Importing edited Raw files into Aperture or Lightroom by swp38119

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									 April 05, 2007 08:00 pm    Creative Notes
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 Importing edited Raw files into Aperture or Lightroom
 By Rick LePage

I have been working on a comparison of Adobe’s Photoshop Lightroom and Apple’s
Aperture for Macworld, and I ran into an issue with both programs when I tried to
import Raw image files that had been previously edited with Adobe Bridge CS2 and
Camera Raw. I wanted to import them with my edits intact—mostly crop and exposure
adjustments—but initially both Lightroom and Aperture only imported the original
Raw file, without any of the work I had done.

This is because the edits are not made to the Raw file directly, but are stored, either in
Camera Raw’s internal database, or in a companion file called a “sidecar.” This file
resides in the same folder as your image, with the same name and a .XMP extension
instead of the Raw format extension (.CR2, in my case). After a bit of tweaking,
however, I found solutions for both Lightroom and Aperture that might save you some
time if you’re in the same boat.

Making Lightroom happy
Lightroom will automatically import older Raw files processed with Bridge and Camera
Raw, if you had Camera Raw’s preferences set to save any edits you make in sidecar files. If Camera Raw was set to save edits in its
internal database, Lightroom will only import the original Raw files.

You can create the sidecar files, however; the first thing you need to do is change Camera Raw’s preferences to “Save image settings
in sidecar .xmp files” (see screen shot, below).




Then, use Bridge’s Batch Rename feature (Tools - > Batch Rename) on any files you want to import into Lightroom (see below). You
don't even need to actually change the name of the files. You can tell Bridge to rename the file to the same name it previously had,
but this process will force Camera Raw to write a sidecar file for every image renamed. The side benefit is that it will also contain any
edits you performed on the original Raw file.




Importing into Aperture
Unfortunately, the current version of Aperture will just import the original Raw files; it simply ignores the sidecar file. If you want to
import both the original and the edited version, the best workaround I found was to save the edited version from Camera Raw as a
TIFF or Photoshop file (saving as a DNG file won’t work), into the same folder as your Raw file. Then, import both the original and
edited versions into Aperture (see below).




You can then select all of your imported images in Aperture and use the AutoStack feature to keep the two versions together, which
is possible because both the Raw and the Photoshop/TIFF versions will have the same capture time. It’s not the best solution, but it
at least preserves both versions of your images in your library, and lets you get back to the original Raw image if you want to make a
different set of edits.

It’s worth noting that both Aperture and Lightroom import most Raw files without any issues at all; you really only need these
solutions for those photos you edited with Camera Raw.

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