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Export layers to Files is SLOW

Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2023 Oct 27, 2023

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I am a long time photographer, and now a coin collector. I have been making GIF images to show off my coins. You can see them here: (weblink removed)

 

The first several images in that gallery show very 3-D coins rotating transparently against a fractal background. To make these images, I first make a 4K movie of the coin rotating in a Foldio 360 spherical light box. Then I import the movie to layers into a Photoshop PSD file. This file typically has 486 layers and is about 1800 x 1800 pixels.

 

Since I want to work on the layers with some of my Photoshop actions in batch mode, I must then convert these layers to files. That's where the problem comes in, because the built-in Photoshop script used to convert layers to files takes a whopping eight hours to complete.

 

You're probably thinking I'm using some old slow machine without much memory. That's not the case. I'm using a new 16" MacBook Pro M2 with 8 TB of SSD memory and 96 GB of SSD RAM. 

 

I was a programmer, and then manager of programmers at Bell Labs for 32 years before I retired. I believe a proper implementation of this feature could do the job in under 10 minutes. And that's my proposed enhancement.

 

What do you think?, Comments most appreciated. 

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Actions and scripting

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4 Comments
Community Beginner ,
Oct 27, 2023 Oct 27, 2023

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I just finished such an export. It took 8 hours 12 minutes and 47 seconds.  When it finished, Photoshop hung and had to be restarted.  Photoshop also hung after the last export I did. This may be a new bug in the latest release of Photoshop.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 27, 2023 Oct 27, 2023

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I have conducted a test on my machine regarding the functionality of "Export > Layers to Files," and it appears that there is a significant issue with its performance as it operates at an extremely slow pace.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 28, 2023 Oct 28, 2023

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Have you tried a different file format to see if the layers are exported faster in one format than another?

 

The modern way to do this is to select multiple layers in the layers panel and then right-click in the layers panel and use Export As. The preview may take time to generate, which is an issue, but the export may be faster. You might need to be conservative in how many layers are selected at one time. Sadly, this can't be automated via actions or scripting and doesn't seem practical for macro software.

 

In addition to the Export Layers to Files script that ships with Photoshop, there are numerous custom scripts for exporting layers in these forums, which may (or may not) perform better.

 

You could try the following scripts and search the web for more yourself:

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 28, 2023 Oct 28, 2023

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Thanks for your detailed, informative and interesting reply. I will try out some of those methods.

 

A different enhancement that would greatly simplify my work is as follows. Allow batch processing to work on the layers in an Animated PSB file.

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