External Editor Settings


Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® Plugins 101


Lesson Info

External Editor Settings

We are going, tio go into plug ins today. So today is all about plug ins, but as we did yesterday, we talked about some rules. You remember our plug in manifesto yesterday, and we want to talk a little bit about the rules of using plug ins and what's important about a plug in, so I thought we would cover that first. So when we're talking about plug ins, some of the things that I like to keep in mind when I'm looking at a plug in and you because you pretty much every plug and unlike presets, presets, you just kind of have to see what you see, what they do, and then buy them because there's no way to, like, evaluate them there's no evaluation period, but a plug in eyes very different. Usually you khun download the plug in and work on it for thirty days or fifteen days or something like that and evaluated so there's no harm and downloading every plug in on the planet and evaluating it for free and deciding what you like. But there are some tactics for evaluation that you really need to ke...

ep in mind on dh. They all fall back to our plugging manifesto, which, if you, if you look through that plug in manifesto, you'll see that one of our principal things that we want to follow is automation. We want to be ableto automate things, and so one of the rules that we're going to learn about today is the ability toe automate a plug in. If the plug in is not really conducive to automation, then I'm not really interested in the plug in. So for instance, if I can't somehow tell the plug in to utilize a specific a preset or action, or something inside the plug in, and if I can't control it from photo shop through saying action, then I'm not interested in the plug, because even though a plug in tends to allow you to go in and work on it and do a do something quickly, like you can open something up and make something happened, that's really fantastic, and it only takes seconds to do it. Those seconds khun b too long. Sometimes, when you need to do fifty images, you want those to happen really fast, and so you need to either be able tio, when you're in photo shop, hit an action that will do what the plug in does, or you need to from from light room, be able to create an export action that will exported to photoshopped photo shop will tell it what to do, and then return it to light room while you're sleeping, so you want your plug ins to be completely actionable from photo shop so that you can command it from photoshopped or light room without ever having to actually do anything in the plug in which means that you have to be able to make presets inside of the plug in so those were some things that are pretty critical another thing that I I'm looking for in a plug in is I'm looking for something that I can share my presets now for me that's particularly interesting because I sell preset type things and aiken then give people preset things and I can you know if you're on my mailing list I can send you some cool nick presets that I've made or you know things like that so for me that's a little different because it's kind of part of what I do is a sin instructor but even if I wasn't instructing the ability to move the presets from one computer to the other is pretty critical and if I have to every time I make a pre set in a plug in in a plug in I have to then somehow exported then run it over to the other computer and then imported that's kind of annoying if I can't just grab all of him and dragged him over to another folder with cem dragon drop ease it becomes quite annoying I don't really like it s o some of the plug ins that we have you you can make you khun export the plug and are the precept from you know, your other computer and bring it over, and if you double click it, it'll automatically install it. That's that's okay, that seems to work, okay, but I prefer something that's really easy because, like, light room has is the ultimate model for presets, because all you have to do is drag them into a folder, and then the next time you start up it's on and like we talked yesterday, when we when we made our sink box, we were able to then completely automated the process so that I never have to worry about whether my two computers or the same because they always are, because we made that same fox. So if you find a plug in that has a place for the presets that it's looking for, then you can automate that process, and that makes your life a lot easier. So, that's, another thing I'm looking for in a plug in is that ability to get the presets from one to the other without having to do a lot of effort. That's another thing I'm looking for, the other thing I'm looking for is and this this may seem snotty, but I'm looking for good design in a plug in, not not I mean, obviously I'm looking for toe toe work well, but I'm looking for good design so that when I leave light room, which is really well designed, I'm not going to something that just doesn't make sense, you know, because some things some programs are designed really well on intuitively and others are not and I really disliked being in in an environment where it just doesn't make intuitive sense is to where I'm supposed to be and what I'm supposed to do just things happen faster if it's intuitive yeah so you're talking like user interface and experience when you're using that right? I want a good user interface and experience not just how fast it runs, which is important but how it runs and where I go to do this and where I go to do that because I really don't wantto have to shift gears and think in a strange way to try and get this accomplished when there's so many different plug ins out there you know I might as well have something that works really well and it's intuitive and it makes perfect sense it's so that's another thing I'm looking for and then of course the most important thing well there's two other things the most important thing is how does it make the image look? So can I compare this image to the original and did it degrade the image because most plug ins air not working on raw, they're working on a tiff that you've sent to the plug in so light room copies its own image, copies the raw, makes itself a tiff and then sends the tiff to the plug in and then the plug and works on that or a finger and photo shop, then tiff has already been made for photo shop and then photo shop is delivering the tiff to the plug in the plug and delivers a layer back overto photoshopped. But either way, if you compare the version that comes out of the plug in with the version that is, unplug ind if you if I guess, if that could be a word, if you have not used a plug in on a tip, compare the two and zoom in and see. Is it creating artifacts? Is it creating noise in the shadows? What's happening, you know, to the images of quality image if it's not a quality image coming out of it, doesn't matter how cool that plug in is it's got to go because it's just not worth degrading the quality of your image for a particular look, because there's plenty of plug ins out there that don't degrade your image on day, of course it's important that it's speedy, because if I go to a plug in that's like our you know and it's slow and it's then all of the time that I'm saving quote unquote by going to a plug in to do something automated is eaten up in the fact that it doesn't run quickly so no there's some of the criteria that we have to look for when we're looking for a plug in so I'm going to be mentioned a lot of plug ins and I have a list of them so in the toolbox in my my pdf toolbox on the course page you can look a tw everything that I'm using so I have a link to get you to alien skin I've linked so you'll know what I'm using but you need to evaluate him look at what you know you may look at what I talk about today and then say you know I don't wantto you know, evaluate that software great that's what this is for that's what today is for is for you to see what's out there and what it does and how well it does stuff and then once you've gotten an overview now you take the ones that look really interesting to you and look like you could use them, pull those down go and get those evaluate him and if you love him then you buy it so two questions okay first is do you also look att upgrade ability like plug ins that will keep moving with you as you is, you keep moving with photo shop, especially now that photo shop, you know, every two weeks it could be upgraded potentially yeah, you know, every plug ins goingto have problems when it comes to photo shop upgrading constantly, there may be a time where a plot of a upgrade to photo shop may kill a plug in, you know, because the plug ins doing something tricky or whatever, but most plug ins seemed to be pretty stable when it comes to that, you know, incremental upgrading of photo shop and light room because all all they expect is a tiff to be delivered to them, and then they deliver it back, right? And so it's a pretty easy operation. Now certain plug ins might not work with photo shop, you know, cs three, but they worked with, you know, c s six and creative cloud or whatever, so it kind of depends on how much of an upgrade is talking about, but incremental, I don't I don't really think that's going to be an issue great on, but I do think it's important to feel like you can grow with software on dso I do really like plug ins like nick that have a whole suite, because now you khun grow laterally with the software so you can get the one that you know you need and you really like but then as you come to a point where you're like, you know, I really need hdr capabilities now I can go get that one and it doesn't it's not so far off from what you've been doing before that it's easy to learn and that's really key if you have a suite of software and you work within that sweet it all works together and all works the same that's pretty helpful yeah, for sure it was weird to go to a software where, you know, one version, you know, you know, alien skin is a little bit like this and that they've got two different software is that I that I have used and one is this way and the other is that way there little different, and so they were clearly made for different purposes and at different times. And so when you get a plug in that looks like that it's it's almost like that's two different companies making this somewhere where as you go to nick and it's like it uniforms, right? So cool on dh then next question are you do you know if any of the plug in companies that you use our offer thirty day free trials or any free trials almost all great, almost every single one, so for at least fifteen days too and then and then a lot of the plug ins that we talk tomorrow about the little ones that air inside of light light room and they don't export plug ins and find duplicate plug ins and stuff like that those you can actually download and use on a limited basis for the rest of your life it's only when you want the full functionality of it that you have to donate five bucks or twenty bucks or fifteen bucks or something like that so the little plug ins are virtually free, right? And most of them you can use to some limited extent for free forever. But then if you're using him, if you donate, they'll give you like mohr ability like you can export x, you know, a thousand files instead of fifty or something like that. So awesome. Thank you. All right, so now let's, get into light room and let's talk about when we go to plug ins, how do we get there? And what kind of file? Now? Yesterday we went over the schematic and on the schematic, we talked about the actual file type that we need to send out don't send out a j peg to a plug in it's a bad idea photos shot doesn't even work on a j peg all that well, because jay pegs just don't have enough information there eight bit and most of the time, you're sending him out as s rgb anyway, and so you've got this little eight crayon box that you're trying to draw masterpiece with and it's just not gonna work, so if you're editing j pegs and photo shop, you're doing it wrong, and if you're using j pegs inside of a plug in, you're doing it wrong, it is just not a solid way to work on your images. You're going to end up with banding in the skies, you're going to end up with noise in the shadows and the like the shadows of the face and stuff like that and it just doesn't look good, so send out a tiff sixteen that pro photo rgb if you use that file type, you will be universal. Any plug in that's worth its solid, if a plug in can't take a sixteen bit tiff in pro phone rgb, you don't use that plug in like that's that's it that's it that's the that's. The first thing that you should know is that if you can't use that file type, the plug in isn't worth anything, so don't use that player so that's the file type you want to send out you, you can't send out a psd if you're going to photo shop and then you're gonna work on that. Document in photo shop and use plug ins from within photo shop you can go psd all day long but if you want to go directly to plug ins you got to stand the tiff world instead of the psd world because the tiff document is universal and will be able to be received by anything the psd doesn't always transfer over to a plug in and so it's just it's better to kind of universalized yourself to a tough all right um that being said I actually like psd documents better but if I want to go toe my plug ins I have to use a tiff or I have to go to photo shop first so tip is the more universal document um all right so here we are this is a raw image right now this so this this image is completely raw andi we've done I like it the way it is I'm happy with it this is what I shipped to the client this is this is what they saw this is what they're printing I like it however there we could do something to it we could work on it, we could go in and do some skin retouching we could go in and, you know, do some funky stuff to it so I'm going to just use this image and we're going to see what else we can do to this inside of a plug in all right, so this will be our springboard but the first thing that we need to do is we need to go into our preferences because there's very important little setting called external editing that we need to look at the external editing box and I'm gonna zoom in on this so that we can see it a little bit better the external editing box has a number of options if I'm going directly to photo shop cc and you can see there's two panels here there's a panel up here for editing and photo shop and then there's another panel down here for editing and whatever you want so if I'm going to add it in photo shop cc I can set up what type of file notice that they don't even give you a j peg option that should tell you something right now that's right you person that uses j pegs on pointing at you don't use j pegs so photo shop has already recognized not a good idea to be editing j pegs j peg zahra print on ly document that's what they are you send them out to be printed kind so I I I'm going to send it out as a psd to photo shop because I like the psd document but if you want to universalize it you could make it a tiff I don't want to use any compression if I go to a tiff, by the way just leave it on compressed. You don't files, file space is not expensive, so you know disks are big, they're cheap nowadays, so don't worry about file size just just buck up and do it. Um, the resolution three hundred d p I that is a standard resolution. If you're if you're the kind of guy that's always printing on a jet that's like what you do, then two hundred forty is kind of like the inkjet world that's the file resolution for the inkjet world. But if you're printing with printers like white house, custom color or picked taj or whoever bay photo, any of those kind of places, the resolution that you normally are going to see there is three hundred gps, so that's what we send it out that's that doesn't change the size of the file, by the way, that's a common misconception if I change this resolution to seventy two d p I it does not change the number of pixels in the file, it just changes the dp I setting to seventy two, which means the picture gets bigger because it spreads the pixels out so it doesn't. It doesn't throw away any data that's just the preference, so that when I get to photoshopped photo shop is showing me the document as a three hundred d p I document it's just preference so it's not changing anything all it's doing is just setting a preference so three hundred fbi and its pro photo rgb and here's here's your three file types s rgb rgb nineteen, ninety eight and then pro photo pro photo is the most color information you can get and s r g b is the least color information you can get the most universal the most universally uses this nineteen ninety eight but pro photo is a much bigger, better color space the question though a lot of times will be well if I can't see the information and my monitor can't display pro photo rgb and a printer can print pro photo rgb because the space is this big and the printer could only print this amount of color and I'm giving it this amount of color what's the point in having a pro photo rgb and here's the point if I have a monitor that only displays this amount of information but I have this amount of information it's perfectly I'm perfectly able to then shift the pixels and the color around and that little area there is still staying perfectly final after that the information is far more than it could ever produce and so when I shift I don't see banding in the skies and I don't see noise created because I've got all of this information that I can shift around without ever seeing beyond the scope of what I have so it's like sand painting if you if you're if you're sam painting with different colors of sand and you have on ly like this much like an inch of of sand when you shift it you can see the bottom of the box because there's not enough sand but if you have like a foot of sand then when you shift the sand you don't see the bottom of the box because there's more sand underneath the sand you shifted so if you're going to get a much more pleasing experience and final sand painting if you have deeper sand yeah so yeah you want pro photo rgb because it's got this much information and then you can shift it around all day long and you don't ever see the bottom of the box you know so pro photo rgb sixteen bit three hundred d p I tiff that's where you can go now if you're going straight photo shop you canoe photo shop or you can do tip if you're here in the external editor you're going to do a fine so any application you can choose see this this pre set this is new and I don't remember when this came in I don't know if it was for I think it was for where this came in might have been three but I think it's for used to be that you only had two you had the photo shop option and then that everything else option and then you would choose what editors going toe it's going to send it to but now you have the ability to choose a very you know whatever editor you want so if I'm going to send it to hdr effects pro to then that's the settings that it's going to send it out out right and so and then look notice that it's it adobe rgb nineteen ninety eight which I don't want so I hit pro photo rgb and now see the preset has been edited and if I click on this preset drop down and go to the bottom aiken update the nick hdr effects pro preset so now any time I export to that program it's going to use this kind of document descendant and so I can choose each and every single one of my different so if I'm gonna go to rad lab I'm going to get a tiff pro photo rgb sixteen bit three hundred d p I image so you khun if there are certain programs that won't accept a pro photo rgb they'll only accept a nineteen ninety eight then you can click on nineteen ninety eight for that one program and send it out so you're always going to get exactly what you need in any given program now notice on this one on this external editor it also gives you j peg option so if I were sending a photo to some funky little editor that I liked for, I don't know for instagram photos or something that on ly edited j pegs, I could then choose that as an option for editing in whatever. I don't know what that program is, I don't own that program that will only edit j pegs, I mean even snap seed. Well, well, which is made by nick, by the way, but but even snap seed, the desktop application program will edit a tip, so I'm not sure what program will on lee added jake bags, but whatever it is probably doesn't need to be on your on your computer system just saying, yeah, tips the way to go, tips the way to go all right, but now we have are two different sets remember, set up all of your things, so as you get a new program, you're going to choose the program and you go find whatever program it is you want to edit in, so I've already chosen all these, but if I was going to choose, you know, a perfect photo suite, then I would come in here and click on perfect photo sweet and hit choose, and now I've got perfect photo suite is going to be my new application. And I'm going to send a tiff to it pro photo rgb three hundred d p I once I've done that I'm going to save the current settings as a new pre set and I'm going to just call this perfect photo suite and then hit create and now I've got a new pre set that will send it to perfect photo sleep so that is how you work with the preferences and those all need to be set up before you start doing your work because if you don't set that up then you're going to be having an exercise in frustration because it's just going to randomly choose a file type and you're going to be like a crap that's the wrong file type or whatever important down at the bottom is this stack with original when I ask it toe export an image to a specific place toe work on it I want it to come backto light room which it will do because light room is actually making the document and then sending it out to the plug in I wanted to stack it with the original so it's always sitting on top of the original so what it does is it makes a new document and then it stacks and on top of the original so that the original becomes inferior to it that it's not going to be seen and you're going to see the new one instead sitting on top of it you can tell it not to do that, but I prefer to keep them together so that then when I export to the client they only see the one on top I'm gonna ask you a quick question just for clarification can you reiterate which software you're in right now you're right now I'm in lightning greats I'm just setting a preference inside of light santo what I'm sending out perfect guys there and you need to do that you need to tell light room when I send to this program I need this document when I send to that program and in that document and you need to tell it to stack it with the original then below that you also want to set up a template to name the file so notice that this template here is telling me that the name is going to be image zero zero zero two dot psd it's the file name so whatever the file name is it's going toe name it but it's going to be so if the original file is a d n g so oh to dmg then it's going to be o two psd so it's fine there find to sit in the same folder because they're different extensions on the end but some people like to do like ed it at the end or something like that so if that's the case go ahead and name make a new file name, and these air these air, just simple presets here. So if you click on file name and decide, I'm going to create a new one, you can edit it, and you can change. You know any file name to any structure you want. You could say, file, name, dash at it and say that is a preset. So now, every time you export something into a file, another kind of file it's going to stack it on top and it's going to name it, whatever the file name is, dash edit, so cool some people like to do that. I like to keep it the same file name on, keep things simple, so that's, the that's, the way we roll. Okay, so that external editing is inside of the preferences inside of light room. And once you're done setting that up, you are ready to do some plug in work.

Class Description

Want to know how to tailor Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom® to make them even more powerful? Join creativeLIVE instructor Jared Platt for a three-day introduction to the plugins that will change the way you use Adobe’s seminal programs.

Jared will guide you through a wide variety of plugins as he explains why and how to use each one. You’ll learn about building a workflow that incorporates plugins, saving you time and money in the post-production process. Jared will also cover ways to synchronize and implement plugins on multiple computers. You’ll also explore the built-in tools in Lightroom® and Adobe® Photoshop® for creating and implementing your own plugins.

By the end of this course, you’ll be ready to harness the power of plugins and take your image editing skills to new heights.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0, Adobe Lightroom 5