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In this latest version of Lightroom, we can now import PNG files and that's what I want to focus in on here. In the previous versions of Lightroom, we could import JPEG, TIFF, PST, RAW files; CMYK files, Movies and now we can import all of those as well as this PNG format. You know, the PNG format is really fascinating. It does a really good job when it comes to working with transparency. So why would this matter to us as photographers? Some of our camera phone apps actually save files in this PNG format, we may want to import and work on those in Lightroom.
In other situations, we may have files like this one here. If I click into this next file, it's titled demo cover.png, you can barely see that there's a title here of a magazine. We can use this as an overlay on top of a photograph to sort of simulate how an image might appear on a cover of a magazine. Let me illustrate that by navigating to another photograph. This is a photograph that I captured in one of my colleague's offices. He had some balloons hanging down; I thought the light was just beautiful. Let's say I want to consider using this photograph for a cover of a magazine.
There's a feature in Lightroom, which allows you to overlay content. If you go to the View pull-down menu and then access Loupe Overlay, what you can do is choose a layout image in order to simulate a layout, like in this case, a magazine cover. You can either click on this option and navigate to the file on your hard drive or if you've recently used one of these options, you can access it here. Here, I'll go ahead and select demo-cover. Now this will bring in this PNG file, which we just looked at. Here you can see how this image might appear on the cover of a magazine.
Now in seeing this, I realize the aspect ratio of the photograph isn't right. I'm going to need to crop the photograph. To do that, I'll just select the Crop tool by clicking here and I'm just going to go ahead and crop this down again just to sort of simulate how this image might appear on the cover. This is especially helpful when you're working with Tethered Capture or when you're just trying to figure out how you're going to work some sort of layout. In here I'll just modify the crop a little bit in order to create a temporary or preview of how this might appear. What's great about this is we can turn this view on and off and all it is, is a view of a transparent PNG file.
Here I'll go to View>Loupe Overlay, and I'm going to turn on the option to turn this off so it won't show that. Let me show you another example here. I have a file, which is just a demo file that I created in order to illustrate something in regards to Photoshop. This is PNG file. Again, sometimes you just have documents; you want to be able to access and work with in Lightroom. Still in other situations, it might be for creative intent. I click on this image here; it's a photograph of a rock climber rappelling. Here, everything is removed from the picture except for the rope and the rock climber and this is a PNG file.
I can use this as an overlay. In order to try figure out what type of image might work for compositing this together with something else. Let's go to the balloon file for starters. Here I'll click on the balloon file, I'll navigate to the View pull-down menu, and then choose Loupe Overlay. Rather than selecting the option for the magazine cover, I'm going to choose my rock-climber. Here we can see that he will be overlaid on top of this image. It's a little bit difficult to see and so I've decided this image will not work.
Then I can go to another photograph, like this one that I have here of this can. In this case, I can start to see how this composite might come together. Again, I need crop a little bit in order to reposition how this overlay sits with this image, and so here I'll just go ahead and crop this in just a bit, and then apply that crop. You can start to see how this might work as a composite. Again, I'm just going to modify this a little bit more to see if I can get it in a bit of a better spot. There we go, I think that might work.
And again, all that I am doing is overlaying a transparent PNG on top of another photograph. I wanted do this in order to illustrate; one, what a PNG file is and how sometimes these files can have transparency; and then two, I want to illustrate a real world scenario where you might use a PNG that's transparent inside of Lightroom. Still, if you aren't going to use this Overlay feature, that's ok, it's still important to know that you can now import and work with PNG files inside of Lightroom.
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