Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Using Relative paths in Lightroom

A while back I mentioned that I found Lightroom to be a bit "claustrophobic". I hadn't been using the system long when I came across an example of this: I noticed, that when I selected Edit in Photoshop that Lightroom first creates a psd file in the same directory as the raw file then opens this file in Photoshop. This is all well and good but personally I would like to use Tiff format and not have the files in the same directory (I know I'm a control freak).

So I wandered off to the preferences section and there I seem to be able to change the file format (which is great), but not the folder the file is created in (which isn't). So I take a look in the Export options, there I can enter a subfolder but it won't let me enter a relative path it has to be a sub folder….arrgh!

For those that don't know what I am on about a relative path is something like this ../tiffs the two dots mean "up one level" and the slash means go to a sub folder. So in this case we are asking to go to a tiffs folder that has the same parent as our current folder.

Another annoyance is why have different setups for editors and exports? As far as i can see editors are really only a specific type of export, so why configure them in 2 different places?

Most sane people would by now have just let the generated files go into a subfolder and have done with it, but I have been doing things this way for 3 or 4 years now & I don't see why I should change just because someone at Adobe can't be bothered to support relative paths.

So I decided to see if there was a way round the problem and eventually I think I have it sorted.

First go into preferences and click on the external editing tab. Down in the additional external editor section you need to setup the program you want to use and the file format. From the dropdown menu at the top you can then select save current settings as a new preset and name your settings.

Now we need to add a new filename template. Click on the dropdown for filename and create a new preset. This is where you can add a relative path.

Now when I call up an external editor it works just how I want it to…..

…well except Photoshop CS2 - someone at Adobe really hates relative paths. Photoshop doesn’t seem to open the paths with relative addressing in them. Most other applications seem to understand that

really means

But Photoshop doesn’t! In part two I'll be detailing my little fix that gets round this problem.


Grant Kinney said...

I usually just drag the file from the Library/Grid view to the Photoshop icon on my dock (Mac OS X). I do have to then select the folder, file type, and name when saving, but I usually creative a separate derivative folder anyway.

Kudos on your comprehensive investigation of this issue!

Chris Shepherd said...

Hi Grant,

Thanks for stopping by. A separate derivatives folder is a good idea - The DAM book raves about them.

I just can't stand doing things manually...I'm just lazy I guess.