Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lightroom 3 Adjustment Brush Performance Tip

Wacom Bamboo Fun Tablet
A few weeks back we discussed one of the many uses of Adobe Lightroom 3's Adjustment Brush tool (See "Getting to Know Lightroom's Adjustment Brush").  While there is no doubt that the Adjustment Brush tool is one of the most powerful features in the Lightroom toolbox, you may find there are occasions in which your computer seems to bog down while using it.  If you find yourself in that situation, here are a few tips I've seen during my travels that may help you out.

  1. Try to reduce the number of individual brush strokes.  If you're painting/selecting a contiguous area, try to do so without picking up your pen/mouse.  The fewer individual pen strokes, the less likely you'll be bogged down.
  2. Try creating a virtual copy (Ctrl + ') if things start to slow down and continue your work from the virtual copy.  To be honest, this tip doesn't make much sense to me if you understand that all adjustments you make are non-destructive.  That means your original image is never actually modified, but rather a series of layers containing your adjustments are overlaid on top of your image.  The same holds true for a virtual copy.  Even though your adjustment history will be clean, Lightroom still needs to apply all of the adjustment layers from the source image.
  3. Try exporting your adjusted image, re import and continue editing.  When you export the image to a jpg file or similar, all of your adjustments up to that point are actually applied to the exported image essentially give you a fresh start with a brand new image.  The bad news is you're no longer in the RAW format and will not have the same amount of flexibility in your adjustments.  Most times, this the lesser of the two evils, however.
Until next week, keep clickn'.


Tomás Crespo said...

Thanks for the info Ken, Im having bad performance with brushes

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