Raw & Post Processing, Printing > Digital Image Processing

PSD vs Tiff?

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mdijb:
In a response to a question I posted in  the Lightroom forum, J. Schewe answered that the PSD format "sucks'.  In the lightroom tutorial series, all work was done in the tiff format.  i wanted to ask Jeff or anyone else why the tiff format is thought to be better than the PSD format for working on and storing images??

What is it that makes one format so much better than another?

MDIJB

Eric Myrvaagnes:
Some applications that support tiff do not support PSD (QuadTone RIP, for example). Also, I think I recall that when I saved the same image in both formats, the PSD was bigger. I don't know of any advantage of PSDs, so I always use tiffs (or jpegs for the web). YMMV.

Schewe:

--- Quote ---i wanted to ask Jeff or anyone else why the tiff format is thought to be better than the PSD format for working on and storing images??
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--- End quote ---


First off, my opinion is colored by Bruce Fraser's involvement as well as Mark Hamburg and other Photoshop engineers back at the time we went from Photoshop 7 to the Creative Suite. It was at that time when the whole "Backwards Compatibility" thing first started and the simple fact is that Photoshop's PSD format is no longer really the Photoshop native format but a format co-opted by the Creative Suite.

The Suite mentality basically altered Photoshop's role at Adobe. It was also about that time-after the ship of Photoshop 7 that for the first time Acrobat & PDF actually made more money for Adobe than Photoshop-and Adobe decided to leverage the rest of the Creative Suite around the Photoshop flagship. As a result, the PSD file format was no longer Photoshop's to do with as it saw fit. Both Illustrator and InDesign had to be able to read and use PSD files and that was the end of PSD as the private domain of Photoshop.

Everything that can be saved in a PSD can also be save in a layered Tiff-6.0 file format...everything, paths, channels, layers, transparency, layer effects...there is nothing that PSD has "special" any longer and when that happened, Bruce and several engineers and I realized that the end of the Photoshop native file format had arrived.

Tiff has better compression (zipped tifs), can save everything that a PSD can save and be as large as 4 gigs in size (I think PSD is still limited to 2 gigs). Tiff is publicly documented where PSD requires a special NDA to access the internals. As a result, tiff is a more "archival" format while losing nothing by being used.

There is, since CS, only one file format that could still be considered Photoshop "native file format" and that is PSB...it's the only file format that you can save an image larger than 30,000 pixels-actually it can go up to 300,000 pixels, has no actual upward size limit (if you have the scratch disk space)-I'm pretty sure Chris Cox made a layered PSB that was 300K x 300K with enough layers that the file was several terabytes in size and took all day long to save.

So, since Photoshop CS, only PSB is a format unique to Photoshop which does not fall under the heading of having to work with the Suite...and when once looks at all the pluses and minus, I think layered TIFF's offer the best file format for pixels today-unless you are talking raw and then it's DNG-which is essentially, a TIFF-EP file, a variant of Tiff-6.

Which was one reason that Mark Hamburg, when Lightroom was first released in beta fought really, really hard AGAINST allowing PSD files into Lightroom. He lost that battle.

So, at best figure that PSD and TIFF are equal but since TIFF is a documented file format and PSD isn't, I lean towards using tiffs whenever possible...because PSD files, suck-and have since Photoshop CS.

picnic:

--- Quote ---First off, my opinion is colored by Bruce Fraser's involvement as well as Mark Hamburg and other Photoshop engineers back at the time we went from Photoshop 7 to the Creative Suite.

snip.

Everything that can be saved in a PSD can also be save in a layered Tiff-6.0 file format...everything, paths, channels, layers, transparency, layer effects...there is nothing that PSD has "special" any longer and when that happened, Bruce and several engineers and I realized that the end of the Photoshop native file format had arrived.

snip

So, at best figure that PSD and TIFF are equal but since TIFF is a documented file format and PSD isn't, I lean towards using tiffs whenever possible...because PSD files, suck-and have since Photoshop CS.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=120063\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
--- End quote ---

Thanks for that explanation.  I didn't know any of it and learned something that may alter my workflow.

Diane

Eric Myrvaagnes:

--- Quote ---First off, my opinion is colored by Bruce Fraser's involvement as well as Mark Hamburg and other Photoshop engineers back at the time we went from Photoshop 7 to the Creative Suite.

<snip>

Everything that can be saved in a PSD can also be save in a layered Tiff-6.0 file format...everything, paths, channels, layers, transparency, layer effects...there is nothing that PSD has "special" any longer and when that happened, Bruce and several engineers and I realized that the end of the Photoshop native file format had arrived.

Tiff has better compression (zipped tifs), can save everything that a PSD can save and be as large as 4 gigs in size (I think PSD is still limited to 2 gigs). Tiff is publicly documented where PSD requires a special NDA to access the internals. As a result, tiff is a more "archival" format while losing nothing by being used.

<snip>

So, at best figure that PSD and TIFF are equal but since TIFF is a documented file format and PSD isn't, I lean towards using tiffs whenever possible...because PSD files, suck-and have since Photoshop CS.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=120063\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
--- End quote ---
Thanks very much for the explanation, Jeff, especially as it confirms my own unfounded prejudices.

P.S. I, too, am looking forward to the new book in August.

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