I know that Lightroom is unable to generate previews for PSD files if they haven't been saved with the Maximize Compatibility option. But, it seems that once you begin a preview for a folder Lightroom gets stuck in that mode even if you then go ahead and resave the file with the Maximize Compatibility option set to Always.
In a test just now I opened one of the problem files in Photoshop CS6 and saved it. Then I went back to Lightroom and tried to reimport the file but it still said Preview Unavailable. I tried toggling on/off a couple of layers and resaving but it still didn't help. So, next I actually tried making a change to the file and resaving. That still didn't work. I've tried exiting from the Import dialog in LR and restarting the import and even restarting Lightroom but nothing makes a difference.
If I save a new copy of the file in Photoshop (without changing any settings in my Photoshop preferences) Lightroom is able to show a preview and import the copy. So, the file itself is fine. In fact, it's just a simple 1MB file with a background layer and a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.
I've found this same behavior with both LR 4 and LR 5 Beta.
I have a lot of PSD files that I've edited over the years in Photoshop. Now, I'm considering using Lightroom but if I have to create new copies of every one of my PSD files in order to see them in Lightroom I don't know if it's going to be worth the trouble. Is there any workaround?
Adobe are recommending that you use TIFF files instead of PSDs. It's probably easiest to use Photoshop's Image Processor (Bridge/Tools/Photoshop/Image Processor...) to convert all your PSDs to TIFFs and then import the TIFFs. They'll all keep all their layers, and they'll have proper previews. It's an automated process: start it running and go make yourself a cup of coffee.
Thanks for your reply. Using the Image Processor to convert the files sounds like a reasonable workaround. I did a trial run on one set of directories and the process worked well.
Unfortunately, that does have the disadvantage of creating 1300 duplicate files in my case. I'd consider just deleting all the PSD files but I wonder what I might be losing by doing that. I assume there's some difference between the TIFF and PSD file formats, something that can be stored in PSDs that cannot be stored in TIFFs. Otherwise, why did Adobe invent the PSD format?
Anyway, thanks for your help,
TIFFs will hold everything that PSDs do. Adobe owns both formats, and TIFF is in the public domain, so other software manufacturers are able to deal with them when they cannot deal with PSD.
Basically, they are two different ways to wrap the same data. I'd feel OK about deleting the PSDs, but I'd probably archive them somewhere safe and offline before doing so. (Being a belt and suspenders kind of guy.)
TIFFs will hold everything that PSDs do.
That's nice to hear. However, I found that the Image Processor conversion doesn't work correctly in some cases. Here's one example. I have a file with a single image layer and which is a Smart Object. I applied a Blur Gallery Iris Blur to this object as a Smart Filter. After running the Image Processor what I got was a flattened file with no Smart Object and no blur filter. The filter effect was rasterized so it wasn't lost but the ability to edit further was.
And it gets worse. I have another file with a single Smart Object layer and a Nik Software Color Efex Pro filter applied. In this case, not only did it flatten the file, it didn't even render the effect correctly.
I played around with my preferences thinking that my Maximize Compatibility or TIFF layer-save options might be causing the problem. But, so far, I haven't been able to get the Image Processor to work correctly.
However, if I do the conversion manually I end up with a TIFF file that includes the Smart Object with Smart Filter intact. If I want to use these files with Lightroom I guess I'll have to convert each one manually.