

Develop Module:

  • Colour and Luminance Range Masking: precision masking tools that isolate an object. This feature is based on new technology that can detect changes in lighting and contrasting edges based on colour, tones and luminance.

 

  • Improved Auto-masking: improvement that allows Auto Mask to respect image noise reduction settings.

 

  • Process Version update: this latest update (Version 4) introduced to support Range and Auto Masking

 
  • Reference view (new with Lr 2015.8): provides a dedicated 2-Up view that lets you place a Reference (static) image next to an Active (editable) image. This is helpful when making a group of images from a single event look similar.

 
  • Guided Upright (new with Lr 2015.6): provides the ability to manually define the vertical and horizontal lines to be used for the Upright transform

 
  • Boundary Warp (new with Lr 2015.4): is a feature that provides another approach to handling the irregular boundary of panoramas. The feature analyses the boundary and warps the image so that its edges fit a rectangular frame.

 
  • Dehaze (new with Lr 2015.1): a feature for removing/adding haze and fog to/from your images. You can control how much haze to remove by adjusting a new slider in the Effects panel in the Dehaze section.

 
  • Local White and Black Adjustment Sliders (new with Lr 2015.1): a pair of sliders within each of the 3 local adjustment tools: Gradient Filter, Radial Filter and Local adjustment brush. These sliders are useful for fine-tuning tonality near the brightest and darkest parts of the picture.

 

Develop module performance enhancements: Camera Raw minimum cache limit set to 5GB, faster image loading and access to develop controls, Develop module walk performance improved by caching histogram, and enhanced brush drawing.

   

 

Slideshow Module:

 

  • Upgraded the framework used for video rendering and processing.

 

 

System Requirements

The full list system requirements for Lr Classic are shown below.

macOS:

  • Multicore Intel® processor with 64-bit support

  • Mac OS X v10.11(El Capitan) or higher

  • 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)

  • 2 GB of available hard-disk space for program installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on removable flash storage devices).

  • Graphics processor acceleration requirements

    • AMD: macOS 10.12 with Metal support.

    • Intel: macOS 10.12 with Metal support.

    • NVIDIA: macOS 10.12 with Metal support, or macOS 10.11 with OpenGL support.

    • OpenGL 3.3-capable video adapter for GPU-related functionality.

    • 1 GB of Video RAM (VRAM). 2 GB of dedicated VRAM (4 GB recommended) for large, high-resolution monitors, such as 4K- and 5K-resolution monitors.

  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for software activation, membership validation, and access to online services

Windows:

  • Multicore Intel® Pentium® or AMD Athlon® 64 processor

  • 64-bit version of Microsoft® Windows 7 (Service Pack 1), 8.1 or Windows 10 ver1511 or later

  • 4GB of RAM (8GB recommended)

  • 2GB of available hard-disk space

  • OpenGL 3.3 and DirectX 10-capable graphics card for GPU related functionality

  • Graphics processor acceleration requirements

    • AMD: Radeon GPU with DirectX 12 or OpenGL 3.3 support.

    • Intel: Skylake or newer GPU with DirectX 12 support.

    • NVIDIA: GPU with DirectX 12 or OpenGL 3.3 support.

    • OpenGL 3.3 and DirectX 10-capable video adapter for GPU-related functionality.

    • 1 GB of Video RAM (VRAM). 2 GB of dedicated VRAM (4 GB recommended) for large, high-resolution monitors, such as 4K and 5K resolution monitors.

  • Internet connection and registration are necessary for software activation, membership validation, and access to online services

Installing Lightroom

As mentioned above, there is no perpetual license version of Lr Classic, which means that the application is installed or upgraded via the Adobe Creative Cloud application.

With each previous versions of Lightroom we got a new splash screen, and Classic is no different. For what it's worth, I think this is the best yet!

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Lightroom Classic CC splash screen

With Lightroom 6/2015 CC all customers were required to set up an Adobe account or ID,  and Lr Classic has a similar requirement. Existing customers can continue using their current Adobe account/ID. However, if you're a new customer you'll need to create an account. Either way, an active internet connection is required to sign into the account when first launching the application. In the absence of an active internet connection the application can only be installed in trial mode.

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Lightroom Classic CC Sign In dialog

Another relatively new feature is the ability to sign in using your Facebook or Google account, although you'll still need to create an Adobe account beforehand then link it to your Facebook or Google account. I should also point out that a single Adobe ID means that Lightroom can only be operational on two desktop or laptop computers at the same time. If you want to run it on a third computer you'll need to deactivate one of the other two first.

Upgrading Existing Catalogs

Long time customers will already be familiar with the process of upgrading catalogs each time a new version ships. The good news for those who have not experienced the catalog upgrade process before is that it's fairly straight forward, albeit a bit more  time consuming than previous versions. The longer catalog upgrade time is as result of the contents of the catalog  (primarily develop history) being compressed during the upgrade process, thus making the new catalog significantly smaller than previous versions. It's also worth mentioning that your existing catalog will not be replaced or deleted during the upgrade process. Therefore, if a problem occurs during the upgrade you'll still be able to use the older catalog.

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Library Module and Workflow Enhancements

The Lightroom UI hasn't seen much in the way of change since version 1. Sure, new modules and new panels have been added over the years, but the scope to reconfigure the UI is still absent. Personally, I don't have a problem with this, but I'm conscious that many customers would like to be able to rearrange panels, etc.

 

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Library Module Grid View

The Library continues to be at the heart of Lightroom in so far as it's the module that provides most of the tools for managing your photographic assets. Imported images can be viewed in the Library in various modes or views. These include the now familiar  Grid view (G), Loupe view (E), Compare view (C) and Survey view (N), and People view (O). Each of these views is intended for a specific purpose, but depending on your workflow, you may find some more useful than others. For example, Grid view allows you to see large numbers of images as thumbnails whilst at the same time providing a workspace for applying metadata, labels, ratings, keywords, flags and even quick development adjustments to images in bulk. As with previous versions of Lightroom, the Loupe view restricts these actions to a single image. Compare and Survey views are designed to make the tasks reviewing, rating and flagging easier, and People view is used for face tagging.

Import

I mentioned above that import had undergone some work, particularly in terms of performance. Although not all visible, the improvements resulting from this work are huge. For example, importing proprietary raw images with standard-sized previews takes only half the time it took in Lightroom 6/2015. This improvement in import speed is most obvious on computers with Quad-Core or higher CPUs, and is achieved by allowing both concurrent and parallel import and preview building. What this means is that all CPU cores are put to work with multiple threads utilised for both import and preview building. It's also the case that these will be prioritised over other tasks.  Obviously, utilising pretty much all available CPU and memory resources can place a lot of stress on the computer, especially if importing many 10's thousands of images. Therefore, the engineers have included the ability to disable parallel preview building via the Preview Generation Settings preference. With parallel preview building OFF Lr Classic is only marginally faster at building previews than previous versions. Below screenshot shows where this preference can be found. Although not related to import, I've also highlighted an additional means by which you can open Catalog Settings.

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The maximum size of cache for Camera Raw is now set at 5GB. If using proprietary raw files it's best that you leave the cache at 5GB as there is little or nothing to be gained from a larger cache. Setting it to a lower value is not recommended.

Lr Classic now supports the ability to use the embedded previews or sidecar JPEG images, which is something many customers have requested since version 1. In the past, customers who needed a quick turnaround on images would use applications such as Photo Mechanic for initial image review and culling. They did so because Photo Mechanic was able to utilise the embedded previews thus making it much faster than Lightroom. Not any more, in Lr Classic you can choose to import images into the Library module with their embedded previews. There is a catch though, some cameras don't embed a full size previews. Therefore, if you particular camera falls into this category it's best you configure the camera to capture both raw and JPEG images.

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Lightroom Classic Import Window

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Select Embedded & Sidecar from Build Previews drop-down menu

Another import enhancement is the ability to filter images by file and media type using the Sort button in the import window. This will be really helpful for those who capture Raw + JPEG and video on a single CF or SD card, but only wish to import one or other. Also, new to Classic is the ability to define the order in which images are imported. This means that when Capture Time is selected as the default then the images will be displayed according to their capture times when they appear in the Library Grid.

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Lightroom Classic Import Sort Order

Importing images with embedded previews or sidecar JPEG previews is very fast, and displays the images as is they appeared on the back screen of your camera. The X badge is used to indicate that an image is using the embedded preview.

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Library Module Grid View - Embedded Previews

Embedded previews appear almost instantly the application switches back for the import window. As such, you can immediately begin the review and culling process. Flagging [Pick (P) or Reject (X)] images using auto advance (enable the Caps lock key) can be really fast. For example, if your camera supports full-sized embedded previews you can zoom into 100% then scan around the image to decide whether it's sharp, etc. Likewise, you can view a selection of images in Compare and/or Survey mode. A badge or overlay will denote whether the image being viewed is using an embedded or a Lightroom rendered preview.

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Library Module Loupe View - Embedded Previews

If you want Lightroom to build the standard-sized previews automatically after import then is quite easily achieved by setting a new preference (Replace embedded previews with standard previews during idle time). Alternatively, just click on the embedded preview badge and choose whether you want to update the selected image or all.

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Embedded Previews - Idle Time Preference

Still on the subject of previews and 'idle' time where "idleness" is based on the average CPU usage being below 20% over 5 minutes. If this is detected Lightroom attempt to do two things:

  1. If replace embedded preview option is selected replaces 10 embedded previews in one cycle.

  2. It fetches the photos which have been edited in the past two days and builds standard previews where they are missing. In the latest build this also has been limited to generate 10 standard previews.

Export

Export speed has been improved over recent years, and this new version is faster again when it comes to bulk exports. However, faster exports tend to be at the expense of performance when carrying out other tasks in Lightroom. So, don't get too greedy.

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Customers have for a long time requested the ability to exclude camera raw develop sittings from exported images, and with Classic their wish has come true. Choose All Except Camera and Camera Raw Info if you want to keep the EXIF and Camera Raw data hidden.

Smart Collections

With each new version, the Lightroom engineering team set aside a few days to implement mini features. These tare features that tend to require minimal work in terms of coding or UI changes. The name given to these mini features is JDIs or in long hand Just do it! Lr Classic includes some in Smart Collections. These are new criteria for  Title (i.e.  'is empty' and 'is not empty'). There are also smart collections to find images with/without Lens Profiles and Chromatic Aberration corrections.

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Develop Module

For many customers, the Develop module is the most important component of the application, especially since the underlining code and feature set is directly linked to Adobe Camera Raw and thereby Photoshop. It's also via the Camera Raw code that Adobe provides support for new cameras and lenses.

Process Version Update

Whereas in previous updates to Process Versions had a very obvious visual impact on existing edited images this latest update only affects Range Masks and Auto Masks:

  • Range Mask and the improved Auto Mask can only be applied to images using the new process version, labelled as Version 4 (current) in the Camera Calibration panel.

  • Existing images with Auto Mask adjustments with Version 3 (PV2012) will remain as Version 3. However, if further adjustments are made to the image, then Lightroom will silently update the image to Version 4 (current). It's also important to note that the Auto Mask results in Version 4 are different than in PV2012. So, you may experience a slight change in the appearance. Improvements should be most obvious around more noisy regions (e.g. shadows).

  • If Range Mask is applied to an image in PV2012 (with or without Auto Mask based local adjustments), the image will automatically update to Version 4 (current).

  • Images in PV2012 without Auto Mask adjustments will automatically update to Version 4 (current) once any settings in Develop are applied.

Auto-masking Improvements

Auto Mask has always been a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde feature. With some images it was your best friend, but for others, particularly if noise reduction was also being applied to the image, it would often produce terrible selections. With Lr Classic the engineers have worked on improving Auto Mask and how it interacts with noise reduction settings. The resulting improvements are significant, and should result in superior selections to those in previous versions of Lightroom.

Range Masks

Next up is the new Range Mask. That is, the Colour Range Mask and Luminance Range Mask. These are precision masking tools that can be used to isolate an object or a region of an image. They do so by detecting changes in lighting and contrasting edges based on colour, tones and luminance.

The most obvious use of a Range Mask would be to locally apply an adjustment to an image (e.g. the sky). In earlier versions, a graduated filter could be used for this, but when the horizon wasn't straight (i.e. due to presence of trees, mountains, etc) it was often necessary to resort to using the Brush tool. However, with the introduction of Range Masks in Lr Classic the task of applying a graduate filter to an uneven horizon is now very simple.

The following screen shot shows an example of where the new Colour Range Mask can be used to tone down the sky and mountain but leave the front lit trees largely untouched. Click on the image to open a video demonstration.

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Graduated Filter Colour Range Mask - Video Demo (no dialog)

(click to start)

In above example, I began by:

  1. adding a graduated filter, then applying just over 1 stop of exposure reduction to darken the sky region; next

  2. I selected the Colour Range Mask followed by the eyedropper tool; then

  3. I selected three areas in the sky by holding down the Shift key then dragging the mouse to create three rectangles, next

  4. I dragged the colour temperature slider to the left, thus increasing the intensity of the blue; then

  5. I reduced the exposure value again thus further darkening the sky area that matched the selected blue rectangles created at step 3 above; next

  6. holding down the Alt/Option key I was able to view the mask in threshold mode, and make some refinements to the mask using the Amount slider; next

  7. I zoomed into the image (100%) to check quality of the mask, and noted that some further refinement using the Amount slider was required. The mask was complete at this point.

This next example again uses the Graduated filter, but this time I used Luminance Range. The red overlay (O) helps to show where the graduated filter is applied.

  1. Having created the graduated filter and applied a heavy dose of exposure reduction, I then selected the Luminance Range from the drop-down menu; next

  2. I adjusted the Range sliders to set the endpoints of the selected luminance range; next

  3. I used the Smoothness slider to adjust how smooth the falloff is at either end of the selected luminance range. It's usually best to zoom into the image (100%) when refining the selection using the smoothness slider.

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Graduated Filter - Luminance Range Mask

For this last example, I used the Local Adjustment Brush to paint in the sky. Again, the red overlay (O) shows where the brush has been applied. Also, since the selection is based on luminance it's not necessary to avoid painting over other parts of the image. When I painted in the entire sky region I selected Luminance Range then adjusted  the range and smoothness sliders to taste. Once satisfied with the mask I applied some exposure reduction to the image then dragged the colour temperature slider to the left to add some blue.

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Local Adjustment Brush - Luminance Range Mask

GPU Acceleration

GPU acceleration was first introduced in Lightroom 6/2015, and uses the computer's Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) to speed up interactive image editing in the Develop module. Originally, the idea was for real-time or near-time updates to the image while making adjustments in the Develop module using sliders, particularly when using the new breed of high-resolution screens, such as 4K and 5K displays. Unfortunately, it hasn't, to date, lived up to the early promises.

For most recent computers, GPU support is enabled by default. However, it can be disabled by going to the Performance, tab in the Lightroom preferences, and uncheck the Use Graphics Processor checkbox. Typically, you'll want to disable the GPU if you observe issues in the Develop module.

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Lightroom Classic - GPU Preference

When enabled, Lightroom will automatically determine whether the system's GPU can be used to accelerate image drawing. If yes, Lightroom will display the name of your graphics card below the checkbox. Otherwise, Lightroom will display an error message.

For Lr Classic, the Camera Raw and Lightroom engineering teams  have made some significant advances in optimising the speed of getting the pixels to the screen as quickly as possible. By way of example, you should see Develop module improvements in:

  • Walking images, especially loading 1:1 images

  • Responsive local adjustment brushing

  • Spot healing brushing

  • No temporary colour glitches when moving slider

Tip: GPU acceleration is used only in the Develop module.

Notwithstanding the attention given to improving performance in the Develop module some customers, particularly those with 8 and higher CPU cores, high-end GPUs graphics cards driving 4K and 5K displays will likely continue to experience progressive slow downs. Adobe engineers are aware of this issue and will continue to eliminate the slow downs. In meantime, and to take advantage of the improved GPU performance, etc  you should endeavour to adapt your editing working flow so that the features that make greatest use of the GPU are undertaken first. As such, the recommended order for editing images for best interactive performance is:

  1. Spot healing.

  2. Geometry corrections, such as Lens Correction profiles and Manual corrections, including keystone corrections using the Vertical slider.

  3. Global non-detail corrections, such as Exposure and White Balance.

  4. Local corrections, such as Gradient Filter and Adjustment Brush strokes.

  5. Detail corrections, such as Noise Reduction and Sharpening.

Tip: Performing spot healing first improves the accuracy of the spot healing, and ensures that the boundaries of the healed areas match the spot location. Also, the spot removal happens at the very beginning of the camera raw image pipeline. This means spot removal changes will invalidate all the intermediate caches that are pre-computed to speed things up. By doing spot removal first, the imaging pipeline does not have to compute or re-render other adjustment settings.

Features now available to customers upgrading from Lightroom 6

In addition to the features appearing in the Develop module for the first time I think it useful to summarise those that were added to Lr 2015 over its life that are present in Lr Classic.

Reference view

Reference View is a view mode in the Develop Module that provides a dedicated 2-Up view that lets you place a Reference (static) photo next to an Active (editable) photo. It is particularly helpful when making a group of images from a single event look similar. Other examples where you might use this feature are:

  • To match the look of a photo for preset creation.

  • To adjust for white balance consistency in photos.

  • To fine-tune a camera matching profile to the appearance of a camera generated JPG file.

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Develop Module - Reference View

There are a number of approaches to accessing the this tool, but below is probably the simplest.

  1. In Library module, drag photos you want to edit to a collection

  2. Go to the Develop Module

  3. Click on Reference View button X or type Shift+R via keyboard. Its on the Toolbar, and you may need to show the Toolbar if hidden (i.e. tap the T key)

  4. Drag your Reference Photo onto the left pane. You can change your Reference Photo by either dragging a different image onto the left pane or using the ‘Set as Reference Photo’ context menu in the Library Module.

  5. Edit the active photo. Use the Reference Photo to guide your editing decisions.

In addition to the horizontal 2-up view it’s also possible to display the reference and active photos as vertical 2-up.

Reference View is most useful when used to visually match photos to a reference photo. It’s also possible to adjust by the RGB values associated with pixels directly under the cursor. However, the RGB values themselves are displayed under the Histogram, which means you are constantly having to switch your view from the photo to the histogram. Personally, I find this rather tiring on the eyes, and would prefer that the RGB values be displayed at the cursor position rather than the histogram.

While above describes a work flow where the reference photos and all of the other images are from the same event it is possible to set any photo in your catalog as the reference photo.

Note that by default, Lightroom will clear the current reference photo when you switch away from the Develop module. To lock the current reference photo to the Reference window, click the Reference Photo lock icon in the toolbar before switching away from the Develop module

Guided Upright

The Upright tool in Lightroom 5 helped customers easily straighten images, fix horizons, and reduce or eliminate the keystone effect in buildings.  However these tools were auto only and tended to work best with prominent vertical and horizontal lines in the photo. With Lr CC 2015.6 Adobe introduced Guided Upright, which provided customers with the ability to manually define the vertical and horizontal lines to be used for the Upright transform. This feature is included as standard in Lightroom Classic.

Use the following procedure:

  1. Select an photo and click on the Develop Module.

  2. Enable Lens Profile Corrections.  This step is important as Upright works better with Lens Profile Corrections activated.

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Develop Module - Updated Lens Corrections Panels

Note that the Upright tab has been removed from the Lens Corrections panel thus simplifying it. The new Transform panel is for all users. However, only CC customers will  previously have seen the Guided Upright button. 

  1. Notice that the ‘Transform’ Panel now includes both Upright and the manual perspective correction sliders together in a convenient place.

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Develop Module - Transform Panel

The following photo is a typical example of where Guided Upright works particularly well.

 

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Photo before applying Guided Upright

  1. Within Transform panel, click on the ‘Guided’ button. Next draw the vertical and horizontal lines directly on the image and Upright automatically transforms the image. The maximum number of guide lines is 4. However, Upright will transform the image once you draw at least 2 guides.

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Photo after applying Guided Upright

If needed, you can fine tune the results with the manual transform sliders, including the X and Y transform sliders.  These can be used for repositioning/moving the image within the canvas after applying the perspective corrections to choose which part of the (warped, non-rectangular) image to show within the rectangular canvas. It’s also possible to fine tune the guide lines by clicking and dragging on the guide handles.

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Photo after applying crop

Boundary Warp

Anyone who has used Photoshop or Lightroom to create panoramas will be familiar with the white non-rectangular boundaries. There are several ways to handle these irregular boundaries; the most common of which is to switch Auto Crop on or apply a rectangular crop. This method is straightforward, but important image details near the edge of the image may be lost due to cropping. An alternative approach is to use Content Aware Fill (in Photoshop) to fill in the transparent areas outside the boundary. While this can be effective with some images it’s very often not appropriate for others. For images where Content Aware Fill can be used it may require multiple attempts to obtain a satisfying (smooth, artifact-free) result. It can also be expensive in terms of processing power, and requires rendering out the panorama to an output-referred (non-raw) format. Boundary Warp is a feature that provides another approach to handling the irregular boundary of panoramas. The feature analyses the boundary and warps the image so that its edges fit a rectangular frame.  Here’s a  Before and After example of the feature in action.

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Boundary Warp – Before

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Boundary Warp – After

Dehaze

Photographers of every skill level will be aware that many outdoor scenes have some amount of haze due to atmospheric conditions. Dehaze is a feature introduced in Lr CC 2015.1 for removing/adding haze and fog to/from your photos. You can control how much haze to remove by adjusting a new slider in the Effects panel. This feature can also be used in the other direction to increase the amount of haze.

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Develop Module - Effects Panel

The recommended workflow for getting the best results from this new too – Adjust the white balance of the image before applying the Dehaze control. You may also find that the saturation levels in some images needs to be reduced slightly relative to what would be normal had Dehaze not been applied. Below you’ll see a Before/After example of an image where the Dehaze control has been used to reduce the atmospheric haze in the distant mountains. This example also required that I applied a slightly smaller amount of saturation/vibrance than what I’d normally apply.

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Dehaze - Before and After

Final Thoughts

I suspect many long time Lightroom customers will be disappointed with this update. Some might also question whether there's enough to even warrant the upgrade. In my opinion, there is, especially if upgrading from the Lr 6 perpetual licence. As for Creative Cloud Photography subscribers, you'll already be aware that many new features and enhancements have been added since Lightroom 6/2015 first shipped, and there's no reason to expect anything different in the future. As for the future, I believe customers can take comfort in the fact that the Develop module in Lightroom has always included all of the new features added to Camera Raw. In my opinion, this is a powerful incentive to stick with Lightroom Classic rather than seek out non Adobe alternative.

You may have noticed that I've made little reference to syncing images from Lightroom Classic to Adobe Cloud and mobile devices. The reason being, that there's no change to syncing behaviour in Lr Classic when compared Lightroom 6/2015.  In fact, rather than investing engineering time in improving support for cloud and mobile in Lightroom Classic, Adobe have instead developed a completely new application. This application, which goes by the name Lightroom CC for the desktop is specifically intended to be a first class citizen of the Creative Cloud ecosystem.

 

Adobe Community Professional

 

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