Iridient X Transformer – Getting it to work as a Lightroom plugin.

This post is brought to you by the IXT help file… I should have read the bloody thing…

Previously (LINK) I lamented that you couldn’t use IXT (Iridient X Transformer) as a “Lightroom plugin”.  However, as directed by the developer, I have looked into the “Help” file and found out you CAN use it as a functional plugin with LR and get it to convert one file as needed.  I guess I really should have RTFM…

What I should do next time (Read The Frigging Manual)

According to the help file (included in the install file where IXT is located) it says:

Here are the steps in Lightroom to setup “External Editing”:

1 – Choose “Preferences…” from the Edit menu (or key combo Ctrl+comma).


2 – In the Preferences dialog select the “External Editing” tab pane.


3 – In the “Additional External Editor” section click the “Choose” button to the right of the Application text and select “Iridient X-Transformer.exe”. The program will typically be located in the folder at “C:\Program Files\Iridient Digital\Iridient X-Transformer”.


4 – In the File Format popup menu select “TIFF”.


5 – The Color Space popup menu option does not matter. No need to worrry about sRGB not covering the full RAW color range as the color space choice here will have no impact on the converted DNG image produced by X-Transformer. Lightroom internally is based on a color space similar to “ProPhoto RGB” so perhaps that option may require a bit less processing time on export, but I have not investigated whether this has any notable impact at all. My guess is you won’t notice a notable difference in speed regardless of option selected here.


6 – In the Bit Depth popup menu select “8 bits/component”. No need to worry about the actual bit depth here as the intermediate file will simply be overwritten. Choose 8 bits to speed file save time.


7 – The Resolution setting does not matter at all. Simply leave as is.


8 – In the Compression popup menu choose “None”. Again the actual option here has no impact beyond the intermediate file save time and no compression should be fastest here.


9 – From the Preset popup menu (back at the top of the section) choose “Save Current Settings as New Preset…” and give it a sensible name like “X-Transformer”.


10 – Click the “OK” button to save and close the Preferences dialog.

Preferences should be something like this (click OK)


Once the above has been completed, to send RAF images to Iridient X-Transformer for conversion:

1 – Select the image you want to convert in the thumbnail browser or Library module of Lightroom.


2 – Click the “Edit” button to send the image to Iridient X-Transformer for conversion.


3 – A dialog titled “Edit Photo with Iridient X-Transformer.exe” will appear. With RAW images the only option enabled in this dialog is “Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments”. No need to worry about the Lightroom adjustments being applied here, as the intermediate image will simply be overwritten by Iridient X-Transformer. Yes, it would be super if Lightroom allowed you to send a reference to the RAW directly without wasting time doing its own RAW processing, but so far Adobe does not allow this in Lightroom.

At this point you should see something like this.

4 – Choose “Edit In -> X-Transformer” from the Photo menu or the image contextual menu (shown by secondary clicking image).

5 – Once Lightroom completes its own processing and has sent the intermediate TIFF file over to Iridient X-Transformer, you should see a dialog that says, “An associated RAF was found for this TIFF image. Do you want to process the RAF and overwrite this TIFF with the converted DNG?”

6 – Click the “Yes” button in the Iridient X-Transformer dialog to convert the image to DNG.

Once the conversion completes in Iridient X-Transformer, the image will immediately update in Lightroom to reflect the newly processed image. Despite the image file extension in Lightroom being “tif” the image format will now indeed be DNG. The DNG image format is based upon the existing TIFF file format and DNG files share much of their core formatting and metadata with TIFF. Lightroom appears to handle DNG format files having a “tif” extension just fine and there is no option with External Editing to use DNG or other RAW formats.

It stacks in LR. It calls it a TIF but actually it’s a DNG. At least it works 🙂


So there you have it.  An actual help file that actually helps.  Finally I got IXT to work the way I want it to and it’s great!

I now eagerly await a discount… how about it Brian (developer of Iridient)?  It sucks being poor…

Thanks for reading,