Photoshop: background processes (filters, etc)

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Background saves in Photoshop CS6 have DRAMATICALLY sped up my workflow. When I'm saving one image, I can start working on the next. I literally felt like I had upgraded to a new computer with all the extra speed I gained.

I've been using Color Efex Pro 4 a lot lately, and it often takes 5+ minutes to apply a complex (stacked) filter. When it does, I just have to wait. I would love to have background processes for filters, etc so that I can work on other images while a process is running on my first image. For example, I could be working on several images and jump from one to another when I hit a long step. This would save me a LOT of time with complex weddings and landscapes. I could even just queue up a bunch of edits this way, then leave and come back when they are all done.
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Greg Benz

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Posted 6 years ago

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Chris Cox

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In many cases that would actually slow down your workflow (because what you are doing now interferes with what is happening in the background).

And third party filters would require rewrites to be thread safe (and they are FAR from thread safe at this time).

So, this is pretty unlikely.
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Greg Benz

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Thanks Chris, sounds like some steep hills to climb for this one. Anything to reduce the time the user is waiting for the machine would be high value. I have lots of downtime (with a Retina MacBook Pro). Perhaps a nieve question that runs into much of the same responsiveness concerns, but is there a way to run two instances of Photoshop simultaneously?
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Chris Cox

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No, two instances of Photoshop would compete for system resources.

If you have lots of downtime waiting for processing, you might want to look at your system or workflow. Do you need more RAM, faster scratch disks, etc. Could you use smaller images, fewer layers, etc.

But yeah, the Nik plugins are not exactly speedy (or stable).
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stuartpeckphoto

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The nik plug ins do seem to run slower in PS than they do in LR, however when using smart filters, i prefer the workflow. Using the nik stuff directly in LR creates multiple images. A similar workflow in LR would be nicer.
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Greg Benz

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I've got a Macbook Pro Retina with 16GB of RAM, so short of getting the next Mac Pro, my hardware setup is pretty good. I'm shooting with a Nikon D800 and creating a lot of 40x60" prints, so I prefer to work at the camera's full 36 megapixel resolution and keep things in 16bit TIF. I typically have several GB of free RAM, so would fewer layers still speed things up? I sometimes have up to 8 or so layers, but try to keep things to about 3. Honestly, I think even if I had just a single layer, the processing with Color Efex Pro would be a similarly long wait. If I had a way to queue up all the settings for several images and then just let Photoshop run them as a batch (while I left or did something else), that would work quite well for me. My other typical Photoshop processes are not so nearly long a wait.
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stuartpeckphoto

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I think his is just the Nik plugs as you say. I shoot on a D3 and even at that res it's slow, so I can image how it is with a D800 or a D3x.

Saving smart filters and running them as an action with droplets from LR might automate it better. Although I find that I will always tweak my presets even if i've got 10 images all shot under the same light, same exposure. Some will just need slightly different processing
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Greg Benz

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I'd be all over that, but unfortunately, every photo uses different Nik settings. If I could only queue them up at the point where I'm ready to hit "ok" (the preview is essentially flawless, so I know when I'm good to let the computer get to work).
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stuartpeckphoto

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It would mean setting up exports for each setting as well. It can be done with pre processing
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Greg Benz

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Is there a way to do that smoothly in a batch? If I could let 10-50+ photos run in a batch overnight, that would be a huge improvement.