30gb PSB project... Need help I guess?

Explorer ,
Oct 30, 2018

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Im using Mac Pro 2013 from my previous school since Im allows using their computers for 2 years so I didnt subscribed any Adobe plans at this point.

I always have projects to do but the biggest problem is that both Photoshop and Mac Pro can not handle huge PSB files. Believe or not, each PSB files take 15gb to 30gb per each. That's right. Canvas size is 44 by 60 inch at 300ppi. I actually printed 44x60 inch prints more than 50 times from my school. Here's the problem. I wanted to create a canvas at 44x60 inch at 300ppi. The first project is fine but the second one is not. it took more than 60gb if I tried to use 44x60 inch canvas instead of 13x19 600ppi. Also, adding layers is so slow that I have to wait at least 5 min to add each layer. Im not using RAW files but JPEG but still it takes a lot of space. Mac Pro 2013 shut downed by itself due to overheating for a lot of time and saving took more than 30min. Well, I have 40 PSB files so far.

I am eager to create large fine art but I have no idea what to do. Im a Mac user but all Mac computers are not suitable for those tasks and Mac Pro 2013 is too risky to use. I totally doubt to use iMac Pro already. Building a desktop just for Photoshop is too expansive and risky since I have no idea if it works or not. At least I know that I need a super fast CPU like Intel Core i7 8086K, at least 64gb of RAM, any GPU, SSD storage, a liquid cooler, and etc.

Until I find a solution, I may keep using Mac Pro 2013 from my school but it takes too, too, too much time to create one PSB file. Can you believe it takes 6 hours to create one PSB file? 30~60 layers too. I just wanna hear about technical solutions for my project in detail. Do I really have to build a custom desktop as I listed above?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 31, 2018

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1. You don't need 300ppi. There's nothing special about the 300 number - it's just a theoretical upper limit for standard 150lpi book and magazine print to be viewed at less than arm's length. At double pixel density no individual pixels are discernible, not even in theory.  But it can be just as sharp at lower resolution than that. The farther away, the lower the ppi required.

2. Image size is measured in pixels. 60 inches at 300ppi = 60 x 300 = 18 000 pixels. That's a big file, but not that big. Any half-decent desktop system should be able to work with that - unless you have a high number of layers. But still perfectly workable on a good system.

Just to put the pixel number in perspective. The latest generation of ultra high resolution cameras, like a Sony a7r or a Nikon D850, produce about 8000 pixels on the long side. If you want more than that, you're talking Phase One or Hasselblad medium format camera backs, at the price of a small car. Then you can push it up to 10 000 or 11 000. Billboards have been printed at half that.

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2018

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1. It's for future proof. I dont wanna make layers again to create the same work.

2. Nope. 44x60 300dpi with multiple layers were around 30gb of PSB file and both Mac Pro 2013 and iMac Pro 2017 were not able to process and save it quickly.

What you dont understand is that each PSB file has tons of layers. Whether 60 inch canvas with 300 dpi is not big or not, those layers make the project massive.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 31, 2018

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If you're starting out from the premise that you just want as much resolution as possible, as you seem to do - well, then, sooner or later you'll hit the limits of your machine. It seems you just did.

With these file sizes the most critical thing is to have an efficient scratch disk setup. That's the main bottleneck. You need at least 500GB to 1TB dedicated scratch space. The new M.2 SSDs are so fast that the amount of RAM is less important.

I routinely work with PSBs in the 10GB range without issue. To cut down time, disable file compression in Preferences. Bigger files, but dramatically faster opening and saving.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 01, 2018

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What you dont understand is that each PSB file has tons of layers. Whether 60 inch canvas with 300 dpi is not big or not, those layers make the project massive.

What's the bit depth? A single layer, RGB, 8-bit, 300ppi, 60"x44" file is only 680mb. Maybe rethink the layer usage and make sure the bit depth is 8? Also make sure you don't have excessive pixels beyond the canvas edges—Image>Trim

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 02, 2018

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aiur4  wrote

What you dont understand is that each PSB file has tons of layers. Whether 60 inch canvas with 300 dpi is not big or not, those layers make the project massive.

You really are new to this.     Did you look at the Bert Monroy Times Square Illustration, and zoom in as far as it would allow you?  Bert is the world's greatest Photoshop user.  Hi times Square illustration is made up of hundreds of documents, with thousands of layers.  I had the chance to assist Bert at a workshop he ran ad Adobe MAX in 2016, and I saw the Times Square file structure.  It simply isn't possible to carry all that data in a single document, so each element is worked on a separate document, and the flattened element moved to the master document, which in turn is flattened as he goes. 

If you are using Smart Objects, consider double clicking to open them in a new window, and saving as PSB files.  Then flattening the SO in the master document.  Do the same thing with groups but Duplicating to a new document, and saving to a separate file.  You need to be smart, and think about your workflow.

Have you told us any specifics about your project other than file size?  We have heard that it is a photomerge, but is it ultimately just a photograph, or is there any artwork or illustrative content? 

It seems to me that several people have asked you important questions, that you are not answering.  If you want to be taken seriously, then you need to answer those questions.

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Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2018

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You can't compare my works to Bert Monroy since he flattens files to create a work while I don't. I can not flatten my works since I need to fix some parts in future as Im working on it. Also, It's not a photo merge. Not even close. Im stacking layers on the canvas with a different blending mode.

If I extend a 42mp file to fit 44x60, each layer's size will be increased.

Also, 30 layers are not enough for me but that's my max since my computer can not deal with it.

Yes, I checked everything before I start this project and yet it's still big.

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Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2018

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Im using 16bit because once I start stacking images, colors change dramatically or somewhat destroyed so I picked 16 bit.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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aiur4  wrote

Im using 16bit because once I start stacking images, colors change dramatically or somewhat destroyed so I picked 16 bit.

Plonk.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Hi

You seem to be missing , or ignoring, the main point in the answers above.

If you have a 42 Mpx file and use Image Size to make it a 44x60inch x300ppi file = 237Mpx you have not added anything except more pixels and, thereby put more load onto your system. The detail in that 42 Mpx file has just been spread over 237 Mpixels. There is no more detail added.

Choosing to use jpeg rather than RAW from the camera saves you nothing in terms of size when opened in Photoshop. The jpeg compression will have discarded picture information - reducing quality and will be 8 bit at that stage. RAW is usually 14 bit.  Switching up to 16 bit in Photoshop does not put back the discarded picture information that you lost by going to 8 bit.

My advice would be this :

1. Go from your camera to Photoshop using RAW and in ACR go straight to 16 bit.

2. Work at the native pixel size for your image - if that is a 42M pixel then work at that size.

3. When you finally come to print large, reduce the ppi in other words don't add pixels just put your 42Mpixels over that larger area. That will mean you will not introduce scaling artifacts. The increased viewing distance will mean that the image looks the same.*

If that last step worries you , then do your scaling at then end - if your computer struggles - make a copy of the file, flatten it and scale that.

*I do urge you to print a section both ways, scaled without adding pixels  and scaled through added pixels, then view at the intended viewing distance for the large image.  You may be surprised.

Dave

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Holy cow. Is he upsampling from 42MP raw files? I thought this was about stitching.

aiur4, you need to stop right there and rethink your whole process. You're producing dinosaurs that are already dead. Throw out what you have and start fresh.

To start with, I have a Sony a7rII, and nobody ever complained about resolution. I can see eyelashes on a face in a large crowd. In itself, an a7r file will work for anything, any practical purpose you can think of, right up to wall-sized banners and billboards, and it will be razor sharp and crisp. With a good lens and good technique, of course.

If you want to produce mega-artwork of the breathtaking, stunning kind, special purpose exhibition stuff, you can stitch a couple of those files. But once you reach 12000 - 15000 pixels, you're into NASA territory.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Im using 16bit because once I start stacking images, colors change dramatically or somewhat destroyed so I picked 16 bit.

Could you show a screen capture of a layered 16-bit image sampled down to 8-bit side by side that shows a color difference?

16-bit only affects the number of possible gray levels per channel and wouldn't affect the appearance of output color. If you are worried about gaps in the gray level histogram from multiple color corrections, just make color corrections via adjustment layers, which are non-destructive.

It's also unlikely the 16-bits will make it to the output device or get output. InDesign and Illustrator, two printcentric apps, don't support 16-bit—16-bit images get sampled to 8-bit on an export to PDF.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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If I extend a 42mp file to fit 44x60, each layer's size will be increased.

Think about running some tests to the intended output device. Create a test file at 16-bit, make duplicates with the resolution upsampled 225%, and the bit depth at 8-bit and compare the output.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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running some tests (...) upsampled 225%

That's pointless. Nobody ever needed to upsample an a7r file. Just print as is, to the desired size, and let the effective ppi fall wherever it wants. There is plenty resolution in that file for any purpose.

Upsampling will only introduce ugly-looking artifacts, making it look a whole lot worse.

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Explorer ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Im checking my computer to tell you more information but I have to wait till tomorrow since one of my RAM is dead now.

However, I do need to upscale my images because if I print it on 60x44 inch, it has to be 60x44 instead of 13x19. Otherwise, it wont gonna have more details and sharpness. I already tried and 13x19 canvas printed on 44x60 print produced a blurry result.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Low print resolution doesn't make it blurry, and upsampling will only make it more blurry. If it's blurry, it's because the file isn't good enough quality to start with. Make sure it's optimally sharpened for the intended size first.

Low print resolution produces visible pixels if low enough. Visible pixels is the only valid reason for upsampling.

You will always, no exception, get the best result printing the file at native resolution. Upsampling will not add any detail, but it will add ugly resampling artefacts.

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Explorer ,
Nov 03, 2018

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I totally disagree. Because I already printed in different sizes between 13x19 and 44x60 but even at 44x60, it wasnt blurry at all but I see more details. I know that upsampling will make it blurry but when I did it and printed it, it didn't look blurry at all. That's why I used 44x60 canvas instead of 13x19. Also, when I upscaled images, I never had resampling artifacts.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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That's pointless.

I know the upsample wont help the image quality in any useful way—the point is to let the OP see and judge the effect. The 16-bit is also having a huge affect on file size and performance—no way that shows up in print.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Because I already printed in different sizes between 13x19 and 44x60 but even at 44x60, it wasnt blurry at all but I see more details.

The test would have to be comparing the same image at different resolutions not different sizes.

A camera at 42MP shoots at something like 7952 x 5300 pixels, if you uncheck Resample in Image Size and set the width to 60", the Resolution is scaled to 132ppi—there's no resampling—the image can be printed at 132ppi without adding or subtracting pixels.

Crop out a part of the image, duplicate it, and upsample to 300ppi. Print both and view from the expected viewing distance. You can do the same to compare bit-depth.

Screen Shot 4.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/rob+day  wrote

the point is to let the OP see and judge the effect.

OK, I get that.

But just to remind everyone in general. A file from a Sony a7r-series camera has more resolution today, than what you used to get from a Hasselblad or Phase One medium format back only a couple of years ago. There is, quite simply, a serious amount of pixels there, and I can't see any reason, ever, to upsample one of those files. Not for any purpose.

People tend to panic when they blow up size and see effective resolution drop to, say, 150 ppi or so. Try it and see for yourself, see if you can see any pixels there. No way you can.

A large print at 150 ppi, viewed at a distance of one fully extended arm's length - which is really uncomfortably up close! - you have the same optical, perceived resolution as you have with a book print at 300. Step back to take it all in, and you may be down to 50 or 70 or so.

Don't panic because ppi is dropping. 300 is for books held up your nose.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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aiur4  wrote

I totally disagree. Because I already printed in different sizes between 13x19 and 44x60 but even at 44x60, it wasnt blurry at all but I see more details. 

You don't get "more details" from upsampling. Upsampling cannot put in detail that is not already there.

aiur4  wrote

I never had resampling artifacts.

You will have resampling artifacts they are a fact of life with upsampling. Whether those artifacts are acceptable to you is a different question.

As Rob and I have both now said - carry out a test of both methods and compare them at the expected viewing distance for the larger image.

Dave

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Explorer ,
Nov 03, 2018

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I will test

1. Rescaling images

2. Different resolution

3. Different canvas size

and more tomorrow at the computer lab since my Mac Pro 2010 is not able to do any photoshop works due to the size of RAM.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Different resolution

Pixel and bit-depth resolution are all you need to test, and you could do it with a single image out of the camera.

Just uncheck Resample with the desired output width and that will give you the camera's native res for that output width. Crop out a section for the test, Duplicate and with Resample checked, sample the duplicate up to 300ppi for your comparison print. The output dimensions for both should be identical.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 31, 2018

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What sort of image is this?  Is it a photograph, for instance, or maybe a photomerge made of multiple shots?   Further to what Dag has said, I am wondering why you think you need those file sizes?  What research did you do?  The only examples I can think of that might need that sort of file size, are Gigapan that use hundreds of overlapping shots, and can be zoomed into to see fine detail, or Bert Monroy's similar illustrations like Times Square and Amsterdam Mist.

Times Square

Amsterdam Mist

You appear to be talking about biggish prints though, and are talking crazy numbers.

The real expert on high definition printing, is Jeff Schewe   Jeff does pop up on this forum now an again, but not so much recently.   You could treat yourself  to one of his books like this one.

The Digital Print: Preparing Images in Lightroom and Photoshop for Printing: Jeff Schewe: 9780321908...

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2018

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I tried to minimize the file size but it was impossible. I used JPEG files and yet I got 30gb PSB file. Because I extended files to 44x60 inch. If I shrink layers, then it is not a problem since I added 72 layers and yet I got only 8gb.

I use A7R3 which 42mp camera. I use 20~30 images to combine them on Photoshop. Very simple and yet I get 30gb of PSB files.

The reason for using 300 dpi is for future proofing. I might gonna print bigger than 44x60 inch print.

But I wanna know the reason for supporting a high resolution like 600 dpi in Photoshop then.

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Explorer ,
Nov 04, 2018

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To address your question as "why" we have the ability to use higher dpi setting in photoshop.

Having worked the commercial printing industry, prepress, imaging, platemaking I can tell you that historically for me, one of the biggest benefits of Photoshop's ability to work resolutions higher than 600 dpi is for both editing and imaging of line art and text copy as spot colors.

When producing high quality films & plates raster image processors will typically output upwards from 133 lpi (lines per inch) and dot resolutions of 1200 dpi (dot per inch). Imaging 300 dpi line art or rasterized text on these system will will get pixelated edges.

As a fan of high resolution art and photography I myself have learned to adjust my work according the intended output process.
Curious, have you found the use of smart objects to be of any benefit?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 31, 2018

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A 44 x 60 inch print at 300 or 600ppi is overkill. Take a look at this article on resolution for large prints.

What print resolution works for what viewing distance?

The key points are:

1. Our eyes can only resolve a certain minimum angle from the eye.

2. For larger prints we stand further away to view them so that we can take in the whole image

3. The further way we stand from a print - the larger physical area of the print that minimum angle covers.

Printing more pixels in that area is a waste of time - our eyes simply can't resolve the additional detail.

If we use interpolation to add extra pixels we are not creating any extra detail at all. Just spreading the detail over more pixels.

What that boils down to is - the larger the print the less ppi are required.

Using the formula in the article a 60 x 44 inch print would be viewed at around 9 feet.

At that viewing distance the ppi should be around 63ppi.

To give another example a 13x9 inch 300 ppi print viewed from 24 inches (2 feet) will look exactly the same as a 65x45 inch 60ppi print viewed from 120 inches (10 feet)  and will have exactly the same pixel size 3900x2700px. No extra file size required.

I hope that helps

Dave

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Engaged ,
Nov 01, 2018

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Are you using RAW images? or are you converting them? what are the image sizes that you're placing into the canvas?

I'd really take the advice of lowering your dpi, I've heard billboards use something like 10dpi due to how big and how far away people will be viewing them.

Since you're talking big scale, it's unlikely that someone will stand nose touching to the canvas and even if they did and they pointed out the pixels you can just say that it was never intended to be viewed at such an awkward distance/

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 01, 2018

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Yes, 10 ppi can be fully adequate for a wall-sized banner.

This "300 ppi myth" is incredibly persistent. It might be worth looking at what it really is. Standard book print uses a line screen frequency of 150 lines per inch. That is the real, optical resolution. At a viewing distance of a little less than arm's length, that's a fair optical resolution that people with good eyesight will be comfortable with.

But then somebody said, yes, but you can actually make out individual pixels if you put one pixel to each line. Yes, obviously you can.

So they looked at what ppi was needed in the image to not make out individual pixels. And it turned out that this was exactly x2, in other words 300 ppi. That's the theoretical upper limit.

These lines are printed at angles to each other, so you gain a little resolution there. But still - you can go a lot lower than 300 before it has any impact on sharpness.

OK. So far so good. Now let's see what happens as you increase viewing distance. Let's say to double - two crooked arms. Now you can use half the previous resolution, and still end up with the same optical, perceived resolution. At double distance, 75 lines per inch optically equals 150 lines per inch.

You can see where this is going. Walk across the room, and 20-40 ppi may be excellent. Step out on the street, and 10-15 ppi will do the same thing.

This is basic geometry. What is at work here is not the physical resolution, but the angle of view in your total field of vision. Degrees of arc.

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Explorer ,
Nov 02, 2018

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No JPEG only. RAW would be several times bigger.

I dont have a mind to decrease PPI since I let people to look close to my works.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 02, 2018

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aiur4  wrote

No JPEG only. RAW would be several times bigger.

You do realize that RAW is not a normal Photoshop file type, but associated only with the output from the camera?  Once in Photoshop, file type only becomes relevant again, when you want to save the image, and that would typically be to a PSD or TIFF format at your chosen bit depth.

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LEGEND ,
Nov 03, 2018

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The formats of the images you use as input don't influence how big your saved .psb file will be.  The .psb file can be compressed, depending on your compression preference, but it's not lossy compression like .jpg and will be much larger.

Also, the way you've organized your document will also influence it's size.  For example, if you have complicated layer masks on a whole lot of layers, they take room in the file too.

Other things can also affect size...  For example you might have image data beyond the edges of your canvas.

You have some responsibility for optimizing your document, or as you have seen it can get out of hand.  A number of experts here who have practical experience have already given you some good advice.

Finally, if you really need monstrous images, and that's the way you want to work what's the problem getting a powerful computer with lots of resources (e.g. 64 or more GB of RAM and TB of free disk space)?  If you need it you need it.

-Noel

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Advisor ,
Nov 03, 2018

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Since I switched to digital art, I make my creations on 5 inch X 7-inch art board and always set it at 500 dpi. My work has been enlarged to posters and stretched canvas any size I order. Printer sets the limits if I prepare my art thus. Smiling. JH

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