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LrC 11 catalog isn't smaller

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I turned it all the way up to ELEVEN
Operating System
  1. macOS 11 Big Sur
I jumped right in...

Adobe promise

New catalog file to reduce storage​

So old Lightroom Catalog.lrcat is 2.86 GB and my new Lightroom Catalog-v11.lrcat is..... 2.86 GB

And I haven't mentioned Lightroom Catalog-v11.lrcat-data yet. Sounds like LrC is using more storage, not less.

Never mind, there are other nice things including the customisable metadata panel. Masks may take a bit of learning though.
 
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It's more of a long term storage change... the new select sky and select subject masks can get big, so they're being put into the separate lrcat-data file rather than being included in the lrcat file.

I've just heard there's a bug with the LUT's not being moved over in this release, which will also reduce the size slightly when it's fixed.
 

iwaddo

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Hi, Can I ask about the lrcat-data file mentioned above? Is it a transient file or will my catalog or edits in my catalog be lost or broken if the lrcat-data file and the lrcat file become separated?

Thank you for your help.

also, just to mention that my new lrcat file is ever so slightly larger that the old one, not that it matters.
 
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Its a permanent file, part of the catalog, so yes include it in backups. It’s noted in the blog post as well as the book updates.
 

Woodbutcher

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Interesting and useful to know. My backup routines need to be reviewed to ensure I include the lrcat-data file.

Good point. I'll check mine this evening, but I think my catalog backup script does everything in the catalog folder except specifically the previews files. So it might be fine.
 
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Hi, Can I ask about the lrcat-data file mentioned above? Is it a transient file or will my catalog or edits in my catalog be lost or broken if the lrcat-data file and the lrcat file become separated?
It belongs to the catalog, but losing it is not as bad as losing the catalog. If you lose this file, then every mask you made with one of the two AI masking tools (Select Subject, Select Sky) will have to be updated (rerendered) again. Lightroom can do this, but of course you do not want to have to update hundreds of masks one by one…
 
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. If you lose this file, then every mask you made with one of the two AI masking tools (Select Subject, Select Sky) will have to be updated (rerendered) again. Lightroom can do this, but of course you do not want to have to update hundreds of masks one by one…
LrC will update them automatically? With the changes made? If I mask a sky, change its exposure and then 'lose' the mask lrcat-data file where will I be?And, is the same true for the non-Ai masks like the grad filter? Are these now stored in the lrcat-data file?

Of slight interest, I see there are text files rather than actual image masks which I think is how Capture 1 does things.
 

KarstenG

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So old Lightroom Catalog.lrcat is 2.86 GB and my new Lightroom Catalog-v11.lrcat is..... 2.86 GB

If you didn't confuse GB with TB your catalog is really tiny, David

Mine was 410 GB in V10, and it has 381 GB after conversion to V11 format. And that's just data for 5500 images, which I guess is a rather small collection.

It's a small saving, but nothing compared to the amount of data that we can expect to be created by the new masking feature, independent of whether this will be part of lrcat file itself or some extra file associated with this. Those that already editing images in PS know that bitmap layers can quickly blow up the file size from a 2-digit MB number (for a RAW photo) to 1 GB or even more for a PSD file with multiple layers, smart objects etc.

I'm curious how this will affect storage needs for catalog plus associated data in LR.
 

stevedo

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My version 10.4 catalog is 715,408kb

My version 11.0 catalog is 726,840kb

This was directly after updating to LrC 11 from 10.4 so no additional changes to metadata or photos added to the catalog. In my book 726,840 is larger than 715,408. I've no idea how Adobe are claiming a smaller catalog?
 
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I agree that it's a bit confusing, but Adobe didn't say that the catalog file size will be reduced. What they do say is this:

New catalog file to reduce storage​

The way that the Lightroom Classic database is stored on disk has been optimized and a new file will be created. This new file, with an extension of .lrcat-data, will now be found in the same folder as your catalog file. This file contains important information about your photos and edits and should be included in any backup regimes you may have.

In other words: they say that there is a new file added to the catalog, to reduce storage. What they mean with that is: If they would store the new A.I. masks inside the current catalog file, then they would have to do that as text in metadata. That takes more space (and is slower) than saving the masks as bitmaps, so that is what they do with the new .lrcat-data catalog file. So perhaps they should have said something like "a new additional catalog file to store the new masks as efficiently as possible".
 

iwaddo

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LrC will update them automatically? With the changes made? If I mask a sky, change its exposure and then 'lose' the mask lrcat-data file where will I be?And, is the same true for the non-Ai masks like the grad filter? Are these now stored in the lrcat-data file?
Hi, did you get an answer to your question? I am still unclear as to the true impact of losing this file.

Thank you for your help.
 
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Hi, did you get an answer to your question? I am still unclear as to the true impact of losing this file.

Thank you for your help.
Not yet! I was thinking of creating a new catalogue with a few images which I'll process with masks. Then I'll 'lose' the lrcat-data file and see what happens!
 

iwaddo

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Hi, so I did a basic test. New catalog, single image and a mask sky replacement.

Exited LrC and renamed the data file and restarted LrC.
  • LrC created a new data file
  • The image looked to have lost the Sky Replacement
  • In develop, the mask had an exclamation mark and there was a message saying the mask needed to be recomputed. When I did the recompute the sky replacement reappeared with my original adjustments
In my second test, I did two masks on my single image a sky replacement and select subject, then delete the data file.
  • LrC created a new data file
  • The image looked to have lost the Sky Replacement and the Select Subject adjustments
  • In develop, the mask had two exclamation marks and there was a message on each mask saying the mask needed to be recomputed. When I did the recompute the sky replacement reappeared with my original adjustments, the same happened when I recomputed the Select Subject. The recompute was two separate steps.
So my take away from this basic test is DO NOT to lose the data file. Whilst overall nothing is lost as you can recreate the mask it could soon become a pain if,
  • You have 10s, 100s, or even 1,000s of images with these types of masks (Is there a recompute all button, I did not see one!!!)
  • There is a risk you will export an image or series of images and not realise the masks have been lost, though I would expect you to notice.
I did unzip a backup and confirm the data file is there so there is no reason to lose the file.

Just some initial findings from some vey basic testing, I'd be interested to hear what others learn or find out.
 
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Just some initial findings from some vey basic testing, I'd be interested to hear what others learn or find out.
Your findings are exactly what is supposed to happen, as Johan described earlier in this thread.

Yes, a global "Recompute All" option might be useful in some situations, but probably would never be needed if the user sensibly uses LrC's own catalog backup process.
 

iwaddo

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So thinking about this further today I was wondering why LrC is so silent when the data file is missing.

There is no warning, it just creates another
There is no visible indicator on the images in Grid view
Even in the Develop module there is nothing to tell you unless you happen to go into Mask.

I think there should be a warning, even if it just a little warning….

The silence seems a little odd to me.
 
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So my take away from this basic test is DO NOT to lose the data file
If you use LrC backup process at exit, you won't loose it. LrC puts both the .lcat and the .lcat-data in the zip backup file (which of course you need to include in your usual global backup process).
 
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iwaddo

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I do not disagree, however, I bet there are many ‘how to transfer to a new PC’ instructions and blogs that move the lrcat file outside of the backup and will not take the new file into account.

A warning from LRC when it starts without the data file present might just save someone.
 
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