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In Photoshop Lightroom 3 Essential Training, author Chris Orwig provides a comprehensive look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3, the popular photo-asset management, enhancement, and publishing program. The course covers indispensable techniques such as importing, processing, and organizing images in the Library, correcting and adjusting images in the Develop module, and creating slideshows, web galleries, and print picture packages. In addition to exploring all of Lightroom 3's capabilities, this course is rich with creative tips and expert advice on photographic workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
If you've used Photoshop previously, you may be familiar with the term Smart Object, and what a Smart Object is is it's something that gives you a lot of flexibility. One of the things that you can do is you can take advantage of Smart Objects from right inside of Lightroom. So, let's say that we want to process this image inside of Photoshop. So, what we've seen previously is that we can navigate to our Photo pulldown menu, choose Edit In, and then select Edit in Photoshop CS4. Let me go ahead and select that option, so that we can compare what Edit In looks like and how that functions compared to something else, which is called Smart Object.
All right, well, now that I have this file visible, I'm going to go ahead and decrease the size of that window. I'm going to go back to Lightroom. Back here in Lightroom, this time I'm going to navigate to my Photo pulldown menu, choose Edit In, and this time I'm going to open up as a Smart Object inside of Photoshop. This, again, will take the raw data. It will then access that and open that up inside of Photoshop. Now one of the things that's interesting in regards to working with this document is that we'll have a couple of different changes here. So, what this document allows us to do - This is the Smart Object.
This is the regular Edit In - is that the icon is a little bit different in our Layers panel. Let me compare. Clicking over to the other photograph, we see that this is just a regular, flat layer. We can't do anything else in regards to working on this image, in regards to raw processing. In contrast, let's take a look at the Smart Object, and make this one a little bit bigger, so we can see what we're working on. If we double-click this icon, this will then open up Adobe Camera Raw. Here what we can do is we can dial in anything that we want.
We can do all of our normal raw workflow, and again, I'm just going to apply a few settings here. Here is our before, and then after. Okay, I'll go ahead and click OK. Now, once I've done that, it's going to prepare and then save that file out with all of that information. So, in other words, this document has a connection to the original raw data, so that I can continue to take advantage of raw processing, or Adobe Camera Raw. So, once I've done those things, all that I would need to do would be to save this file, Command+S on a Mac, Ctrl+S on a PC, and then go ahead and close this file out. And I'm going to also close this other one, because we don't need it anymore. And I'm going to jump back to Lightroom. And I'm going to click on Don't Save here. All right.
We're back in Lightroom. Here you can see that I have that raw file, just a DNG document, and then I have the one that's a new TIFF file, yet this one has that Smart Object integrated, or embedded into it. Now, one of the things that I do want to point out is that while Smart Objects are phenomenal, because they give you a ton of flexibility, one of the downsides is that they increase your overall file size. So, it's not the end of the world, but it's just something that you need to consider. So, when you're making your Edit In decisions, just consider that this one is going to be a little bit more effective in regards to your overall workflow, but you do need to be more decisive here, meaning make all your raw adjustments, make sure they're good, and then go to Photoshop.
The other option, which is Open as a Smart Object, well, this one gives you more flexibility, although it may slow you down just a touch, because it's going to increase the file size and whatnot. So again, you're going to want to make the selection which makes sense to your own context, in your own workflow. So now you at least know a little bit about both of these options, so that you can then make the correct choice when you're determining how you want to edit your images inside of Photoshop.
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