Before you do anything further in this class, make sure you have completed a full and complete backup of your digital scrapbooking supplies.
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 Photoshop Elements.
PNG – PSD – TIF – What’s the difference?
I usually prefer to convert files to TIF rather than PSD. However, when using Photoshop Elements as your conversion engine, your file sizes will be beyond huge. For that reason I recommend converting to PSD when using PSE.
There are a few issues you should be aware of. When I first went through this process using Bridge and Photoshop, I converted everything PNG to PSD format. It worked! However, even after converting, Lightroom had issues with some PSD files. I realized this could be a long term issue as my catalog aged.
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. However, you can still tag things in PSD format and it works great.
I also recommend doing your own tests with one or two designer folders. Compare file sizes and then decide the road you want to choose. Here’s the video outlining the step by step process below. The password: PSE
Before Getting Started with the Conversion Process in Photoshop Elements
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.
Keep in mind that Photoshop Elements processes things differently than Bridge. The biggest factor in the PSE processing is that instead of being able to process files to PNG by Designer folders, you will have to process your files kit folder by kit folder. This takes a bit longer, but also keeps your kit files intact so as you come into Lightroom so you will save hours in tagging and organizing.
Alternatively Bridge will just convert everything in a designer folder and keep it with each individual kit folder so you don’t have to do things kit folder by kit folder.
The process of first getting your existing digital scrapbooking supplies into Lightroom is a bit different than the long-term ongoing process you will have as you purchase and download kits. If you have a very large library of digital supplies, you might consider downloading a free 30 day trial of Photoshop which includes Bridge (https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=photoshop) and following the instructions for Bridge for your initial PNG conversion. Then you can choose to use Photoshop Elements for subsequent processing of digital files.
However, there are some who will want to use Photoshop Elements exclusively. In this video I will show you how to do it:
Converting Files in Photoshop Elements
- Inside Photoshop Elements choose File > Process Multiple Files
- Navigate to the Kit Folder you want to convert in the drop down menu for Process Files From
- Check the box next to Include all Subfolders
- For the Source, navigate to your original designer folders created Pre-Class and select the first designer folder. Check the box next to Same as Source
- Make sure the boxes next to Rename Files and Resize Images remain UNCHECKED.
- Under File Type check the box next to Convert Files to and then choose PSD.
- Check the box next to Log errors that result from processing files (this keeps processing from being interrupted because of an error).
- For Printable files choose File > Save AS and then choose TIFF in the Format drop down menu. In the TIFF Options Panel Choose LZW for Image Compression and click OK. When you receive the message about including layers increasing files size click OK. Close the original file.
- For TOU files choose File > Save AS and then choose JPEG in the Format drop down menu. click OK twice. Close the original file.
Repeat this process for each designer kit folder in your collection.
This process will take quite awhile – you may even want to break it up into 15 minute to one hour time slots to concentrate on it. This is the most tedious part of getting to Lightroom but I can promise you it is more than worth it!
p.s. If you need inspiration, refer to your pre-class inspiration list and paragraph and remember you are getting organized for the LAST time!