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Small vs. Large File Size For Restorations

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  • Small vs. Large File Size For Restorations

    By Ed Ladendorf (ed) on Tuesday, June 12, 2001 - 10:06 pm:

    I remember reading somewhere that it is better to work with large file sizes, then reduce the size for output. Supposedly, this makes corrective manipulations more subtle to the eye. When working on "Ziggy's Mum", I did not reduce the file size, and I wound up with a file size of 66.4 megs (I don't know how) when I was working on it. Since I only have 128 megs of RAM, it was waaaay too slow, and I promptly reduced the size. Is there really an advantage to working with the large file size, or is it just a waste of time and resources?

    By Mick Kerr on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 10:17 am:

    I have the same problems with memory as you Ed although hopefully I can upgrade to 256 meg shortly, so as these are only challenges I usually scale down the images to about half size to lower the load on my memory. I feel that as long as you can scale down to Doug's final size then it is alright to scale down but not too much. But if I was working on a photo for myself or friends I just put up with the slow speed to get a more acceptable finished image. Where I work (at a local Australian newspaper) we have always had it drummed into us to work on a larger file because scaling down later on can hide slight imperfections that you can usually see when you view the image at 100%.
    Mick Kerr

    By Ed Ladendorf (ed) on Thursday, July 05, 2001 - 09:04 pm:

    Hi Mick,

    Yeah, I heard the same thing about hiding certain imperfections by using a larger file size. FWIW, I just bought another 128 megs of RAM for $35.00. I know it's the cheapie, but it works.


    By DJ Dubovsky on Friday, July 13, 2001 - 10:18 pm:

    Here's what they told us at the NAAP seminar I attended about the size of scans. The basic scan needs only to be about 300 dpi and that anything bigger won't show any more detail than that. The larger size scans are however important if you plan to print the photo into poster or wall mural sizes only. If you plan to print average photo sizes then 300 dpi is more than plenty and alot easier to work with. They suggested testing it ourselves to see if we could see a difference in the detail when viewed side by side and I couldn't so I stopped killing myself working with those huge scans. Hope that helps.

    By HokeyFX on Saturday, July 14, 2001 - 11:05 pm:

    The resolution of the scan should be determined by your intended output. There really is no magic dpi as all types of printers and RIPS have differing "optimum" file recommendations. A 150ppi file that looks good printed at 100 percent on an Epson 6-color injet will look quite "fuzzy" when output at 100 percent on a Fuji Frontier, or will "jaggy" when seperated to a 133lpi screen.

    The more info you have about your intended output device, the better you will be able to calculate the optimum resolution for your scan.

    That said, another issue to consider is your client requesting larger output in the future. You do not want to have to upsample your finished restoration (or *gasp* re-do the work) in order to fulfil this request.

    Hope this helps.

    By DJ Dubovsky on Sunday, July 15, 2001 - 03:37 pm:

    Point taken. You are absolutely right about possible future requests for larger prints. I also agree that you need to be certain what's going to be the final outcome of the file. I can really identify with those who have struggled with those huge files though, they can get tedious at times.
    Last edited by Doug Nelson; 08-17-2001, 08:12 AM.
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  • #2
    working on an image that that would make your system weep from straining. I have to admit, that the results from working from a high image scan, in the long run is better, due to the more detail you can get in some of the images.

    With memory being so inexpensive it would definitely be worth your while to upgrade. currently, I'm only running on a Cel-366, but I have 256megs of RAM and that alone helps me out considerably with alot of the images.


    • #3
      Good rule of thumb:

      Have at least 5x as much ram as your biggest typical image file. Plus some extra for overhead. Plus some extra because it's cheap now

      Remember to set your swap file to at least 2x your total RAM (assuming Windows, and assuming you manage it manually)
      Learn by teaching
      Take responsibility for learning


      • #4
        This is my first post to this website and to this forum. Thought I would start from the beginning of the posts.

        I think we all have 'RAM Drop' when airbrushing those masks. When I do restorations, I sometimes work in chunks with File>Import>Quick Edit on tough restoration jobs. Quick Edit is great on those large HI-REZ files. Just open a 5-6 MB section of the file to restore the cracks and save as Quick Edit Save. Then work on the whole file for the final color and density corrections. Your file has to be a non-LZW tiff or PSD file. If you can't find the Quick edit in the PS Import menu, you have to load it from the CD.

        I hope this this tip is helpful. I've learned alot from this website.



        • #5
          Hello VidKid. Welcome to the site. You might have learned something, but it looks as though you might be teaching a thing or two also. Would you give us a little more info on using quick edit please? I haven't heard of that before. What version of Photoshop is that available from?



          • #6
            Adobe killed the quick edit feature in version 6, it has been around for some time, not sure of the introduction point though.

            Many users liked it, although it was restrictive for some workflows - but it must have been a problem for Adobe to support, I recall at the time that there were some weak answers given on why it was axed, but I wanted more file formats/compression and layers - but this was not too be.

            If enough users made noise, a third party might come up with something better, or perhaps it may resurface in the future from Adobe if there is a compelling reason (sales).



            • #7
              Thanks for the welcome Ed. As long as your file is saved as a uncompressed Tiff or.PSD, you need not open all of
              your file, only the portion that needs to be edited. Why open up a full 20-30MB file when you might need to work on only a small area of the file, like the face, hands, wedding cake, or chair, small correction etc.?

              If your image is a Photoshop, Scitex CT, or uncompressed TIFF file, open a portion of the file using the Quick Edit feature:
              1. In Photoshop, choose File > Import > Quick Edit (Photoshop 5.0.x) or File > Acquire > Quick Edit (Photoshop 3.0.x).
              2. Select the file you want, then click Open.
              3. In the Quick Edit dialog box, select a portion of the image by dragging the cursor in the image area box or by selecting the
              Grid option and then selecting one of the image area tiles, then click OK.
              4. Save the portion back to your original file by choosing File > Export > Quick Edit Save.

              NOTE: The Photoshop 5.0 installer does not install the Quick Edit plug-in automatically. You must copy the plug-in from the
              Adobe Photoshop 5.0:Other Goodies:Optional Plug-Ins:QuickEdit folder on the Photoshop 5.0 application CD-ROM to the Adobe
              Photoshop 5.0:Plug-ins:Import/Export folder.

              Here's a few example usages for Quick Edit for restorations.
              1) Let's say you have repaired most of the restoration and left the face(s) for last for the final touchup, etc. Instead of opening the whole file again, just use Quick Edit and rectangle around the face section and restore that section of the file.
              2). If you have a large 16x20 job with lots of major work to be done, divide the file in 6 or 9 sections in the menu and work on the cracks one section at a time. This will ease the pain of ' RAM Drop' when using the blur or airbrush tools.
              3) If you need a body part from another file for a restoration, use Quick Edit and rectangle around the good body part then composite into your working restoration file.
              Quick Edit for Graphic Jobs.
              1) If your working on a large 50x100" wall mural, do all your layer composition in a managble low rez file, then flatten and rez up to your output requirements. Use Quick Edit to open up chunks of the Hi ReZ file and mask in items over the lower rez sections that need more detail at higher resolution such as faces, hair, text, jewlery, etc. Anything that looks blurry and needs to look sharp will have to replaced with higher rez masked layers. Now flatten your Quick Edit Import file and save as Quick Edit Save , replacing the original section. Quick Edit has gotten me through a few tough 300-400MB jobs. I takes so long to open up a 300+ MB file and the work flow is just too slow, I prefer to use Quick Edit instead. It's faster.
              2) Use Quick Edit for large files that are flattened and have last minute minor corrections that need to be repaired before final prepress printing. I refer to these as 'Ops: Graphic Patches' -or- 'Client/Boss Updates'.

              Good news Stephen, the older Quick Edit plug-in from PS5 (maybe even from PS4) will work in PS6.
              Here's the Adobe link for more info.



              • #8
                Very interesting and useful information! Thanks very much. Maybe it will also work in Photoshop 7?



                • #9
                  Yes as an owner of the latest incarnation of photoshop I would be interested as to whether or not this applies. I frequently put my computers back out straining with those heavy files


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