How to reduce photo shop file size?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by Dify, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. Dify macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Well here is my problem, I´ve been working on an A3 size immage for a week now, and the more I worked on it the more it took time for my macbook to do some processe, at the begining it wasn´t so bad, fillter effect took more time to be done ect.
    But in the end, doing a brush stroke toke like 20 seconds to be done!

    I wasn´t shure why this was happening so I checked wich programs I was running in the same time (closed them all exept for Itunes)
    But it was still laggy so to speak.
    Once I saved I realized that my file was 500Mg big! this makes me think that this is the soucre of the lag, because the file is so HUGE...
    How can I reduce the size given i can´t merge the layers wich I need to work on, I can´t reduce the qualitiy of the immages I´m using because I want to print it later on.
    I´ve supressed every layer wich i did not need, and merged the one I could.
    I tryed to work on the immage with some of the layers Hidden, but for one it did not help and second I the modifications I did to the immage were hard to do because I didn´t see the wole thing.
    I went to the preferences as well and alowed photoshop the maximum merory possible. (Ram= 2)

    did close all other programs
    did merge delet some layers
    File is in Png format.

    Any sugestions ?
  2. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    There's no magic here, each layer adds space, if you can't delete any or reduce the number of pixels per layer, the drawing is going to be the same size.

    One option is to divide the drawing into smaller parts. Burt Monroy does this all the time, but I've never tried it. He works on each part individually and then has one master file with all of the pieces referenced so he can see the overall project. That way you only have a small piece of the drawing open at any one time. You could either divide by layers (ie 4 layers/file) or area (ie split image into 4 quadrants). As I have never personally done it, I don't know how to create the master file, but Burt never seems to complain.

    More RAM is also another alternate path if you aren't maxxed out already.

    Good luck.
  3. vizfxman macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I think turning off layer visibility on all or most of your layers will decrease the size of the saved file.

    ETA: Eh, sorry... didn't read the post thoroughly enough. Sounds like your starting to reach the limits of your system.
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    As jampat pointed out, there is no magic. Layers take room. If it is any consolation I used to work on 1Gb files on a 1st generation Intel Mac Mini with just 2Gb of RAM. Almost the entire file was in 'virtual memory' (i.e. RAM written to the HD). Just saving the file (which I did often) took 20 minutes.

    Whenever I started a Photoshop session, I restarted the Mini and then just opened Photoshop. Everything else stayed closed. Later on, I created a 2nd user just for using Photoshop. For that user nothing that wasn't critical to OS X was started up. That helped a bit, until the files got really big again.

    Also, in Photoshop, apparently you shouldn't use the histogram except when you actually need to refer to it. I read somewhere (probably MacPerformanceGuide) that updating the histogram on the fly requires a fair bit of system resources.

    Check out MacPerformanceGuide for other tips to optimize PS. I find their advice very good, and have see marked improvements in my CS3 set-up by following their advice.

    The last bit of advice: multitask. When I was working with the Mini I would 'save' the file, get up and go do something else. Mow the lawn, make coffee, do the dishes, etc. I got a lot of errands done before I got my Mac Pro.

    Good Luck. I'm now happy with 12 Gb.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    1. More RAM
    2. Faster cache disk, say SSD, or RAID volumes
    3. Computer upgrade

    Photoshop 5 can do >3GB ram allocation.

    Move groups of layers to backup files, and use merged copy in your working file.
  6. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Really??? PNG does not preserve layers and is not a format for print (does not support embedded profiles or CMYK).

    Attached Files:

  7. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Did I catch them all? :)
    I'm as guilty as the next person of an occasional misspelling but you might want to enable that "Check spelling as you type" option if you're using Safari. Misspellings make it more difficult to locate appropriate topics later with MRoogle.
  8. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Good catch.

    Come to think about it, there is something odd about the OP's post.

    It's not hard dealing with 250MB photoshop files on my Mac 5 years ago, so 500MB now should not be difficult.
  9. Dify thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008

    Well if you think it should be easy to deal with such a file, then my situation is not normal because my computer has a lot of problems dealing with it.

    My file is saved with the usual photoshop format, and it keept my layers...wich is PSD sorry!
    I wrote the treat pretty late as I was working on the picture and got fed up with the slow computer...

    I know it is not fit for printing, I saved it in .jpeg later on for printing, but I needed my layers.
    I don´t see what is odd about my post, I have a problem, and the solution I got on my side weren´t very good until now.
    What´s wrong with asking people who know the subject better than me?


    Thank you every one for the help! I think I reached the limit of my computer capacity that is all :).
  10. Infinitygraphix macrumors member

    Apr 14, 2008
    Here is a little trick you *may* want to try.

    You could try to turn everything in RGB instead on CMYK (if you are not already in RGB) witch should reduce the file size by 25 %.

    However, there might be some change in color and if you want to print it, when done, you will need to bring it back to CMYK (witch will bring the file size up again)

    ... and you may need to play with the color again when the transformation form RGB to CMYK is done.

    Good luck !
  11. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    Also make sure your preset manager (EDIT > Preset Manager) isn't loaded with custom patterns, swatches, gradients, etc.). These take a lot of RAM--especially large pattern presets.

    And of course change your prefs so it isn't storing the default 20 history states (maybe just 3-4).
  12. Dify thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Thank you, I´ll try it, but I fear I´ll have problems once I change it back again, one part of the picture is a shot from a galaxi, so a lot of details and colors. but still, Thank you

    Thanks, had not thought about that.
  13. Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Work smarter not harder

    You have already received some good suggestions. I have had the privilege of working with Bert Monroy on dozens of projects and attended his class through NAPP. He is truly amazing. But don't be so quick to adopt his advanced techniques before exploring other avenues.

    There is an art to producing very large images. You can't just open a large canvas and begin adding dozens of layers until you run out of memory. Strategies are involved. When large files are common, the strategy begins with system configuration. If is an unusual occurrence, temporary adjustments to work behavior will have to suffice.

    1. Only necessary applications | before launching PS, disable all unnecessary apps (iTunes, Safari, etc.); it is too late to do so after PS has begun swapping to scratch disk; restarting your computer is the only reliable way to regain available RAM and disable disk swapping

    2. Adjust PS preferences | assign more memory; reduce history states and cache levels; assign external fast scratch disk with contiguous free memory; remember you must restart PS to effect changes

    3. Resolution | specify ideal resolution with consideration for all future output; offset printing is typically 250-300 ppi; digital posters often range 100-240 ppi at final output size (>200 ppi for Giclée, high resolution prints on smooth paper)

    4. RGB color space | pros: increases available filters and reduces channels (=smaller file size) | cons: large areas of rich black conversions for CMYK printing can be a bit tricky (>300% total ink)

    5. TIFF (LZW) | supports layers, RGB and CMYK; includes options for smaller files than PSD through lossless LZW compression

    6. PSB | for super large files, PS includes to ability to save documents in the "large document format"

    7. One pixel document | PS saves multiple copies of the file for undos, history, etc. Often overlooked is the clipboard which can get quite large when something is copied. Keep a separate document window open that is 1x1 pixel with the entire area selected (marching ants). Periodically click the window and Copy (cmd-c) to significantly reduce the size of the clipboard.

    8. Layer management | several layers may be required for a particular effect; once that is achieved, save the document, open a copy and combine the layers; rarely should every layer for each effect be required throughout development of entire project; global adjustment layers can be added after the main composition is flattened; if you need something from earlier, reopen the prior version, make edits, combine the layer again (shift-opt-cmd-E) and shift-drag it back into the working document

    9. Alpha channel management | where possible use vector paths instead of alpha channels and use alpha channels instead of layers

    10. Divide in pieces? | for some of Bert's ginormous hyper-realistic renderings (e.g. 11 months, 5,000 layers, 500 alpha channels, 250,000 paths in Damen), he works in segments; this is not the case for most of his other commercial projects in which he is blitz quick; dividing in pieces is more for complex illustrations; just dividing an image in four equal squares could be more tricky than it sounds when elements or effects need to overlap different quadrants
  14. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Computer specs? Core Duo? Core 2 Duo?

    How full is you harddrive? How large is the harddrive?
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Thanks!! That list is going to help me out too... :D
  16. Dify thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 9, 2008


    thank you very much I will try to understand all you have writen down now :).

    It is a Core 2 Duo, my HDD is 500gb and has 150 Gb free space.

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