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How to produce large Files (100meters and more)?

Nov 24, 2012 5:46 AM

Tags: #file #size #mac #files #large #saving #tool #cs6 #workflow

We are currently working on an architecutre project for which we have to make printed curtains/screens. The maximum of one Curtain

is about 180 meters (600ft). Over the 180 meters we have a pattern, which makes it not so easy to split files into pieces (color gradients, a.m.m.)


Our printing company suggested us to produce everything in a 1:10 scale (1 meter is 10 centimeters) and in 600dpi and they will scale it up with

their rip unit and print it than in 1:1. Final print resolution is therefore 60dpi.


As a start we are doing a 25 meters x 2,5 meters file - which is already super hard on the computer. (all new macs with 16gb ram and adobe creative cloud)


Is there any way of working like with videos - online and offline files? So that we work on a smaller scale and then repeat all the steps on the larger images.


We want to get our workflow optimized as we have to produce 3000 meters of image.


Any Ideas?



Georg Kettele

  • Noel Carboni
    23,514 posts
    Dec 23, 2006
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2012 6:40 AM   in reply to kmkg-studio

    First thing that comes to mind is to ask:  Do you really need that high a resolution?  Are people really going to be looking at actual print detail from just a few meters away on a project that's nearly 200 meters wide?  In other words, are you actually creating fine image detail that matters at the 60 ppi scale?


    The second thing that occurs to me is that  a typical computer with just 16GB of RAM doesn't seem a good fit for working on gargantuan images.  You've avoided doing the math that matters for the readers here, so I'll do it:


    • 60 pixels/inch * 39.37 inches/meter * 180 meters == 425196 pixels width


    Assuming your full length print will also be 2.5 meters:


    • 60 pixels/inch * 39.37 inches/meter * 2.5 meters == 5906 pixels height


    So your proposed image at this scale will be 425195 x 5906 pixels == 2.5 gigapixels.  Assuming you're using 8 bits/channel mode RGB, that's 7.5 gigabytes to store the image exactly once in RAM.


    Keeping in mind you'll need to actually WORK on this image in Photoshop, you'll need at least 10x that RAM (for History states, room to run various tools, etc.) and a LOT of super fast disk storage to be able to swap data to the scratch file.  Numbers like 96 GB of RAM and several TB of SSD array storage space come to mind to even begin to think about working on such a huge image. 


    Any image that takes 7.5 gigabytes in RAM is going to be slow to work on no matter what computer you have today.  And if you're hoping to work on an even taller image than 5906 pixels, then you start to get into the realm of computers that haven't been invented yet.


    Third thing I'm thinking of is that you may have to divide it into smaller chunks and deal with manually aligning things you want to match up.


    You could start working at a MUCH smaller scale, lay the groundwork for the layout using things (e.g., paths/shapes) that scale up nicely, then divide the image up for the finish work.
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    Nov 24, 2012 7:20 AM   in reply to kmkg-studio

    Since PS cannot record interactive tools like brush operations to actions and most actions or scripts operate on absolute pixel coordinates or units based on the document settings that is a no-no. You will just have to work your way through and create separate segments.



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    Nov 24, 2012 7:26 AM   in reply to kmkg-studio

    You may find some tips by searching the Web for "Photoshop proxy editing" or similar.

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    Nov 24, 2012 7:51 PM   in reply to kmkg-studio

    Ann Shelbourne keeps Live Picture on an old machine for just such tasks. It's  a shame Live Picture wasn't absorbed into Adobe. It had low res editing and much better silhouetting.  I should have kept that old machine too.

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