What's causing this?

When I edit images in PS, I sometimes get these little dots on my images. Most of them are single pixel black dots, but i sometimes get small 3-5 pixels red or teal lines. They’re all over the image. Any ideas why these are happening? I thought maybe they happened when I used the Liquify tool, but they also happen when I use Alien Skin Exposure and some other tools. Short of uninstalling and reinstalling PS, any ideas for fixing or what could be causing it?

Hey Amy,

That’s super strange. I personally have never seen that happen on an image before. Maybe @mclainphoto has an idea of what it might be?

To do a bit of troubleshooting, can you turn on and off each layer in your layers panel and see which one is creating the issue?

Without further inspection I’d say it’s some sort of artifacting caused by moving pixels around too much and the computer is failing to fill them in properly.

This could be from any number of things in the image pipeline - there’s some info we need to sleuth it:
What OS? Is it the most recent update?
What raw processing software? Is it the most recent update?
What parameters are you using to export the file? JPEG? TIFF? PSD? what pixel dimension?
PS gets buggy if it needs an update - and also gets buggy if it is updated but the computer is not - so that is the first stop, make sure your OS and Adobe programs are fully updated, then see if it does it again.
They look like dead pixels, so I’d also be curious if you see these dots and they move around or always in the same place in images? Are these seen in your raw processor or only in the output file in Photoshop?


When you edit these images, is the original image on an external drive? The fact that you’ve seen this in multiple applications would make me start to question whether your storage medium is about to fail.

If you haven’t done so already, stop editing these files and backup this drive. Then have it checked over for data storage problems (if you’re using a Mac: run Disk Utility, select the drive and select the First Aid button - if it has irreparable problems, consider it obsolete).

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