Another newly-released iOS app that can access your Lightroom Mobile photos is Adobe Comp.
It’s quite a clever iPad app for creating layouts and lets you draw shapes, photos and add text, then save the composition to the cloud. What’s quite startling – at least the first time you see it – is that you can even send the composition from your iPad directly to your main computer, launching Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator.
While Comp’s likely user seems to be the graphic designer (apparently it’s an “ideation” app), I can imagine a Lightroom Mobile user stuck on the train or enjoying a lonely pint and putting together a custom page layout with overlapping photos, maybe background art too, and then using the composition in Print or Book.
I decided to put together a simple layout which would have a photo inside a circular frame. To see screenshots of the process, see this presentation.
Once I’d added the circular placeholder, and repositioned it with the smart guides, I then tapped its photo button, and looked for Lightroom Mobile.
There’s no Lightroom logo but all the photos you synced to Lightroom Mobile are in fact available – LrM is just one way of accessing files stored in Adobe’s cloud.
You just tap the My Files option, which has Adobe’s Creative Cloud logo. The Photos category then displays all the collections you uploaded to Lightroom Mobile. So you can now choose the picture to add to your composition.
Sending to Photoshop
One aspect that surprised me was how you can get your composition from your iPad to Photoshop CC. The boring way is to save your composition to the cloud, then open it in Photoshop (yes, I said that was boring).
The cool way is to tap Comp’s Share button on the iPad. You then choose Photoshop, and the composition automatically opens on your computer.
Attention to detail
It’s when you examine the PSD in Photoshop that you can see the developers’ good attention to detail.
Individual photos are added as smart object layers, so you can edit each layer and resize them (2048 pixel images are in the smart objects), and their position and the circular framing are implemented by vector masks which also can be resized or removed.
Regardless of its merits though, what seems most interesting about Comp for Lightroom users is how it’s another example of Adobe’s plans for the wider ecosystem of which LrMobile is only one part. You’re going to be able to use your photos in places you might never expect.
Why can’t LrMobile do what Comp does?
A parting thought is that I particularly liked sending a composition to Photoshop and wondered about a Lightroom equivalent? Might it be an identical “share with Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator” feature? Or imagine using the iPad on the train/plane and sending instructions to Lightroom Desktop so that when you return home, Lightroom automatically opens at the collection/photo you were working on.