Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Lightroom Painter : Odd metaphor but very useful

I've started using Adobe Lightroom for a photography project at work. I started a few weeks ago as the number of photos I needed to manage for the project grew and grew. It didn't take me long to get my head around Lightroom's structure and to find it quite indispensible. It wasn't perfect but the issues were small niggles rather than real issues. So I was very interested to see what they had changed with the 1.1 update that was released last week. The changes were mostly subtle but all were welcome. But there was one that took me a little while to get my head around ; the Painter. When viewing a collection or folder and you're in grid view a spray can icon appears in the grid tool bar. The spray can has a vertical tag icon and the tooltip says "Painter". On rollover we see some dots emerge from the cans nozzle. So you select the spray can and it comes off the tool bar (there is a darker circle showing where it belongs). Clicking on the circle puts it back. But you find yourself wondering what the hell does it paint. With the tool selected a partial answer is evident because you now see "Paint : Keywords" with a text field next to the Painters circle. It turns out you can type keywords in the text field and then "paint" them onto multiple images. In fact successive paints will toggle the keyword (i.e if the keyword already exist it is removed. Nice :o)

But wait there's more! It turns out Keywords is one option of many. You could also choose to "Paint" a :
  • Label
  • Flag
  • Rating
  • Metadata
  • Settings
  • Rotation
Settings is pretty interesting as it lets you paint on one of the presets (i.e Sepia tone, Grayscale, sharpen) or your own user defined settings. Rotation is sort of fun as you watch a whole row of images rotate clockwise.

It still feels sort of odd to be "painting" on keywords or a rotation. But ignoring the metaphor it's a very useful tool if you use any of these attributes. I use keywords to order my collections and I use ratings when working out image preferences. The keywords I use in bulk. Though ratings I tend to use on one image at a time. But I'm sure we all have very different workflows so this will suit different users in different ways.


Brian said...

thanks i have been tryiong to figure out how to do that FORVER..

Alex said...

Yeah cheers for that. I've been using LR for a while now and just wondered this evening what the paint can was all about. I googled "lightroom painter" and your post was the first result I followed. What a result. I love the internet!

geekglue said...

Thanks for the comment Alex. Glad you found my post useful.

raingirl said...

Thank you so much - so glad this is still on the internet after so many years as I'm new to Lightroom just this year and was also very confused. This will actually be very helpful for me now that I get it!