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Understanding virtual copies

From: Lightroom 1.3 for Digital Photographers

Video: Understanding virtual copies

We're now going to have a look at virtual copies inside of Lightroom. As you know, when we make adjustments and changes to the images, it doesn't change the original raw file; all it does is create a new set of instructions inside the Lightroom catalog or the XML, XMP sidecar. And these instructions point to the photograph and tell it to display a certain way. Well, what happens is when we create a virtual copy, we're not actually creating a new photograph; what we're doing is we're creating a new set of instructions. It still uses the same raw file.

Understanding virtual copies

We're now going to have a look at virtual copies inside of Lightroom. As you know, when we make adjustments and changes to the images, it doesn't change the original raw file; all it does is create a new set of instructions inside the Lightroom catalog or the XML, XMP sidecar. And these instructions point to the photograph and tell it to display a certain way. Well, what happens is when we create a virtual copy, we're not actually creating a new photograph; what we're doing is we're creating a new set of instructions. It still uses the same raw file.

And it looks and it performs just like any other photograph: we can make its own adjustments, we can add its own metadata. But it doesn't take up a lot of hard drive space because it's not producing a new photo. So, let's go here, and we're just going to right-click here in the filmstrip, and we're going to choose Create Virtual Copy. Notice now we've got a stack here. I can open and close the stack just like any other stack. Let's grab the virtual copy. Now, the reason we can tell this is a virtual copy is because if you look at the lower-left, you'll see this page curl.

And if you don't see that, just right-click, choose view Options, and make sure Show Badges is turned on. At the same time, if we hit the Grid view, we can see here the same option. Just right-click, choose View Options, and make sure that the Thumbnail Badges are turned on. Well, now that we have a virtual copy, we can do all kinds of things to that that we would do to normal photographs. Let's go to the Develop Settings, and we're going to add a preset. So here we go! We've got the preset added.

But now if you look at the original photo, it's still there. It's unchanged. But now we've got the virtual copy as its adjustment. We can make another virtual copy. Let's go to the Grid view this time. I'll show you a keyboard shortcut. Hit down the Ctrl+Apostrophe. That's Command+Apostrophe on Mac. And now we've created another virtual copy. Well, actually I hit it twice, so we've created two of them. So what can we do with this virtual copy? Well, we can do anything we did with the other one.

Let's go to our Develop Settings. Let's choose Grayscale, zoom in and out of our image here. What we need to do is first of all just reset it, and now we'll hit the Grayscale slider. There we go! Now we've got a grayscale. Notice here's our original. Here is a copy of the original, which is the first virtual copy. We have another one with a preset and another one for grayscale.

I'm going to show you another way to create a virtual copy. Let's go to our original image here, and then we're going to go to Photo, and then we're going to choose Create Virtual Copy. That's another way of doing it. Once again, we can make all kinds of adjustments. I could choose the Color Settings and do all kinds of weird and wonderful things to this image. Make it look really weird. And there we go, we've got another copy.

As you can see, we can go through these virtual copies. Each one of them lives independently. And then anytime if we want to get rid of these virtual copies, all we need to do is just simply hit the Backspace on Windows and then choose Remove. On Mac, that would be to hit the Delete key. So we can remove another one. Now, if you notice here, they're still in the stack. So we can open and close the stack, and we have these virtual copies of the images. Now, if you want these virtual copies to come through as real photographs, that can easily happen.

What we need to do is just simply export it, and then when we exported these, settings will be baked into it, and we can export it as a PSD or a TIFF or a JPEG and we can export it as its own image, or we can open it in Photoshop. And if we choose to open this in Photoshop, it will open as its own image as well. So that's how you convert a virtual copy to a real photograph. So, you can see virtual copies are a great way to experiment. They give you a lot of creative freedom without adding a lot of overhead to your file size.

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This video is part of

Image for Lightroom 1.3 for Digital Photographers
Lightroom 1.3 for Digital Photographers

80 video lessons · 8283 viewers

Colin Smith
Author

 
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  1. 54s
    1. Welcome
      54s
  2. 52m 55s
    1. Setting Lightroom preferences
      12m 4s
    2. Importing images from a hard drive
      6m 30s
    3. Importing images from a flash card, CD, or DVD
      5m 1s
    4. Setting up a watched folder to automatically import images
      4m 53s
    5. Creating custom identity plates and using logos for end markers
      6m 51s
    6. Overview of the Lightroom interface and the Lights Out feature
      5m 50s
    7. Working with the panels efficiently
      4m 22s
    8. Overview of the side panels
      3m 17s
    9. Overview of the toolbar
      4m 7s
  3. 54m 53s
    1. Working with collections and folders
      9m 11s
    2. Working with Grid view and thumbnails
      7m 36s
    3. Using Loupe view to get a closer look at images
      5m 26s
    4. Comparing images and choosing the best
      6m 2s
    5. Viewing multiple images at once
      4m 33s
    6. Understanding previews
      5m 9s
    7. Managing catalogs
      4m 58s
    8. Exporting catalogs
      3m 42s
    9. Importing catalogs and managing catalogs on multiple computers
      8m 16s
  4. 54m 10s
    1. Using ratings, flags, and labels to organize photos
      7m 27s
    2. Using filters to find photos
      7m 31s
    3. Understanding and applying metadata
      7m 13s
    4. Filtering by metadata to find photos quickly
      2m 50s
    5. Working efficiently with metadata
      4m 48s
    6. Using keywords to organize images
      5m 38s
    7. Saving time with custom keyword sets
      5m 35s
    8. Fixing misspelled keywords on multiple images
      1m 17s
    9. Organizing keywords
      7m 12s
    10. Locating photos
      4m 39s
  5. 26m 45s
    1. Making molehills out of mountains
      9m 21s
    2. Changing the time zone on photos
      2m 40s
    3. Straightening crooked photos
      1m 15s
    4. Practical and creative cropping
      2m 56s
    5. Removing the dreaded red-eye with ease
      1m 25s
    6. Removing blemishes
      1m 34s
    7. Cleaning lenses and sensors to remove dust
      2m 32s
    8. Using the Painter tool to copy settings to multiple photos
      5m 2s
  6. 1h 1m
    1. Setting white balance
      6m 37s
    2. Understanding and using histograms
      6m 30s
    3. The Basic Adjustments panel
      4m 31s
    4. Special considerations for adjusting skin tones
      11m 40s
    5. Fixing underexposed and overexposed images
      6m 29s
    6. Comparing "before" and "after" images
      2m 52s
    7. Using curves for targeted adjustments
      7m 29s
    8. Using HSL and the color controls
      7m 47s
    9. Using image history and snapshots
      3m 3s
    10. Saving and using presets
      4m 28s
  7. 32m 55s
    1. Converting grayscale images
      4m 56s
    2. Advanced grayscale workflow
      5m 5s
    3. Using Split Toning to color grayscale images
      3m 50s
    4. Using Split Toning on color images for a cross-processed effect
      1m 18s
    5. Removing noise
      3m 16s
    6. Understanding and using the sharpening tools
      4m 51s
    7. Special considerations for sharpening faces
      4m 30s
    8. Removing color fringes
      3m 8s
    9. Compensating for a lens vignette and adding a vignette for a creative feel
      2m 1s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Overview of the correction tools
      10m 21s
    2. Overview of the correction tools with people
      11m 37s
    3. Integrating Photoshop with a Lightroom workflow
      8m 10s
    4. Processing multiple images at once
      5m 1s
    5. Understanding virtual copies
      4m 24s
    6. Syncing RAW files with Bridge, Lightroom, and Photoshop
      9m 11s
    7. Exporting photos from Lightroom
      10m 9s
    8. What is DNG, and how can Lightroom help?
      5m 58s
    9. Sharing Lightroom presets with other computers
      2m 27s
    10. What is camera calibration?
      3m 13s
  9. 39m 2s
    1. A quick slideshow
      1m 31s
    2. Using slideshow templates
      2m 38s
    3. Customizing slideshows
      10m 43s
    4. Adding custom text to slideshows
      1m 38s
    5. Adding music to slideshows
      2m 59s
    6. Exporting slideshows for CDs or email
      1m 56s
    7. Getting accurate colors for prints
      9m 51s
    8. Creating contact sheets for proofing image collections
      7m 46s
  10. 45m 10s
    1. Overview of web galleries
      9m 17s
    2. Using fancy Flash galleries
      9m 52s
    3. Customizing the Flash galleries
      10m 22s
    4. Customize the HTML galleries
      10m 17s
    5. Uploading galleries to a website or exporting to disk
      5m 22s
  11. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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