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Photo: Support for layered TIFF

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For roundtripping from RAW-converters (CaptureOne in my case) support for layered TIF-files is needed to keep your files re-editable. At the moment I have to flatten the file saving it and do not have any chance to make some more changes to the file afterwards.

I've read somewhere that this has been planned to be implemented already in the beta, but never was.

 

Cheers Johannes

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I think other apps include a copy of their file format inside the TIFF so not really layered TIFF as such. We can look at adding this soon as it's not that hard to do.

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The main thing about TIF is that it is an open file format which holds most features. When you save your work you can be fairly sure that if you need to open it in another app, everything you did should be there. I haven't tried smart objects with it though since I only use them while creating the work and then rasterize.

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As far as I know, Photoshop does not embed a PSD into the TIFF file, it saves data conforming to the standard and adds some proprietary tags inside the TIFF file (I believe Adobe even have a specification for the Photoshop TIFF format that they used to ship as part of the SDK).

 

Using this approach, way layers and other data can be exchanged with other applications as much as possible while also keeping the full information that would otherwise be stored in a PSD. Curiously, the corresponding TIFF files are usually smaller than the otherwise completely equivalent PSD files.

 

An implementation that keeps the .afphoto file embedded inside the TIFF is a usable workflow for collaborating with raw converters like Capture One and Lightroom, but proper layer support with proprietary tags would enable file exchange with Photoshop and other applications (like enabling use of the "Object Layer Options" command to toggle layers when the file is placed inside of InDesign).

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Thanks for the info. We will have a look and see if we can get some detail on Layered TIFF that would be compatible other workflows.

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Its true, that layered TIFF is not just PSD embedded in TIFF but more like a TIFF container implementation of the PSD Format. Technically layered TIFF is practically as native to Photoshop as PSD - there is only one thing missing: Duotone.

 

The same problems of compatibility with PSD account exactly the same to layered TIFF: One point is crucial - there always seems to be a mismatch between _import_ and _export_:

 

1) Import

Import means how much of Photoshops features get recognized in PSD/TIFF and applied to their Affinity counterparts. Think of Grouped layers, layer modes, adjustment layers, smart objects (!) and so on. What about smart objects which use third party Smart filters?

 

2) Export

Most people think PSD/TIF-Support is a symmetric thing - but this is absolutely not the case. Most non-Adobe programs can IMPORT more Photoshop-Features than they can export. This may sound illogical, but exporting from a Program like Affinity to PSD means mapping Affinity-native Features to Photoshops counterparts (which may not exist or not be really accessible). While on import the developers can extend their own Features to cope for Photoshop-Behaviours - this is not possible in the export direction.

 

Conclusion:

 

The route to support layered TIFF besides of PSD in Affinity opens up collaborating with tools of different vendors on some file to some degree (to the degree how good the TIFF/PSD export is - which is limited).

 

The route to embed .aphoto into a TIFF would be perfect for collaboration with RAW workflow software like Capture One or Lightroom. It would be the PERFECT answer to all those questions about a DAM-Module. Those programs only need the merged down version of the image to export or to apply their own non-destructive adjustments on. Editing such a TIFF would just replace the internal .aphoto with a changed one and update the merged down layer. All nondestructive adjustments in the workflow software will then apply to this new merged down image. Since there is a .aphoto in the file, Affinity Photo can actually export any feature that is possible within this suite into it. It would also be possible to open the TIFF in Affinity Designer to add some vector stuff. The downside of this approach is, that any other program would just see the one merged layer and editing it with such a program may destroy the internal .aphoto.

 

I personally really like the "embed .aphoto" approach - this would be the one approach that would allow me to drop my CC subscription. As long as "layered TIFFs" would only offer exporting limited features of Affinity Photo - this would be well... limited.

 

So in an ideal world there would be both options supported. Or even all of those:

 

1) Flattened TIFF (as now)

2) Layered TIFF, compatibility maximized (as good as possible to Photoshop layered TIFF)

3) Layered TIFF, features maximized (contains .aphoto and a flattened Layer)

4) Layered TIFF complete (combination of 2 and 3 - no flattened Layer)

 

To me only 2 and 3 are really relevant and if I had to choose only one it would be 3.

 

ciao,

Jochen

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Saved as Layered-Tiff is requiered.

 

The Tiff contains layers which would be only compatible with Affinity (this is fair!).

But there is one flatten layer (the result) insode the tiff which can be recognized by any software (Like CaptureOne, Finder, Lichtroom...).

 

This is a requierement in my workflow: using CaptureOne for RAW/management, and PS (hopefully soon Affinity Photo) for rasterized editing).

 

Regards


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Beside layered tiff, another most important file format to be supported is the large file format (.psb)

Many, if not the majority of our files are 2Gb plus... and are thus saved as .psb in Photoshop. (Much faster than layered tiff)

Both file formats are an absolute must before we can integrate Affinity in our workflow.

Is there a maximum file size in Affinity?

 

Best,

Dick

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Hi MEB,

thank you for your reply.

some files open but many others show the message 'parsing of the file failed' and I don't find an export possibility either.

.psb is used for files, exceeding 2Gb.

I just found out, that sometimes'Levels' layers are reproduced incorrectly, in other files they appear like in PS. Why?

Hue/Saturation (in Affinity HSL) is not reproduced correctly either.....

I know HSL is much more powerfull, but I have to be able to import PS files 1:1 because it still is the industry standard and everybody works with it.

I love this program, but obviously there is still a lot to do before we can use it together with photoshop.

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Hi Dick,

Any chance you send us those psb files (one or two) that are giving you parsing errors (or a dropbox link) so we can check them?

Same for any other files that are not being correctly translated to PSD.

 

PSD, PSB are proprietary formats with limited documentation/specs available.

We can only improve our import/export code if we have sample files to test/fix the issues.

You can send them to support@seriflabs.com along with a small description of the problems.

All files will be deleted after being inspected.

Thanks for your help.

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I think other apps include a copy of their file format inside the TIFF so not really layered TIFF as such. We can look at adding this soon as it's not that hard to do.

Anything new about this? Without at least this workaround (embedded native file) roundtripping from C1 won't make sense as long as one needs the files to be re- editable. For me this is the showstopper to consider to use Affinity Photo and to stick with PS6.

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Hi,

 

New Affinity user and forum member. Just wondering if there were any more updates on this? I'm a Lightroom user and really want to start replacing Photoshop with Photo. The current workarounds are killing my workflows at the moment. Cheers.

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TIFF layer support will be in version 1.5 of Photo and Designer.

 

Loading of TIFF layers created by Photoshop will be supported (but not saving).  We have also added support for saving Affinity layer data back to TIFF files, for better supporting DAMs via TIFF.


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TIFF layer support will be in version 1.5 of Photo and Designer.

 

Loading of TIFF layers created by Photoshop will be supported (but not saving).  We have also added support for saving Affinity layer data back to TIFF files, for better supporting DAMs via TIFF.

 

Does 'layered TIFF' also mean that compression is available for TIFF format? Currently missing LZW or ZIP compression in export persona.

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Glad to hear that layered TIFF's are coming in 1.5.

 

As a Windows users, I am yet to try Affinity Photo, however if as per SFO's reply it isn't already an option to save TIFF files with LZW compression, then this also needs to be considered as an option for 8-bit TIFF's (for 16-bit TIFF's, LZW compression isn't relevant as it will make the file size both larger and slower to open than even the uncompressed file).

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