What is ACR Workflow?

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by mark_ward|7, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. Thank You to those who have responded to Adobe Photoshop CS4 extended question. What however, is ACR Workflow? Thanks, Mark Ward
  2. ACR = Adobe Camera Raw
    Workflow = the operation sequence you use to work on images in a computer. This usually refers to the order in which you use various programs or perform various operations...e.g. import image from camera > process RAW file in ACR (or Lightroom, etc.) > process in Photoshop > output/save file > back up files from editing session.
    Within programs folks may have a preference in the order of operations the perform. This is also referred to as 'workflow'. It's basically the flow of your work to get to the end result. Example: within ACR, I might start by adjusting overall exposure, then White Balance, then contrast, then color saturation, then fix dust spots, then level the image, then crop, then sharpen, then use noise reduction, etc.
    Some things should be done before others, some things are just by personal preference, experience, etc., so my workflow may not be the same as yours, or might contain different steps, or I might use a different editing program, etc. Thus, 'ACR workflow' would be the steps a person processes digital images with in Adobe Camera Raw. Hope this helped.
  3. FWIW, my workflow with CS4 ACR is:
    1. Run one complete set, allowing ACR to auto-correct each image as it sees fit. At completion, I get out of the editing dialogue by clicking "Cancel", to avoid setting preferences.
    2. Run a second set, with auto correction shut of, my "Default" settings. It amounts to the following settings:
    Exposure, recovery, fill light, clarity, vibrance, and saturation are 0.
    Blacks is 5.
    Brightness is 50.
    Contrast is 25.
    With the second set I specify an extension to the name "-default". Again, I get of the dialogue via "cancel".
    Then I go through the combined images, typically with ACDSee. At the same time I create a text file with one image name per line (A spreadsheet program like Excel is good for creating such a list. It will autopopulate sequential file names in a column). If auto-correct looks good, I skip forward. If default looks better, I note that in the file. If I'm not happy with either, I experiment till I get what I like, and note that also in the file.
    As an example, I might have an image where ACR's auto correction has tried to recover some overexposed cloud detail, but has done that by depressing the overall brightness too much. Just leaving ACR's settings at default might do better. Or I might tweak, arrive at some compromise, using the various sliders: say letting it autocorrect to recover the cloud detail, but then I would increase fill-light and contrast to compensate for overly darkened scene.
    Whatever I do, I note in my text file. ACR actually notes this info as well, when you save the settings, but I like insurance.
    Finally, for expedience, I delete all the generated images, and run a final set, batch processing the lot with the settings I settled on in my text file. When done, I click "Done", not "cancel", in order to save those settings into the ACR database.
  4. When you open a RAW file in Photoshop, Photoshop opens the file in an auxiliary program called Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). The ACR program lets you optimize parameters such as Contrast, Exposure, and White Balance before bringing the image into Photoshop proper.
  5. You can also do the whole process within Adobe Bridge, without starting Photoshop: selecting the files within Bridge, and then typing <ctrl>R. This opens an editting dialogue within Bridge. A somewhat different interface, but sufficient for most needs.

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