The “Secret” Lightroom Feature: Layout Images: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace

In this episode I’m going to explain
layout images in Lightroom, it’s a feature that is sort of ‘secret’, that could
really improve your workflow. AdoramaTV presents, Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace. Hi everybody welcome to this episode of Exploring Photography right here on
AdoramaTV, brought to you by Adorama, it’s the camera store that has
everything for photographers including everything you need for
post-production like, MacBook Pro’s and external hard drives and all that kind of
stuff. In fact post-production is what we’re going to be talking about today, specifically a hidden feature of Lightroom, it’s
the secret thing that I think is awesome, well maybe it’s not secret, but it
doesn’t get a lot of press and I think it should because it’s really powerful. Now this is something that you
could use if you’re designing a flyer or you’re doing at birth invitation or maybe
you’re doing a magazine cover or a brochure or a
catalog or a web banner. Anytime that you’re trying to take a photo and do a composite with text or graphics
or anything you would do in Photoshop or Illustrator or in Design, well Lightroom has this
built-in feature that I think is really cool so let me show you something, I’m going to show you the end result first and then I’ll
show you how I did it. So in Photoshop I created two fake adds, the
left one is the ‘Summer Savings Sale’ and it’s for a
travel agency and hat I want to do is replace this
transparent background here with a nice travel image
and then I want to have a web banner that goes with it; ‘Big savings on all flights
and cruises’ and again I want to replace this
transparent background with an image that works, Now normally what I’d
have to do is go into Lightroom, and I’ll zip over there right now. Here
are the images that I think will work for this ad campaign and normally
I’d have to take all these things and put them into Photoshop one by one, and go through and
see which images work and which images just don’t and all that kind of stuff.
Wouldn’t it be cool if I could just hit one key and everything
would work so check this out, I’m going to hit the ‘E’ key… BAM! There’s my ‘Summer Savings Sale’ and
then I’m going to click on my right arrow button and go
through each of these images one by one to see which ones work and check it out its all built in
and if I hit my ‘G’ key to go back to the grid view POOF, it goes away! How did I do that well it’s called a
layout image and it’s built into the loop view of the grid module. So let me show you how
you do it. So let’s back up and first let me show you how I created these images that we’re using. So over here in
Photoshop, this could be Photoshop or Illustrator, InDesign or whatever graphic
application you use. Once you have your layout finish, you
need to save this layout as a transparent PNG files, so I have done that with both of these
images and I’ve saved these over here on a folder on my hard drive called ‘Overlay images for Lightroom’ and
you can see here is my catalog PNG file, and I can hit space to preview
that or my web banner and I can preview that,
this little gray area here is where it’s treanspatent. Now once I have that on my hard drive
I’ll go over into Lightroom, now here is the secret feature. If you go into the library module,
that’s where I am now and click on View go down to Loop Overlay. Now Loop Overlay is just
something that when you going to loop view that it overlays something. Now we’ve
always been able to overly a grid and guides but recently we have this thing
called a layout image. Now all you have to do is go to
choose Layout Image, I’ll click on that and I’ll navigate to my images that have already created and then
I’ll select one of these. So I’ll select my catalog.png and all say Choose. Now once I’ve chosen
that it’s loaded in to my Loop Overlay view, so when I go to
my loop view by hitting ‘E’…BOOM, that graphic is overlaid on top of my image and the nice thing is
if I go up to this view here you see Loupe Overlay, I also have these recent
layout images, so I’ve got the catalog loaded in right now, but
I’ve also loaded this web banner so if I click on that BOOM! There’s my ‘Big
savings on flights and cruises’ overly image and I can have many, many of
these I’ve only got two of them loaded in right now. Let’s go back to the catalogue and, so I’ll Loupe Overlay, Recent layout images, Catalog, BAM there it is again! Now I
want to show you some things you can do in Loupe view to sort of navigate this, to
resize and do some things. By default it doesn’t look like this, by
default I’m hitting the command key, holding that down, we have these options, Opacity and
Matt. So I’m still holding down my command key I can drag left on Matt, and you can see
that the Matt, the outside part my overlay image is
getting less and less opaque and that helps us to know where exactly to
place this overly image. So if I hit command and
hold that down now I can move my overly image around on
top of my background image, I can also grab on one of the corners and resize that,
it’s not resizing the image, it’s resizing the overlay image
and that sort of helps me see how my final composition or
composite is going to look, and I can take my Matt back to 100% and I
can see how that is. Now there are some limitations within zooming and
all that kind of stuff that you’ll see when you start working with this but it’s really awesome to get a really
quick and fast look to see what’s going to work, if I want to see what the next image looks
like I just hit the right arrow key or I can take my little thumbnail view here and
choose any image that I want and we can really quickly see what works and once I have an image selected, if I
want to see what image is going to work with my web banner I go over to Loupe Overlay and I’ll just
click on web banner and check this out, I think hit Command so I can drag this around,
and I can look and see…woops, I’m dragging too fast here! So I’ll go
back and see exactly which image works. Now with the zooming in and
out you’ll see on something like this that you can’t really see the entire
overlay image, if you want to see the entire
overlay images go up and zoom way out. So let’s do maybe a quarter, something like that then
you can sort of see exactly what you’re getting into. If I take my toolbar here I’ve got my zoom,
I’ll zoom that back out. It gets a little ‘clunchy’, is that a word?! Clunchy. It gets a little awkward when you’re starting to zoom in
and out like that, but you get a good idea of what images are going to work and
what images aren’t going to work, and it’s really
quick, it’s really fast and it’s really easy. Once you have your images selected to do
the final composition, unfortunately you can’t do that in
Lightroom you’ll have to do it the old fashioned way
where you take your image and you export that into Photoshop or Illustrator whatever
layout software you’re using and do your compositing
therem but the layover image in lightroom is a
really powerful to get a really fast look to see what works and what doesn’t
work. Now the other thing I have to mention
with this that i think is really interesting is if you’re shooting
tethered and you’re shooting for a catalog or
a flyer or something you want to see in real time if what you’re shooting
is going to match the artwork and the design that someone has created, or
maybe you created it you can just use your Loupe view with
tethered shooting and see that in real time it’s a really powerful feature and I
think that more people should use it because it’s a huge time saver. Well that’s your
tip for the today, it’s a secret feature of Lightroom and I hope that helps your workflow as
much as it has mine. Thank you so much for joining me this
week don’t forget to subscribe to AdoramaTV, it’s absolutely free and you don’t want to miss a single
episode and make sure you check out the Adorama Learning Center where they have awesome
tips and tutorials. Thanks again for joining me and I’ll see
you again next time! Do you great-looking prints at low-cost? Be sure to visit our easy to
use, online printing service. Adoramapix has professionals who treat
your images with the utmost care that you can count
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11 Replies to “The “Secret” Lightroom Feature: Layout Images: Exploring Photography with Mark Wallace”

  1. Mark, could you do the compositing in Lightroom by using the Loupe overlay image as a large watermark when exporting?

  2. Great. Such a shame Adobe dont allow an export or merge of the overlay with the image. The code is already there within lightroom because its the same as adding a watermark on export. Maybe its a new feature they could add to #LR7 ?

  3. Another great tutorial, I really like the way you organize the content and your presentation style!

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