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Missing "Snapshots" tab from Camera Raw in Photoshop


FRUGiHOYi

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I'm using Adobe Photoshop CC with Camera Raw 8.5.0.236. For some reason I have no "Snapshots" tab available in Camera Raw. It's there in Lightroom (with Camera Raw 8.5) and it works fine, just not in PS. What gives?
By the way I can't upgrade Camera Raw because it's a work computer. I can't update or install anything.

Oh and here's a screenshot:

snapshots.png
 

Tom Mann

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You're right, that's not normal, but since it sounds like you are restricted from making any changes on that computer, the advice we would give is useless. Maybe your permissions are such that at least u can try deleting photoshops preference file. If u can do that, but it doesn't fix your problem, the next step is probably to completely reinstall PS, but I bet u don't have sufficient permissions.

Tom M
 

ALB68

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I don't have that tab either. ???
 

Tom Mann

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I just double checked, and I definitely see the "snapshots" tab in ACR in all three versions of PS that I have installed on this machine:
CC 2014 - 64 bit
CC 64 bit
CC 32 bit.

I did a quick search and discovered that the version of ACR that is included with "PS Elements" (...at least some versions of "Elements" ... I didn't check which) does NOT include a "snapshots" tab.

If the two of you have Elements installed on your machines (ie, in addition to the full version of PS CC), I'm wondering if somehow the full version is incorrectly using the Elements version of ACR. FWIW, I don't have any version of "Elements" on this machine.

Tom
 

MrToM

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From what I can tell the 'Snapshot' option isn't available if Camera Raw is opened from Photoshop.

That is to say:
Open Image in PS
Filter > Camera Raw Filter

Result = NO Snapshot Icon. (Presumably because you can use duplicate layers instead maybe?)

But...
Open Bridge
Navigate to and select your image
Right Click Image > Open in Camera Raw
(You can also use the Camera Raw Icon in the menu bar)

Result = Snapshot Icon.

If when selecting images the Camera Raw Icon remains unavailable, (Or not a right click option), then:
Edit > Camera Raw Preferences
Under:
Jpeg & Tiff Handling
Set JPEG:
Automatically open jpegs with settings

Close and re-open bridge.

I watched a few tv.Adobe videos where an image was opened in ACR from PS and none of those had the 'Snapshot' Icon either, mine is the same too....so its not you or PS.

Regards.
MrTom.
 
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Tom Mann

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Thanks, Mr.T.

FWIW, in my tests, I tried opening both NEF, as well as JPG images with ACR from Bridge, as well as by using File/Open in PS. Both showed the "Snapshot" icon in ACR.

This is all very strange.

T
 

FRUGiHOYi

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If the two of you have Elements installed on your machines (ie, in addition to the full version of PS CC), I'm wondering if somehow the full version is incorrectly using the Elements version of ACR. FWIW
I don't have Elements on my machine.

From what I can tell the 'Snapshot' option isn't available if Camera Raw is opened from Photoshop.

That is to say:
Open Image in PS
Filter > Camera Raw Filter

Result = NO Snapshot Icon. (Presumably because you can use duplicate layers instead maybe?)
You're right. I tried going to File -> Open as... in Photoshop. I chose the file and then RAW from the drop-down menu. There it was, the fabled Snapshots icon!
Unfortunately this doesn't give the same functionality as opening a file directly in ACR flattens all layers.

So is it normal that there is no Snapshots tab available when using ACR as a filter?
 

Tom Mann

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OP: "... Unfortunately this doesn't give the same functionality as opening a file directly in ACR flattens all layers ..."

Actually, the only file formats that the external, directly called version of ACR can read are raw files (which are obviously non-layered), JPGs which have only one layer, and single layer TIFFs. It doesn't flatten anything -- it only reads single layer files. In fact, think about it: the "internal" version can only work on one "layer" at a time, too.

IMHO, because the external version of ACR can read hundreds of different raw file formats, and because the conversion process is not at all trivial, most people would say that the external version of ACR has quite a bit more functionality than the recently introduced "internal" version that can be used inside of PS to act on a layer.

To illustrate how much more capable the external version is, do a little experiment. Take a picture at night under pure tungsten illumination, say, your living room. For yucks, crank up the ISO setting on your camera to 1000 or so, but still, accidentally-on-purpose (LOL) underexpose the shot by a stop or so. To give ACR a good workout, set the on-camera white balance to "daylight", not tungsten. Save it as a raw file.

Next, make 2 identical copies of this raw file. Give each a different file name. Process the first copy in "external" ACR the way you normally would process a raw file, e.g, adjust the white balance, exposure, contrast, noise reduction, etc., and then save the result directly from "external" ACR as a JPG.

For the second copy, also pull it into the "external" version of ACR, but this time, just use the default (ie, everything zero'ed) settings, but then export it into PS, and attempt to adjust WB, exposure, etc. within PS using the "internal" version of ACR. I think it will be pretty obvious that the "internal" version of ACR simply can't match the abilities of the "external" version of ACR. The WB won't be as good; for a given amount of NR, less detail will be preserved, etc.

Because of it's ability to process a huge number of different raw file formats, and it's ability to give substantially better results is why I simply can't agree with your statement that "external" ACR has less functionality than "internal" ACR.

Cheers,

Tom M

PS - It looks like Mr.T was absolutely correct when he observed that the "Snapshot" tab is not available when using the "internal" version of ACR (ie, as a PS filter, not a pre-processor). I tested it in the three versions of PS I have on my machine, and the "internal" version never displays the "Snapshot" tab.
 
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ALB68

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Of course MrT. You nailed it. How dumb :redface:
 

FRUGiHOYi

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OP: "... Unfortunately this doesn't give the same functionality as opening a file directly in ACR flattens all layers ..."

Actually, the only file formats that the external, directly called version of ACR can read are raw files (which are obviously non-layered), JPGs which have only one layer, and single layer TIFFs. It doesn't flatten anything -- it only reads single layer files. In fact, think about it: the "internal" version can only work on one "layer" at a time, too.
I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but the "external" ACR (the one where I choose File -> Open as... RAW in Photoshop, right?) opens all kinds of files, including multilayer PSDs and TIFFs... but it flattens them.But you're right, ACR always works on one layer at a time even if we have ACR filters on multiple layers. And that's why adjustment layers still have their place (although I've heard the quality is not as good -- true or false?)

I think it will be pretty obvious that the "internal" version of ACR simply can't match the abilities of the "external" version of ACR. The WB won't be as good; for a given amount of NR, less detail will be preserved, etc.
Interesting. Do you know how Lightroom's ACR compares? I can tell you our friend Snapshot is there, at any rate :thumbsup:

PS - It looks like Mr.T was absolutely correct when he observed that the "Snapshot" tab is not available when using the "internal" version of ACR (ie, as a PS filter, not a pre-processor). I tested it in the three versions of PS I have on my machine, and the "internal" version never displays the "Snapshot" tab.
That's it. I wasn't aware that there were two different versions of ACR in Photoshop: the "pre-processor" version (File -> Open as... RAW) and the Filter version. It's also cool to know that the pre-processor version has superior quality. Here's an overview of the differences between the two, for ****s and giggles:

external-acr.jpg
Photoshop's External (pre-processor) ACR

internal-acr.jpg
Photoshop's Internal (filter) ACR
 

FRUGiHOYi

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And now I've noticed that it's possible to open a file as a Smart Object, which obviously flattens all layers, but gives the option to double-click on the smart object's layer to go into ACR mode -- "external" ACR, including all the extra features and quality! That means I CAN have multiple layers in a file and use the better ACR on each of them.

Just go to File -> Open as Smart Object...
Even if you originally do the File -> Open as... RAW you can hold down shift (command on MAC I think) to change one of the buttons in the ACR window to "Open as Smart Object."

*This is not the same as opening a file regularly, turning it into a Smart Object and adding the ACR filter to it because then you're obviously using the filter ACR, which is "weaker."
*This only seems to work on RAW files.
 
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Tom Mann

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OP: "...I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but the "external" ACR (the one where I choose File -> Open as... RAW in Photoshop, right?) opens all kinds of files, including multilayer PSDs and TIFFs... but it flattens them...."

Not on my current setup, on any previous system that I've used, nor have I ever heard this claimed by anyone else.

In fact, on the off chance that this ability was added recently, I just double checked, and I can never get a PSD or a multi-layer TIFF to open in ACR, nor did I see any preference setting that would allow one to do this. However, as always, it would open single layer TIFFs (as well as the other formats I mentioned in my previous post).
------


OP: "...Interesting. Do you know how Lightroom's ACR compares? I can tell you our friend Snapshot is there, at any rate :thumbsup:..."

LR's ACR is a pre-processor. In fact, it's identical (except for a slightly different UI) to the corresponding version of PS's (external) ACR.
-------

OP: "... It's also cool to know that the pre-processor version has superior quality. ..."

I should elaborate on this a bit. The difference between the two versions is not that the external version has better processing, but rather that when you feed it a raw file, there is much more information contained in the raw file than there is in a JPG or any other version of the image that has already been converted to bitmap format, even a 16 bpc TIF or the internal (bitmapped)representation of images on the layer stack. The difference is that raw data contains information from every single R, G, and B photo sensor in your camera, at the full bit depth of the camera, whereas to be converted to a bitmap, this data has to be de-mosaiced, the bit depth reduced, and processed in many other ways that one can't reverse.
-------

OP: "... Here's an overview of the differences between the two, for ****s and giggles: ..."

I love your presentation of the different features in the two versions! I've never seen anyone do it so clearly.

However, if you really want to see the difference in quality, not just features, try the exact experiment that I suggested in my previous post! (ie, that stresses the processing ability of both versions).
--------

OP: "... And now I've noticed that it's possible to open a file as a Smart Object, which obviously flattens all layers, but gives the option to double-click on the smart object's layer to go into ACR mode -- "external" ACR, including all the extra features and quality! That means I CAN have multiple layers in a file and use the better ACR on each of them. ..."

If an image started from a raw file, that's absolutely right: transferring it to PS as a smart object will allow one to go back and re-process the raw file (with the extra features and better quality compared to the internal ACR "filter"), but if your image started as a JPG, single layer TIFF, or any other bitmap version that you can get ACR to open, then, all you get are the extra features, but not the extra quality (ie, as I described in the previous section of this post).
--------

Gotta run ... lots of things going on around here this weekend.

More later,

Tom M
 

FRUGiHOYi

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OP: "...I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but the "external" ACR (the one where I choose File -> Open as... RAW in Photoshop, right?) opens all kinds of files, including multilayer PSDs and TIFFs... but it flattens them...."

Not on my current setup, on any previous system that I've used, nor have I ever heard this claimed by anyone else.

In fact, on the off chance that this ability was added recently, I just double checked, and I can never get a PSD or a multi-layer TIFF to open in ACR, nor did I see any preference setting that would allow one to do this. However, as always, it would open single layer TIFFs (as well as the other formats I mentioned in my previous post).
------
Weird, I can DEFINITELY do this...


I should elaborate on this a bit. The difference between the two versions is not that the external version has better processing, but rather that when you feed it a raw file, there is much more information contained in the raw file than there is in a JPG or any other version of the image that has already been converted to bitmap format, even a 16 bpc TIF or the internal (bitmapped)representation of images on the layer stack.
Interesting, I didn't realize that an image is not completely RAW anymore once it's opened in "normal" Photoshop mode.
--------
OP: "... And now I've noticed that it's possible to open a file as a Smart Object, which obviously flattens all layers, but gives the option to double-click on the smart object's layer to go into ACR mode -- "external" ACR, including all the extra features and quality! That means I CAN have multiple layers in a file and use the better ACR on each of them. ..."

If an image started from a raw file, that's absolutely right: transferring it to PS as a smart object will allow one to go back and re-process the raw file (with the extra features and better quality compared to the internal ACR "filter"), but if your image started as a JPG, single layer TIFF, or any other bitmap version that you can get ACR to open, then, all you get are the extra features, but not the extra quality (ie, as I described in the previous section of this post).
--------
Once again, good to know.
 

Tom Mann

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Weird, I can DEFINITELY do this...
Now you have me *really* interested!

In PS, using File -> Open -> Camera Raw files, yes, I certainly can open multi-layer TIFFs, but these never open for me in "external" (ie, pre-processor) ACR. Instead, they open, as expected, directly in PS, completely bypassing ACR. Of course, if you use the same procedure to open a single layer TIFF (and you have the preferences set correctly), that does indeed open in (external) ACR.

Also, if I have that file type selection box set to "Camera Raw files", PSD files never show up at all, and if I change it to "Photoshop files", of course, I can then see all my PSD files, but they open, again, as expected, directly in PS, never ACR.

Could you please check this again on your system? BTW, I did all my tests using the latest version of PS CC 2014, with the latest (a few days old) updates to ACR installed. Might we be on different versions, or might we be using different terminology?

Thanks,

Tom M


PS - BTW, if you want to read a really good, to-the-point article on the difference between raw data files and conventional files, here's one written by one of the two guys that essentially "wrote the book" (and some of the original code) on color management and related matters:
http://wwwimages.adobe.com/content/...shop/pdfs/understanding_digitalrawcapture.pdf
 

FRUGiHOYi

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using File -> Open -> Camera Raw
Ah, there's your problem! You need to go to File -> Open As... -> Camera Raw

PS - BTW, if you want to read a really good, to-the-point article on the difference between raw data files and conventional files, here's one written by one of the two guys that essentially "wrote the book" (and some of the original code) on color management and related matters:
http://wwwimages.adobe.com/content/...shop/pdfs/understanding_digitalrawcapture.pdf
Nice. I'm at work now but I'll have a look at it later. By the way, is it true or not that ACR results in better quality adjustments in JPEGs than adjustment layers? I couldn't tell the difference but I didn't spend so much time on it and my experiments were not very scientific.
 

Tom Mann

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Hot damn! You're right! I was just doing an "Open" (with the same file types specified), not a "Open As". Woo-hoo. I never knew that capability existed. It could see that this might be useful, even tho, as you mentioned earlier, it flattens the file (... actually, my guess is that it probably just reads the embedded flattened version rather than spending time opening PS and recomputing it). :thumbsup:


OP: "... is it true or not that ACR results in better quality adjustments in JPEGs than adjustment layers? ..."

I don't think there should be any difference whatsoever between adjustments made to a JPG using the external version of ACR, compared to the same adjustments made using the internal, "filter" version. The reason is essentially what I mentioned in an earlier post: If it's a JPG, it's already been converted from a raw file to a standard bit-mapped format (either by your camera, or previously, by ACR), so both versions of ACR will be operating on exactly the same data.

You see the big difference only if the external version is operating on a raw file (that needs a lot of work), whereas the internal version always operates on a version of the image after it has been converted, and hence contains less information. Sometimes the difference will be small, or unimportant, but if you really want to get the most out of a troublesome image, definitely work on the NEF first using the external version.

Tom
 

FRUGiHOYi

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Hey I'm glad I could show you something new. You seem to have a lot of knowledge about this topic otherwise.

Anyway I was asking about JPEG adjustments between ACR and adjustment layers. ​Do you know if there is a difference?
 

Tom Mann

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Sorry to be dense, but just to make sure I understand ur question, do u want to compare the quality & features of the (internal) ACR filter with other (internal) layer based adjustments and filters, with both operating on JPGs?

Cheers,

Tom M
 

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