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Hello!

So I am in the process of setting up a new computer and unfortunately this one will have limited space until I get the funds to invest in extra harddrives. I am currently going through the external harddrive I have to clean it up to give me some extra space, and realized I have A LOT of psd files.

So it got me thinking and my question is this! Do you, once you've finished or abandoned a piece, delete the psd-file (or other work-file) or do you keep it? The psd-file itself is much larger than the png of the finished rendition so I figured my psd files are taking up A LOT of space. But at the same time I'm the type of person who struggles with deleting things like that. It's the "what if I want to adjust it later" or "what if I want to continue working on it" syndrome 😂

But maybe its time to rip off the bandaid! I probably have files I haven't opened for years tbh pfff

Excited to hear your thoughts!
No thoughts. I feel you though.
literally have a box of external hard drives with PSD files from 13+ years ago T^T
I didn't even art for 10 of those years.
Min-ya Topic Starter

silentruth wrote:
No thoughts. I feel you though.
literally have a box of external hard drives with PSD files from 13+ years ago T^T
I didn't even art for 10 of those years.

Haha my current computer is 10 years old so I have...well...I have a lot of psd files 😂 A friend of mine say they just delete them as soon as they're done with a piece and never look back and it just makes me sweat even thinking about doing that
A great many of my psd are work in progress so I couldn't delete them even if I wanted to X'D Plus I might always need them for things like color refs etc.
I was able to gift myself a decent external HD for my birthday in December, but because the one I had before tended to break my psd (they'd become unreadable and un-retrievable all of sudden), I've since started makinga bunch of Google Drive accounts where to store copies of my psds so I don't risk losing them, the only pain is updating them every time I make changes to a file. But it could work very well for archive of old ones too! You can have as many google accounts as you want, and by saving the psd there you should free up some space on your comp :)
Min-ya wrote:
A friend of mine say they just delete them as soon as they're done with a piece and never look back and it just makes me sweat even thinking about doing that
Yo my palms are sweaty just reading that what
CLOUD. STORAGE. (the free kind. shady but effective. also get a bunch of those dumb promotional free-to-get thumb drives and put as many as can fit on each. voila, basket of wips you can keep on ur coffee table.)

i would also upload different versions of the finished file to an art gallery folder (something long lasting but terrible for exposure, like deviantart), so sketch, lineart, flats, shading, and finished product are each their own png and could be better combined / worked off from if need arose.

i also just go through old sorted folders and delete wholesale. if it ain't printed or uploaded somewhere, print or upload it, and then say goodbye. your skills and speed will improve with time so there's no point letting old projects drag you down. look forward to your own advancements! keep what you want and learn from what you don't want to keep!
Min-ya Topic Starter

I'm thinking about getting a 5TB external harddrive and hope it will hold me over for a while 👀 I'm kinda glad I don't seem to be the only one who struggles with just deleting psd files XD I thought for a moment maybe I was just being a bit of a psd hoarder 💀

I definitely need to get myself more cloud storage, what I have currently is full lmaoo

Bonus question! Do you guys put your things into neat folders or is it all just an explosion of psd files in a single folder?
Asking for....reasons... XD
Clip Studio has its own Cloud storage, but I'm not sure of the limitations. :B Personally though, I just keep everything on my computer. I only semi-recently moved back to using a PC for art, so I don't have a ton of art files on this computer. Whenever I end up with too many, I do plan on getting an external hard drive. I pretty much never delete my psd/csp files, but I also tend to have random stuff on other layers, like other sketches, color information, references, etc. that I find useful to have access to.
Min-ya wrote:
Bonus question! Do you guys put your things into neat folders or is it all just an explosion of psd files in a single folder?
I try to keep my files very organized nowadays. Sometimes I even save the same csp file in multiple folders, since I tend to separate them by character, and draw multiple characters in one file... Basically, it'll get bloated eventually, but I'll eventually move to an external hard drive.

I never delete art files. To me, it's like throwing out a sketchbook. I hope to crack open my previous laptop and move all the files to an external hard drive eventually. I was raised very much with the "NEVER DELETE ART! IT IS IMPORTANT FOR GROWTH!" mindset, and I feel like looking through the psd/csp files always grants (often helpful) insight into the process of the piece that just looking at a png won't. It's fun to look back and see what techniques I used and so on. :D

EDIT: For clarification, I also use a million layers most of the time. I imagine the psds/csps would be of less value to me otherwise. XD
Min-ya Topic Starter

ogle wrote:

EDIT: For clarification, I also use a million layers most of the time. I imagine the psds/csps would be of less value to me otherwise. XD

Oh I use a million layers too, to a point where I get lost in them 😅 I always think "I'll remember what's on this layer I don't have to name it" (Spoiler; I never remember)

I've gotten better recently though and I actively work to layer smarter and improve my techniques overall, as well as organize my psd files into folders haha. Until now I've just dumped it all into a single folder and it's....it's a mess.

It's a ballache to go through old files too because I have been notoriously bad at naming them so it can be very difficult to even know what anything is without opening it up in Photoshop first 🤣 Why do I do this to myself
I keep the files in case I ever need to prove my work is mine. I've had to go through the painful process of filing DMCAs against people for using my art in commercial work, which isn't something I allow, ever. (I don't paygate my work and neither will you.)

It's also nice to open up older works and see how I constructed them though. Sometimes, I forget, and others, I impress myself with the things I've managed on one layer.
i set my folders by year, so i can have an active one for the year i'm working from, and closed folders for the old projects that i can browse for needed things

i did try organizing by project, or character, but honestly that's just something i'll forget to look for when i'm saving files so they never held consistent
Mina Moderator

I have a 1tb external that I occasionally scoot the contents of my "wips" folder to. I don't remember often, but my PC has a fair amount of storage space for my extensive gallery of "That's enough dopamine, I'll just sit this down and never look at it again." Though I do occasionally pick up an old one and try to "refire" it!

I just did a bit of research for my boss regarding backups and cloud storage for their externals. Dropbox doesn't look terrible at all and has a free plan. It's not the biggest storage space that they include in the free plan but it is definitely..storage space? ^^;
Min-ya Topic Starter

oven wrote:
i set my folders by year, so i can have an active one for the year i'm working from, and closed folders for the old projects that i can browse for needed things

i did try organizing by project, or character, but honestly that's just something i'll forget to look for when i'm saving files so they never held consistent

That's smart, I might have to start doing that. At the moment I've thrown all my old art files into one big folder and just call it "Old" XD But really, structuring it a little better would probably be helpful.
Mina wrote:
Dropbox doesn't look terrible at all and has a free plan. It's not the biggest storage space that they include in the free plan but it is definitely..storage space? ^^;

Unfortunately I've already filled several Google Drives and they're on 15GB, so sadly I don't think the 2GB free plan from Dopbox will help me much. I might just forget I even have items there haha
I save milestone pieces that show good progress or a piece that I'm very proud of. However, I have a rule that if I haven't thought about or opened a file in 2 years, I save a backup of the PNG and delete the PSD. But thats just my Marie Kondo method to digital cleanup. It doesn't spark joy for everyone. 💕

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