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30 April 2015

In our review of Lightroom CC, we discussed a problem we had when rotating images in the Develop module. It was so severe, we were reluctant to move to the new version.


Among the enhancements in this Lightroom release is the use of OpenGL 3.3-compatible GPUs in the Develop module. Camera Raw Engineer Eric Chan subsequently posted a few notes about the GPU code in Lightroom.

In our review, we said:

Our experience on a 17-inch MacBook Pro 6,1 and an nVidia GeForce 300 series GPU was a step backwards. Sliders were not as smooth as they had been in v5 although they were certainly usable.

But rotation was not usable. Small shifts of the image to align it precisely along the grid, for example, jumped back and forth, lagging behind the cursor and kicking the laptop's fans on immediately.

We also noted that we didn't have the problem on a 13-inch MacBook Pro 8,1 which uses an Intel HD Graphics 3000 GPU.

After publishing our review, however, we had some Lightroom work to do, so we launched Lightroom CC. We wrote:

Later in the day, after a number of CC updates, we launched Lightroom CC and created a new catalog, importing some working Collections from an older catalog. When we tried rotating a few images in the Develop module, we noticed performance was much smoother with GPU acceleration enabled. The Auto button and the Angle slider both performed adequately and even manual rotation was not quite the problem we had seen (unless we rotated a full crop very, very slowly). We'll keep an eye on it but we were not seeing the problem that had plagued us earlier.

But the bad news is that the problem did not go away. We did see the jumpy rotation return in subsequent sessions, as we noted in our Around the Horn article citing Chan's post.


The other day we were browsing through other people's problems on and ran across a video display problem that was resolved by removing certain kernal modules or kexts from OS 10.10.3.

That got us thinking if something other than Lightroom CC and our GPU could be involved. And the answer was right under our hand.

We use an Intuos mouse on an Intuos tablet on the 17-inch MacBook Pro.

To see if the Intuos was the problem, we launched Lightroom and opened the same image we'd been testing in the Develop module. We rotated the image with the Intuos mouse and the rotation was jumpy.

Then we moved to the trackpad and tried to rotate the image again, this time with a gesture. And it rotated as smoothly as on the 13-inch MacBook Pro.


We're using the latest Intuos driver, but the tablet isn't supported by Wacom on Yosemite. You can install it, certainly, but there's a trick to getting it to run.

You have to set the control panel to run in 32-bit mode (Get Info on System Preferences and check the Open in 32-bit mode option) to actually open it and configure the tablet under Yosemite.

Once we did that (some time ago), we lived happily ever after with the tablet and Yosemite. Until Lightroom CC.


We don't expect Adobe to address this with a Lightroom update or Wacom to reverse directions and support the Intuos on Yosemite.

Fortunately, the workaround of using the trackpad is certainly a sufficient solution for us.

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