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Old October 17th, 2011, 03:03 PM   #1
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Photoshop Elements Questions

Hey guys, I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask this but y'all seem like a friendly group that won't chop my head off if it isn't. If I should be posting elsewhere, just let me know. I'm new to Photoshop and I have a new GH2.

My questions (for now) are about the Organizer. I'm new to Photoshop and I'm trying to see what kind of workflow it supports (or requires). Here are a couple of brief questions that hopefully have short answers.

1. Do you suggest importing stills and video into Organizer? I intend to edit my video with Vegas. I don't use Adobe products for my video editing so I'm not sure if the advantages of using Organizer for the videos (which I haven't quantified in my mind yet) are greater than simply keeping my video separate from my stills.

2. Maybe 1a. Do you suggest using the Panasonic software for importing AVCHD video if I'm not going to use it for editing? I see where the raw AVCHD files are on the GH2 SD card and I don't see why I can't just directly copy them to my computer to work on. What are all the extra files that get recorded with the video and do I need them?

3. When you import photos into Organizer and make changes to them, do you replace the originals with your edited versions? Or do you save your edits into different files? In the past with other cams and less sophisticated software I would simply make a folder for Originals and Edited files and never change my originals. If I didn't like a change I could go back to the original and start over. But those were relatively small JPEG files. With raw files from the GH2, that will quickly eat up disk space. How do you manage originals? (Note, I'm not talking backup here, just how to keep the original raw files from being changed.)

4. Can you please point me to a good set of Organizer tutorials and maybe a forum where I can ask questions like this. I've seen the Adobe tutorial for Organizer but I learn best by seeing things repeated in slightly different ways. So another set of tutorials would be helpful.

Thanks in advance to a great bunch of folks.

Happy shooting.

D
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Old October 17th, 2011, 08:23 PM   #2
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

Dennis,

If you're using a Windows 7 PC, importing AVCHD files into a photo organizer will work nicely. Windows Live Photo Gallery or Picasa are both free and work nicely with AVCHD files. In my experience, Photoshop Elements is an absolute pain.

Once you've selected the clips to use in WLPG or Picasa, you can drag them to Vegas and begin editing. Vegas will make no changes to your original clips.

Good luck.
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Old October 18th, 2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

Thanks Dan.

I have no problem using Organizer to do the import. I'm just trying to get a feel for how people use it and what kind of workflow it supports (or doesn't).

I'm a long time Vegas user so I know my edits there are all non-destructive. I guess I'm trying to figure out if it's standard procedure to make my still photo edits non-destructive as well and whether (and how) Organizer and Elements work together to make that possible.

I've heard some people say you love Organizer or hate it. I have no problem using it just to import my files off the cam then editing files and saving them to different folders if that makes more sense. I'd love to hear other opinions about Organizer and whether it helps or hinders editing.

D
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Old October 18th, 2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

I alway turn Organizer off as I find it more of a pain than a help.

I simply use Windows Explorer to copy files off the memory cards, both video and stills/raw.
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Old October 19th, 2011, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

Kin,

Yeah, that's how I would have done it. I guess I'm old school. Either that, or I've just been using crappy editing tools until now!

OK, so if I want to do that, do I need to copy anything more than my still files and the .MTS video files? What are all the other files for (.CPI, .MPL, .BDM, .VPL, .TDT, .TID)? Can I just ignore them?

D
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Old October 20th, 2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

Ah, one more thing I forgot to ask. I hit on it above but it might have gotten buried in all the other stuff.

After you import your raw files into your computer and edit them, how do you save the result? Do you replace the original raw file? Do you save as a new raw file? Do you save as a .PSD file? Something else?

I'm still trying to figure out a good workflow with PS Elements and this question seems at the heart of it.

Thanks.

D
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Old October 20th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #7
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

Yes, I just copy the rw2 files for the stills, and the mts files for the video and ignore the rest.

If you copy the entire AVCHD tree, you can burn the whole thing to a DVD or Blu-Ray, and it'll play as-is on a Blu-Ray player. All those other files are just for the Blu-Ray playback.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 08:47 AM   #8
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

Thanks, Kin. I know the file/folder structure for DVDs but wasn't aware how BDs were set up. From now on I think I'll just copy the files instead of using PSE's Organizer to do it.

BTW, I'm curious about your workflow wrt keeping original raw files as I mentioned above. How do you manage changes to your original raw files?

D
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Old October 21st, 2011, 10:30 AM   #9
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

I tend to do very little in PSE to any image, so I always keep the original raw file, then save my changes to a new file that's a lot more descriptive in the filename. I usually output directly to JPEG, but if it's a work-in-process, then I save it as a PSD instead.
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Old October 21st, 2011, 02:49 PM   #10
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Re: Photoshop Elements Questions

Kin,

Thanks. Sounds very "streamlined". Like what I was doing in the past with a "lesser" editing program. Sounds like what I did was good enough for the kind of work I do. I must have been on the right track and just didn't know it.

D
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