Posts tagged "Automation"

January 13, 2010

Loading Files into Stacks

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…).

6:24 AM Permalink
January 12, 2010

Opening Files into Layers

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.

5:22 AM Permalink
January 11, 2010

Image Processor

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.

5:51 AM Permalink
August 28, 2009

Improving Batch Processing Performance

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!

5:02 AM Permalink
August 27, 2009

The Batch Command

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).

4:59 AM Permalink
August 26, 2009

Saving Actions as Text

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.

5:57 AM Permalink
August 25, 2009

Saving and Loading Actions

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.

5:54 AM Permalink
August 24, 2009

Viewing Recorded Setting

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.

5:51 AM Permalink
August 21, 2009

Recording Actions

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.

6:50 AM Permalink
August 20, 2009

Playing Single Commands

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.

6:48 AM Permalink
August 19, 2009

Modifying an Action

Since I am rarely able to record an entire action without making a mistake, it’s good to know that Actions can be modified in a number of ways. For example, individual commands can be repositioned by dragging them (in the Actions panel) within an action or, they can be moved by dragging them to another Action. Add the Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -drag to copy a command within an action or copy it to another action.
If a command is not needed, simply select it and click the Trash icon at the bottom of the panel or, to bypass the confirmation dialog box, drag the command to the trash icon. As you create more and more actions, it becomes easy to “harvest” commands from other actions. You can even play and action while recording!

6:44 AM Permalink
August 18, 2009

Action Options

Use the Action Options flyout (from the Actions Panel) to assign a Function key in order to quickly run an action. You can simply choose F1- F12 (the number of F-keys will vary depending on platform and keyboard layout) or add a keyboard modifier (Shift, for example). If you assign a F-key that is already in use by Photoshop (F5 for example, is assigned by default to show and hide the Brush panel), Photoshoop will remove it from the default (the Brushes panel in this example) and assign it to your action. Some F-keys may not be available if the operating system is using them. In this case, you will need to change or remove the F-key via the operating system).

In addition, you can color code your actions (red for image size changes, blue for different sharpening amounts etc.). This color coding is only displayed in Button Mode (see yesterday’s post)

6:43 AM Permalink
August 17, 2009

Button Mode

In the Actions Panel, use the fly-out menu to access Button Mode to view your actions as clickable buttons. If you’re working with several actions (in a production environment for example), you might want to rearrange the panel so that it fits horizontally along the bottom of your screen, making more actions accessible without scrolling. Clicking the button runs the action. Note: new actions and changes to existing actions can not be made in Button Mode, you will need to return to Normal Mode (uncheck the Button Mode option using the fly-out) to make changes.

7:16 AM Permalink
June 24, 2009

Reverse the Layer Order

Select Layer > Arrange > Reverse to reverse the stacking order of the selected layers. Note: if the layers are in different groups this option is not available.

6:04 AM Permalink
June 23, 2009

Moving Layers

Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + “[“ or “]” moves the layer up or down. This is a very useful shortcut when recording actions as the specific name of the layer is not recorded.

7:02 AM Permalink