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Saving in psd or tif ?
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Author Topic: Saving in psd or tif ?  (Read 15784 times)
jljonathan
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« on: March 24, 2009, 07:10:09 PM »

 I have been trying to gather information and recommendations on which format to use for archive saving and master files. Some insist that psd is the way to go and others use tiffs.

From Adobe support:
"Flattening TIFF files-
Photoshop allows layers to be saved in TIFF files. Layered TIFF files are larger than flattened TIFF files and require more resources for processing and printing. If you work with a layered TIFF file, save the original layered file as an Adobe Photoshop (.psd) file; then, when you are ready to save the file in TIFF format, save a copy without layers."

So, I guess they are recommending saving layered files, regardless of type, as psd. As to flattened files, I guess its tiff. Schewe makes a case for tiffs for all saving and masters.
Anybody have recommendations for settings : uncompressed/compressed ZIP etc. ? and any further advice.
Jonathan
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2009, 09:20:34 PM »

Jonathan,
I use TIFF for everything, but using PSD is a reasonable thing to do.  THere are some places it has advantages for layered files, but those are size and speed advantages, not compatibility ones.
Peter
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jljonathan
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2009, 10:37:43 PM »

Peter
When saving as tiffs what settings would you recommend for layered files and for flattened files. Uncompressed or ZIP for the image, and if it has layers, ZIP or RLE?
Thanks
Jonathan
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 12:59:05 AM »

Here's a little on PSD vs TIF.

I always go for compressed ZIP and don't see the point in flattening files.

John
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roberte
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 03:54:28 AM »

Hi Jonothan,

I use TIFF. For maximum efficiency and compatibility with xMedia 2 with 8 bit TIFFs I use LZW compression. ZIP compression with 8 bit files produces weird thumbnails in xMedia.

For 16 bit TIFFs I use ZIP compression because often LZW will produce files larger than using no compression! 16 bit ZIP compressed TIFFs work fine in xMedia 2. They do take longer to open and save in Photoshop though.

-- Robert.
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 04:33:34 AM »

Doh, I meant LZW - thanks Robert - though I only save in 16 bit. To be honest, I don't know what I do - I just save it in the mode I think I normally use, see if it's OK in EM, swear, go back to Photoshop and fix it, and promptly forget whatever option worked best. The swearing is cathartic though.

John
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danaltick
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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2009, 12:40:42 PM »

Jonothan,

I've recently switched to using PSD for my master files.  I do this for performance reasons.  I even turn off the "maximize compatibility", again for performance.  I do use Tiff and/or JPEG for my flattened proofs, prints, and deliveries.  Through earlier conversations on this forum, I just haven't found any compelling reason to use the layered tiff format.  It doesn't appear to offer any real advantages, slows the workflow, and consumes more space.  Long-term archival may be one reason to use layered Tiff; however, I view my flattened Tiff's and JPEG's as serving that purpose.

Dan
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scottb
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« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2009, 02:32:36 PM »

Jeff Schewe on Tiff vs. PSD: 

"Wrong...PSD is now a bastardized file format that is NOT a good idea to use. Even the Photoshop engineers will tell you that PSD is no longer the Photoshop "native" file format. It has no advantages and many disadvantages over TIFF.

TIFF is publicly documented, PSD is not. That makes TIFF a preferred file format for the long term conservation of digital files.

TIFF uses ZIP compression for max compression, PSD uses RLE which if you save without the Max compatibility will be a bit smaller, but at the risk of not being able to be used by apps, like Lightroom.

TIFF can save EVERYTHING a PSD can save including layers, paths, channels, transparency, annotations and can go up to 4 GIGS in file size. TIFF can save all the color spaces PSD can. The ONLY thing I can think of that PSD can save that currently TIFF can't save is if you Save out of Camera Raw a cropped PSD, you can uncrop the PSD in Photoshop CS, CS2 or 3. That's one tiny obscure thing that PSD can do that TIFF currently doesn't. How many people even knew that let alone use it?

PSD used to be the preferred file format back before Adobe bastardized it for the Creative Suite. The moment that happened, PSD ceased to be a Photoshop "native" file format. PSB is the new Photoshop "native" file format for images beyond 30,000 pixels. And , at the moment, only Photoshop can open a PSB.

Getting back to the fist point, Adobe can do anything including stopping support for PSD because it's a proprietary file format. TIFF is public, even if it's owned by Adobe (by virtue of the Aldus purchase). Even if Adobe went belly up tomorrow, TIFF would continue.

And, let me be blunt, anybody who thinks PSD is "better" than TIFF is ignorant of the facts. If Adobe would let them, the Photoshop engineers would tell you to quit using PSD. Lightroom for the first beta did NOT support PSD and Hamburg fought tooth and nail to prevent having to accept PSD. He blinked, but you still can't import a PSD without Max compat enabled-which basically makes it a TIFF with a PSD extension.

Look, I'll make it REAL simple...

TIFF = Good
PSD = Bad

Ok?"

Just FYI. Here's a link to the thread:
http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=18965&st=0&start=0
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2009, 02:56:32 PM »

Scott,
I love Jeff, but sometimes he will overstate things.
PSD is a reasonable and safe way to save files, but I think, on the whole, TIFF is marginally better.

A lot of what Jeff talks about - the open part of TIFF, is not so clearcut.  The TIFF implementation by Adobe uses all kinds of proprietary stuff to make the layers, smart objects, etc that is definitely *not* understandable by other programs.  The TIFF spec has not been updated for a lot of years (1992 springs to mind), so lots of this stuff is undocumented, non-standard, whatever you want to call it.

Additionally, although TIFF is supposed to be open and PSD proprietary, Quicktime can page through PSD layers (you can see this in Media view in Expression Media or iView), but not TIFF, so it's not *that* closed.

The biggest problem here is that Adobe *can* break PSD for other applications, if it wishes, although history does not indicate they like breaking formats.

If you are going to use PSD, I do advise using the composite preview, so it can be rendered by applications that are not Photoshop.  If you want to, you could add this at the time you archive the PSD - keeping the file smaller while it is a work-in-progress.

Peter
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scottb
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2009, 03:26:51 PM »

Point taken, Peter. I've always worked in PSD whenever jumping between Creative Suite apps - but I always archived TIFFs. Not sure why — it just felt right to me. Schewe's recent statements on the topic seemed to validate that strategy, but I may need to rethink this because it would eliminate a step for me (at least when doing design work) if I just stored those PSDs instead. Thanks.
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danaltick
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2009, 03:33:42 PM »

Peter,

Point taken as well.  Didn't occur to me to render the composite view at the end of the workflow.  Good idea.

Dan
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scottb
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2009, 03:45:51 PM »

Sorry, John. I missed the fact that you had already linked to that same LL thread. Sometimes I'm just really good at missing things. Wink
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