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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Advanced Techniques, photographer Chris Orwig shows how to master the subtleties of Lightroom 3 and maximize its efficiency. The course begins with an in-depth exploration of Lightroom catalogs to keep track of photos, collections, keywords, stacks, and more. Along the way, Chris shows how to integrate Bridge and Photoshop in the Lightroom workflow and shares advanced techniques, including image editing with the adjustment brush, automating actions, using plug-ins and extensions, exporting to email or an FTP server, and more. Exercise files are included with the course.
One of the ways that you can extend and expand the way you work with Lightroom is by integrating into it Photoshop actions. Now what we're going to do here is explore how we can take advantage of Photoshop actions from right inside of Lightroom. Now this process is going to at first seem a little bit confusing, yet after going through this movie, it will become clear how you can create an action and then create a droplet and save that in a particular location, which you can then access from right inside of Lightroom when you'll export your images.
All right, well, for starters, let's jump over to Photoshop. So here I am inside of Photoshop, and in Photoshop, I'm going to go to Window and then choose Actions. Now if you're not familiar with actions, it may be worthwhile to watch another lynda.com tutorial on Photoshop actions. So I'm going to assume that you have a basic understanding of what actions are. Well, I've created a small action for you, and what I want you to do is to load that. You can do this by clicking on the flyout menu icon here at the top of the Actions panel, and here we're going to choose Load Actions.
We'll navigate to this folder in Exercise Files folder, titled other, and then we'll click on the action here, CO Actions, and simply click Open. Now if you don't have access to this action, no big deal. You can simply write one of your own, but here I have a demo action. I'm going to go ahead and close this, just to highlight that this particular action will give us a good conversion to sepia toning. Now what we need to do with this is we need to click on this action and then create what's called a droplet.
Now we'll save this droplet in a particular location, so that Lightroom can then take advantage of it. In order to see where we should save this, I have this layer here I want to turn on, and I'm going to hide everything else just for a moment, so that I can highlight where we're going to put this particular droplet. Well, on a Mac, you're going to save this droplet to your Users folder/Library /Application Support/Adobe/ Lightroom and then Export Actions. On Windows, you'll go to your Local Disk/Username/Application/Data/ Adobe and then Lightroom.
All right, well, let's take a look at how this will actually work. I'll press the Tab key here and then press F to bring everything back inside of Photoshop, so we're out of Full Screen View mode. Okay, well, what I'm going to do is I'm going to go to my action. I'm then going to navigate to my File pulldown menu and choose Automate. And near the top of the Automate dialog, I want to choose Create Droplet. Now what a droplet is is it allows us to trigger this action which is inside of Photoshop from outside of Photoshop.
So here, we'll create a droplet. This will open up our Create Droplet dialog. First things first: where do we save it? Well, I already articulated that, so let's go there and see where this is. What we're going to do is we want to see this in a particular location. So I go to my Username > Library > Application Support > Adobe, scroll down to find Lightroom, and then finally go to Export Actions. Now that seems like a lot, yet once you write down that location, you'll be able to remember that.
I'm just going to save this out as sepia and simply click Save. Next, which action? Well, it's from the CO Actions, and the one that I am going to create a droplet for, or save in that location, is chris orwig - sepia, and I'll turn on Suppress Color Profile Warnings as well, and simply click OK. Now it doesn't really look like much has happened here, but what Photoshop has done behind the scenes is saved a droplet in that location. Let me show you what I mean. Well here, I'm going to go to my Finder window, and in my Finder window, you can see I'm in corwig/Library/ Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Export Actions, and there is that little droplet that we just created.
Well, keep in mind that any type of action that you can create in Photoshop, you can create a droplet for, and what this can do is really extend the power and the reach and the strength of Lightroom. Well, let's now take a look at how we can access and run that action from right inside of Lightroom. In order to do that, we need to head over to Lightroom. Here we are, inside of Lightroom 3. I'm going to navigate to my File pulldown menu, and what I want to do is export this image, and you can only do this by using the Export dialog.
You'll notice the shortcut there: Shift+Command+E on a Mac, Shift+Ctrl+E on Windows, or simply File and then click on Export. This will open up our Export dialog. Well, here we're going to export this image to our hard drive, and in this case, I'll save it to my Desktop, just so that I can see that there. And then I can go through, I can rename this file if I wanted to. I'm just going to leave this as is. Keep the current naming conventions. I have some File Settings Options, Format, Color, Space et cetera. And then I'll just scroll all the way down, passing up all these options to my Post-Processing option here.
After I export it, what I want to do is select that droplet that I just created, which will then trigger that Photoshop action. All right, now that we've dialed in all of those settings, all that we need to do is to simply click Export. What will happen here is Lightroom will first create this TIFF file. It will then pass this TIFF file off to this droplet, and it will run that particular action. You can see that taking place here in the background. Now once that's complete, what I'll have is this file--which I'll zoom in on a little bit--with this sepia toning applied to it. And the great thing about actions is that they give you flexibility if you write them correctly.
Well, here I'm going to go ahead and just close my Color panel and close Adjustments by double-clicking those tabs, and then I'll open up the different layers that it created for us. Now this particular layer here gives this image a lot of its color. In my opinion, there's a little bit too much color, so I'm going to bring this down a bit more. This layer gives us a bit of contrast and color. Also bring that down. In other words, because this action was written in a way that it took advantage of adjustment layers, we can then go in and customize all of these different settings in order to get it to look just right.
All right, well here I'm just going to make a few more changes, and I think that looks pretty good. Here we have our before and then after. And as you can see, what we can do is we can extend and expand how we work with Lightroom by taking advantage of Photoshop actions and then by saving those out as droplets, saving them in a particular location, and then taking advantage of them when we export our images from right inside of Lightroom.
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