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Call for help: assist development of ORA (non-propriatary PSD) standard by providing PSD or other source files


InkLab

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Good morning folks.

Over the past few months, I have been working with some of the developers of free art tools such as Krita and Gimp/Glimpse to develop improvements for the ORA graphics interchange format. It is similar to PSD format, but not proprietary. Over the course of my research so far, I have found several examples where PSD provides features which are not available in ORA. In order to propose solutions to these issues and continue to make great tools available for free, I will be hosting a panel in this years Libre Graphics Meeting to push for changes. (Also will likely be doing a lot of the coding myself ^.^)
My plea to any digital artist who reads this: If you have any old PSD (or procreate, CSP, xcf, whatever) digital art source files that you would be able to donate prior to the meeting (May 2020), especially those which uses a lot of advanced features like multiple clip or blending layers, compositing modes, smart objects, etc, please let me know! I would really like to make sure that all of my proposals at LGM can address any shortcomings of the current free standards so that we can make the maximum possible progress this year!

Two of the major issues I want to address currently:
-Lack of vector / text capability
-No support for clipping layer combined with another mode, like add / multiply (which many artists use for things like highlights and shadows)

Note that the development of this standard does not detract from photoshop itself. I would love to see photoshop provide a native ORA export option, so that other software can communicate with photoshop in the easiest manner possible. Addressing missing features of the standard as quickly as possible seems like the best option to make this a reality.

Please let me know if you are able to help by providing a file or two and have an awesome day!
 

ushere

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curious, and not meaning to sound negative;

even though psd is a proprietary format, it is easily opened in every other piece of software i use in my commercial tv and video production business. i regularly send and receive psd files, etc., with no problems. so:

where does the 'cost' of using psd arise?
do we really need yet another file format? (i say this after dealing with the never ending stream of video file formats constantly evolving)
would an ora file be openable in existing software?

as i wrote, i would simply like to know more...

tia
 

InkLab

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curious, and not meaning to sound negative;

even though psd is a proprietary format, it is easily opened in every other piece of software i use in my commercial tv and video production business. i regularly send and receive psd files, etc., with no problems. so:

where does the 'cost' of using psd arise?
do we really need yet another file format? (i say this after dealing with the never ending stream of video file formats constantly evolving)
would an ora file be openable in existing software?

as i wrote, i would simply like to know more...

tia
Hey USHere,

I appreciate your questions and I agree I could have started the topic better by going more in depth into the motivations. I am not starting a new fileformat per se. ORA format has been around since 2006, but development has been rather slow. (https://www.openraster.org/). The motivation comes from a few angles. The most significant is the sustainability or working with PSD files for open-source tools into the future.

The Adobe Photoshop PSD file format was widely used as a cross-application file format for layered images. Adobe allowed this by releasing the format's specifications publicly. In 2006 Adobe changed this license to only grant access to and use of the specifications and documentation "for the purposes of internally developing Developer Programs in connection with Adobe Software products and incorporating portions or all of the Sample Code into Developer Programs."
(see the wikipedia article and source of this quote: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OpenRaster)

This makes it generally unsustainable to depend on adobe sticking to the same standard as third party programs in coming years. This is why ORA was created as a replacement.

As a developer, the secondary reason is the unnecessary complication of the PSD internal standard and lack of developer libraries for working with it. You may check the official provided specification here: https://www.adobe.com/devnet-apps/photoshop/fileformatashtml/ , and compare it to the openraster standard from the openraster.org site earlier. It is a barrier to usage for the PSD format to be unnecessarily complicated. Having tried to work with the python psd-tools library, I see that frequently opening "psd format" files exported from different programs (procreate, photopea, krita) often crashes or does not work as intended as the format has changed over time.

So, TLDR answer to your two questions:

1) The cost arises in depending on Adobe to keep to their standard and provide updates, though their license does not grantee this.
2) ORA is operable in most of the open source programs (Krita, Gimp, etc). There are libraries available for fairly easy integration with other programs, though to my knowledge adobe has not used it for any of their software as of yet.

Thanks and have an awesome day.
 

ushere

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thank you for a clear and concise reply, very much appreciated.

one can now easily understand the concern that adobe might well sing a different tune sometime in the future. i, along with many producers i know gave up on adobe when they introduced their subscription model. i still have and use the full cs6 package i bought many years ago. i have installed both affinity and gimp but since i'm loathed to start yet another learning curve haven't turned to them since, for my requirements, cs6 still ticks the required boxes.

i wish you luck. as ever, it would be nice to have one, universal open source format for every situation, beit graphics, video, documentation, etc.,
 

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