Basic Photoshop saving question

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Big Swifty Regular Member • Posts: 383
Basic Photoshop saving question

I use the word basic, but perhaps this is a dumb question. If so, apologies.

When bringing an image into Photoshop from Capture One for a bit of further editing and/or to use plugins (Topaz/Nik) what is the best way to go about saving it so that the file size is as small as possible?

For example, when using plugins I'll first make a copy of the background layer and use that copied layer with the first plugin (say DeNoise). If I'm going to use a second plugin I'll make a copy of the DeNoise layer and call it Color Efex Pro and then open the plugin on the newly copied layer. And so on and so on.

Since each newly copied layer contains all the data of the layers further down the chain, am I able to just save the uppermost layer which will then be sent back to Capture One? Am I correct in assuming this top layer contains all the information of those below and that to copy anything below just makes the file unnecessarily larger?

If I am correct in these assumptions, what is the best way to do this. Just hide the layers I don't want copied or delete them altogether since their info has been copied to the highest layer? Merge or flatten?

I'm also assuming this entire process is destructive in that as I copy layers to do further work everything before has been cooked in.

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