Layout Overlay view
The Layout Overlay feature allows you to overlay an image when using the Fit to Screen or Fill Screen Loupe views and is a useful feature to employ when shooting tethered in the studio. To load an image as an overlay, go to the Library module and choose: View → Layout Overlay → Choose Image... (or use the [Mac] or [PC] keyboard shortcut). You will then need to select a PNG file and click “Choose.” To enable the Layout Overlay view choose: View → Layout Overlay → Show Layout Overlay (or use the [Mac] or [PC] keyboard shortcut).
This feature is useful if you wish to overlay images with a layout so that you can see which images work well with a particular layout. It can also be useful if you need to use an art director’s layout as a guide to how things should be arranged in a shot. And finally, it might be a useful way to compare and align the photographs you are shooting with an existing photograph.
The main thing to note here is that the overlay image must be saved as a PNG file. The PNG file format supports transparency. So, if you were to edit a scanned layout and edit it in Photoshop, you would want to create a semi-transparent layer and then save it as a PNG, ready to load as a layout overlay in Lightroom.
The Layout Overlay feature in use
I am sure there are some readers who will be interested to know how I went about creating and using the layout overlay shown in use in Figure 2.35. So please bear in mind that the following information does assume that you have at least a working knowledge of working with InDesign, Photoshop, and Lightroom.
Figure 2.35 This shows the transparent PNG template file (top left) that I created in InDesign and loaded as a loupe overlay in Lightroom.
Using InDesign I took the page layout lettering and graphics (including the semi-transparent overlay areas top and bottom) and saved the layout as a PDF. I then opened the PDF document via Photoshop and saved it using the PNG file format. I then used the View → Layout Overlay → Choose Image... command to load this as a layout overlay and used the View → Layout Overlay → Show Layout Overlay command so that this overlapped the images displayed in the Fit to Screen/Fill Screen Loupe views. To make this particular layout overlay work it was also necessary for the photos to all be cropped to the same proportions as the final book cover. In this case, The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Book uses a 5:6 aspect ratio. So, I set this as a custom crop ratio and applied it to all the photos I was about to edit. Once done, I could navigate through all the photos that I had shot and preview each to see which had the most potential as a new cover image.
If you hold down the key (Mac) or key (PC), you can control the layout overlay size, position, opacity, and matte opacity. You can see an example of the layout overlay being edited in the bottom-right screenshot in Figure 2.35.