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How many layers and how big are your PSD files?

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  • How many layers and how big are your PSD files?

    I'm just wondering if upgrading to a D800 would topple my PC setup.

    There is the chance that I'm inefficient when using layers in Photoshop but it is not uncommon to have 1-2GB PSD file when doing a retouch in Photoshop starting from a NEF out of a Nikon D700.

    Considering the D800 files are 3 times as large can I expect PSD files to blow up to 3-6GB per edit at this point?

    Just wondering if my edit sizes are on part with everyone elses.

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Re: How many layers and how big are your PSD files

    FWIW I prefer to save critical stages rather than bulky layer stacks. It keeps the stacks visually manageable and the file sizes sensible. Naturally, it's important to leave yourself a way back should you take the retouch down a blind alley but 95% of the time I would flatten all but the 'tricky to re-do' or curve critical elements. For most print applications a 250Mb file will be more than enough and I include large shop windows in that! Image quality frequently has nothing to do with file size or resolution and it's important to know the difference.


    • #3
      Re: How many layers and how big are your PSD files

      I agree with Repairman about flattening all but the 'tricky' stuff.

      I would also add that you should look at how you are using PS i.e. are you using it in the most effective manner to keep file sizes and layers numbers down.

      A lot of work can be accomplished in ACR prior to bringing the rendered image into PS for further work. Including global and local adjustments. These instructions in raw add very little to the file size so make sure you have gone as far as possible in ACR. Of course you may still have to do a lot of pixel level editing if you are doing 'high end' beauty stuff.

      I am also looking at the D800 and have played with a few sample raw images and am not unduly concerned about file size at this time - although I do think I may need to upgrade my system to cope particularly with image storage.

      A recent experiment with a D800 Nef:
      D800 Nef 7360x4912 pixels original size 49.5MB (think this is 14bit lossless compressed - 14 bit uncompresse about 75MB?)

      Bring into PS as 16 bit Prophoto psd file size = 206MB

      Added 12 different adjustment layers (including 2 stamped) file size = 764MB