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Photoshop: Actions & Batch Processing

PhotoshopIcon Photoshop: Actions & Batch ProcessingPhotoshop: Automation

Have you been repeating yourself in PhotoshopPhotoshop is probably the best image manipulation tool on the planet, but even the best tools can sometimes get bogged down in the boring stuff you dont want to do over and over again!  Well, your in luck as there is the ability within Photoshop to “save” steps that you repeat constantly and with a single click get Photoshop to do them for you.

This video will discuss how you would produce your own Photoshop action scripts which you can apply to an image or series of images. Creating Actions is quite a vast area so please treat this as a starting point on how to produce Actions.

Photoshop Programming (don’t be scared!)

Okay, so what the heck are “Actions”??? They are a series of commands that you perform on an image that you may wish to repeat in quick sucession. An example of this is if you wanted to watermark and copyright a large amount of images automatically. Normally you would have to do a series of steps in each image. With Actions you dont! What you do is “Record” your actions required once then you have to use over and over again.

So with this video sit back and watch how you would create actions and how you would apply them to multiple images.

Other Photoshop Videos

This video is one of many Photoshop tutorials on this site click here for more

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766 Comments

  1. PCTeachME says
    09 Aug 10 at 9:09am

    @lee634 Hi Lee, Yes I created the copyright logo & text first(prior to recording) as a seperate image and told the script to add the image as a seperate layer. You could create on the fly, I prefer this method because in the future if you want to alter the watermark detail all you need to do is edit the watermark file rather than going through each line of script. Its much more modular that way (programmer hat on!). Hope thats the answer your after, let me know if I misunderstood.

  2. lee634 says
    09 Aug 10 at 5:23am

    Having trouble with this,
    Have followed watermak tute, but when you created this watermark for the batch do you pre stylize the watermark, or do it after copying to the photo?

  3. PCTeachME says
    30 Jul 10 at 11:12am

    @oldproji Hi There, Glad it worked for you. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.

  4. jerminal says
    23 Jul 10 at 8:57pm

    HI Jon,

    Yesterday I was creating from the very beginning erasing everything. I started with Text and the action said “set a layer”, then I type the text,apply embossing etc, and then I create a new layer for Copyright symbol with name of copyright and in action script I see again “set a layer” , so Place the shape of copyright, and as soon as I place it the action script says “Make a fill layer” and my symbol already embossed and got all the style feature; I think that’s what causes the error.

    Jon, perhaps it’s better to show a video with everything from the very beginning. I saw many people experiencing the same problems as I do.

    Thanks for your time,
    Jerminal

  5. Jon says
    23 Jul 10 at 4:57pm

    Hi Jerminal,

    Slightly confused, have you identified that the script is missing your layer creation of the copyright symbol and text?

    I reccomend you recreate the script from scratch and compare the scripts. Its definatley a case of the script not recording the layer creation.

    Jon

  6. jerminal says
    23 Jul 10 at 4:38am

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for reply. I did checked the action line by line and you are right, there weren’t any script for the copyright symbol which I made by clicking custom shape symbol looks like a star, and just placed it on the image, then on layer window in the bottom I clicked a sign which brought me to emboss-bevel list and did all the adjustments like inner shadow etc, then clicking to T for text I typed the text and did the same embossin and beveling with it, saved evth in Jpeg. I am sure I missed something, but what?

    Thanks again,
    Jerminal

  7. Jon says
    22 Jul 10 at 8:46am

    Hi,

    What I meant was you can email me the Photoshop file as an attachment.

    From your comments it sound like the layers of “Style” and “Copyright Style” are not created within your actionscript.

    E.g. You run this script on a image for the first time, you need the script to create the symbol and text layers as they are referenced in this file only.

    Check line by line to see if your script is creating the layers if not, that will be why it’s erroring

  8. oldproji says
    22 Jul 10 at 1:23am

    Yes, after several attempts I suddenly got it without looking at the tutorial. Magic!

  9. oldproji says
    22 Jul 10 at 12:23am

    Yes, after several attempts I suddenly got it without looking at the tutorial. Magic!

  10. jerminal says
    22 Jul 10 at 12:18am

    Hi Jon,

    Thanks for quick response. I am a beginner+ in Photoshop terminology, so didn’t quite understand how I should send Photoshop file.

    As for my attempts so far I was making copyright templates in the 500px to 500px with 72 rezolution px in transparent background. And copy it into the same size image.

    I use Psh CS3. By the way every time I click “play” in action screen I get this note: “The object “style” “copyright style” is not currently available”

    May be that helps to find out my error.

    Thanks again,
    Jerminal

  11. 21 Jul 10 at 10:37pm

    Hi Jerminal,

    Caught me at the right time just logged on to check my post! As you can image it can be difficult to identify the problem without looking at your photoshop file. Having said that here are some thought:
    1. Copyright symbol not appearing
    It could be due to the priority of your layers, If you open up the actions and rather than runing the whole script go through each step that is stored in your actionscript you may find that your main image is “sitting” on top of your copyright symbol perhaps.
    2. Not appearing at all
    Again as above it could be the order of your layers. Also check what size your images are it may be placing your symbol and text off the image (i.e. if the image is smaller that others, it could mean the coordinates of your symbol & text are too far down/across).

    If they dont work send an email with your photoshop file to [email protected] and will take a look.

    Jon

  12. jerminal says
    21 Jul 10 at 10:27pm

    Hi Jon,

    Thank you for your generous video tutorials which are very helpful. I am trying to batch my photos following your instructions, and somehow the copyright symbol doesn’t show up in the pictures , though the text is shown. I think I might have missed something while making copyright template on transparent background. Could you please tell me why the copyright symbol doesn’t show up in copies pictures. Another thing is that some pictures are left without any copyrights: neither symbol , nor the text.

    Thank you in advance,
    Jerminal

  13. PCTeachME says
    08 Jun 10 at 11:06am

    @sfkillar Hi, Sorry for the problems your experiencing. If you bring up the actions window and click on the “twirl” arrow to expand your actionscript. Look for the “Move” command if its there you can uncheck the command from the script. I am afraid you will have to go through each options (uncheck) till you find the culprit. It is recoverable, but the time taken to fault find, you may have been able to create a new one instead.

  14. PCTeachME says
    08 Jun 10 at 11:05am

    @talexis09 Hi, Sorry for the problems your experiencing. If you bring up the actions window and click on the “twirl” arrow to expand your actionscript. Look for the “Move” command if its there you can uncheck the command from the script. I am afraid you will have to go through each options (uncheck) till you find the culprit. It is recoverable, but the time taken to fault find, you may have been able to create a new one instead.

  15. PCTeachME says
    03 Jun 10 at 2:41am

    @sfkillar Hi, I am unable to comment because I dont know what you have “recorded”. Check through each step until the culprit is found. Since my tutorial does not delete anything I am unsure (if you recreated my example) why thats occring, but you should see a “delete” step in your actionscript.

  16. hahaokey says
    30 May 10 at 4:24am

    can I save the files using the JPEG format?

  17. rjohn32 says
    10 May 10 at 2:14pm

    @PCTeachME ok thanks anyway. I don’t have a problem doing it manually

  18. Sahrat Arabia says
    09 Apr 10 at 8:20am

    Tanks a lot

  19. Samuel Irving says
    09 Apr 10 at 5:58am

    Hi there! I work for an events management company and, believe it or not, I’ve been manually watermarking each and every one of my photographs because I couldn’t figure out this same process on Photoshop 4.0. Thank goodness I’ve now upgraded to CS4! Really useful video, just one question – what do I do so that my watermark is located in the bottom-centre of every photo, whether it’s landscape or portrait? Because when you paste in, the watermark is automatically centered…

  20. Anh Hu says
    13 Mar 10 at 2:23am

    Perfect video, thank so much!

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