Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Tip: Color Label Matching between Photo Mechanic and Adobe Lightroom & Bridge

Happy New 2013 everyone!!

Today I wanted to call your attention to Star Ratings and Color Labels crossing information between Photo Mechanic and Adobe Lightroom & Bridge that I hope you will find interesting.

One thing that has been bugging me around for quite some time has been the Color Label synchronize settings between Photo Mechanic, Adobe Bridge and Adobe Lightroom.

By now most of you been laughing at this but I find it quite a bit disturbing and annoying why the same company would keep Adobe Lightroom and Bridge with different settings on these matter. It took me quite a while to figure it out how they could simply match and sync the Star ratings but not the Color Schemes.

Simply frustrating for people who want to have the Star Ratings for one thing and then Color label them to do another thing, maybe have the Star Ratings for the client and Color labels for internal purposes or something that one could find it useful.

I contact Photo Mechanic team has they have been so great on support and also on beta testing that Bob Russel promptly sent me an answer saying that Photo Mechanic has its IPTC/XMP to match Adobe and some other software both in Star Ratings and Color Label schemes.

WOW, the answer came fast... but after trying out their solution to the problem I still could not find a away to get them to sync. I changed Colors, I moved to Bridge and nothing, Lightroom on the other hand indicated that something has been changed in the xmp file and needed to import the new files but when I did so the Star rating would appear but not the color :( it just simply gave me a white square on the right corner, in Library module, of the photos I did change the Color labels. Damn!!!

So I decided to investigate since the square had changed, there must be something to configure or something was not playing right between these applications.

And here are my findings: In fact they work pretty well altogether and they go nicely you just need to configure them properly and here is what you will need to do to each one of them.

Go to Photo Mechanic preferences and on the General tab you will get the Color Classes (has they called them) by default you should get something like this:

So, with this settings I went to Photo Mechanic and set Star Rating and Color Label to Red for one of my testing photos (see that I have already checked the Synchronize tag for Color Class with IPTC/XMP).

 Then opened Adobe Lightroom and went into the folder that I previously have imported and got the sign message on the top right of the photo that something has changed.

 Click on the icon on top right and you will get the Import dialog showing you that something has been changed in that xmp file.

After import this is what the photo looks like in Adobe Lightroom.

You can see that the Star Rating is correct but the color should be red around the photo and not represented by a white dot on the right corner...

Did the same thing on Adobe Bridge and this is what happened.

Exactly the same thing :(

So how do you configure this to work between them and correctly?

Simple and here is how...

First you need to configure Photo Mechanic to use the same Color Labeling system has Adobe Bridge.

And why Adobe Bridge you may ask??

- Well to tell you the truth I match them all to Bridge because I did not seem to find a way to relate Adobe Bridge with the other two so I decided that Adobe Bridge would be the main sync for the others.

So go into Photo Mechanic preferences and into General tab and set your Color Classes as follow:

You can save it (on that thunder icon above the To Do on the right) has Adobe Bridge Default for a later reference.

Afterwards you move into Adobe Lightroom and you can find the Color Label settings in the menu. Look at image below:

Set it to Bridge Default or you can edit it with your own settings. Take a look at the editing menu below:

When you go through all the Presets you can see that they already have one for Adobe Bridge Default, Lightroom Default and a Review Status that have some other Color Labeling. At this point you can create whatever Color Labels you want for your work but have to remember if you want to have them all 3 in sync you have to choose the Bridge Default.

 And that's it!! Well it took me a while to figure this out so I decided to share it so that if anyone would encounter this would not take time and loose their patience over this simple thing.

I've also created 3 presets for Photo Mechanic that I've saved and gave them the names to each program so you can always reference and change them later has you please.
This would make your life much easier.

Download them here.

I do not understand why Apple did not sync Adobe Lightroom with Bridge and created instead a different way to sync them. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that you can create different Color Labels in Lightroom for different situations of your work.

I'm also hoping that Adobe would fix the re-import of the xmp files after been altered in Photo Mechanic as this would cause the lost of all the editing.

Did you noticed that in Adobe Lightroom Develop module the only slider that does not have scale is the Exposure slider, did they forgot or is this done on purpose and all the sliders get the darken part on left except for the contrast?? LOL   

Hope you enjoy this tip, and see you for the next round.

Cheers 2013!!

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