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Exorbitant afphoto file size

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Hello Dev team,

although this was already discussed elsewhere - let me once again mention that the .aphoto file size is an absolute no-go.

I just developed a RAW file from my Olympus OMD E-M1 and did some further corrections (color etc) after the development.

Then I saved my work with the result that the aphoto file size is 442 MB (!!!) which is NOT ACCEPTABLE. Even when I uncheck the "save with protocol" option, the file size is 224 MB. But without saving the protocol, I dont see an advantage of saving the .aphoto file at all. Can you explain the difference between an protocoll-less aphoto and a tiff file? Whenever I open an aphoto file without protocol, I begin from zero. Its just a tremendously bloated tif file. My Lightroom catalog which contains thousands of photos and which I am working with since many years is approximately as large as my aphoto files I collected during the last week. Please explain.


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I am new to Affinity (purchased both Photo and Designer for hobby work). Previously I used mainly open-source software (digikam is my collection manager and the tool I mostly use for pictures, then gimp for editing with masks and layers and inkscape for vector work, occasionally also krita and darktable but more out of curiosity). I don't have any experience with Adobe products (too expensive for a hobbyist).


That being said, one of the first things I noticed is the extremely large file size of the .afphoto format. I concur to the comment above, and as an engineer working in SW development I can't see any justification for such a waste of space. Adding a rectangle to "frame" a 7 MB JPEG picture results in a >70MB file size! For advanced retouching of some pictures it could be acceptable, but not for large collections.


I found a few comments on the file size already in the forums, but I haven't seen any developer feedback. Is this issue on the radar at all?



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On 21-1-2018 at 11:49 AM, MEB said:

Hi Incodewetrust,

Welcome to Affinity Forums :)

As explained before on these forums, the affinity native file formats weren't designed for storage in mind but for performance/flexibility while working on a project. Please check this thread for more information about this subject


I do understand the choice for performance/flexibility here, and I applaud it. For the most part, when working on a project I find AP a joy to work with, and responsiveness is a big part of that.


Having said this, storage is equally important to me from the point of view of managing my photo editing  as a whole. I know that disk storage is cheap, but for added security I have (a) Time Machine backups, and (b) backup in the cloud to cover for physical damage or loss. That does become a problem when I want to using AP as a focal point in my workflow (as opposed to using it for just a few photos at a time and then throwing the project away, only keeping the JPEG result).


The key phrase in MEB’s reply to me is “while working on a project”. Most of the time I am working on only a few projects. The others are dormant, but I want the opportunity to come back to them.  


So what about catering for “while NOT working on a project”? In other words, an archive format optimized for space? When one is done with a project for the time being, it could be moved to archive format (at the discretion of the user).


From what I can see, there are great possibilities to save on space, if one does not mind to once in a while wait a bit while converting an archived project to working format; that is, when one wants to come back to it. Losless compression of pixel layers is but a beginning. For adjustments there are already macros, if you store them: no need to store the result. Gradients: can be stored with a few bytes. Brush strokes, with a bit of work: same. Once there is non-destructive develop: no need to store the developed version, saving enrmous amounts of space. Etc.


I am not suggesting that all of this can be done overnight, and that there are no complications (think of maintaining backward compatibility; but that must already be a concern with storing history anyway). But it could be done gradually. And in view of the many concerns about file size I read about, I think it would take AP right into another league for (semi-) professional work.


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Affinity dev. team. The explanation that the file format was not developed for storage is pretty lame. If that is the case, where is the format for storage then? Are you telling me that all my work to fix RAW format issues cannot be stored for long term and must be repeated every time I decide to improve on my previous work several month later? Where is then the sidecar file format to be stored next to the RAW?


Let me give you an example. My Nikon D800 lossless compressed 14 bit RAW file typically has 40 - 45 MB size. When I open it in AP, without any adjustments whatsoever just develop and save it the affinity file is 250 MB in size. It is not unique to this one file. I tried several and the effect is the same. Six to seven fold increase in file size without any adjustments. Just changing levels and temperature of the image increases the size to over 300 MB. How is that reasonable? Single DVD-R disk will barely hold 15 images or so in affinity format. If the format is not for long term storage, then where is the format for such?

Edited by Jack_M
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