Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Hacking Lightroom to create layouts for other projects, part of Photo Tools Weekly.
- Hello and welcome to another episode of "Photo Tools Weekly". Thanks so much for joining me. Now here in this week's episode, we're gonna explore how we can use Lightroom in a nontraditional way. We'll look at how we can take advantage of the print module and custom print sizes so that we can create a custom print size and a layout that we can use in other places like online or in a presentation as well. Well I think you'll find this particular tip to be helpful. So without further delay, let's dive in.
Alright well let's first talk about the scenario that we have here and set up the problem and then look at the solution. Here we are inside of Lightroom and you can see I've selected a folder of images. I need to create a slide which has a grid of photographs on it so in Lightroom, I know that I can do things like that in the print module. Over here in the print module, one of the things that we can do is say okay hey. I'm gonna go ahead and say I want to have more rows and columns on this page and I just want to use all the photos for now. So that's populating this layout with all of these images and it looks kind of cool.
The problem is is that the page size isn't correct. So we would tend to think, okay I'll go to page setup and I'll choose something that might match the dimensions I need to use, in my case 1920 by 1080 but there's nothing like that here. These are all just typical print sizes. So what in the world are we going to do? So what we need to do is to actually go to "photoshop" in order to figure out what our inches size actually needs to be.
We're gonna use "Photoshop" as a tool to figure something out. Let me show you what that looks like. So we go over to "Photoshop", and inside of Photoshop we're gonna create a new document and we want to create it the pixel dimension that we know the client needs or that we need or whatever. In my case I know it's 1920 by 1080 and this is actually a real scenario because I'm giving a presentation tomorrow so in a sense, I'm doing some foot work for myself right now. So I've 1920 by 1080, I just create that document and there it is. Next thing I'm gonna do is go to my image size, go to image and image size dialogue, and here you can change pixels to inches and it's gonna show me what would 1920 by 1080 be in inches.
Okay I got it. Eight by four and a half, perfect. Next we go back to Lightroom. Inside of Lightroom, we're gonna go to our paper size pull down menu and go to "manage custom sizes". Here we're gonna create a new custom size and let's name this one 1920 by 1080. Next we'll go over to these fields, and I'm just going to zero these out because we don't need to have anything there. Now what about our size? We know if that width needs to be eight, remember the height? It was four point five and we got those numbers from Photoshop.
Well now that I have this, in a sense, these dimensions are going to relate to this so that I could then just drop this straight into that presentation or give it to the client or do whatever I need to do but I can now create layouts that are formatted to fit within this size which will work seamlessly in other places. Okay well let's keep going with it so you can see what I mean. So here we click "okay". Next thing we need to do is to figure out our orientation. If we get this wrong and click "okay", it doesn't matter. You can always go back to page setup and then choose the other option until you get it right.
So in this case of course, we want it be oriented this way. Well now we have all these photographs and what we can do is say "Well what do we want this to look like so we can customize this? Do we want to have any margins on the top, left, right, or bottom?" Also in regards to our image settings, do we want the images to zoom to actually fit? Should they rotate? No, I want them to be all straight up and down. So you'll need to walk through the settings but here, starting at the top, zoom to fill, perfect.
Next- rows and columns. How many do I want to have? I need to determine that. Alright this is looking kind of interesting. Now that I'm here, I can start to click into these images and re-position them a little bit so that the photographs fit in this way and you can imagine how someone might use something like this because I can use this as a background or I could use it as an opening to a presentation to show some of my work. Really, the type of uses here is endless. If this grid is too complicated for you, well just drop it down until you can find one that you think will work.
Regards to your self spacing, of course we can change that here too. So really it's up to you in regards to the aesthetic and the look of the grid. I'm just trying to highlight how we can now use this space, how we can hack Lightroom to be able to do this. When I finally figured this out, man it saved me so much time because laying out in Lightroom like this just speeds the whole process up. Alright well once you have your layout and your photographs and you're happy with this, how the heck do we get it out of Lightroom? Well all that we need to do is to print this file.
We can go down to the "print job" area. We can determine how we want to print this. I want to print this as a jpeg file so I'm gonna choose that option there, no need to have "draft mode printing" on and once we have this "print to file" option here or jpeg, we can do is select, hey I just want to print this out and we're not really printing so the nomenclature here is a little bit off. Essentially, we're just exporting as a jpeg so think of it that way. We choose "print to jpeg", "print to file". This opens up and says "Hey where do you want to save this out?" and I'm gonna go ahead and just call this "presentation slide dash one" and what that will do is it will save this out as a jpeg to our desktop, I'll go ahead and click "save" and that will save the file there to that location.
Now it will take a minute or two in order to be able to create this and the reason is is because typically in Lightroom, we have really high resolution files, right? Has to pull all the data from all those files, has to re-size them, lay them out, create that jpeg file, and then of course, export it for us. Alright well there you have it. One way that we can hack Lightroom in order to be able to create layouts that we can use in other places as well. Thanks so much for joining me in this week's episode of "Photo Tools Weekly". I'll look forward to seeing you in the next one.
Bye for now.