Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating Smart Previews in the Library module, part of Exploring Lightroom: Advanced Workflow Techniques.
- Another way that you can generate or build a smart preview, is by working in the library module. Let's take a look at how we can do that here. You can see I'm in the O2 Smart Previews folder and here I have an image, couple of images which have been processed. They've been cropped and the color and tone has been modified. And if you look at the Histogram panel over here, you'll notice that we just have the original photograph. There isn't a smart preview. If we want to build one, we have two options. One option is to simply hover over this where it says original photo and then to click.
When we click, it opens up a dialogue. It says, "Hey would you like to build a smart preview for this photo?" And then it tells us about smart previews. "They're smaller, but they allow you to continue working even when the originals are offline. You can free up disk space by keeping your originals on an external drive and building smart previews to take their place when the drive is disconnected." It also show you how many smart previews you have in your catalog and the size. So here we can say, "Sure yeah we'll build a smart preview." We'll click on this button here and it will build or generate a smart preview for us.
You can now see we have the original and the smart preview as well. Let me show you one more method with this photograph. This image doesn't have a smart preview. And for this file we'll go to the Library pull down menu all the way down to previews and then we'll select Build Smart Previews. The reason why I wanted to show you this method, is because right next door to Build is Discard. We'll talk about that in just a second. So again, it's Library, Previews, Build Smart Preview. This is going to ask me, "Hey do you want to build it for this photo or all the photos in this folder?" In this case, the other one already has it but we could choose Build All and it would generate smart previews for that entire folder, which is nice.
Now smart previews do take up file size. If ever you decide you want to get rid of them, you can go back to that area or you go to the Library pull down menu, select Previews, then choose Discard Smart Previews and that will discard it. Do you want to do that for two photos here or just for this one? I'll discard all of them and then what we'll see is when we select these files and look over here in the Histogram panel and now it just has the original photograph as does this one as well.
- Creating virtual copies
- Sorting and filtering virtual copies
- Building Smart Previews
- Creating snapshots