It seems edits in Luminar 3 are stored in a central database on the computer where the edits are made initially.
Two very common scenarios that conflict with this approach:
1.) Two computers, a desktop with tons of storage for the photos. Also the main editing station. A laptop to work in the field, import photos, do initial rating and light editing.
The edits done on the laptop should seemengly transfer over, when I'm back in the office and move the pictures from the laptop to the desktop machine.
2.) Central NAS repository where all pictures are stored. Edits are done from multiple computers in the LAN and edits should synchronize between computers. Common scenarios are coworkers within a business or family members for private usage.
1.) Works perfectly in good old Aperture. 1.) und 2.) works perfectly in Apple Photos via iCloud or in ON1. Cannot comment on Lightroom as I don't use it but from what I read it should work too.
So Luminar 3 is a true exemption here.
The solution could be:
1.) Synchronize the Luminar database between computers. Probably the worst solution as not every computer is necessarily watching the identical picture folders in Luminar. Also synchronizing large databases is prone to break occasionally.
2.) Classic sidecar files per picture. A trusted solution, the way your competitor ON1 is doing it. Drawbacks might be less performance than a monolithic database and the folder structure holding the picture gets swamped with tons of sidecar files. Even though they are small files, some people don't like to see the clutter.
3.) Single external database file per folder. IMO the best solution. Whenever Luminar stores edits in its internal database it creates/updates a database file that holds the edits for all pictures inside that folder. When you open Luminar on another computer, it checks the last modification date of these external database files and if they are newer, the edits are imported into the internal database. That way edits synchronize between Luminar instances.
Only drawback of this approach is, you store each edit twice. But as the external database files are in the folder tree, where the pictures are stored, which on large setups are big external hard drives anyways, the additional space should not be significant. To safe space on small single drive setups you could make the generation of the external database file optional via a preference either global or per folder.
Performance penalty should be lower then in 2.) as there would be much less external files to check for new edits.
Things to take care of:
Whenever a picture is opened in edit mode a lock file must be generated to prevent simultaneous editing.
When a picture is moved to another folder the external database file for both source and destination folder (in case it is also a folder watched by Luminar) must be updated.
Please sign in to leave a comment.