April 20, 2008

New Photoshop scripting tutorials

If you know some JavaScript and have thought of applying your skills to Photoshop automation, you might check out Trevor Morris’s Intro to Scripting Photoshop and follow-up practical example.

Trevor, who both offers a set of free scripts & does scripting for hire, is right that scripting is a very powerful yet underused part of the Photoshop story.  It’s a key part of the moduarlity & customizability I always mention as a key area for us to develop in the future, and we’ll keep working to make it easier & more powerful.

Photoshop team script wrangler Jeff Tranberry reports that he’s posted the class materials from the "Photoshop for Geeks" session he & Tom Ruark presented at Photoshop World.  He also reports that the very useful Dr. Brown’s Services set of scripts have been updated to v1.9.4 and are available for download. [Via]

Posted by John Nack at 7:20 PM on April 20, 2008


  • Eric — 9:30 PM on April 20, 2008

    Please can you get the people who enable scripting in Photoshop to give us better documentation for Applescript? I don’t mean a few examples, but examples for every function that is scriptable. Javascript too. But many of us prefer Applescript because it turns multiple applications on our Macs into meta applications. And I prefer the syntax.

  • German Bauer — 10:29 PM on April 20, 2008

    The biggest obstacle to more adoption of scripting in PSD is that there is no gradual path between easy recording of actions and the power of JS scripts.
    This is much better solved n Adobe’s Fireworks sibling product where I can take any slice of history and it can be converted into a JS script. Not only does it make scripting a heck of a lot faster to construct, it is also very educational, as the user learns by doing.
    [I hear you! Photoshop *does* have a listener plug-in that I’ve been using myself to pull out JS strings, but the code it generates is more verbose than what a person would write by hand. We need to do a bunch of things to help here–raising the discoverability, tuning up the output, etc.
    Apparently Maya (?) has a really nice implementation that lets you see each step as script, then turn chunks of script/history into buttons, or edit it and re-run it right there. I would love to give PS users something similar. –J.]
    Even Illstrator featured (a somehwat unsupported) event listener recording JS as the interacts with the application.
    Please, please, please John consider something like this for Photoshop. It could easily make it more powerful then any 64bit or Intel native upgrade ever could. Thanks for listening ;-)

  • Frank Schröder — 1:11 AM on April 22, 2008

    Yes, I know its the wrong forum and the wrong blog post. But maybe it helps if more people at Adobe understand that their licensing policy for Photoshop just sucks.
    I have a Photoshop license for Windows and I can “switch” it to my new Mac only once. Of course I can’t use it on my Windows laptop then anymore. What difference does it make? I am permitted to use PS on two of my machines. You offer it for both platforms so just let me use it the way I want. I’ve paid for it.
    I can also switch from English to German only once. That is even more strange. What difference does it make in which language I am using the software? It is just a bunch of resource bundles and you have to do the QA and translation anyway.
    And why does all this work magically in Lightroom? German, English, French on Windows or Mac. Once license key and you’re done.
    Sorry for the rant but maybe someone beats some sense into the product managers who make such decisions. argh…
    P.S.: The “Not-a-Spam-bot” field is missing on the error page where you can post your comment again :)

  • Michael Westover — 2:53 PM on April 22, 2008

    Do you have any insight into whether Adobe will ever enable Actionscript for scripting Photoshop and Illustrator? Actionscript for Photoshop combined with a great IDE like Flex builder would greatly enhance the Adobe products scripting and plugin market.
    [We have a bunch of ideas on how we can make things faster and easier, though it’ll be a multi-cycle effort. I’ll drop you a line so that we can chat more. To other folks: if this kind of thing sounds like it’s up your alley, shoot me a mail: jnack at adobe.com. –J.]

  • Rich MacDonald — 10:42 PM on April 28, 2008

    I did my final computer graphics project at the University of Washington this year using Javascript to add some free transformation functionality to Photoshop I’ve been wanting for years. Javascript takes some getting used to coming from C++, but it can be a capable language if you can discipline yourself to follow certain self-imposed rules (e.g. making pseudo classes and objects).
    When it came time to doing some complex math I had to jump to Python or C++ because of their linear algebra packages and then call these executables from Javascript (a real pain). For this reason I do wish that Python was a scripting option for Photoshop. You can already play with this idea using the applescript-python bridges, but this kills the cross-platform benefit and adds another layer of documentation confusion….

  • freeD — 2:49 PM on May 26, 2008

    The world’s most unfriendly app (Maya) has THE MOST USER FRIENDLY SCRIPTING EVER!
    Everything you do in the gui generates script that would redo whatever you just did.
    Just use the app like normal, then check the log for 75% of code you need to do whatever you want a script for.
    Maya’s approach scripting is 5 million times better than Photoshop’s.
    Also supports both their proprietary MayaEmbeddedLanguage and Python.
    Photoshop’s Actions pallet is just a pain in the ass that is far more inflexible than you want to admit.

  • Elliot Geno — 12:29 PM on February 17, 2009

    Flash Professional has a pretty nice way of capturing JSFL. Although it’s has 60% of the functionality you would want!

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