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Thread: Saving an edit in ACR?

  1. #1

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    Saving an edit in ACR?

    Can you save different versions of edits in ACR? I made a stupid mistake yesterday when I decided that I wanted to try and make a better edit of an image. I opened up the original edit in ACR and then played around with it for a bit. When I was done I clicked 'done' when I meant to click 'cancel' to preserve what I had done before.

    I leave my images with the .nef when I import to ACR and note that you can save them to a DNG format. I'm guessing that is what I should have done before I started messing around. Do you maintain the ability to go back and make changes once it is save as a DNG - said another way can you take the DNG back to the original RAW file?

    I believe my original edits are gone forever as I missed my chance to say go back to the previous version. I do however have the end result in a layer in a PSD file so all is not lost...

    Can anyone provide some insight or workflow for a situation when you want to save more than one edit of a RAW file before importing into Photoshop?

    Thanks from a newbie!

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Shane funny you should raise this - I was thinking about the same thing myself just yesterday. I wanted to keep two different crops of the same image in ACR. About all I have been able to think of so far is to place a copy of the original xmp file for the image into a different directory (you might call it something like "version 1"). Then open up the raw file and change the edit adjustments as you desire and click "done" when you are finished. You will then have a new version of the xmp file associated with the raw file but still have the original if you want to go back to it. To do this, you would have to swap the xmp files over.

    I'd also be interested to see if anyone has a better way.

    Dave

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    How about making a duplicate copy of the origional image, before importing into the ACR.

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    In the ACR window's right pane (on the far right) there is a drop down that will let you do a couple of things with the settings and xmp files.

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    In the ACR window's right pane (on the far right) there is a drop down that will let you do a couple of things with the settings and xmp files.
    The Save Settings option will save the current settings as a Preset. I guess you could use this process to save settings for a specific image too.

    Dave

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    I was just reading somewhere about opening them as Smart Objects in CS5/6.

    Consider this a 'test case' (to which I hope someone may know the answer without having to actually do it);
    Open a .nef file in ACR
    Edit it and open as a Smart Object in CS5/6 by holding down the shift key when you click Open Image button in ACR.
    Save the file as psd.
    Close that image file (and CS5/6).
    Re-open the .nef file in ACR, make a different edit and open as a Smart Object in CS5/6 again
    Save the file as differently named psd.
    Close that image file (and CS5/6).
    Re-open the first psd in CS5/6 and from there, re-open the Smart Object (not sure how - double click the layer?)
    Test: Does this re-load the original edit in ACR?

    When I was done I clicked 'done' when I meant to click 'cancel' to preserve what I had done before.
    I have done this Shane and would be interested to know too!

    HTH (and sorry I don't know the answer),

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    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Shane I think I have found the answer to your question - use Snapshots. This seems to allow you to save multiple versions of the edit in the one xmp file. See this link.

    Dave

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Yes Smart Objects can be returned to ACR for further editing. Just double click on the layer thumbnail image.

    What I frequently do is to combine two different Raw edits (as smart objects). Make one edit of a Raw file but hold down the keyboard Shift key while converting to the main CS5 edit window. This creates a Smart Object.

    Right click the smart object layer (in the layers drop down box) and select New Smart Object via Copy (or something like that) and a duplicate layer will be created.

    Double click the layer thumbnail to return this duplicate new smart object to the ACR window for further editing. Click OK when finished.

    Your smart objects, in the layer stack can be combined with masks to select parts of each layer as required.

    It is even possible to stack two different ACR images as separate layers and return either of them to ACR for re editing. This can be useful when combining a scene with a different sky, etc.

    There appears to be a method for saving preset edits in ACR but this is something which I haven't tried.

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Thank you all. I have had a crazy weekend and need to find some quiet time to absorb and try all of this out but for now I have to take my freshly made deviled eggs to a Superbowl party!

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Shane I think I have found the answer to your question - use Snapshots.
    Dave wins the prize

  11. #11

    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Snapshots are fine but I prefer [right click on image] "Create virtual copy" because it allows you to see both versions in your grid view at the same time. In fact I like to do all edits on a virtual copy so I have a clear before and after.

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by dan marchant View Post
    Snapshots are fine but I prefer [right click on image] "Create virtual copy" because it allows you to see both versions in your grid view at the same time. In fact I like to do all edits on a virtual copy so I have a clear before and after.
    Virtual copy only exists in Lightroom -- the closest you can get to it in ACR is to use the duplicate function before opening it in Bridge.

  13. #13

    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Virtual copy only exists in Lightroom -- the closest you can get to it in ACR is to use the duplicate function before opening it in Bridge.
    Wow that's a pity. Didn't occur to me that they would actually create two different RAW processing systems with the same engine. A cut down ACR in PSE I can understand but different features in LR and ACR just seems like a mad waste of effort.

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    A quick update: Both the save image button in ACR and the duplicate image (after a right click) while in Bridge seem to accomplish the same thing - both create new files that allow you to return to the "as shot" state or continue from where you were in terms of editing.

    I don't have Lightroom so can't speak to any functionality in that program.

    I really appreciate all of the tips and suggestions that everyone provided - thank you!

  15. #15
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    A quick update: Both the save image button in ACR and the duplicate image (after a right click) while in Bridge seem to accomplish the same thing - both create new files that allow you to return to the "as shot" state or continue from where you were in terms of editing.
    Shane this will do what you want but using the Snapshot feature in ACR is a far more efficient way of doing it. The difference is :

    With Save from ACR or Duplicate from Bridge, the whole raw file is saved again and this is quite large eg 20MB

    With Snapshots, only the additional edit information is saved again and this gives a very small increase in file size. If you are working with the camera's raw format file, the edit information is saved in a so called "Sidecar" file with the extension of xmp. If you have a look in explorer you will see it beside the main raw file. This file would typically be only 10KB. If a second snapshot is taken of a new edit, that information is stored in the same xmp file and results in an increase in that file size from say 10KB to 15KB. The exact size will be determined by the complexity of the edit.

    If you are working with DNG, the edit information is saved in the DNG file and a second snapshot will result in the extra edit information being added to the DNG. Again, a relatively minor increase in file size.

    You can save quite e few different snapshots if you want and this is when the file storage issue would really come into play with the Save or Dupicate method.

    I would strongly urge you to have a close look at the Snapshot feature in ACR. It's very easy to use.

    Dave

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Thanks Dave. Will try snapshots next - so much to learn...

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    With Save from ACR or Duplicate from Bridge, the whole raw file is saved again and this is quite large eg 20MB
    Since ACR is a parametric editor, I can't think of any reasons why anyone would want to save from ACR in anything other than JPG or DNG (or XMP) formats.

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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Since ACR is a parametric editor, I can't think of any reasons why anyone would want to save from ACR in anything other than JPG or DNG (or XMP) formats.
    Nor can I.

  19. #19
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    Re: Saving an edit in ACR?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Can you save different versions of edits in ACR?

    I believe my original edits are gone forever as I missed my chance to say go back to the previous version. I do however have the end result in a layer in a PSD file so all is not lost...

    Can anyone provide some insight or workflow for a situation when you want to save more than one edit of a RAW file before importing into Photoshop?
    [edit: I just now read dje's post about the "snapshot" function in a later version of ACR than mine, so the following advice is probably redundant]

    There is a way to keep different edits (actually, settings) of a RAW file which takes up very little space.

    When a RAW file is opened in PhotoShop, ACR saves what is called a "sidecar file". All your ACR adjustments are in that file but, of course, the RAW file itself is unchanged. (Some people think sidecar files are a nuisance, preferring to convert the RAW to a DNG. Those people usually have quite big hard drives ;-).

    However, you can rename these files e.g. therawfile.xmp to therawfileV1.xmp ending up with as many .xmp sidecar files as you like - and they're only 10KB or so each. You can even have one called mywierd.xmp and use it on any raw file you like. All Adobe does is look for an .xmp file in the same folder as your raw file with the same name. If you're opening e.g. therawfile.nef, ACR looks for a file named therawfile.xmp and uses all the setting in there when opening the .nef file. If it doesn't find a matching .xmp file, it opens the .nef file with the ACR default settings.

    So, in the same folder as a .nef file, you can bring in any .xmp file you like and make it's name the same as the .nef file file and Bob's yer uncle! Or, in the same folder, keep all these different .xmp's and rename the one you want use before opening the .nef file in ACR. In a nutshell, this satisfies your requirement to save edits to a RAW file done in ACR.

    So, workflow:

    Open raw file in ACR, adjust as required, then head to Photoshop.

    If you want to keep what you see but would like tp try different settings before further post-processing, exit from the file in Photoshop (without saving it). Open up the folder where the raw file is and re-name the .xmp file but not the raw file.

    Open the raw file again in ACR - it will open at the ACR default setting as if you had never opened.

    Repeat as required . . .

    Beware that, in my version 5.4 of ACR, clicking on the "save" button takes you to a dialog where the end result is a big fat DNG file, which is not what you want, if I understand you correctly.

    Good luck,
    Last edited by xpatUSA; 13th February 2013 at 06:44 PM. Reason: added a workflow

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