Lightroom 2.0 Beta – What’s New!

This is a quick intro to the new tools available in the 2.0 Beta. It’s not an exhaustive list, and there’s been a lot more work under the hood that we can’t see. It would also be worth reading the Read Me file included with the installation. But in the meantime, allow me to whet your appetite…….

wedge Major Changes
wedge Global Changes
wedge Dual Monitors!
* The second screen may either be a second window on the same screen (useful for those running a single large monitor) or as a window/full screen view on a second screen.
wedge Your options are:
* Grid – for example, Grid on the second display while using Develop on the main screen. You can only have Grid mode on one display at a time.
* Normal Loupe – shows the image which has been selected on the main screen.
* Live Loupe – shows the image you’re currently floating over on the main screen, and updates live as you move the mouse.
* Locked Loupe – fixes your chosen image on screen, for use when comparing or as a Shirley image.
* Compare – usual Compare mode, but you can select and rearrange the images on the main screen whilst viewing Compare mode on the second display.
* Survey – usual Survey mode, but you can select and rearrange the images on the main screen whilst viewing Survey mode on the second display.
wedge 64 bit
* 64 bit support is now available for Mac and Windows (as long as the machine and operating system are 64 bit capable).
* For many functions, such as building previews or doing large exports, it won’t make a big difference as those are mainly tied to disc I/O speeds. It will be faster for general processing speed though, and Vista 64 bit operating system running the 64 bit version shouldn’t particularly see Out of Memory errors.
* There’s a separate download for 64 bit Windows version. The Mac version has a simple checkbox – select the App, Cmd-I to Get Info, and you’ll see the checkbox there.
wedge Import
* Maximum size has gone from 10,000 pixels to 30,000 pixels, enabling the import of panoramic images.
wedge Library Module
* The layout of the Library module has change – all filtering and searching is now done from a large filters bar which stretches right across the top of the Grid view. This can be accessed via the \ key or View > Show Filter View.
* The left hand panels now contain specific image sources – Folders or Collections. Metadata editing has moved to the right panel.
wedge The Filters Bar
* The ‘Text’ filter replaces Find, and is used to searching for text within a variety of metadata fields, such as filenames, keywords, etc.
* The ‘Refine’ filters include flags, star ratings, colour labels, and master/virtual copies. It’s also gained an icon for ‘no label’ and ‘custom label’. These same filters can still be accessed on the Filmstrip where they were before – click the RF button to show them.
wedge The ‘Metadata’ filters allow you to easily combine filters on a variety of metadata fields.
* You can add additional columns by going to Library > Filter by Metadata > Add Column or by floating over the end of each column title bar and waiting for the + sign to appear.
* Select multiple options in a column using the Ctrl/Cmd and Shift keys.
* The Metadata filters now offer a few additional options that the previous Metadata Browser didn’t. Flash State, GPS Data, City, State, Province, Copyright Status, Job have all been added. Also now included are filtering on specific Develop settings – Aspect Ratio (Portrait/Landscape/Square), Treatment (Colour or Grayscale) and Develop Preset!
* The Metadata filters can be combined with Text or Refine filters for a very powerful yet simple search facility. To combine all three, hold down Shift while clicking on the filter section names (i.e. hold down Shift and click on Text, Refine and Metadata)
* The combinations of filters can be saved as filter presets for easy access.
wedge Keywording
* The Keyword Tags panel on the left has become the Keyword List panel on the right.
* The Keywording Panel in the right also has a useful tweak. The Keyword Set section now has a ‘Suggested Keywords’. This intelligently suggests keywords based on your previous keyword combinations and the keywords assigned to images nearby.
wedge Collections
* The Collections panel has been given a complete overhaul.
* Hierarchical collections are not available in the beta, but are expected to return for the final release. There are ‘Collection Sets’ or folders to keep all of your collections tidy.
* Collections remember your settings, whether for filters, slideshow, print, or web.
* The Collections panel is now visible in each of the output modules (slideshow/print/web).
* Specific module collections are created when you create a new collection in the slideshow/print/web modules. These also retain settings for any of the modules, but are identified with an icon describing the module in which you first created the collection, which is useful for identification. Double clicking on that module-specific collection will take you directly to the right module.
wedge Smart Collections!
* You can now select a series of criteria and these Smart Collections are updated live. (This is also known on other programs as Rules, Smart Folders etc.)
* Hit the + button to add additional criteria
* Hold down Alt/Opt while hitting the + button to add additional more complex criteria.
wedge Develop Module
* The Crop/Heal/Clone/Red Eye buttons have moved from the toolbar to their new home just below the histogram to join the new Local Corrections tool. The options appear directly below the icons when that tool is selected, and the panels now have an on/off switch to see a before/after view of your adjustments.
wedge Local Corrections
* Huge amounts will be written about the new local corrections, no doubt, so I won’t go into detail here. A quick summary:
* You can paint masks on to the image, which are fully editable.
* You can use these masks to adjust exposure, brightness, clarity, saturation and tint.
* You can have multiple masks on the same image, all doing different adjustments.
* The Auto Mask function intelligently masks off areas of different colour to protect these areas without taking hours to build a perfect mask.
* It’s not possible to do these tools justice in writing – you have to download and play! They’re incredible!
* The Auto Settings have been adjusted and work better than previously. They are still automatic settings, so they will never be as good as a trained eye, but they no longer blow out average jpegs, which is a huge improvement.
* The Clarity slider can now go into negative figures – with a lovely softening as a result.
* The Lens Correction panel has gone, and the controls moved.
* The Vignettes panel is a much requested addition. In addition to the lens correction vignette which has been rehomed, there is now a post-crop vignette, which allows artistic vignettes locked to the crop edge.
* Chromatic Aberration is now at home in the Detail panel
* The Detail panel now has a small 1:1 preview window to show the corrections live. Use the TAT tool to adjust the area of image that you’re viewing. If you hide that preview, a small popup preview appears while you adjust sliders, giving a 1:1 view.
wedge Keyboard shortcuts – the + and – keys have been tied to the Develop sliders.
* Adding shift increases the increments of movement.
* , and . keys cycle through the sliders giving each focus in turn, or you can single-click on the slider label to give that slider focus. The slider label will be brighter than all of the others.
* ; will reset the selected slider to its default setting.
* A new shortcuts list is available – check the end of the page for the links.
wedge Export Dialog
* Export to Source Folder can now export files directly to the same folder as the original, or a subfolder of that original folder.
* Automatically add exported files back into your Lightroom catalog, bypassing the Import dialog, and automatically stack with the original.
* Automatically open the exported files in another program, without requiring an alias/shortcut in the Export Actions folder.
wedge Output sharpening
* Extensive work has gone into implementing Bruce Fraser’s ideas on the ideal sharpening workflow.
* Don’t worry about the fact there are no controls – it’s already been adjusted for optimal output, based on the experience of the team at Pixel Genius who created PhotoKit Sharpener.
* To get the best out of the automated sharpening, you need a properly capture sharpened image, so the sharpening settings in Develop mode are still essential.
* Screen sharpening is based on most people owning LCD screens now, so they may look a little soft on CRT’s.
wedge Edit with…
wedge Edit with Photoshop now has new options
* Files may now be opened directly into Photoshop CS3 10.0.1 without creating an interim Tiff or PSD file. Other external editors may still require an interim file.
* Open as Smart Object in Photoshop… opens the file as a smart object in Photoshop.
* Merge to Panorama in Photoshop… opens the selected files into the Merge to Panorama dialog in Photoshop CS3.
* Merge to HDR in Photoshop… opens the selected files into the Merge to HDR dialog in Photoshop CS3.
* Open as Layers in Photoshop… opens the selected files into layers in a single file in Photoshop CS3.
* Warnings – The new options require Photoshop CS3 10.0.1 to work correctly, and will give a warning dialog about the ACR version not matching. That will be updated at another time. These functions should only be used for test purposes at the moment, as some metadata may not be carried across to the new file.
wedge Print Module
wedge The much requested ‘Print to Jpeg’ is finally available!
* It includes options for resolution, file dimensions, jpeg quality, and also custom ICC profiles (not just sRGB, AdobeRGB, ProPhotoRGB). This means that contact sheets can be created, borders can be added, multiple images per page can be arranged, and these can all be sent to offsite labs for printing.
wedge Print sees the introduction of Picture Packages.
* Multiple versions of the same image can be laid out on a single page in a variety of sizes, unlike the fixed grid contact sheets available in 1.x.
* These are currently repetitions of the same image, not multiple different images, but will be very useful for creating ‘schools photography’ prints, passport photographs and the suchlike.
wedge Print Sharpening
* A hint – using glossy sharpening on matte paper should look ok, but using matte sharpening on glossy paper will likely look awful!
* As per Output Sharpening in the Export diaog, advanced algorithms automatically work out your output sharpening for you.
* Also now available is 16 bit output to local printers, for those using high end inkjet printers and suchlike.
wedge Web Module
* HTML previewing is disabled in the Mac 64-bit version for the time being, due to a bug in Safari. Switch to 32-bit or use the flash galleries instead.
wedge Other Minor Adjustments
wedge Import
* Import Initial Previews has added an additional option – ‘Embedded & Sidecar’ – this reads larger embedded previews. Lightroom will still need to render its own previews, but it’s good for starting to sort your images whilst waiting for previews to build
wedge General
* Added to menu File > Plugin Manager
* Added to menu File > Plugin Extras
* Added to menu View > Show Filter View
* Added to menu View > Retouch in Develop
* Added to menu Window > Zoom All
wedge Added to menu Window > Secondary Display
* Added to menu Show, Full Screen, Grid, Loupe, Live Loupe, Locked Loupe, Compare, Survey, Show Filter View, Zoom In, Zoom Out, Zoom In, Zoom Out, Increase Thumbnail Size, Decrease Thumbnail Size
wedge Library Module
* Right clicking on any folder in the Folders panel has gained a new command – Update Folder Location – which allows you to change the folder links without having to first remove the existing folder and wait for Lightroom to realise it’s gone missing.
* Right clicking on a keyword has gained a new command – Assign this Keyword to Selected Photo
* Added to menu Library > Filter by Metadata command gives you the option to add or remove columns to the Metadata filters
* Added to menu Library > Plugin Extras
* Added to menu Photo > Lock to Second Window
* Added to menu Metadata > Edit Metadata Presets…
* Develop Module
*Text fields for the sliders now ignore incorrect entries, such as hitting a letter by accident, rather than throwing an error message.
* Export & Edit with…
wedge Slideshow Module
* Play > Which Photos has been renamed Play > Content, and added Use Flagged Photos
* Print Module
wedge Web Module
* Web > Which Photos has been renamed Web > Content, and added Use Flagged Photos
wedge Now what….?
* If you have a version 1 Lightroom license, you can download and start playing!
* If you don’t have a license, you can download the 2.0 beta and run it on a 30 day trial, or you can ask someone with a license for an invitation to gain you access for the entire beta period.
* The 2.0 beta will not open 1.x catalogs, but the final release will.
* Loading the 2.0 beta should not overwrite or interfere with a machine currently running Lightroom 1.3.1. You can run both versions on the same machine, although it’s best not to have both running at the same time.
wedge Normal beta procedures apply:
* It’s an early beta build and it WILL have bugs.
* Don’t use it on anything valuable – make sure you have complete backups.
* There are no guarantees that anything you do on the Beta software will carry through to the final release. This particularly applies to the new functionality listed above, especially the new local correction tools.
wedge There aren’t any help files! But 2 main forums will be discussing it in detail, and will be pleased to provide assistance:
* http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/lightroom – the official Adobe beta forum
* http://www.lightroomforums.net – a private forum with a friendly welcoming atmosphere
* Come and join the fun!!!

There are a number of new shortcuts, and changes to existing shortcuts, so here’s the latest list. If you find any I haven’t added, please let me know!

Keyboard Shortcuts – Windows 2.0 beta (pdf format, last updated 31/3/08)

Keyboard Shortcuts – Mac 2.0 beta (pdf format, last updated 31/3/08)

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One Response to Lightroom 2.0 Beta – What’s New!

  1. Richard says:

    Nice one and keep up the good work

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