Photoshop has been able to open an EXR file for a while now. If you are working with 3D software in your pipeline, that native PS import falls a bit short. It can’t open and work with multichannel EXR files, rendered from your 3D application. Keep in mind that modern image editing applications have no issue with multichannel EXR’s, such as Affinity Photo.

Now there is a new extension for Photoshop that works as a reader and writer for the EXR file format. Best of all it is free.

Exr-IO will import all image channels from an Open EXR file into separate layers in Photoshop.

Exr-IO supports all OpenEXR features and provides workflow optimizations for Photoshop:

  • Open and save all channels of the OpenEXR file
  • Support for Photoshop layer features like blending and opacity
  • Deep data sample import
  • Accurate support for chromaticities and color formats
  • Support for OpenEXR display window specification
  • Extensive load and save options
  • Adobe Photoshop 32 and 64 bit versions support (Windows)
  • Free of charge

The creators of the extension, 3D-IO mention that the Exr-IO plugin supports all latest OpenEXR standards and specifications, where some of the other plugins might not.

Exr-IO can be downloaded for free. If you ware on MacOS, you are out of luck, the plugin is only available for windows systems at the moment.