Creative Cloud is very useful for many things. In a recent blog post i wrote about how i’ve been using it to transfer my negative scans to my Lightroom main machine and use two computers in tandem, without having to setup any networking servers (saving me time and money).
Another great use is when you are collaborating on edits, especially with your Lightroom adjustments/keywords etc. As we know Lightroom is the best non-destructive image editor out there, and it’s probably the same application that your peer(s) are using.
Lightroom as an image processor doesn’t actually make any changes to the physical files (RAW, Video, JPG etc.), until the adjustments are exported. By default Lightroom places any adjustments (including keywords) into the catalog, however, it can be configured to place any changes in a very small .xmp file next to the image file. This occurs, especially when a native camera manufacturer file exists (i.e. Canon, Nikon etc), but will embed any changes in the .xmp file into an Adobe format, like PSD, TIFF or DNG files. These adjustments are carried/embedded for each format by using a small meta data file called a .XMP file, this file contains the adjustments.
Configuring Lightroom to write to this small .XMP file is pretty simple and can be done in the catalog settings. Within the catalog settings, the ‘Automatically write meta data changes into .XMP’ needs to be turned on, once done, the adjustments will be written to the external .xml file automatically (you can also force this to happen using CMD+S (Mac)/ Ctrl+S (Win).
Obviously this is useful when used locally, and can support a back up strategy of your adjustments, without adding much over head to your setup/storage. But this .xmp file change can be very useful when collaborating with others, using Creative Cloud.
Creative Cloud as you probably already know can be used as a source for images, but it’s possible to add the Creative Cloud folder (or folder within it) to your Lightroom catalog. Just make sure that the file action is set to ‘ADD’ otherwise, Lightroom will copy the files.
Let us take these three images, that exist in the Creative Cloud folder.
N.B. Anything in the creative cloud folder (as long as folder sync is turned on (set up is covered in this blog post)), Further configuration to the Creative Cloud folder is described here (I.e. choosing folders to sync/not sync).
When adjustments are made to the image and CTRL+S/CMD+S is pressed (will be done automatically as well, but the save works if you need it on demand), a .XMP file is created next to the file on the Creative Cloud folder
At this point, the .xmp file is synced to the Creative Cloud by using the desktop application.
To enable others to access the folder, in this case above, the ‘RAW files’ (you will most likely have a different file name), folder supports a right click, and doing this will allow collaboration. Selecting Collaborators will take you to the Web view of the folder and ask for an Adobe ID for the user to collaborate with. The process to do this is covered in this post.
Once the folder has collaborators assigned, (using an Adobe ID (even users without an active subscription), they will need to accept an invitation (sent by email), also people using and older version of Lightroom that have an Adobe ID but don’t have a subscription, can partake). The other user(s) will just need to import the folder into their Lightroom, and make sure that the .xml setting is turned in the catalog settings. Changes can now be made to the image on their computer and any changes with either be automatically sent over the Creative Cloud (or via CTRL+S/CMD+S) and will be send to the other collaborators.
Other collaborators will be able to see the changes, by just Synchronising the folder where the changes have been made. Synchronise folder can be called up by right clicking on the folder in question (which can be a root folder or a sub folder).
N.B. Lightroom does not have any check-in or check out locking mechanism, so you will just need to have a conversation with the other collaborators when the edits are ready for syncing.
I hope you enjoy this, but again, it’s a manual process and does not have a read only configuration.