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Bridge CS6 Previews of raw-files have bad (pixelated) quality after editing.

May 24, 2013 4:30 PM

Tags: #raw #preview #previews #bridge_cs6

I'm having problems with using Bridge for browsing my pictures. Preview quality of edited raw (nef) files is terrible. It looks like a very low quality jpeg. The untouched NEF's are fine, and saving the edited NEF as PSD also gives a perfect preview.


Purging Cache doesn't work.


I'm using:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 64-bit Version: 6.1 Service Pack 1
  • Adobe Bridge CS6 x64
  • Camera Raw
  • Adobe Photoshop Version: 13.0.1  x64
  • 2x Monitor 1920 x 1200
  • Photo's made with Nikon D800E (7360 x 4912 px)


See screenshots of settings. Any Suggestions?





  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2013 5:28 PM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    Have you looked at these photos in iPhoto?  They will put the original in hidden folder and leave you with a thumbnail to work with.

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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2013 1:45 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    Preview quality of edited raw (nef) files is terrible. It looks like a very low quality jpeg.



    Can't judge this correctly per your screenshot. It looks like your problem is only in the sky (posterizing or banding) and that there is enough detail and sharpness left in your clouds and land.


    Did you try using the space bar to see the file full screen and does it show the same result?

    Did you try to select the file and with right mouse click use purge cache for selection?


    Blue sky is particularly reacting heavy on edits.


    Can you clarify a few things?


    How did you import the files, did you use Nikon view?

    What settings did you use in ACR to get this result.

    What screen and screen resolution are you using.

    And you do know having build 100% previews all the time takes a lot of recourses, time and space from your computer?


    And can you try this:

    In Bridge make a duplicate of this file, open it in ACR and at the bottom use the blue line to switch to 16 bit ProPhotoRGB and hit OK, the judge the both again.

    BTW, this will double the file size that is already big on your account, but it leaves you much more room for editing the colors and density in the sky 

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2013 4:16 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    Nikon software is notorious for corrupting files during transfer.  Just saying…

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2013 4:53 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    First thing I noticed was that you are exporting Bridge cache to folders. I wouldn't recommend doing this unless you have a good reason. You will end up with two copies of cache, one in the central cache, and one in each image folder. If you are having problems with previews, then this is a good place to start.


    1. Have you got a good reason for this setting, if so, what is it?


    If you don't need to export to folders, I recommend unsetting this preference, and then deleting all the .BridgeCache and .BridgeCacheT files in your image folders. (I'm saying this from memory, you need to check the file names)


    Second thing I noticed is that your HSL colour adjustments are extreme. In my experience, it's best to keep these adjustments small. Camera Raw decides which pixels to adjust based on RGB values, and the break-off can be abrupt between different colours in a seemingly plain area. I personally have a "Polarise" preset in Camera Raw which increases Yellow–Purple Saturation by no more than 20, and reduces Yellow–Purple Luminance by no more than 10. Any more and you start to see posterisation.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2013 4:55 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    ...the third thing I should say is that Bridge makes previews in relative colormetric sRGB. So, if your workplace and process settings are pushing colours well out of sRGB gamut, the previews will look pretty clipped.

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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2013 7:58 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    The files are fine, the previews adobe generates are not.



    I tried your settings on a file with a blue sky (HSL other values but same sliders because color shifted with your settings) and while the result looked far from what I wanted it to be it did not show banding or posterization at all.


    I also agree with Yammer on your HSL settings but then again, everyone has its own taste and workflow


    It all seems related to cache (and maybe it would be a good idea to try import using Photodownloader instead of Nikon View just to see if this makes a difference).


    Since you also state that you need 100 % previews for good quality this indicates also on cache problems.


    Yammer has a long thread about previews not being totally sharp but with that he means a 'top notch' quality. Always HQ preview should provide you a better preview then this.


    And since the saved files do look good it might be worth looking in to NEF and Nikon View as well as the cache files.


    About the cache to folders I fully agree with Yammer. When you have this folder active use a workspace with a larger content panel and in the menu view choose 'Show hidden files'


    This reveals a lot of XMP sidecar files but also the .BridgeCache files.


    Try and delete those cache files and then use purge cache for folder from the menu Tools / cache/

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  • Omke Oudeman
    4,001 posts
    Nov 27, 2004
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 26, 2013 6:18 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    What I find frustrating is:


    1. Raw previews look like crap compared to the file itself.


    2. Its possible to generate decent previews by a complicated purging-process.


    I can imagine you are frustrated.


    There are two differences on my set up so I can't check, first I use a Mac and you are on Windows and I use Canon and you Nikon.


    However it should not result in this much visible flaws in the preview.


    There can be a lot of cache files but Camera Raw Cache is something completely different then Bridge Cache.


    Camera Raw is a .dat file and contains some info from the raw settings and probably other stuff that I can't find, it states being a video file but you can't play them.


    Bridge cache are jpeg files that you can view, even without Bridge, for example they can be opened in PS itself without problems.


    If you have set to build all at 100% then it will generate jpeg files in the original size at a high quality jpeg setting.


    As said, I have a Mac but Yammer or Curt can provide you with the correct path to find the Bridge Cache folder yourself.


    On my System this is in the user Library / caches/ Adobe/ Bridge CS6 and inhere is a folder called cache. This folder contains 4 folders.


    - 256   : contains the thumbnails, very small files (in the range of 10 to 50 kb)

    - 1024 : contains the HQ previews, relatively large files (500 KB to 3 MB, depending on the files itself)

    - data  : a text file containing all sorts of info, don't know what exactly but is a text file that also can grow to several 100 MB

    - Full   : in here are the 100 % previews settled and they can grow to huge proportions ( around 10 MB for 18 MP files, depending on file size and content etc)


    If you have set to keep 100 % previews in Bridge prefs this last folder (full) will be taking a lot of space on your disk


    If you also have set to export cache to folder it creates same size (hidden) files with this cache in the folder itself.


    I never understood the need for export cache to folders for several reasons, first and most important, I had a longstanding bug preventing me from doing so (error message about overwriting a CacheT file) but also each version of Bridge has a different Cache format and you can't read older cache files. Also reading the cache file (especially when on DVD etc) takes a very long time. For purpose of needing to view archived files on external devices you better select the 'Prefer Embedded' option, works faster ten reading earlier exported cache.


    Not sure how you did purge the Bridge Cache but in your case I would Quit Bridge and find the equivalent Cache folder on Windows (Yammer, Curt?).


    manual delete this Cache folder with all its content and restart Bridge.


    This provides you with a new, fresh but very empty cache file. You need to recache the lot for the previews.


    If you are not sure just try it for experiment, move the old folder outside the library and try it. If it does not make any difference just Quit and replace the old file

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2013 12:39 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    Rather than delete the Bridge cache, you can change the path in preferences. For example, on my system, I have a folder C:\Cache\CS6 containing two sub-folders Bridge and CameraRaw. I change Bridge preferences > Cache to point to this new location. It will automatically start building a new cache.


    FYI the original cache location is

    C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Bridge CS6\Cache


    The Camera Raw cache is not a second cache. Camera Raw is independent of Bridge and also runs as a plug-in in Photoshop. So it's not so strange. Bridge uses Camera Raw to generate previews for filetypes with Raw settings, that's all.


    Are you completely removing the exported cache files? I seem to remember there being two; you only mentioned one. AFAIK they are called .BridgeCache and .BridgeCacheT.


    I don't think Camera Raw workspace settings have an effect on Bridge previews, but it might be worth checking you haven't got a non-standard resolution set.


    I still can't get past these huge HSL adjustments. If you have three adjacent pixels and one is considered Green and one considered Aqua and one considered Blue, they will all be adjusted independently and produce strong banding. There is no smoothing, AFAIK. If you have access to online storage, it might be worth uploading your Raw file and sidecar so one of us can take a look, just to confirm it's not your settings causing the preview problem.


    Another issue which may not be relevant is your monitor display profile. If it is non-standard, there may be a problem with the LUT causing weird effects, although this should affect all colour-managed programs equally.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2013 8:20 AM   in reply to Ippenwarf

    Using purge cache only purges the central cache.  To purge the folder cache you have to visit each folder and use Tools/cache/purge cache for xxx folder.

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