Memory issue with ‘Merge to HDR’ in CS4

Posted By
Mar 30, 2009
Hi All

I use Lightroom 2.3 and have recently tried to use the ‘Edit in’ function to ‘Merge to HDR in Photoshop’ with just 3 Raw files.

PS opens fine and the three images appear as separate layers, the ‘Merge to HDR’ window then opens allowing me to set the White Point preview etc. but on trying to complete the operation I get the following error message..
"The operation could not be completed.
Not enough storage is available to complete this operation"

I am using;
-Win Vista 32bit with 3gb of Ram.
-Intel 2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.4GHz
-NVIDIA GeForce9600GS ( Driver)

Under ‘Preferences’/’Performance’ I have ‘Memory Usage’ set to 1298MB(79%) and the Scratch disk is set to the internal HD with 502.86GB reading as free. (I also have 2 external USB2.0 HDs with 880 & 909GB free respectively.I have tried every permutation of having these combined or individually as the Scratch disk but to no avail.)

The really annoying/bizarre aspect of this is that if I open Windows Task Manager and watch the Photoshop Memory usage it peaks and stays at 1,247,704K for about 1/1.5minutes during which I continue to get the above error message if I try to complete the Merge process.
However, if I wait and monitor this memory usage it starts to drop after said period to 1,003,612K after which the Merge process completes no problem??? (Memory usage by PS then drops to 770,384K)
Whilst I appreciate that my PC is no Ferrari..having to wait over a minute seems more than a little odd. Have I got something set wrong?
All advice gratefully received……
Many thanks!

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Mar 30, 2009
merging to HDR using raw files eats memory like crazy, 3gb is not nearly enough. The reason why it takes so long is because Photoshop runs out of RAM and uses the HDD instead which is painfully slow. If you plan on doing things like this often then i suggest that you switch to a 64bit OS and get more RAM
Mar 30, 2009
Huh? Yes, raw files can be large — but they take up the same memory as 3 non-RAW files. 3GB should be more than enough. And he just said that Photoshop didn’t come even close to filling RAM.

Since the message says "not enough storage", that probably means that ACR can’t find enough scratch disk space (because Photoshop has a very different message for that situation, and rarely hits it). ACR might be looking at a different set of disks than Photoshop does for scratch.
Mar 30, 2009
Good to know about the raw’s in memory, thanks for the info

Yes, that error is for not enough disk space for the scratch but he did say that he has tons of free space so it doesn’t make much sense.
Mar 31, 2009
Hi Chris/Zeno

Many thanks for the responses…

After more experimentation, I think I have solved this. If I set all three HDs as Scratch disks (which totals 2285GB!!!) and switch ‘Enable OpenGL Drawing’ OFF then I can merge as many RAW files as I like with no time delay..
Even with OpenGL Drawing switched to off, if I only have the internal HD set to be the Scratch disk, then I get the above error message which I would not have expected to see with 500+GB of free space???
Anyway, it works now…

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