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Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

Batch processing with an action


From:

Photoshop CS4 Essential Training

with Jan Kabili

Video: Batch processing with an action

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.
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  1. 2m 31s
    1. Welcome
      1m 27s
    2. Using the example files
      1m 4s
  2. 25m 14s
    1. Touring the interface
      4m 25s
    2. Working with tabbed documents
      5m 15s
    3. Using tools efficiently
      3m 51s
    4. Arranging panels
      3m 53s
    5. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      2m 50s
    6. Saving a custom workspace
      3m 0s
    7. Changing screen modes
      2m 0s
  3. 19m 3s
    1. Touring the Bridge interface
      6m 31s
    2. Opening images from Bridge
      1m 20s
    3. Reviewing images
      4m 42s
    4. Finding images
      6m 30s
  4. 44m 53s
    1. Setting preferences
      4m 23s
    2. Choosing color settings
      8m 11s
    3. Zooming and panning
      5m 27s
    4. Resizing and image resolution
      3m 17s
    5. Adding to the canvas
      2m 2s
    6. Rotating the canvas
      1m 44s
    7. Choosing color
      4m 49s
    8. Sizing a brush tip
      3m 4s
    9. Undoing and the History panel
      5m 0s
    10. Saving and file formats
      3m 29s
    11. Creating a file from scratch
      3m 27s
  5. 37m 58s
    1. Making geometric selections
      6m 14s
    2. Modifying selections
      4m 43s
    3. Combining selections
      3m 16s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool
      5m 34s
    5. Refining selection edges
      4m 12s
    6. Using Quick Mask mode
      2m 18s
    7. Selecting with the improved Color Range command
      4m 32s
    8. Selecting with the Magnetic Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    9. Using the Background Eraser tool
      3m 7s
    10. Saving selections
      1m 34s
  6. 39m 56s
    1. Understanding layers
      5m 43s
    2. Creating layers
      5m 12s
    3. Working in the Layers panel
      2m 19s
    4. Locking layers
      4m 17s
    5. Working with multiple layers
      4m 6s
    6. Merging and flattening layers
      3m 55s
    7. Adding a shape layer
      4m 43s
    8. Basic layer masking
      4m 23s
    9. Using layer blend modes and opacity
      5m 18s
  7. 23m 19s
    1. Cropping
      3m 26s
    2. Straightening
      3m 17s
    3. Transforming
      4m 42s
    4. Working with Smart Objects
      6m 48s
    5. Using Content-Aware Scaling
      5m 6s
  8. 1h 10m
    1. Reading histograms
      4m 21s
    2. Using adjustment layers and the Adjustment panel
      6m 4s
    3. Adjusting tones with Levels
      7m 49s
    4. Limiting adjustments with layer masks
      5m 40s
    5. Using masks in the new Masks panel
      6m 9s
    6. Limiting adjustments by clipping
      3m 6s
    7. Adjusting with Shadow/Highlight
      5m 7s
    8. Adjusting with Curves
      7m 37s
    9. Adjusting with Hue/Saturation
      3m 42s
    10. Adjusting with Vibrance
      2m 16s
    11. Removing a color cast
      4m 26s
    12. Using the Black & White adjustment layer
      2m 39s
    13. Using the Dodge Burn and Sponge tools
      4m 11s
    14. Reducing noise
      2m 39s
    15. Sharpening
      4m 42s
  9. 38m 0s
    1. Using the Spot Healing Brush tool
      5m 17s
    2. Using the Healing Brush tool
      5m 51s
    3. Using the Patch tool
      4m 52s
    4. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      4m 8s
    5. Enhancing eyes
      9m 29s
    6. Changing facial structure
      5m 0s
    7. Softening skin
      3m 23s
  10. 44m 38s
    1. What's a raw image?
      4m 25s
    2. Touring the Camera Raw interface
      7m 35s
    3. Working in the Basic panel
      7m 54s
    4. Working in the Tone Curve panel
      2m 21s
    5. Working in the HSL/Grayscale and Split Toning panels
      3m 46s
    6. Looking at the other Camera Raw panels
      3m 45s
    7. Using the Adjustment Brush tool
      4m 2s
    8. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      3m 56s
    9. Working with multiple files
      6m 54s
  11. 21m 6s
    1. Using the Brushes panel
      8m 30s
    2. Filling with color
      3m 49s
    3. Replacing color
      4m 14s
    4. Using gradients
      4m 33s
  12. 16m 55s
    1. Working with point type
      9m 59s
    2. Working with paragraph type
      3m 17s
    3. Warping text
      3m 39s
  13. 25m 23s
    1. Adding a layer style
      4m 6s
    2. Customizing a layer style
      3m 35s
    3. Copying a layer style
      3m 5s
    4. Creating a new style
      3m 32s
    5. Using Smart Filters
      5m 22s
    6. Working in the Filter Gallery
      5m 43s
  14. 13m 14s
    1. Auto-blending focus
      4m 47s
    2. Creating Photomerge panoramas
      4m 2s
    3. Combining group photos
      4m 25s
  15. 23m 27s
    1. Creating an action
      7m 16s
    2. Batch processing with an action
      6m 36s
    3. Using the Image Processor
      9m 35s
  16. 29m 20s
    1. Printing
      11m 32s
    2. Making a contact sheet from Bridge
      6m 12s
    3. Creating a web gallery from Bridge
      7m 17s
    4. Preparing photos for the web
      4m 19s
  17. 30s
    1. Goodbye
      30s

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Photoshop CS4 Essential Training
7h 55m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop has become an indispensible tool for photographers, designers, and all other creative professionals, as well as students. Photoshop CS4 Essential Training teaches a broad spectrum of core skills that are common to many creative fields: working with layers and selections; adjusting, manipulating, and retouching photos; painting; adding text; automating; preparing files for output; and more. Instructor Jan Kabili demonstrates established techniques as well as those made possible by some of the new features unique to Photoshop CS4. This course is indispensable to those who are new to the application, just learning this version, or expanding their skills. Example files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Learning and customizing the interface and workspace
  • Utilizing various manual and guided selection techniques
  • Working with Adobe Camera Raw
  • Adding special effects with layer styles and Smart Filters
  • Creating Photomerge panoramas
  • Optimizing photos for the web and creating web galleries
Subject:
Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Jan Kabili

Batch processing with an action

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS4 Essential Training.


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Q: How can artwork be transferred from Photoshop CS4 to Illustrator CS4 without the background?
A: Save the image in Photoshop’s native PSD format. The background in Photoshop must be transparent, meaning there should be no background layer. (To remove a background layer, move your artwork to a separate layer by selecting and copying the content, minus the background, to a new layer, and then delete the background layer. A checkboard pattern behind your image indicates transparent pixels.) 
 


In Illustrator, select File > Open, and select the PSD file. In Photoshop Import dialog box, select Convert Layers to Objects.

Q: How do I retouch an image I have of an old photograph I scanned?
A: There are a few courses that address image restoration. Check out the Photoshop CS4 Portrait Retouching Essential Training course, and for problems dealing specifically with old photographs, watch the Restoration movies in chapter 15 of the Enhancing Digital Photography with Photoshop CS2. Additionally, learn how to research and date photos with our Growing and Sharing Your Family Tree course.
Q: A client has asked for artwork to be delivered as JPEGs or BMP files in 16-bit format. In Photoshop CS4, there does not appear to be an option to save an image as a 16-bit JPEG. Is there a way to save JPEG files as 16-bit in Photoshop?
A: Unfortunately, JPEGs cannot be saved in 16 bit. JPEGs, by nature, are 8-bit. So if you open a high-bit image into Photoshop CS4, you will see no option in any of the save dialog boxes to save the file as a JPEG. You would first have to convert the image to 8 bit (by choosing Image > Mode > 8 bits/channel) and then save it as an 8-bit JPEG. If you open a high-bit image into Photoshop CS5, you will see the option to save it as a JPEG in the Save, Save As, and Save for Web dialog boxes.  But the JPEG will not be saved as 16-bit. Instead, Photoshop will downsample it to 8-bit for you  before saving it as JPEG.
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