Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

3d-io releases Exr-IO 1.02 for Photoshop

Originally posted on 6 December 2016. Scroll down for news of the 1.02 update.

Tools developer 3d-io has released Exr-IO, a handy-looking free Photoshop plugin that enables the software to import or export all of the channels from OpenEXR files as separate layers.

The plugin is intended to enable artists to work with multi-layer OpenEXR files rendered in 3D software in the same way that they would in compositing applications like Nuke, or rival image editors like Affinity Photo.

Load or save multi-layer OpenEXR files, including those with deep pixel data
Exr-IO automatically loads or saves all of the channels from multi-layer OpenEXR files as separate Photoshop layers, with support for blending modes and opacity.

Alpha channels can be split into separate layers, and added to layers that don’t supply their own opacity information, making it much quicker to create selections and masks.

The plugin can read multi-part EXR files, and even those containing deep image data – Photoshop doesn’t support it, but the plugin merges the data in a way that Photoshop can display.

There are also a number of nice smaller workflow features, like automatically colorising ID layers.

Tutorials for working with Arnold and V-Ray renders
Exr-IO isn’t the only Photoshop plugin that can read multi-layer EXR files, but 3D-io claimes that “unlike existing solutions, [it] supports all latest OpenEXR standards and specifications”.

It comes with good, concise online documentation, and tutorials on using it with output rendered in Arnold or V-Ray – and, of course, it has the great advantage of being free.

However, it is Windows-only, so if you work on a Mac, you’ll need to alternatives like fnord’s ProEXR, which has also just been made available for free.

Updated 18 February 2017: 3d-io has released Exr-IO 1.02.

The update adds one major new feature, in the shape of support for automation and batch image processing, plus the option to import small groups of layers using OpenEXR syntax. You can find more details here.

Exr-IO is a free download for 32 and 64-bit editions of Photoshop running on Windows only.

Read more about Exr-IO on 3d-io’s website
(Includes download link)