New OpenEXR plug-in for Photoshop CS5

Photoshop PM Zorana Gee writes,

People who work in the 3D and film industries and who use the OpenEXR format in Photoshop CS5 will be happy to know that we now offer a plugin which  preserves files’ alpha channel on import/export. Out the box, Photoshop bakes the alpha into the layer transparency. Users who are happy with this behavior don’t need to do anything. Others who find that they need to preserve the alpha channel should simply install this plugin to override the default behavior.

4 thoughts on “New OpenEXR plug-in for Photoshop CS5

  1. That is incorrect.
    The new plugin opens the transparency channel from the EXR file as an alpha channel. That means that it may not look correct or composite correctly in Photoshop, but it may be how some people are used to seeing their EXR files in other applications.
    The existing EXR plugin that ships with Photoshop does not “bake the alpha into transparency” – the transparency channel in the EXR file is opened as transparency just like it’s supposed to be. The existing EXR plugin imports the image with the correct appearance and ability to composite correctly in Photoshop.

  2. Holyyyy gloryy! Adobe deserves a biiig wet kiss for this!!
    Thanks a lot!
    Neverming it was four years in waiting (since CS3 changed this behaviour to “coxrect one”) and historic debates in how hard is to “add an option” to open so called “transparency” as “alpha”…
    Finally to upgrade! 🙂 Cheers- keep up good work!

  3. Holy HELL! I just upgraded to Photoshop CS5 and I freaking HATE the fact that Photoshop now pre-bakes the alpha into the image formats that support alphas(!)
    What the crap?!
    I render out of 3D apps and sometimes selectively want alphas on certain objects – but I usually need the entire image, or, I may want to “tune” the alpha before I use it as a mask. Now, Photoshop just nukes all that data. Nice.
    Why not just add a box in Preferences that says “Pre-compute Transparency from Alpha” or “Keep Alpha as Separate Channel”? Now I’m going to have to render out multiple passes to get what used to take one step. CS5 just complicated my workflow….

  4. Joe – you are confusing alpha and transparency. Photoshop is opening EXR images exactly the way that the EXR standard says it should. And the data is not “nuked” – it’s all still there. You’re just seeing a preview of the transparency.
    Also, none of that changed in CS5.

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