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Using smart previews without original files to edit another's photos

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jbrokish

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  1. Windows 10
Hello all!

I'm setting up shop as a freelance editor, but I've run into a problem with importing another photographer's set of raws.

I had her send me the exported gallery, previews, and smart previews. I put them into their own file and opened it in Lightroom, but the program will not recognize her smart previews to let me edit them. It just says "missing original file" with a blank square where it usually signals either the file or the smart preview is being edited.

I don't know where I'm going wrong, can anyone help?

Thank you!
 
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What you are doing wrong is that you should open the catalog (what you call ‘gallery’) that the client sent you, make the edits in that catalog, and then return that catalog to your client. Do not create a new catalog and do not import anything in your own catalog or a new catalog.
 

jbrokish

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
7
Thanks! I was opening her catalog and trying to make edits inside of that catalog, but the images still counted as missing, despite the smart previews files in the same folder.
 

jbrokish

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
7
What you are doing wrong is that you should open the catalog (what you call ‘gallery’) that the client sent you, make the edits in that catalog, and then return that catalog to your client. Do not create a new catalog and do not import anything in your own catalog or a new catalog.
Thanks! I was unclear: I was opening her catalog and trying to make edits inside of that catalog, but the images still counted as missing, despite the smart previews files in the same folder.
I can see the normal previews, but cannot edit the smart previews.
 

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That's because the Smart Previews folder has a different name to the catalog, hence the catalog cannot see any smart previews.
Rename the Smart Previews folder to add the same date prefix that the catalog has.....and add the "s" to Headshot.
 

jbrokish

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
7
That's because the Smart Previews folder has a different name to the catalog, hence the catalog cannot see any smart previews.
Rename the Smart Previews folder to add the same date prefix that the catalog has.....and add the "s" to Headshot.

Thank you! I definitely thought that would do it! But when I renamed correctly, Lightroom still won't see the smart previews. Is there something I need to do to the catalog in order to load those smart previews into it?
 
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Double-check the name of the Smart Previews folder again.....it must be exactly the same as the catalog file but ending with "Smart Previews.lrdata".

Assuming it is correct, open the catalog, select all images in the grid, then look under the Histogram where you should see some data about the files in the catalog. There are 4 boxes: the first is the number of originals without SPs, that should be zero. Next is the number of originals with SPs, again should be zeros. Third is the number of missing images which do have SPs.....if the client did the job correctly, that should be the same as the number of images in the catalog. Fourth is the number of missing images which have no SPs.....this should be zero, but obviously isn't. What you're trying to find out is how many (if any) smart previews were included when the catalog was exported. In theory, the catalog export function will create SPs for all images, provided the appropriate box was checked in the catalog export dialog.

So, what are the totals?
 
Joined
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As stated by others- The Smart Previews file has to be named appropriately and created by the [Export as a Catalog] function, so it is 'linked to the Exported Catalog. You cannot simply send a copy of the Master Catalog Smart Previews (named differently).
And the Catalog to edit seems very large! 611352Kb. Is this all the Client's photos, or a selection of images?
And the Catalog file does not have the .LRCAT file suffix! why?

Here are my notes that my be useful-
WORKFLOW FOR OUT-SOURCING
CLIENT is the Photographer
EDITOR is the Contract person to develop images.

The CLIENT in the Master Lightroom Catalog-
1. Select the folder of images for editing
2. Right-click to [Export this folder as a Catalog]
3. Save the exported catalog folder in a suitable location and name (eg. “Job for Edits”)
4. Set the Export options-
-Export Negative Files (No)
-Build/Include Smart Previews (Yes)
-Include available Previews (Yes)
5. The Export result is a folder containing-
-Catalog “Job for Edits”
-Regular Previews
-Smart Previews
6. Send the whole folder to the EDITOR. (As a ZIP file or using Dropbox )

The EDITOR-
1. Opens the Catalog “Job for Edits” (Note: No Importing from another Catalog needed)
2. Does all the Develop work. (Lightroom uses the Smart Previews)
3. Sends the Catalog .LRCAT file “Job for Edits” back to the CLIENT
Note: Preview files are not needed! Only the Catalog .LRCAT file!

The CLIENT
1. Opens their Master Catalog
2. Selects Menu > File > Import from another Catalog.
3. Select the “Job for Edits” catalog returned from the EDITOR.
-No Previews to import!
-File Handling: Don’t Import new photos (see Note below *).
-Replace: Metadata & Develop Settings only.
-Preserve Old Settings as Virtual Copy (If CLIENT wants to keep previous editing in separate previews.)
4. And [Import] the Catalog
5. Master Catalog Previews update with Development by EDITOR.


* Note: The EDITOR cannot create extra Derivative files - TIFF PSD JPG etc, as they only have Smart Previews to work with. The original RAW images are needed to for the EDITOR to ‘Export’ derivatives
 
Joined
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Messages
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And the Catalog file does not have the .LRCAT file suffix! why?
For reasons best known only by the folks at Redmond who came up with the idea, the default behaviour of the File Explorer is to hide file extensions. The user has to specifically set the option to show file extensions.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2013
Messages
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Location
Queensland
Lightroom Experience
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Lightroom Version
Classic
For reasons best known only by the folks at Redmond who came up with the idea, the default behaviour of the File Explorer is to hide file extensions. The user has to specifically set the option to show file extensions.
Ah yes! I was confused by seeing the Folders with the .LRDATA in the folder name.
 

jbrokish

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
7
Double-check the name of the Smart Previews folder again.....it must be exactly the same as the catalog file but ending with "Smart Previews.lrdata".

Assuming it is correct, open the catalog, select all images in the grid, then look under the Histogram where you should see some data about the files in the catalog. There are 4 boxes: the first is the number of originals without SPs, that should be zero. Next is the number of originals with SPs, again should be zeros. Third is the number of missing images which do have SPs.....if the client did the job correctly, that should be the same as the number of images in the catalog. Fourth is the number of missing images which have no SPs.....this should be zero, but obviously isn't. What you're trying to find out is how many (if any) smart previews were included when the catalog was exported. In theory, the catalog export function will create SPs for all images, provided the appropriate box was checked in the catalog export dialog.

So, what are the totals?
Thank you! it reads as 0, 0, 0, 343. I'm pretty sure that the original export was just incorrect, but these are great tools that I will definitely be able to use in the future. thank you so, so much for your help!
 

jbrokish

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
7
As stated by others- The Smart Previews file has to be named appropriately and created by the [Export as a Catalog] function, so it is 'linked to the Exported Catalog. You cannot simply send a copy of the Master Catalog Smart Previews (named differently).
And the Catalog to edit seems very large! 611352Kb. Is this all the Client's photos, or a selection of images?
And the Catalog file does not have the .LRCAT file suffix! why?

Here are my notes that my be useful-
WORKFLOW FOR OUT-SOURCING
CLIENT is the Photographer
EDITOR is the Contract person to develop images.

The CLIENT in the Master Lightroom Catalog-
1. Select the folder of images for editing
2. Right-click to [Export this folder as a Catalog]
3. Save the exported catalog folder in a suitable location and name (eg. “Job for Edits”)
4. Set the Export options-
-Export Negative Files (No)
-Build/Include Smart Previews (Yes)
-Include available Previews (Yes)
5. The Export result is a folder containing-
-Catalog “Job for Edits”
-Regular Previews
-Smart Previews
6. Send the whole folder to the EDITOR. (As a ZIP file or using Dropbox )

The EDITOR-
1. Opens the Catalog “Job for Edits” (Note: No Importing from another Catalog needed)
2. Does all the Develop work. (Lightroom uses the Smart Previews)
3. Sends the Catalog .LRCAT file “Job for Edits” back to the CLIENT
Note: Preview files are not needed! Only the Catalog .LRCAT file!

The CLIENT
1. Opens their Master Catalog
2. Selects Menu > File > Import from another Catalog.
3. Select the “Job for Edits” catalog returned from the EDITOR.
-No Previews to import!
-File Handling: Don’t Import new photos (see Note below *).
-Replace: Metadata & Develop Settings only.
-Preserve Old Settings as Virtual Copy (If CLIENT wants to keep previous editing in separate previews.)
4. And [Import] the Catalog
5. Master Catalog Previews update with Development by EDITOR.

* Note: The EDITOR cannot create extra Derivative files - TIFF PSD JPG etc, as they only have Smart Previews to work with. The original RAW images are needed to for the EDITOR to ‘Export’ derivatives
Thank you so, so much! This is hugely helpful with very clear directions for exporting. Thank you so much!
 

jbrokish

New Member
Joined
May 19, 2021
Messages
7
As stated by others- The Smart Previews file has to be named appropriately and created by the [Export as a Catalog] function, so it is 'linked to the Exported Catalog. You cannot simply send a copy of the Master Catalog Smart Previews (named differently).
And the Catalog to edit seems very large! 611352Kb. Is this all the Client's photos, or a selection of images?
And the Catalog file does not have the .LRCAT file suffix! why?

Here are my notes that my be useful-
WORKFLOW FOR OUT-SOURCING
CLIENT is the Photographer
EDITOR is the Contract person to develop images.

The CLIENT in the Master Lightroom Catalog-
1. Select the folder of images for editing
2. Right-click to [Export this folder as a Catalog]
3. Save the exported catalog folder in a suitable location and name (eg. “Job for Edits”)
4. Set the Export options-
-Export Negative Files (No)
-Build/Include Smart Previews (Yes)
-Include available Previews (Yes)
5. The Export result is a folder containing-
-Catalog “Job for Edits”
-Regular Previews
-Smart Previews
6. Send the whole folder to the EDITOR. (As a ZIP file or using Dropbox )

The EDITOR-
1. Opens the Catalog “Job for Edits” (Note: No Importing from another Catalog needed)
2. Does all the Develop work. (Lightroom uses the Smart Previews)
3. Sends the Catalog .LRCAT file “Job for Edits” back to the CLIENT
Note: Preview files are not needed! Only the Catalog .LRCAT file!

The CLIENT
1. Opens their Master Catalog
2. Selects Menu > File > Import from another Catalog.
3. Select the “Job for Edits” catalog returned from the EDITOR.
-No Previews to import!
-File Handling: Don’t Import new photos (see Note below *).
-Replace: Metadata & Develop Settings only.
-Preserve Old Settings as Virtual Copy (If CLIENT wants to keep previous editing in separate previews.)
4. And [Import] the Catalog
5. Master Catalog Previews update with Development by EDITOR.

* Note: The EDITOR cannot create extra Derivative files - TIFF PSD JPG etc, as they only have Smart Previews to work with. The original RAW images are needed to for the EDITOR to ‘Export’ derivatives
These are fabulous directions! I had my client re-do the export using these directions and everything worked! Thanks a million!
 
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