In part 1 of this 2-part episode I will demonstrate how streamline Lightroom 3 by taking advantage of presets, templates, collections, virtual copies (and more) in order to eliminate much of the repetitive post-capture tasks such as importing, tagging, developing, exporting and sharing photographs.
Posts tagged "Automation"
In order to export all of your Layer Comps as independent files, select File > Scripts > layer Comps to Files. You can also export your layer Comps directly to Web Photo Gallery (WPG). And of course you can add a custom keyboard shortcut for either of these scripts by choosing Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts and select Shortcuts For: Application Menus.
If you choose to view your swatches (or styles) as a list, you can double click on the name of the swatch to rename it (this is true for any panel that displays it’s items as lists (Actions, Layer Comps etc.).
If you need to add the name of a file to an image as a Type layer, I have posted a script to http://www.jkost.com/photoshop.html to do this. Simply place the script in the Photoshop Applications Folder’s Presets > Scripts folder. Relaunch Photoshop and run the script it by selecting File > Scripts > AddFileName20pt. Note: if you’re using this as part of a Batch process and want to change the Type attributes, simply select the layer (not the individual type in the image area) and, in the Options bar, change the desired attribute such as font, color etc.).
Two new scripts that I find very few users know about are available in PSCS4 to quickly work with complex multi-layer documents: Flatten All Layer Effects and Flatten All Masks. In addition, if you’re using Layer Comps, Photoshop has scripts to export: File > Scripts > Layer Comps to Files and Layer Comps to WPG.
When you know that you are going to want to open several files into a single document AND convert those images into a “stack”, select File > Scripts > Load Files into Stack (Extended version only). This command is very different than Opening Files into Layers as it is designed to allow working with images that need to have math applied to several images as one unit. For example, Stacks are useful when trying to eliminate noise from multiple exposures of the same scene by averaging the images (layers), or when using multiple exposures of the same scene shot with varying depth of fields so that the focus can be extended. In the Stacks dialog, browse to locate the desired files and select “Attempt to Automatically Align Source Images” (if they were not shot on a tripod) and “Create a Smart Object After Loading Layers” so that Stack Modes such as Median or Mean can be applied (Layers > Smart Objects > Stack Mode…).
When you know that you are going to want to open several files into a single document, it is easiest to select the desired files from Bridge and then choose Tools > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers. This opens all files and deposits then into a single Photoshop file.
If you need to save a number of images to a different different format (PSD, TIF and/or JPEG), Photoshop has a feature called Image Processor. Although you can find it under File > Scripts > Image Processor, this method requires that you select a folder of images. If you prefer to only convert a selection of images, begin by selecting the desired images in Bridge and then choose Tools > Photoshop Image Processor (note that you can also select all of the images in a folder (or collection) using this method by not selecting any files (if no files are selected, Bridge will assume that you want to process all of them). In the Image Processor dialog box, choose a destination folder, and a File Type (or types, you can process files to multiple formats at once) with any additional options such as Resize to Fit and Compression etc.. You can even choose to run an action after Image Processor batch converts the files. Of course all of this can be done through actions, but Image Processor is a simple and powerful way to quickly convert images without having to know how to create Actions and run the Batch command.
To improve batch processing performance, in the History panel,select History Options from the fly-out menu and deselect Automatically Create First Snapshot. Depending on the length of your action, you might also want to reduce the number History States in the Preferences > Performance panel. Just don’t forget to increase the number of states when you finished batch processing!
The Batch command can be recorded as part of an action to perform multiple batches in sequence. In addition, you can batch process multiple folders without reorganizing them on the hard drive – simply create aliases within a folder to the other folders you want to process, and select the Include All Subfolders option in the Batch command dialog box (or use a droplet).
You can save the steps in an Actions as a text file by pressing Control +Alt (Windows) or Command + Option (Mac) while selecting Save Actions from the Actions panel fly out menu. This is handy for reviewing or printing the contents of an Action (however, you can’t reload the text file back into Photoshop). Note that ALL of the Actions in ALL sets are printed out, so you may want to limit the number of actions you have loaded to eliminate a lot of deleting of unnecessary information.
In order to save an action, you must select the Set that the action is in (using the Actions panel). If there are multiple actions in the set, they will ALL be saved (this is a feature). If you only want to save a single action, drag it into it’s own lonely little set. If you have received an action from someone or want to load a saved action from one computer to another, navigate to the action using Bridge, and double click on it to load.
Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -click the disclosure triangle next to an action to collapse or expand all components of that action. Viewing the components (or recorded setting of a command) can be especially helpful when trouble shooting actions. Another way to trouble shoot is to select the Playback Options from the Actions panel’s fly-out menu and choose Step by Step or even Pause For xx Seconds in order to watch the action play more slowly.
When recording actions that will be played back on files of various size, it might help to record the action with the Ruler Units set to Percentage However, resolution-dependent commands such as type size, feather amount, sharpening settings etc, may not work as expected when the file size changes.
Double clicking on a single command in the Actions panel will play the command if there are no options associated with the command (Select> All or Edit > Copy for example). If, however there are options associated with the command (such as Image Size), Photoshop will display the necessary dialog box. This is an excellent feature if you want to make changes to that command – but beware, whatever you enter in the dialog box will now become the recorded value in the action). To bypass this option, and simply play a command using it’s recorded options, (without a dialog box appearing), add the Command (Mac) / Control (Win) key when double clicking the name of the command.