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Thread: ACR Tools

  1. #1
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    ACR Tools

    ACR has a number of tools (e.g. Adjustment Brush/Graduated Filter/color management stuff, etc.) that accomplish more or less the same things that are also available in Photoshop. Is there any particular advantage to applying these functions in ACR, as opposed to waiting and doing them later in PS?

    And, IF there is an advantage to doing them in ACR: if you forget to do something after processing in PS, is there any reason you wouldn't just re-open the image back into ACR and take care of it that way?

    Just curious ... thanks.

    Lon

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: ACR Tools

    The basic advantage is that you are using all the data available from the RAW file itself when you edit inside ACR. Once you get out or export it to photoshop it is converted to jpeg or tiff or PSD, etc., depending on your output preference. Photoshop per se cannot handle direct RAW file, it has to go first to a RAW editor like Lightroom or ACR (which is basically the same but with different interface) to read the data and evaluate the metadata information. If you have a very definite idea or vision as to how to manipulate and "correct" your raw image (straight out of the camera) then ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) can easily do the job for you. However, if you are unsure or just playing around with your concept then there is a possibility that you are going to need the plethora of powerful editing features of photosop aside from the ones available at ACR. Some professional photographers relate their digital workflow as 80/20 ratio - meaning 80% inside ACR or Lightroom then the remaining 20% on photoshop itself. I have not heard nor read from any of the post-processing books that I have where the situation was reversed.

    If you forgot something that you want to do on your image you can always go back to the last edited state that you had in ACR and simply add the remaining edits that you want to do. ACR is a non-destructive process. Your RAW data will always be intact no matter what you do inside ACR or lightroom. Once you tweak it inside photoshop, then that "tweaked data" is another data but not the original RAW file you have. That's how I understand the process on the book that I have. Wait for some of the other members to share their knowledge so you can be enlightened further on the subject.

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    Re: ACR Tools

    Yes, well, ummm. Good question, Lon. It's the answers which may be difficult.

    I have tried those adjustment brushes, etc, but so far I haven't had that much success with them; but possibly I haven't spent enough time with them.

    And as I have become proficient with using layers and masks etc I find that to be easier. OK, I'm using the word 'proficient' a bit loosely, but I have become familiar with those techniques.

    Basically, as far as I can see, Raw Adjustment Brushes work in much the same way as an Adjustment Layer plus mask used after converting.

    Yes, any adjustments made during conversion are easily re-editable, as Willie said, but much the same can be said of doing those adjustments on layers after conversion.

    And, also yes, when I make a complete hash of something, or forgot to do an adjustment during conversion I just close the image and reopen the original Raw File then start again.

    Getting to understand these particular Raw adjustments, plus a few of the other specialised options, is something that I have 'bookmarked' in my 'must try one day' list. But at the moment, there is just so much else to do.

    That is the problem of being retired - you never get a day off!

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    Re: ACR Tools

    Hi Lon,

    The potentially big advantage of doing all these things in ACR is that it combines all the selections that you make into one BIG adjustment, which is applied at one time - so there's less damage to the image due to multiple adjustments (which occur in Photoshop). (Think of it as "tailoring the conversion" rather than "adjusting" the image). Combine this with the fact that this one big adjustment is being applied to an image that's still in linear gamma, and you really can extract the maximum possible.

    The same adjustments once the gamma has been converted can have an accumulative degradation effect (especially if they're large adjustments). So with my personal exception of sharpening, the rule is "anything you CAN do in ACR you SHOULD do in ACR".

    Hope this helps

  5. #5
    Lon Howard's Avatar
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    Re: ACR Tools

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post

    So with my personal exception of sharpening, the rule is "anything you CAN do in ACR you SHOULD do in ACR".

    Hope this helps
    Simplicity is the name of my best friend, and she never fails to help.

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