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adrianomeara
06-15-2005, 03:50 AM
We need to keep a layered Photoshop file for future use on all of our files. These files are loaded onto our worldwide database.

At present our designers are not restricted into how many layers they use etc. However going forward we'd like to stop the designers using loads of layers, or at least lessening the amount when they have finished the design by merging layers.

The problems of doing this are:
1. Use of layers in Photoshop is virtually unlimited; designers can use over 50 layers to create complicated artwork. (An average card would be 2-12 layers approximately)
2. Effects and filters can be applied to individual layers, groups of layers and sets of layers. Effects and filters can also be linked to other layers within the document.
3. Designers are already heavily restricted in the way that they produce artwork, restricting their creativity further may alienate them, especially with going forward they may be having to enter metadata as well.
4. We canít use an automation to merge the layers down, as it would be too indiscriminate, as each design is different. (i.e. if we merged it down to four layers, a drop shadow that had been applied to a layer with a character on would be combined, and there would be no way of separating the shadow from the character at a later date.)
5. Making use of Layer Sets and asking the designers to create their files by placing elements in each set would cause confusion, and although it would look tidier there would still be lots of layers within the sets.
6. Layer Comps is only ok for showing different versions of a file.
7. Each designer has their own way of working within Photoshop, not because they are working in a wrong way, but Photoshop has lots of different ways to achieve similar results, and each designer feels more comfortable using it in a way they know, and making them use it in a different way would stifle their creativity as they would be worried about files being correct all the time, and be less able to experiment.
8. Would be difficult to implement and teach.

I'm stumped!!! I would be grateful for any ideas or suggestions we could use. Sorry for the long post, but thought it best to describe as much as possible.

Thank you in advance.

hayne
06-15-2005, 03:56 AM
You neglected to tell us the most important thing - why do you care about the number of layers in the final Photoshop file?

adrianomeara
06-15-2005, 04:10 AM
sorry...
...it's because the files can end up anywhere and we need to make them simple. Also, as present the layered files are split into different files before being uploaded. (Yes I know it's a strange practise, but at present it is all we are allowed to do)

Going forward we hope to upload the layered files as is, however we still would like them to be tidy, especially as we will be placing them into InDesign. (some of our designers can be messy b*ggers, and we want to make then call a 'spade a spade')

Cheers

DKmafia
06-15-2005, 04:20 AM
what r u smoking???

hayne
06-15-2005, 04:32 AM
Also, as present the layered files are split into different files before being uploaded. (Yes I know it's a strange practise, but at present it is all we are allowed to do)

Going forward we hope to upload the layered files as is

I hope that this "going forward" is going to happen very soon and that you do a bit more than "hope". Who is it that is saying what is "allowed" as the content of a binary file? It should be up to the users of these files to decide what is the most appropriate content and format.

we still would like them to be tidy, especially as we will be placing them into InDesign. (some of our designers can be messy b*ggers, and we want to make then call a 'spade a spade')

In your initial message, you outlined all the reasons why designers should be allowed the freedom to use PhotoShop the way they think best. But then you want to impose some restrictions on them so the files are "tidy" ?
It should be the users of those files who determine what is and what is not acceptable for them. Perhaps the real problem (that you have not yet explained) is that there are two (or more) groups of users with distinct needs (and preferences)? If so, the usual solution would be to require two versions of each file - e.g. the original, arbitrarily complicated file for group A and another (simplified by merging layers) for group B.

adrianomeara
06-15-2005, 04:49 AM
Believe me...I really don't think it's a good idea, and would be much happier if we could just use standard Illustrator/InDesign files and leave Photoshop alone.

I am thinking very much like you guys, but I want to try and convey it to the other people invloved, and thought it would be best to get some more opinions other than just my own, especially from people in different fields.

hayne
06-15-2005, 05:47 AM
Believe me...I really don't think it's a good idea, and would be much happier if we could just use standard Illustrator/InDesign files and leave Photoshop alone.

I am thinking very much like you guys, but I want to try and convey it to the other people invloved, and thought it would be best to get some more opinions other than just my own, especially from people in different fields.

As I indicated above, it would help if you gave us more information about the motivations behind your request.
Who wants to have simpler files? Why?
Who is using these files? More than one group (in terms of their needs)?

voldenuit
06-15-2005, 10:58 AM
Unless you come up with clear goals, there's not much to recommend.

You could edit a guide of Best Practice for PS-files for your mysterious entity and hope for the best.

kawliga
06-15-2005, 11:07 AM
How many layers is too many layers?

If you're asking designers to create files that non-designers who aren't comfortable with photoshop can be comfortable with, you are probably going to have ongoing difficulty.

This sounds like a question for a human resources bulletin board.

mclbruce
06-15-2005, 12:29 PM
I know you can change the look of a file by removing layers. I don't think flattening a file will change the look of it. So once the design is final, just flatten the file and use that. Keep the layered files around for making changes, but don't use them in production.

BigDave
06-16-2005, 02:02 AM
How about select all, copy merged & paste? That way you get a flattened layer of the artwork on the top with all the layer functionality underneath.....

adrianomeara
06-16-2005, 03:29 AM
Thank you for all your comments. I have decided we are going to use layer sets, easiest and tidiest way. (BigDave's idea is useful one to remmebr too.)

Cheers :D