Photoshop: Why aren't more tool available for 32 bit images in CS5?

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I am trying to work with HDR in PS CS5 and am having trouble using some of the tools to edit these images. Why won't PS let me edit these 32 bit images when my mode is set to 32bits? The files I am working with are .exr and .hdr formats. Can someone let me know what is going on?
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alex villanueva

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Posted 7 years ago

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Chris Cox

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What do you mean by "can't edit"? What message are you getting? What problem are you seeing?
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alex villanueva

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For ex. I'll try to use the brush tool on the 32 bit image and as soon as i click on it, it tells me that the "brush won't work on 32 bit images. Try converting to 8 or 16 bit modes". I can't even unlock the background layer or create new layers while the 32 bit image is displayed in the workspace.
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Chris Cox

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In Photoshop CS5, the brush tool works on 32 bit/channel images.

In Photoshop CS4 and CS3, the tools and layers only worked on 32 bit/channel images if you had the extended version.
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alex villanueva

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The tools i can use are very limited, as well as the menus located at the top of program. I know the brush tool works on 32bit/channel images because I am able to use PSx64 CS5 perfectly fine at school. But for some reason, I can't unlock the background layer, create new layers or adjustment layers, can't erase, paint, fill, dodge, burn, blur or heal in 32bit/channel mode at home. I've been researching the problem and can't seem to find a solution anywhere. What do you think it could be?
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Chris Cox

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I just double checked in Photoshop CS5 standard, and painting and layers work just fine on 32 bit/channel documents.

My guess is that you are mistakenly using CS3 or CS4, where only the extended version could use tools and layers in 32 bit/channel mode. Photoshop CS5 allows the standard version to also use tools and layers in 32 bit/channel documents.

That, or something is corrupt with your install of Photoshop and has caused severe problems with the licensing code for Photoshop.
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alex villanueva

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It's definitely cs5, but you're probably right about the install. I'll have to look more into it. Thanks anyway, Chris.
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Rich Powell

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Most other editing tools don't operate on 32 bit images in PS CS5.5 standard.
Please add support for magnetic lasso!

I am using the 64bit version of Photoshop. Are the 32 bit mode tools better in the Win 32 bit install of Photoshop CS5.5?
I hope that last sentence makes sense - it is hard to distinguish 32bit images and 32bit programs when writing!
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Chris Cox

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"most" tools already do work in 32 bit/channel mode. A few older tools do not because they do not work in a way that makes them amenable to working in higher bit depth. (it's going to take a near re-write of the magnetic lasso code to make it work in 32 bit, I already tried. And the art history brush is in similar shape -- too many assumptions about using integer data.)

No, the addressing mode has nothing to do with support for different bit depths. The features are the same in 32 and 64 bit addressing.
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Rich Powell

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The patch and all healing tools pops up an error saying it "doesn't work in 32 bit mode, please switch to 8 or 16 bit".
Same for background and magic eraser, dodge,burn, sponge tools.
Layer effects are unavailable. So are 12 out of 15 layer adjustments (admittedly some are not applicable to 32bit mode images).
Content aware fill and scaling tools are unavailable, as is puppet wrap.
In the Selection menu, Grow, Similar, and color range are greyed out.

In summary, Photoshop becomes a basic image editor in 32 bit mode, when compared with compositing software.

I understand that it is hard to make the more complex tools work on 32bit mode images. This is no surprise to me.

However I think Adobe is not yet in a position to say almost all tools work in this mode.
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Chris Cox

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Again, all layer styles are available in 32 bit/channel. I'm really not sure why you keep saying that they are not.

Yes, many of the adjustments and blend modes can't work in 32 bit/channel, and are going to remain disabled in 32 bit/channel because of that.

And yes, I have a long list of tools and features in Photoshop -- the vast majority of them are already working in 32 bit/channel. (but it sounds like tech transfer has fallen behind on their features)

Now, of the features you listed -- which ones do you actually need in 32 bit/channel?
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alex villanueva

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I had the same exact problem in the past when my friend had given a pirated version of PS cs5. None of the features you mentioned above worked at all for me as well. I decided to buy the educational version of cs5.1 suite, installed it and every single one of those features became available to me. It was as if the pirated version was locked in a trial mode with certain tools and features locked away. Needless to say I uninstalled the piece of crap my friend gave me and now am paying for the suite in installments. With this kind of software, nothing is better and more reassuring than the real thing! Good luck Rich!
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dennis rajan

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any way to enable the heal too with 32bit images without changing the bit depth??
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Chris Cox

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Sorry, but there is no way to do that. The healing code is currently very 8/16 bit/channel specific.
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dennis rajan

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thanks, can we expect in the future version of Ps. and I don't understand why this issue with 32bit, could you pls explain reasonably..
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Chris Cox

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If people identify specific needs for tools, we'll see if we can update them.
And 32 bit/channel is tricky because it has infinite range and uses floating point numbers, which is not the case for 8 or 16 bit/channel.