Lightroom: Support PSB files

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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Lightroom: Support cataloging PSB files (files larger than 2 GB PSDs and 4 GB TIFFs)

I am shocked if it is true that Lightroom won't catalog psb files. I dragged a number of them onto a catalog, and the message was "No photos found". If true, this is inexcusable. Perhaps I am confused?
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Alan Harper

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  • annoyed at Adobe (or confused)

Posted 8 years ago

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Geoff Walker, Champion

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Yes Alan, it is true. Lightroom has a 65,000 pixel size limitation at present. Keep in mind that LR is a reasonably new app and as such doesn't yet do plenty of "wanted" things.
You can place a request to allow PSB's though.
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Alan Harper

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Thanks. These images are not greater than 65,000 pixels but have so many layers that they might be greater than 4 GB. I switched to psb whenever I have worried about pushing against the 4 GB barrier, assuming that if I included previews, then any Adobe program would at least be able to preview them and write metadata.

Obviously, making assumptions about Adobe is a loser's game.

Cheers

A
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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If you read the specifications for LR you would have noticed that PSB is not listed in the usable files - is it too much to assume that people will read that before they buy??
Good luck. Have you placed a feature request yet??
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Alan Harper

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Is is too much to assume that people will be friendly in these forums?

The Lightroom help says "Lightroom does not support the following types of files: 32-bit images; PNG; Adobe Illustrator®; Nikon scanner NEF; files with dimensions greater than 65,000 pixels per side or larger than 512 megapixels." It says nothing specific about accepting or not accepting psb files. As I said, I assumed that since Adobe already owns the code for reading psb files, they would have incorporated it into their programs (now at LR v. 3).
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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Sorry if I seemed a bit terse. Note that on the Lightroom FAQ page it does state this: "What file formats does Lightroom 3 support?
Lightroom 3 supports more than 290 native camera raw file formats, in addition to DNG, TIFF, and JPEG files — in other words, the formats primarily used in digital cameras. In addition, Lightroom 3 also supports the Photoshop PSD file format for enhanced integration with Photoshop CS5. For a complete list of manufacturers and models supported in Camera Raw, see the camera raw page."
I'll see that the Help page is updated.
I have voted for the PSB support btw.
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Alan Harper

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Geoff, I switched to Lightroom for cataloging, although I am now beginning to use it for developing as well (other features of LR are so far unused). Before I used Bridge + Photoshop for editing and a home-grown cataloging tool.

My problem is that if I need to tweak one of my heavily edited images, I need to remember that there is a psb file, and where it is. I don't leave the psb files in the same directory as the final tiffs, so I am relying on Lightroom to help me find them, and my strategy (discussed somewhere on one of these forums) is to just leave files where they are, and let the DAM tool take care of linking them.

I'll figure out a way to deal with this, but I'm just going to put up a request that Lightroom do "everything I need it to do", and hope that suffices ;)

Cheers

Alan
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Alan Harper

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PS--It has been suggested that I look into the "any file" plugin, which may solve my problems.
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Jurgen Scriba

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Absolutely! LR should be able to display psb. I switched to LR after my favorite cataloguing program (iView - Expression - MediaPro) became a piece of trash. I then tried the develop module and absolutely love it.
As I understand it, LR is supposed to be the central hub of organizing your workflow (and it does a great job), so it's quite natural you import your pictures and at some point move to PS for more intense editing. If you chose "edit in...PS" LR automatically updates the catalogue to include the PS-file saved during the edit process.
However, using the 16-bit pipeline that RAW provides, even a 40MP image that gets some layers added quickly becomes so big it needs to be saved as psb. What's the point if you're returning to LR and you can't see the edited file any more?
iView etc. didn't support psb, either, but at least there was a workaround that would let you see a placeholder icon with the filename so you knew that file was there and could be opened in PS. I think it's very strange that Adobe of all people would not support their own format.
Unfortunately, the "any file" plugin doesn't seem to see psb, either.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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A follow-up after discussion with Jurgen:

With Any File, you can edit the original file via the command Any File > Open, which is one of the issues Jurgen asked about.

But Jurgen stumbled on an issue with Any File on some OS X machines upgraded to Lion (the ImageMagick package, used by a number of plugins, can sometimes fail on Lion). Many thanks to Jurgen for helping to troublehsoot this. I'll be releasing a new Any File as soon as I can upgrade to Lion and get a rebuilt ImageMagick.

Overall, I obviously agree with Jurgen that there are many, many users of LR who wish it could catalog files of any type. These users have a mostly digital-camera-media workflow but still have many associated files of other types.
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Rob Cole

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|> (the ImageMagick package, used by a number of plugins, can sometimes fail on Lion)

Good to know - thanks John.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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A follow-up for anyone else reading this thread: I released a new version of Any File that fixes the ImageMagick problem that struck a couple of users upgrading to Lion.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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A clarification from a user: Any File will display true thumbnails for PSD but not PSB on Mac. It will display true thumbnails for PSD *and* PSB on Windows if you get a third-party plugin. Adobe points fingers at Apple and Microsoft saying they should implement thumbnail display for Adobe formats. See the Any File documentation for details.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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A follow-up: For Mac, over a year ago I released a Quick Look plugin, PSB Quick Look, that enables the Finder to show thumbnails and previews for PSBs. This enables the Any File plugin to show PSB thumbnails inside Lightroom catalogs.
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Stefan Krauth

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I also want to post a follow up to this issue. I switched to LR 4 and with the hope that psb files will finally be supported. My files are far away from the dimensions mentioned above. It's just because of the file size limit of psd.
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D Michael Duggan

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I just got the trial Lightroom that they are making available, plugged in my old hard drive with psb files from CS2 and cs3 PS that I have been working with for many years, and it won't read them still. I guess I'll have to buy PS for my new Mac now!

Any other ideas?
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Kevin Cox

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I was thinking that using an empty TIFF or PSD file with the PSB added via place linked would create a little container file for LIghtroom to see and export file formats. Any updates to the PSB would require the container TIFF file to be opened update link and saved.
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Shellette

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I have to laugh at this. Photoshop CC made my files larger just by opening them up when I upgraded to CC from CS5. Adding a simple brightness adjustment layer increased them to enormous files. I figured this was normal. I do not do much editing to my images, I keep them somewhat natural, so I am always surprised when they grow to PSBs. If going to TIffs is the answer then I can do that. Thanks for the help.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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TIFFs can be a good solution once you've reach the maximum PSD size of 2 GB. But beware that even though the TIFF specification says its maximum size is 4 GB, some apps are buggy and can't handle TIFFs larger than 2 GB. (LR and PS can go up to 4 GB.)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"Adding a simple brightness adjustment layer increased them to enormous files."

Adding a Brightness/Contrast layer to a single-layer PSD will typically double the file size, if you have the option Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility set. That's because, for multi-layer files, PS will store a special compatibility layer that lets programs like LR process the PSD.
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Shellette

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Thank you John I appreciate the info. I do have that box checked, (Maximize PSD Compatibility) so I can modify them in LR. Why is it such a big deal for LR to process larger files? If our hardware can handle it ... why can't Adobe ?
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Steve Glass

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ADOBE, PLEASE SUPPORT PSB files in Lightroom!
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Sebastian Albert

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Can you please add PSB support for Lightroom! It's essential as files get bigger and bigger, especially with the new high MP-Mediaformat Backs!
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Jim Christensen

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Hmmm.. I have a 36MP DSLR (D800), and I've started to use Smart Layers in PS... guess what.  Over the 4GB limit for TIFF files, and now I have NO WAY to keep track of the PSB files!  Hey Adobe, I've bought into your software, and I'm happy...  100K photos in my LR library, and it's running great.  If you won't support PSB files (and that seems like a poor decision), at least give us a work-around so we can manage our big image files, that YOUR SOFTWARE creates!! - Thanks in advance, Jim
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Steve Glass

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I'm with Jim!

I have a 50MP camera (Canon 5DSR)  I use Lightroom to manage all my files, and now I'm blowing through the PSD, TIFF size limits and have to use the PSB . . . and Lightroom does not support. PLLLLEEEASSSSEEEE support the file.
FYI, I make a PSB folder inside my production folder and drop a small res jpeg to remind me it's there. Totally stupid lame work around, but like you with thousands of images (400,000+), I'm not about to change my workflow.
So again, Adobe, I love your software, it's totally awesome, but please support your PSB in lightroom.

-steve
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Richard Scheibe

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We create composite images with lots of layers in PS and frequently exceed the PSD file size.  We use LR catalog to keep track of images.  We need PSB support in LR.
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Steve Glass

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Amen! I agree. Please make the PSB supported in Lightroom.
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Glenn Bloodworth

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Adding my voice to the desire for LR to support PSBs. I can understand earlier versions of LR not supporting PSBs, as one champion noted for LR3 near the start of this dialogue, but we are now long past Adobe having LR as a relatively "new" application. I use PS CC 2015 which easily handles PSBs, and I use LR CC2016 which cannot handle them - what gives! Adobe should have gotten the 'catch-upl done by now!! 
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Steve Glass

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I too agree for the when it was Lightroom 3, but Lightroom is here to stay, and files sizes keep getting bigger . . . it just makes sense they would support PSBs. OR make it so PSD files can be way bigger! It only takes a few layers on the Canon 5DSR and you go over the PSD file size limit.
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Jim Christensen

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Hey Adobe - Please think about how the digital imaging market will shake out.  Right now we have 3 segments:  mobile, point-and-shoot, and high end.  Right now you own the software for the high end.  And while mobile we be the big growth market, who knows what software will flourish or what the business model will be.  Seems mind share trumps market share in that world.  The point-and shoot market will probably disappear.  But we know the high end will survive, and today your software is king.  Invest in that segment!  Support the "next gen" image file format that you invented! - IMHO, Jim
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Jurgen Scriba

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Interesting - we're still were we were five (!) years ago in this thread.
Adobe sells a product which is called "Photoshop Lightroom", which is supposed to be the central hub in our workflow for all things going into and coming out of Photoshop. It's now even bundled in the subscription model.
And yet, when you start working on reasonably sized pictures you bring into Photoshop from Lightroom, it doesn't take much fiddling until Photoshop forces you to save the file in a format that Lightroom doesn't understand, so your picture become invisible in Adobe's own cataloguing software.

Honestly - how can anyone still argue whether it's Adobe's job to support their own file format in LR or if such a thing makes sense?
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Robert Mariani

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled PSD 2.0gb file size too small for today's high resolution cameras.

Several professional brand cameras are producing RAW file sizes in excess of 75MB.  When stitching these RAW files one can easily produce 300, 400, 1GB RAW files before any editing begins in PS.  If you try to save these files in PS, you are limited to .PSB files which cannot be brought into LR for additional editing.

Adobe, PLEASE raise the 2GB limit on PSD files to at least 4GB or larger.  Camera manufacturers are not going backwards and making their RAW files smaller.  They are all moving to larger file formats.

Thank you!
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Using TIFF between LR and PS is a good workaround that many use.  But beware that there some other applications that don't correctly implement the TIFF standard and won't be able read TIFFs larger than 2 GB.  
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Robert Mariani

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@ Jim,

Thanks for your reply!  Are you running Windows or Mac OS.  On the Mac OS ( El Capitan ) I have been occasionally able to save files over 2GB limit as TIFF files, but rarely.  It is very inconsistent.  I have had to delete layers in my edits just to save some files back to LR.  Very frustrating - and as I said inconsistent.  I know its not my Mac, I have the fasted 5k iMac with 32GB of RAM and tons of storage for scratch disk. 

PS needs to track in real time the file size and limit for export including all layers, affects and masks so you don't end up doing a ton of work that cant go back to LR.
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Jim Christensen

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@Robert - I'm on Mac but running Yosemite (10.10) on a 3-yr old MacBookPro Retina.  I did not upgrade to Yosemite (10.11), because when I upgraded to Yosemite things got a little worse on the Mac, so I decided not up upgrade the OS again.  I've never had a problem saving TIFF files less than 4GB, and both PS and LR like them just fine.
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Steve Glass

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Robert, I'm with you! I wish Adobe would do this upgrade. It is a constant pain in my workflow .  . . . . I agree. A few layers and I'm over the limit. PLEASSSEEE Adobe support larger PSD files and the PSB files in Lightroom.  There's a whole community that needs this.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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"the Doc file size dialogue box on the lower left hand corner of the work-space screen is NEVER reflecting the true real time file size.  I could be at 1.2GB and try to save the file to LR and get the standard PS error message that the file is too big"

Technically, it's pretty difficult for Photoshop to know the true size of the saved PSD without actually doing all the work of saving it.  This is because it's hard to predict how much each layer might compress without actually doing the time-consuming work of saving the file.  So PS makes a quick estimate that can be quite off, and it won't know the actual number until it does the save.  

Some others have suggested an option that would cause PS to automatically save to PSB when the 2 GB limit is reached: https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/documents_over_2gb_automatically_save_as_psb  

This would avoid the annoying error message and automatically do what you're likely going to do next anyway, which is to save the file as a PSB or TIFF.
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Robert Mariani

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@ Jim,

Not sure what is going on with this given your success.  But I should be able to do it given I am on a newer machine, latest OS and tons of memory.  THIS is what is so frustrating about Adobe products.  There is so much inconsistency between user experiences on similar platforms.

Something hopefully you can explain....When editing in LR you are non destructively working on the RAW file, assuming you shoot RAW, not JPG.  Then you send your open file to PS and it is still a RAW file, but correct me if I am wrong.  Then you edit the file further in PS and send it back to LR, it still is a RAW file, unless you select TIFF or JPG under save as.  So IF you send file back as a TIFF to LR, are you not losing some level of file resolution at any level.  If yes I would like not to do that.  If no, then why save any file as .PSD vs .TIFF?
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Robert Mariani

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@Geoff,

I realized after you took time to post a clear and concise response, my question was not clear.  I apologize for the confusion on my part. 

What I really meant to ask, suppose this scenario:
1.  You start by adding a simple exposure, curve and temp adjustments to your RAW file in LR.
2.  Open the file in PS, now save the file out at full size, no crop to a PSD file and TIFF file save on your desktop. 
3.  Open both those files in PS and they are the same size file.  On the surface that means no quality difference in printing from either file, right?

Rightly or wrong, I was under the impression that a PSD file outputs to print better, meaning no compression or color gamut loss, than a TIFF file and certainly better than a JPG.

Is that a correct or incorrect assumption?  If correct, it would appear I have been wasting my time trying to round trip back from PS to LR with a PSD vs. a TIFF file.

???
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Robert Mariani

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@Jim,

Thanks Jim for confirming Geoff's thoughts.  Everything you wrote makes sense and I was aware of....again, my apologies, I don't think I did a good job forming my previous question.

That said, when I do exceed 2GB in trying to save a file, I don't recall the exact text but it states I exceeded the 2GB limit.  But the most confusing part about it, as I noted before, is the file size noted on the lower left corner of the work space has been as low as 800MB when I got the error message.....that make no sense to me.



@ Geoff,
Going to echo Jim in thanking you for raising the file limitation size to Adobe.  It might be helpful to reinforce that Sony, Canon, Phase One, Hassblad, Pentax and Nikon are all creating huge RAW files that can easily grow beyond 2GB once edited - something tells me they sticking their heads in the sand on this one.
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Geoff Walker, Champion

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It can be difficult to explain what is meant and also to understand....
PSD is limited to 2GB I think but TIFF has a larger limitation 4GB??
Generally there can be benefits with using TIFF as it is a format documented in the public domain and hence more widely accepted and transferable. If you use theses files only for yourself there really is no practical difference.

Of course Adobe and the Lightroom team are aware fully of the new cameras, etc but there is certainly no harm in requesting a review of the limitation for PSB's. It is my understanding that it was a pixel dimension constraint... but we will see.

To sum up - there is not practical difference between TIFF and PSD's - I use TIFF all the time...
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Jim Christensen

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@Robert - I understand your confusion in the difference among PSD, TIFF, and JPEG.   Only JPEG "thorws away" information using so-called "lossy" compression.  PSD and TIFF use "loss-less" compression, and are able to save and reconstruct an image, bit for bit.  So for and editing and printing, both PSD and TIFF are great choices.   JPEG was designed to really crush the file size to a minimum, while at the same time minimizing "visual atrifacts"  (visible changes to the image).  Final file size on disk (of all 3 formats) is only known after the compression has been performed, which is computationally expensive, and hence PS does not know if a saved file will be bigger or smaller than 2GB until it's tried to compress the file, which is done when saving the file.  I've also been frustrated to wait 2 or 3 mins to save a big file, only to get an error message that the file is too big to save in the requested format (PSD or TIFF).   I guess we're lucky to have hi-res cameras, and that puts us on the leading edge... sometimes called the "bleeding edge".   TG storage has gotten cheap... how we need Skylake processors!  - Jim
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Robert Mariani

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@Jim,

Thank you.  My 5DS R creates 65MB RAW files all day long from a single frame, and I often stitch at least two frames together for some of my larger architectural shoots.  I feel this discussion is really important and relevant, especially with Photokina 2016 just two months away.  I am pretty confident Sony, Canon, Fuji and Pentax are going to be introducing 75+ MP cameras, which will only push this issue even more to the forefront. 

Now about those loooooooong awaited Skylake processors ........ ;) 

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