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I am currently using a camera that produces 60mp+ raw files which I pre-correct in Lightroom and then load into Photoshop for final editing.

As I have around 10 layers with various corrections, the file size ends up somewhere between 2 to 3 GB per photo. Plus I have to use Photoshop's large file format. At this size, my iMac (32 gb, Quad Core i7, AMD Radeon R9 M395X 4 GB) starts to become a bit sluggish. Quick-saving takes around 1.5 minutes (all on local SSD).

I wonder if there is a way to export a downsized version from Lightroom, edit that and then reapply the whole history to the full size raw in one go. A bit like proxy editing in filming.

If there any tricks that you can share?

  • Photoshop does allow automation to some extent. I am not sure about LR. Usually I use for batch watermarking. visualwatermark.com/blog/photoshop-batch-watermarking Maybe making similar search queries might help you. – Aniket Chowdhury Sep 8 at 8:17
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    The LR part is usually no problem, as they implement something similar. You can work on the smart preview - even on a mobile phone and then sync all the changes over. I would be happy if there is a solution from the moment I enter PS. – Kai Mattern Sep 8 at 8:34
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    To speed up the saving process: have you tried to check "disable compression of PSD and PSB" in Preferences -> File Handling? – Matt Sep 8 at 11:00
  • Kai Mattern's comment about the Smart Preview file works well for changes made in LR. Having huge files with only ten layers implies that you are making multiple copies of the background layer. Could you do more of your edits with adjustment layers? Adjustment layers add trivial amounts of data to the file size. – The _traveler Sep 8 at 17:54
  • Actually there are only 2 copies of the background layer: one at the start for major cleanup, then one for frequency separation. After that, there are only adjustment layers for D&B, tweaking colors - and maybe one texture layer for the background plus sometimes some fog or other stuff. – Kai Mattern Sep 8 at 19:23
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There are many parameters that you can tune to get the most out of your machine in Photoshop SOURCE

Some highlights from the official source above:

  1. Check the cache settings and make sure the settings are at optimum
  2. Reduce the number of history states
  3. Don't have any other program that can consume your available memory running in the background.
  4. Allocate separate space for your scratch disk
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