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Learn to composite graphics in Adobe Photoshop using variables and a simple text file. This Design the Web installment shows how to automate your production workflow by combining separate graphic files, typography, and Photoshop effects into custom, ready-to-use graphics. This workflow allows you to generate hundreds, even thousands, of unique graphics suitable for websites, interactive projects, or even print. All you need to begin is a layered Photoshop file.
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Now we're going to have Photoshop generate graphics based on all of these data sets. So first let's come back to our exercise files. Let's come in here and create a new folder, called export. Let's come back to Photoshop. Come down to Export and come over here and choose Data Sets as Files. Now inside of this dialogue box here at the first option is going to be to select a folder. Let's select this and chose the export folder that we just created inside of our exercise files. Click Choose. Next we can chose which data sets. Notice you can come in here and pick a specific data set.
Or we can chose all data sets. I'm going to choose that one. And then next we can construct the file names that we want to have created. So Document Name for example, will take banner which is the name of the Photoshop file. Add an underscore, then the data set name. And here we can see the example would be banner_Aruba. And then finally the file extension. And unfortunately we can only save out to other Photoshop files. So we'll get a custom Photoshop file for each one of our data sets. But then we'll use Photoshop's built-in image processor to convert those to our web graphics.
So with these in place, let's choose OK. And then Photoshop is going to go through the external data, compile these individual graphics. And then save individual Photoshop files, based on all of those data sets. So to see that, let's go back to our exercise files. Inside of our export directory, we'll see that we now have a Photoshop file for each one of these graphics. Now Washington D.C. did have some punctuation in its file name. So let's come in here and rename this to just WashingtonDC.psd. And what we'll want to do next is convert these into web graphics.
So inside of our exercise files let's create one more folder. We'll call this web. Next we'll come back to Photoshop. Come down to the File Menu, come down to Scripts, and choose Image Processor. Now, what the image processor lets us do is pick a specific folder and then process a whole bunch of images. So let's come over here to the first step. Let's come down and choose Select Folder. From the desktop we're going to our exercise files. We're going to choose our export folder, where we have all of our source Photoshop files. Click Open. Next inside of step two, instead of Save in Same Location.
Lets come down here and choose Select Folder. And lets come over and choose our web folder. We'll click Open. Under step three, we'll save JPEG files. Let's change our quality to eight. Make sure you don't have save PSD or save TIFF selected. And then down here in section four, you have the option of running additional actions that you have inside of your Photoshop actions panel. I'm not going to run any actions here ,but I'm going to come down and uncheck the include ICC color profile. And before we run this let's come over here and click Save. If we're going to use this Photoshop file to general lots of web graphics, we want to save this workflow.
So we can go back to image processor and not have to keep specifying all of the Photoshop files we want to convert. So let's select the exercise files directory and let's name this banner_conversion.xml. Then hit Save. Then we can always come back and load this back in, again if we want to process more graphics later on. Then we'll come up and click Run. Now, the image processor will open each one of those individual Photoshop files. And then save each one as a JPEG and put them into the web directory. So now if we go back to our exercise files. We'll see the image processor created a JPEG folder for us. And then put a JPEG file of each one of the corresponding original Photoshop files in the export directory, inside of this JPEG directory.
Now if we take a peak at all of these banner graphics. You'll see that we have custom data, custom photographs, and even custom artwork assigned into certain banners. All based on those data sets. So as you can imagine, you can build hundreds or thousands of customized graphics inside a Photoshop. Using data sets and specifying JPEG files, turning on and off artwork layers. And setting text on individual type layers. And the best part is, you can use spreadsheet applications to generate your CSV files. And we'll talk about that next.
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