Batch Processing Images

Using Photoshop’s Actions, Droplets, and Batch Process automations

Written for Photoshop 7

Readings

Photoshop 7 for Windows & Macintosh
Elaine Weinmann, Peter Lourekas. Visual Quickstart Guide. Peachpit Press.

Web Photo Albums

Web Photo Album: How to Create a New Web Photo Album Template
Parts 1–4. Jolantha Belik. Macromedia Developer Center.

Save yourself and your clients hours of time optimizing product shots, staff photos, and other like images by automating the process.

  1. Set Photoshop preferences so they are:
    • Measuring by pixels.
    • Outputting online images at 72 ppi.
  2. Crop and adjust originals.
    • Open each original photo, clip art, or other art file.
    • Select the portion of the image to keep and Image->Crop.
    • Add adjustment layers to improve the levels of gray, color saturation, brightness and contrast, etc.
    • Save the file as a .psd so you can edit later if necessary.
      • Saving over the original is not recommended.
      • Saving a flat (layerless) file is not recommended, as you may need to adjust these again; why create all the adjustments from scratch again?
    • Note: If you’ve already recorded an action and/or made a droplet (see below), play the action now, or continue to #5.
  3. Record an action.
    • In the Actions palette, choose New Action…
      • Name the action.
      • Make a New Set… and add the new action, if you’ll be making more than one kind of image style.
      • Action->Start Recording
        • Open the first file to process.
        • File->Save for Web…
        • Change these optimization settings:
          • Image size to the preferred pixel width or height.
          • File format
          • Quality, dithering, number of colors, etc.
          • Transparency and matte
          • Progressive or interlaced rendering
        • Save/Export to the destination for the new image.
      • Action->Stop Recording.
  4. Create a droplet and make a cross platform version to share.
    • File->Automate->Create Droplet.
    • Choose the location to save the droplet application.
      • I recommend the project’s main development directory (not the web site directory).
    • Check Override Action “Open” commends to allow access to all images in the folder.
    • To share the droplet on another platform:
      • Mac to Windows:
        • Add .exe to the droplet file.
      • Windows to Mac:
        • Drag the droplet icon onto the Photoshop 7 application icon.
  5. Batch process one of two ways:
    1. Drag a folder icon onto the droplet icon.
    2. Open Photoshop and File->Automate->Batch
      • Choose the Set and Action to play.
      • Choose the Source of original images directory.
        • Check override Action “Open” Commands to avoid the “out of memory” message and gain access to the entire directory.
      • Choose a destination folder.
        • Check override Action “Open” Commands.
        • Update the file naming conventions as needed.
      • Check Unix compatibility.
      • Click OK to begin the processing.
  6. Verify each new image file.
    • Retouch individual files as needed.

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