Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member
New to Lightroom 3 is the ability to import and actually work on CMYK files, and this is a welcome new feature, because in the previous versions we couldn't really access CMYK, or even organize or recognize these files, and this is helpful, because many of us convert our files to CMYK. In this movie we're going to dig into working with CMYK files, because Lightroom can't actually make CMYK adjustments. So we need to get a handle on how this actually works, and whether or not you use CMYK, you're going to find in this movie some helpful tips that will clarify how you begin to work between Photoshop and Lightroom, in regards to editing layer documents in Photoshop.
All right, well, here we have this layered CMYK file. I want to edit this one in Photoshop, so I press Command+E on a Mac, Ctrl+E on a PC and select Edit Original. We've seen this before, right? We'll click Edit. This will open up the layered doc in Photoshop. Let's zoom in a little bit on it, and here we can see the before and then the after, and this image has been retouched in one of my other training titles on portrait retouching. You can see that this file is a CMYK document. Well, let's say that we come back to Photoshop; we want to make some more adjustments here in the CMYK space.
In this case I click on Hue/ Saturation, and I decide that I want to change the color of the dress. I grab the Target Adjustment tool, sample one of these colors and then make an adjustment. Now if the adjustment isn't perfect, what we can do is zoom in, grab the eyedropper with the plus icon and then just get a little bit more of the color there. Now the point here isn't to teach how to make this adjustment, but rather, to illustrate that what we're doing now is an adjustment in the CMYK space.
Once we've made this adjustment, we'll save - on a Mac that's Command+S, on a PC that's Ctrl+S - and then we're going to close the document. Now back in Lightroom, what we're going to see is this change that we've made. Let's say that in Lightroom we decide, you know what, I really want to change the background color. So we go to the Develop module. We open up our HSL panel. Again, the intent here isn't to teach workflow, but to get us to begin to think about some of the considerations we need to have when working with files between Lightroom and Photoshop.
I'm in the Hue options and I click on the Adjustment tool, and I'm going to go ahead and click and drag down to change the background color. All right, well, I've made changes in two different places, in Lightroom and in Photoshop. At this juncture, let's go back to Library module just to get out of that Develop mode, what's going to happen when we edit this file inside of Photoshop? Inside of Lightroom, we haven't made any CMYK changes; rather, it's almost like we had the CMYK file and then on top of that file we actually layered an adjustment, which is in this Lightroom RGB type of a space.
So you can't do CMYK work in Lightroom, but we can modify a CMYK image, kind of interesting. All right, well, let's take a look at what will happen when we edit this file in Photoshop. If I press Command+E on a Mac, Ctrl+E on PC, I have a few options. Now the bottom two options don't allow me to see any adjustments made inside of Lightroom. So if I Edit the original - let's try that one - what we're going to see is the background color as it was created inside of Photoshop, and yes, we have this little layer adjustment here.
Okay, well interesting. Let's close that and go back to Lightroom. Back in Lightroom, Command+ E on a Mac, Ctrl+E on a PC. What about these two options where we can edit a copy? We can edit one as a copy without any Lightroom adjustments. Again, it's similar to editing the original, except we're duplicating the file. In other words it just says, hey, give me another version of the file, anything I've done in Lightroom ignore, pretend it doesn't exist. All right, well, what about the third option? Here we can choose to edit a copy with the Lightroom adjustments.
So in this case, when I click Edit, what I'm going to see is that I have a new document with this different background color that was changed inside of Lightroom, but in this particular case the image has been flattened. I no longer have access to all of those other layers. You'll also notice, if I expand this a little bit, that this is in this RGB color space. In other words, it took something that was CMYK, it then converted it to this Lightroom type of space, which is very similar to Pro Photo.
It's an RGB type of a space, and then it applied all of the different adjustments, flattened the file and opened up the new document. So a couple of points here. Let's close this file for a moment and head back to Lightroom. One of the things that we're beginning to see is that we can at least recognize CMYK files. We can edit those files in Photoshop; work on all the layers, make changes as needed. Yet when we start to process these CMYK files inside of Lightroom, we're going to lose some flexibility. In other words, we're going to lose all of our layers, and we're going to also lose that CMYK space.
The image will, by default, be converted to a new space. All right, well, let's see if we can make this process a little bit more clear. For starters, we talked about having a CMYK file in Lightroom. That's something that we can do, and then from there we progressed to editing the original file from Lightroom, we open it up in Photoshop, and we made a color change. We made some kind of change in the CMYK color space, and then finally we brought this image back to Lightroom, where we made yet another type of change. Well, how can we think about these changes? Well, the first two kind of respected the CMYK color space.
Lightroom didn't really change anything. It recognized the file. We then edited the file in Photoshop, again in the CMYK space, but once we went back to Lightroom, we made another type of change, this Lightroom space which some call Lightroom RGB. It's close to Pro Photo. What happened is is that new color space trumped, or took over, or replaced what was previously CMYK. So then once we had this image, which has been processed this way, we took a look at how we could then open this up from Lightroom into Photoshop in a couple of different ways.
We had our three options, edit as a copy with adjustments, or just a copy, or original. So what we could do is if we edit this as a copy with adjustments, when we open this up we're going to see this file - it's going to be flat - with all of the adjustments that we've made. In other words, Lightroom kind of trumps all and takes over flattens the file, and it's now in this sRGB type of a space. On the other hand, if we had chosen Edit as a copy, what that would do is duplicate the file. It wouldn't show us anything we've done in Lightroom, and it would stay in CMYK, And then the other option was edit the original, and again - wouldn't show anything we've done in Lightroom, would simply open up the file, and we'd see all of those different Photoshop layers that we've created, and again the file would remain in the CMYK color space.
All right, well, in closing, I hope that this movie and these extra little slides will help make this topic a little bit more clear for you, as you progress deeper into learning how to work between Photoshop and Lightroom.
Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.Become a member
164 Video lessons · 49410 Viewers
64 Video lessons · 84555 Viewers
86 Video lessons · 54406 Viewers
148 Video lessons · 91466 Viewers
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.
Your file was successfully uploaded.