I have been a big fan of NIK Software for years, so much so in fact that I paid several hundred pounds on Colour Efex before google bought it and made it free. However until recently I never knew it was possible to Batch Edit with Nik Software in Lightroom. I had searched around Google of course, the collective wisdom of the Internet is that it is not possible, it doesn’t help that even YouTube Videos by NIK Software say it’s not possible and the only way to batch is using an Action in Photoshop.
Well let me tell you, NIK Software DOES have a batch edit feature. It is very easy to use, but fiendishly well hidden in plain sight!
NIK Software Batch Edit Feature
So here is the thing. NIK Software batch edit feature can only be accessed by Lightroom. It can’t be accessed directly from say Colour Efex on its own. From Lightroom, choose any 3 images in the filmstrip at the bottom of Lightroom. Note it has to be in Filmstrip at the bottom otherwise it will not work. Now right click on the Film Strip and choose ‘Edit in’ then choose say Colour Efex. Again, you HAVE to right click on the filmstrip, not choose the edit feature from the photo menu in Lightroom or it simply wont work.
You get the normal options to edit a copy or the original. I tend to output Jpeg’s from the RAW files and then work on those jpeg ‘originals’. Wait a little and then when the Colour Efex window opens up you will notice you have the option to look at the next image. This allows you to change the settings per image. However if you want to apply the same settings (including exact same placement of control points if you are using them) all you need do is click ‘Save All’ and Colour Efex will merrily go through those images and apply the settings.
The Batch Edit Gotchas
What may throw you and make you think its not possible, as it has to even NIK Software itself are the following:
- You must select your images in the filmstrip. It is the only place it will work.
- You must right click on the film strip and edit in (for E.g Colour Efex), not from the photo window or it will not work.
- If you select all images, on sizeable batches it will look like nothing is happening because there is a lengthy delay. Nik Software doesn’t appear to open the images one by one, it seems to open the lot up at once and then apply the settings one by one. I tend to process high quality Jpegs for this reason.
- Do try it with 2 or 3 images before a big batch, just to satisfy yourself it is working or the delay in opening may make you think it is not.
- Control points will be same on every image so you can only use the Save All feature if you intend to ether scroll through each image and apply control points for each, or are happy to apply the filter globally.
That’s it. It IS Possible to batch edit with NikSoftware in Lightroom, how to do that is just hiding out in plain sight!
Big thanks to Google for making the NIK Software filters freely available. It is a fantastic set of tools. It’s just a shame I bought them before they became free!