Lightroom Class: PNG Conversion in Bridge
By DS101 on in 2012 Lightroom Supplies with 26 Comments
Before you do anything further in this class, make sure you have completed a full and complete backup of all your digital scrapbooking supplies.
The PNG Conversion Process for Photoshop and Bridge
This process is going to be different depending on the software you have, so make sure that you are reading the document that corresponds to your particular software. This document covers the step by step process of converting your PNG files to TIF files using Bridge
PNG – PSD – TIF – What’s the difference?
One of the first questions I know a lot of you will ask is, “Why TIF (LZW Compression) and not PSD?”
When I first went through this process, I converted everything PNG to PSD format. It worked! However, the more I organized and tagged, and the more I researched, I learned that there were some distinct advantages to TIF. I switched to TIF mid stream – the best part was because I had already done a lot of keyword tagging in Lightroom, even though I switched formats, I still retained all my keywords!
There were a few reasons I made this change mid-stream in my organizing process:
PSD File Compatibility – Even after converting, Lightroom had issues with some PSD files. I realized this could be a long term issue as my catalog aged.
File Size - At first I thought PSD would be smaller, but after testing a folder of several kits, I noticed that some files were much smaller in TIF format than PSD format. Yet there were others that were larger as TIF files. **Note if you are using Photoshop Elements instead of Bridge – for some reason the opposite is often true**
Speed – this clinched it for me. Updating metadata in TIF files is a lot faster than PSD. With thousands and thousands of items to keyword in a digital stash, speed is a huge factor – there was a definitive difference in the speed of tagging to TIF files vs. PSD.
Here’s the video outlining the step by step process below.
Before Getting Started with the Conversion Process in Adobe Bridge
Consider the remaining hard drive space on your computer before you get started. As you change the format of your files to PSD, they will increase in size. This has a lot to do with changing the format of the file so you will have a reliable space inside it to store your metadata.
Look at the size of your main scrapbooking folder with all your designer folders inside it (right click and choose Properties to find its size). Plan on having at least twice to three times that space free on your hard drive to go through this process.
The three times the hard drive space may seem like overkill – but your computer also uses the free space on your main drive for temporary files – so you will want to make sure you always have at least 10-20% of your drive space free for temporary files – because Bridge is going to use it.
There will be so many PNG files to convert, I highly recommend going through the conversion process designer folder by designer folder. This way you won’t overwhelm your computer’s processor.
Setting Up Bridge
There are a few things you can do to make this process faster and easier in Bridge.
- Choose Adobe Bridge CS5 > Preferences > Cache (set in the middle)
- For faster browsing (and PNG file detection), choose a folder and then select the Browse Quickly By Preferring Embedded Images button in the Adobe Bridge application bar.
- Inside Bridge Navigate to your Scrapbooking Originals Folder. Right click and choose “Add To Favorites” This will make it always accessible on your Favorites Tab.
- Double click on the first designer folder you want to work on.
- Choose View > Show Items From Subfolders.
- After Bridge finishes Building Criteria. Click on PNG image underneath the Filter Tab.
- Choose Edit > Select All (or press CTRL/CMD + A on your keyboard)
- Choose Tools > Photoshop > Image Processor
- Under Section 2, select “Save in Same Location”
- Under 3 select TIFF and LZW Compression
- Click Run and then wait while Photoshop processes the image – this could be a few minutes or longer depending on how many files you have in the folder – now might be a good time to get up and take a computer break for a few minutes.
- When your computer is finished processing in Photoshop, return to bridge where all your PNG files should still be selected. Right click and choose “Move To Trash”
- Repeat this process for each designer folder in your collection.
- Navigate to your designer and kit folders and double click on the TIFF folder inside each – voila – all your PNG files from the kit are now TIF files and ready to import into Lightroom!
**** You can download a free thirty-day trial of Bridge (choose the Photoshop CS5 download) here. ****