Making photoshop more dev pipeline friendly

edited in General
I've found two panel extensions that make photoshop better at playing nice with the other kids;

The first one is the Link's extension

it's a little more complex than PS's built in Smart Objects, whereby instead of just creating a layer from an external file for saving memory, it will remember the linked document's path and track whether it's been updated or not and then relink it if necessary. So you can create a sort of document based chain reaction for layout comps etc.

The script's thread is a little old,it only tracks CS4 and CS5 quirks. I can report that the CS5 version works fine in CS6 on Win7 64 except for not having differently toned icons. it will not work on CS3 or older

Using this, Danny and I built a 10psd "chain reaction" to streamline a process on DD. Unfortunately, when I run it a couple of times, I do see my PC's memory getting stuck, often need to restart to get my machine back, but it's still better than all the menial labour we'd need to do without this extension.

The second is cgidiot's PSpanel

This one helps with layer management and has a couple of features specifically targeting the "paint to sprite" process like a one click answer for flattening/merging layer effects for export.

Some of it's basic features are already made redundant by CS6's new layer management pallette.

I have not tested it in a pipeline yet, will report back on that.


  • That sounds pretty awesome! (we use a lot of smart objects in compiling mockups of terrain in Broforce)

    I wish there was an extension for photoshop to save PNG files in a non-idiotic way (one that doesn't save lots of white into the image in the transparent areas that inevitably bleeds onto the edges).

    Without an awful workaround, like this:

    There are some PNG plugins (like But I don't think they solve the problem.

    (I don't mean to hijack the thread @damousey . The PNG problem is actually hurting our development pipeline and it sucks and I really wish I knew of a solution)
  • edited
    When I find crappy PNG bleeding on the edges of of transparent stuff... I save as tga instead.

    Not exactly a solution, but it works. At least Unity treats that as a proper alpha channel. I think SuperPNG does the same thing actually (so that's definitely an option!), where normal Photoshop premultiplies the alpha into the other channels on export.

    As for saving stuff, there are a handful of automated saving scripts, some of which are on polycount. On phone now, lazy to find link.

    [edit] btw, if you need to fix existing PNGs and you have PS CS5+, there's Layer > Layer Mask > From Transparency. You'd still have to fix your RGB channels, but at least you can see what kind of crap went on when PS exported them.

    Honestly though, I don't think it's worth the effort unless you're working heavily remotely and somehow need your working textures to be super tiny. They get compressed to the same thing when you build anyway, so you might as well use a texture format that doesn't give you as much trouble.
  • edited
    Unity can handle PNG's with manually made alpha channels too right? Just the same as TGAs? ...I'm doing some TGA tests now.

    Still that's the solution I don't like. Where the file that you edit is not the same as the one used in Unity.
  • Unity can handle PNG's with proper alpha channels too right? Just the same as TGAs?
    Yeah. I've got SuperPNG at work, and all I do is save as that, and no problem. I don't end up with the shitty bleeding all over my transparent edges.

    For some reason I don't have the plugin at home though (and I remember it was a bit of a pain to get it working, but this was ages ago), so I mostly work with tga.

    It's more of a Photoshop problem really. When you save as default PNG, it premultiplies the A channel into the RGB. And it's the behaviour they want, and a behaviour they're probably never going to change because of "how it may affect other industries like web design". Never mind that they have their own Save For Web option. (There's a long thread on Adobe's forums about that. It's not worth reading, unless you want to see how NOT to address your customers, and why it's a good thing that some engineering degrees require their students to take communications courses.)
  • edited
    ^ This looks like a sweet solution (if only NVidia weren't semi-incompetent at programming).
  • you'd rather save your textures as dds?
  • edited
    Yup. Avoids Unity's awful resizing algorithm and doesn't require any extra work compared to saving any other file that isn't PSD.

    It'd still be ideal i Unity imported PSD files perfectly, but it doesn't for all uses (in particular it doesn't for how Broforce's new art style works).

    Now if we can just figure out how to get NVidia's plugin not to crash...
  • Well yay for finding answers then!
    *is now reading up on superPNG*
  • Thanks for the links. Anything to improve the pipeline :)

    On related notes, we've sometime used the Nvidia tools for converting to and from .dds format. UE3 compresses the .TGA's(our format of choice) on import, and most of the time it isn't a problem, but with some types of textures such as decals, specific masks or the like, you get better results from doing it in PS.
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