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In the grand scheme of things, storage is relatively cheap compared to the time spent by professionals who are being paid for their work.  The cost for a bit more disk space can pale compared to the time savings of the faster load/save times during someone's work day.

That said, a "compact file" menu option might be nice to have to shrink a file before distributing or archiving it somewhere...

 

The Plan 9 operating system took the novel approach of capturing daily snapshots that were stored permanently - no way to delete them other than to wipe out the entire file system - so anything that was stored overnight would consume space permanently on the system, with no way to free it up.  This was about 28 years ago when hard drives cost nearly $2 per MB (today more like $0.03 per GB) and they already considered storage to be cheap enough that they felt that was an acceptable situation.

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4 hours ago, R C-R said:

To begin with, if all you are going to do is develop a RAW file, you can export it to 8 bit or 16 bit TIFF for future or archival use & never save the .afphoto version to begin with. Depending on the compression used it is still may be larger than the RAW file, but that is because RAW files generally contain no more than 12 or 14 bits of color data.

Let’s not forget that a DAW has to store image files together with non-destructive adjustments and many of the things that are needed for creative photo editing that are already included in Affinity Photo. Hence, it is not just about exporting a file to this or that format, right?

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13 minutes ago, A_B_C said:

Let’s not forget that a DAW <sic> has to store image files together with non-destructive adjustments and many of the things that are needed for creative photo editing that are already included in Affinity Photo. Hence, it is not just about exporting a file to this or that format, right?

A DAM does not have to support that but it is a desirable feature, one that different apps support in different (& not always compatible) ways. Accordingly, the staff have mentioned that this is something they would like to support in AP for RAW files, like by reading & perhaps writing sidecar files. But that does not really address the overall issue of the size of native format files vs. what features an archival format would have to give up to implement exporting to it.


Affinity Photo 1.8.3, Affinity Designer 1.8.3, Affinity Publisher 1.8.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
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But to the point, is there really the necessity to “give up features” for having an archival format? Couldn’t there be some sort of intelligent layer compression or similar techniques that would avoid wasting storage space? Or suppose someone duplicates a layer and adds a few paint strokes to the new layer. Wouldn’t it be possible to then save just the delta between these two layers, and not the entire information of the original and the duplicate? Or is that already the case? See, I have no idea. I just try to explain a problem many other users seem to have as well. :)

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9 minutes ago, A_B_C said:

I’ve been using Logic since the days it was still developed by Emagic, so I consistently confound DAMs and DAWs … ;)

An actually useful DAM would also take into consideration the files generated by and used by a DAW (plus all the varied other media generators), and if it doesn't then it will be a waste of cash and disk space. I really don't want a proprietary file format either, xml.


MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012) Mac OS 10.12.6 || Mac Pro (Late 2013) Mac OS 10.14.5

Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.3.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.3.180 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.3.651

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A_B_C, perhaps you can compress it further outside the app (like in WinRAR, or with backup software).  That won't significantly compress it, but could help.

I would be comfortable with WinRAR, but Serif would have the tools to determine what data can be safely removed (for compression) and later completely recovered if needed.  (Not an easy design task)  More than likely, though, if they added some compression option, it would be at least partially destructive.

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Thank you! :)

Actually, I have tried zipping my .aphoto files, but the gain is marginal. I don’t know whether this is a sign that the file format is already as space-efficient as it gets or if it is not particularly suited for external compression. I might try another compression algorithm to see if it makes a difference. :/

 

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Yeah, zipping is not going to reduce file size much, but it will restore files to their original content when unzipped. 

Question all, what are DAW and DAM? (I think of DAW as digital audio workstation, but I don't see that as relevant to afphoto files so it must be something else)

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4 hours ago, craigleeus said:

Yeah, zipping is not going to reduce file size much, but it will restore files to their original content when unzipped. 

Question all, what are DAW and DAM? (I think of DAW as digital audio workstation, but I don't see that as relevant to afphoto files so it must be something else)

DAM is Digital Asset Management so a DAW could work Audio and MIDI files held by a real DAM, but could only be used to record me swearing while I work on difficult files with Affinity's products.


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Affinity Designer 1.8.3 | Affinity Photo 1.8.3 | Affinity Publisher 1.8.3 | Affinity Designer Beta 1.8.3.2 | Affinity Photo Beta 1.8.3.180 | Affinity Publisher Beta 1.8.3.651

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5 hours ago, A_B_C said:

Actually, I have tried zipping my .aphoto files, but the gain is marginal. I don’t know whether this is a sign that the file format is already as space-efficient as it gets or if it is not particularly suited for external compression.

In one of the staff posts (but I think not any of those in the topics already linked to), I vaguely remember something being said about the native format already using compression algorithms that, while not producing the smallest possible file sizes, were close to the best available algorithms in that respect & offered a better balance between file size reduction & computational resources needed to compress or decompress the data.

Overall, I have the impression that everything was designed to maximize responsiveness while minimizing the computational load on the system, so even old low end systems like my iMac don't bog down so badly that it is impractical to work on large projects with them.


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@craigleeus, “DAW” was just a typo on my part. I had meant to write “DAM,” and what I had in mind was not so much a true Digital Asset Management application in the broad sense of @Old Bruce, but rather the Lightroom alternative envisioned by the Affinity team and considerable parts of the user base. I don’t know what came of these plans, but I would certainly purchase a license … ;)

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9 minutes ago, A_B_C said:

I don’t know what came of these plans, but I would certainly purchase a license …

Last I heard, the preliminary development work on an Affinity DAM had stopped completely so they could devote more resources to feature additions/refinements & bug fixes for the 3 existing apps. It is unclear if this means they have permanently shelved the project or they are waiting until the existing apps are more fully developed to resume work.


Affinity Photo 1.8.3, Affinity Designer 1.8.3, Affinity Publisher 1.8.3; macOS Mojave 10.14.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 
1.8.3.180 & Affinity Designer 1.8.3.2 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.3.1

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Hmmm, I might be starting to catch up.  Are you referring to the DAM as being a tool like Lightroom, which just links to original images and saves only metadata of changes made to the image?  That would maintain high quality originals (RAW or TIF files perhaps) without the hugs afphoto (and likewise huge PSD) files.

There are time when Photoshop is needed, but other times when Lightroom alone is sufficient.  And Lightroom (and other similar tools), and I presume the DAM, also function as a photo organizer. Am I on track with this reference to DAM?

 

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On 1/29/2020 at 9:51 AM, A_B_C said:

Just think of the Affinity DAM envisioned some years ago. How could this work when simply developing a RAW file results in an .aphoto file that has seven times the file size of the original RAW?

The DAM might work for developing with linked RAWs and save the user edits separate, rather numerical and with b&w masks ?


macOS 10.14.6, Macbook Pro Retina 15" + Eizo 24"

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Maybe. I just wonder whether it would be possible to keep the great performance even on older machines then. In any case, I believe to have learned that there is a certain trade-off between speed and storage space economy. :/

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Interesting thread for this newbie.  I think I get that aphoto has been designed to be usable across multiple apps with performance and/or rich info stored.  There's certainly value in this, and I'm not bothered about the size of the aphoto in itself - I would not keep my source/final versions in a proprietary format.  

But myself am more interested in auto-sync photo editing between ios and Mac, i.e. an alternate to the LR/PS cloud offering.  I think the aphoto format seems too large for cloud upload speed and storage...maybe it's not too bad if I have to save to a tiff earlier on, but anything that help streamline that workflow would go a long way. I think this is a market area that some vendors will try to jump into...Affinity is already there with a great app on the iPad, but I think the weaker point there is the workflow and ease of integration/use of (non-iCloud) cloud storage.

 

 

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