PhotoshopNews.com
Apr 26, 2005

Camera Raw 3, Photoshop CS2 & Bridge


The release of Adobe Photoshop CS2 heralds a brand new version of Adobe Camera Raw. With the 3.0 version, Camera Raw has come of age as a significant workflow workhorse rather than a mere Plug-in for processing raw digital captures into Photoshop. Where once Camera Raw was tied to Photoshop alone in a modal processing state-one image at a time, Camera Raw has been expanded into a new dual-purpose role by working in both Adobe Bridge, and Photoshop CS2 for processing raw files. (Bridge is Adobe’s new file browsing application.) Now, a photographer can adjust settings of raw files while Camera Raw is hosted by Bridge and be processing images by Camera Raw hosted by Photoshop CS2-at the same time. Camera Raw has broken its modal shackles.

While the basic appearance of the plug-in is reminiscent of it’s previous incarnation, some substantial new tools have been added along with interface and usability enhancements. One can choose to hide the Workflow Options to expand the preview areas of Camera Raw. In addition to the previous RGB color readouts, there’s a new Color Sampler tool that allows for up to 9 color sample readings that persist until cleared. Users can also select options to show both highlight and shadow clipping points while adjusting images. Two additional tools grace the top of the tool bar-the Crop tool and a slick new way of auto-determining rotational correction with the Straighten tool.


This is the default Camera Raw Dialog with the new functionality.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.


In this view, the “Workflow Options” have been hidden to allow for a larger Preview. Note: the option to Always Fit in View makes it easier to display the preview as large as possible in the dialog.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.


In this view, the figure shows the ability to display up to 9 color samples in the image.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.


The ability to show highlight and shadow clipping live by using the check boxes. The color indicates which channel is clipping.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.


The new Level tool in Camera Raw 3 allows for easy rotational corrections. The Level tool is being used at the bottom of the plate.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.


This is the result of the rotation correction showing the crop required. Additional cropping can be done or you can remove the crop entirely. Note, the crop is only applied to the processed file, the crop does not alter your original raw file.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.

The truly unexpected cool new feature of Camera Raw 3.0 has got to be its new filmstrip mode. When selecting multiple images, either while being hosted in Bridge or in Photoshop, Camera Raw shows, in a strip at the side, thumbnails of all the selected images. It is in this mode that Camera Raw’s newly found dual role really refines the workflow potential. Select multiple images inside of Bridge and by using the Open in Camera Raw (Mac-Command/Win-Control ‘R’) you actually are opening the images into Camera Raw hosted by Bridge, not Photoshop. However, Camera Raw can also be used by Photoshop-at the exact same time-for processing images in the background. Just click on the Save Images to add the images to a processing queue you set up. In the meantime you can continue adjusting images and even exit the Camera Raw dialog box while Photoshop keeps chugging in the background processing images.



This is the Camera Raw 3 Film Strip mode. Selecting multiple images in Bridge allow you to work with multiple images in Camera Raw at the same time.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.

There is very little difference in Camera Raw’s appearance whether Bridge or Photoshop is hosting it. The only real clue is the highlighting of either the “Done” button or the “Open” button.


When Bridge is hosting Camera Raw, the Done button is highlighted.


When hosted by Photoshop it’s the Open button that’s highlighted.

Why’s this a big deal? First off, it means you don’t even need Photoshop launched to be able to adjust raw settings, crop, rotate or do image selection ratings. You can do all of that just with Bridge launched. You don’t need Photoshop launched until it comes time for processing the images. Secondly, you can be adjusting the image settings in the foreground while sending images for processing by Photoshop in the background. This greatly extends the workflow options and cuts down on the time it takes photographers to arrive at fully optimized processed files.


Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.

The Save dialog allows for choosing the destination for the saved file, renaming and allows file conversion from raw to DNG, JPG, TIFF and PSD with file format options.

Yes, you can still use Actions and Batch operations in Photoshop if you wish. And yes, you can use the Image Processor to process images whose settings have already been adjusted. But for those who need to be adjusting settings while processing in the background, this new functionality completely changes the old way of working with Camera Raw in Photoshop.


The new Image Processor, which is the descendent of the old Dr. Brown’s Processor.
Click on the image to see the full dialog in a new window.

This article is an excerpt of an article coming out in the May/June issue of Digital Photo Pro magazine.

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