10 Replies Latest reply on Sep 8, 2012 4:32 PM by Chris Cox

    Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?

    *Rich*

      When doing composites, I usually start with a 16-bit background image openned into PS from a RAW file pre-edited in ACR. Then I bring in other objects/elements I shot at the same bit depth. However, I occassionally see an 8-bit JPEG stock photo that would be helpful. What would be the limitations of importing an 8-bit file into my main 16-bit composite image, and is there a way to compensate? Thanks

        • 1. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
          conroy Level 5

          There is no problem with bringing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit document. In fact, it is advisable to process 8-bit images in 16-bit mode to prevent or at least reduce the introduction of posterization. Some Ps filters are still limited to 8-bit mode, unfortunately.

           

          Be aware that selection density is always 8-bit although masks are 16-bit in 16-bit mode.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
            *Rich* Level 1

            conroy wrote:

             

            There is no problem with bringing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit document. In fact, it is advisable to process 8-bit images in 16-bit mode to prevent or at least reduce the introduction of posterization. Some Ps filters are still limited to 8-bit mode, unfortunately.

            Thanks Conroy. As far as limited filters go, how could you compensate as far as the imported object is concerned?  I guess you could apply a non-16-bit filter to the 8-bit image prior to importing. But what about after importing and a change needs to be made? Could you select the object and export, or convert its layer to file; apply a filter to the new file; then bring it back into the 16-bit composite image? Anything else? Thanks.

            • 3. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
              conroy Level 5

              *Rich* wrote:

               

              ... what about after importing and a change needs to be made? Could you select the object and export, or convert its layer to file; apply a filter to the new file; then bring it back into the 16-bit composite image? Anything else? Thanks.

               

              Yes, you can duplicate a 16-bit layer to a new document, switch that new document's mode to 8-bit, do the 8-bit processing and then duplicate the processed layer to the 16-bit document.

               

              Consider using Smart Objects. A 16-bit document can contain Smart Objects which enclose an 8-bit image file or Ps document file. Double-click the SO to open its content into a new window, process that then save to update the SO in the 16-bit document.

               

               

              Screen shot 2012-09-08 at 19.09.18.png

              • 4. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
                *Rich* Level 1

                Thanks Conroy. I tried this out on some sample files -- very helpful. This info will help streamline my workflow a bit, keep the process non-destructive, and provide some flexibility.

                • 5. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                  These kinds of complexity are why I think Adobe ought to be updating all their existing 8-bit-only filters to just work in 16 bits!

                   

                  -Noel

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
                    *Rich* Level 1

                    Noel Carboni wrote:

                     

                    These kinds of complexity are why I think Adobe ought to be updating all their existing 8-bit-only filters to just work in 16 bits!

                     

                    -Noel

                    AMEN! I am always amazed at how long Adobe has retained such limitations.

                     

                    When you go to edit 16-bit image files in PS, suddenly the feature-set of your $900 software drops down to something like Photoshop Elements. I hear there have been some improvements in CS6. I'm using CS5 Extended, but will probably wait until CS7 to upgrade.

                    • 7. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
                      Level 7

                      >> These kinds of complexity are why I think Adobe ought to be updating all their existing 8-bit-only filters to just work in 16 bits!

                       

                      Still almost no customer demand.  Unless customers show specific requests (and not "I want everything" requests) to product management - they don't see any purpose in updating old filters.

                      • 8. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
                        *Rich* Level 1

                        Chris Cox wrote:

                         

                        >> These kinds of complexity are why I think Adobe ought to be updating all their existing 8-bit-only filters to just work in 16 bits!

                         

                        Still almost no customer demand.  Unless customers show specific requests (and not "I want everything" requests) to product management - they don't see any purpose in updating old filters.

                        Sad to hear that's the case, Chris, but I understand.

                         

                        The big demand for Adobe right now is millions of people finger-processing pictures of their lunch off their iPhones/iPads to post on facebook -- and they are not dealing with 16-bit images. I guess image professionals will just have to continue being "creative" in dealing with their "low demand" special needs. This forum is a great venue for doing just that. Thanks for your contribution.

                        • 9. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
                          Noel Carboni Level 8

                          Chris Cox wrote:

                           


                          Still almost no customer demand.

                           

                          And yet here we are, discussing horrendous workarounds (embedding high bit depth smart objects in low bit depth files - really?) precisely because a customer is expecting to be able to use the primo professional Adobe image editing tool (that costs more than the whole operating system) to do creative stuff on his high quality work.

                           

                          It's hard not to use profanity in return to that response.

                           

                          Your project planners need to get your heads out of ... the sand ... and realize that Photoshop is not Photoshop Elements.

                           

                          Perhaps I'm feeling less charitable today than usual.  Too bad.

                           

                          -Noel

                          • 10. Re: Importing an 8-bit image into a 16-bit?
                            Level 7

                            PLEASE give us specific requests, and real reasons why you need the filters -- then we can justify the work involved.