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Once you've created an action, you could play it back on a single image. But the whole reason to make an action in the first place is to make your life easier when you have to process a whole bunch of images using the same commands. In this movie I'm going to show you how to apply an action to multiple photos using the batch processing function in Photoshop. I'll be using an action that I showed you how to make in previous movie. This action here light bw. What it does is lighten an image and convert it to black-and-white, but you don't have to use this particular action. The principles I show you here should apply when you are batch processing with any simple action.
You can start batch processing from here in Photoshop by going to the File menu and down to Automate and over to Batch. But I don't usually batch process from here, because in order to do so I would've had to first gather together all the images I wanted to affect, and put them in a single folder. If I haven't gone to that trouble then I'll start batch processing from Bridge instead. So I am going to jump over to Bridge by clicking the Bridge icon here in the Application Bar. Inside of Bridge, I'm looking inside of the Exercise Files folder, Chapter 14, where I have these four images of the Flatirons Mountains.
I'd like to apply my lightening and black-and -white conversion action to all four images. So I'm going to select them here by clicking on the first, holding the Shift key, and clicking on the last. Then I'll go to Tools menu at the top of Bridge, I'll go down to Photoshop, and I'll choose Batch. That takes me back into Photoshop and opens the Batch Processing dialog box. This is where I setup all my options for the way that batch processing is going to occur. The first thing I'll do is to choose the action set and particular action that I want to play on the selected images.
From the Action Set menu I am going to choose my actions, which is an action set that I showed you how to create in a previous movie. There is only one action in that set. It's this light bw action. So I'll leave this menu as it is. Next, I need to choose the Source of the images on which I want to play the action. Because I'm going to play this section on selected images from Bridge, I'll leave this set to Bridge. If I were starting batch processing from Photoshop, I would've put my files into a separate folder first, and then I'd choose as the source Folder, and then I would click to Choose button and go navigate to that folder.
Next, I am going to go down and click Suppress Color Profile Warnings. I am doing this because if I happen to run this action by batch processing on some images that have an ICC color profile that differs from my color working space in Photoshop, I want to avoid having warning messages pop-up and having the action stop running. To learn more about color profiles, you can listen to an earlier movie on color settings in Photoshop. I didn't check Override Action "Open" Commands and the reason is when I recorded this particular action, I started with the file already open and then I began recording.
So there is no Open command in this particular action. So there is no reason to check this field. Also when I created this action, there were no sub-folders involved. So I won't bother checking Include All Subfolders. And there is no reason to check Suppress File Open Options Dialogs, because I'm not going to run this file on any RAW images, and this field comes into play primarily when you're working with RAW images and you want to avoid the Camera Raw dialog box opening as you're batch processing. Next, I am going to go to the Destination field and tell Photoshop where to save the final batch processed files.
From this menu, I'll choose Folder and then I'm going to click the Choose button, go out to my Desktop, and create a folder there to catch the final files. I'll just click the New Folder button and I will call this batch processed, and click Create and then click Choose. I am going to put a checkmark next to Override Action "Save As" Commands. When I do that, I get this message that I think is a little hard to understand. So I am just going to click OK and try to explain it to you in an easier way. When I created this particular action, I included a Save As command telling Photoshop to save the file that I was working on to the Desktop, and telling it what format to save it in which was as a Photoshop document.
Now when I play this action back on multiple files, I still wanted them to save as a Photoshop document, but I don't want them to go to the Desktop. Instead, I want to save all the processed files into a single folder, this batch processed folder that I made a second ago. So that's why I am checking Override Action "Save As" Commands to override the Save As destination that's included in this particular action. Next I am going down to the document name field so that I can have Photoshop name the processed files with sequential names. I'd like each name to include the subject, so instead of document name, I am going to type in this first field flatirons, which is the name of the mountains in the photos.
And then I'll go to the next field and from its pull-down menu I am going to choose 1 Digit Serial Number so that each file name contains a sequential 1-digit number. I also want to include the file format extension in each name. So I'll go to the next field, and I'll choose extension. Here I can specify the starting serial number for the first file. I'll just leave that at 1. It's always a good idea to make the resulting files compatible with as many operating systems as possible. So I will check Windows and UNIX in addition to Mac OS.
And I am going to leave the Errors field set to stop errors so if something doesn't go right, the processing will stop and I can see what's happening and hopefully corrected. I'm all done setting up the batch processing options and now I am going to click OK to run this action on the four photos that I had selected back in Bridge. Photoshop is doing the processing now and it doesn't take long for it to finish processing all four photos. Certainly faster than if I came in, opened each photo separately, and applied a curves and black-and-white adjustment layer to each.
Now let's go out to the Desktop to take a look at the results of this batch processing. I'll minimize Photoshop and I'll minimize Bridge and there is my batch processed folder on the Desktop. I'll double-click it to look inside, and there are four images that Photoshop created for me by batch processing. I'll open one to check it, and it has been converted to black-and-white and looking in the Layers panel I can see it that it does have a Black & White adjustment layer, and a Curves adjustment layer, which is what I had created this action to do. The next time you're working with multiple images and you know you have to process them all the same way, try creating an action and then play the action on multiple images using the batch processing feature in Photoshop.
It will save you a lot of time. There is another way to apply an action to multiple images, and that's using the Image Processor, which you'll find under the Script menu in Photoshop. I am going to show you how to do that in another upcoming movie.
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