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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.
One of my favorite features in Photoshop is the Image Processor. I use it all the time when I want to do some common things to multiple images. And by common things, I mean resizing multiple images, or changing their file formats, or adding copyright information. You can even use the Image Processor to run some actions on multiple files, as an alternative to batch processing. You can invoke the Image Processor either from Photoshop or from Bridge. Let me show you what happens when you try to run the Image Processor from Photoshop. I am going to go to the File menu and down to Scripts and over to Image Processor.
The very first step here asks you to choose the images that you want to process. If you haven't already put those images into a separate folder then you would have open all the images in Photoshop and select Use open images. So if you have a lot of images to process and you haven't put them in a folder, it's a lot more efficient, to just start from Bridge. Let me show you how that goes by canceling out of this dialog box and clicking the Bridge icon in the Application Bar in Photoshop to jump over to Bridge. Here, in Bridge I am looking inside the Chapter 14 Exercise Files folder.
And I have my panels tucked away to the sides, which I did by pressing Tab. I would like to run the Image Processor on these four storm images down here. So I am going to click on the first one, storm1, hold the Shift key and click on the last, storm4, to select all four of them. I don't have to worry about whether they're in the same folder and they don't have to be already open in Photoshop. Then I'll go to the Tools menu at the top of the screen, go down to Photoshop and choose Image Processor and that takes me back to Photoshop and opens the Image Processor dialog box again.
Only this time it looks a little different. Let me move it over a little bit and you can see here that the first step now says that it's going to process the files that I selected in Bridge. So I don't have to do anything in step one. The other checkbox in step one isn't relevant, because opening the first image to apply settings only comes into play when you're running the Image Processor on RAW files and you want to use the Camera Raw settings that you've already applied to one image on a number of other images. One thing I like about the Image Processor is that it pretty much tells you what to do. So when you go to step two, it tells you that here you're supposed to select the location in which to save the processed images.
I can choose to either save them in the same location, or I can select a different folder in which to save the processed images. It's okay to save them in the same location, because there's no danger of overwriting the originals. The Image Processor always makes subfolders to put its results in. But in this case, I will choose Select Folder and I'll then click on the Select Folder button. And I'll navigate to the Desktop and I'll click New Folder. I'll call this image processed. And I'll click Create and then I'll click Choose.
In step three, I can choose one or more formats in which to save this image. I am going to be starting out with PSD files. So if I check Save as JPEG, then the Image Processor will convert a copy of my file into the JPEG format. And if I leave Save as PSD checked, I'll get another copy as a PSD. And I could also get yet a third copy of every image on which I run the Image Processor, saved as a TIFF. So let's say that I'm starting a new business and I want to put my photos on my business website and I also want to have copies to put in a printed brochure.
In that case, I would want to save them as JPEGs for the website and maybe save TIFFs for the printed brochure. So I'll uncheck Save as PSD, I already have my originals as PSDs. The settings here will only apply to the JPEG copy. I can choose the quality at which I want to save the JPEG. And the higher the quality up to a maximum of 12, the larger the file would be, but the better the file would look. If I want to save file size for the web, I might leave Quality at 10, or maybe go down as far as eight, because the lower the quality, the smaller the total file size will be.
I don't want to go down too low though or I'll degrade the appearance of the image. When I'm creating images for the web, I usually do leave the Convert Profile to sRGB box checked. The reason to check this box is that this is going to change the color space of the file to make it most closely match the color space of a typical PC monitor, and most of the viewers of the Web are on PCs. If you want to learn more about color profiles, you can go back and listen to the movie on Color Settings. Then I want to make the images smaller so that they'll fit on a webpage.
So I am going to check Resize to Fit. This field is not asking me to choose specific sizes for the final images, because say I wanted to run it on images of different sizes in different proportions. Specifying particular sizes wouldn't work. Instead what you can specify here is a maximum size for both the width and height. So what I usually do here is figure out the longest dimension to which I'd like to resize all files, regardless of whether they are vertical or horizontal. And then I type that same number of pixels into both of these fields, and that makes things come out right when I run the Image Processor on a batch of images that includes both verticals and horizontals.
So let's say that I want the largest dimension for my website to be 400 pixels. I'll put that in the Width field and in the Height field. Going down to the TIFF area, I can decide whether or not I want the file to be compressed when it's made into a TIFF. I am going to leave that unchecked in this case, and then I could resize my TIFFs to fit as well. Again I'm just choosing the maximum width and the maximum height here. Let's say I am making a small brochure, maybe I'd put 1200 pixels in each of these boxes.
These are not magic numbers though. They are just numbers that I am choosing for this exercise. Next I'm going down to the Preferences area. Here I have got some interesting choices. I am going to leave Include ICC profile checked here, and what that will do is if one of the original images on which I'm running the Image Processor does have a color profile tag, the final version will have that tag as well. Because I'm going to be sending these TIFFs off to a printer, I would want to include the ICC profile. But if I were only making copies for the Web then I might uncheck this because most web browsers can't read ICC profiles anyway and they do make JPEGs a little bit bigger.
But for the purpose of this example lesson I'll go ahead and leave that checked. I also can add Copyright Info here. That will add copyright information into the metadata of each of the files on which I run the Image Processor. This is a great way of protecting your images under the hood. To add the copyright symbol, I am going to press Option+G on a Mac or a type Alt+0169 on a PC, and then I'll type my name and the date. By the way, if you're working along with me on these Exercise Files, please do put my name in the copyright info, not yours, because I am the photographer.
Then I am going to go to the Run Action field and I am going to check that, because I can have the Image Processor run an action from one of my action sets on all of these images. Photoshop comes with some default actions. I am going to use one of those. So first I'll go to the action set field here and I'll make sure that Default Actions is selected, and then I'll go to the next field and choose which default action to run. I am going to sepia tone all these images. So I'll choose Sepia Toning and what layer means is that you have to have the layer selected in your original files that you want to be affected by this action.
All of my files just have a single layer, so I can choose Sepia Toning. And now it's time to run all of these commands on the four images that I had selected in Bridge. To do that, I just click the Run button, and Photoshop goes ahead and does its thing. So that was a lot to do in just a couple of seconds. Certainly a lot faster than I could have done separately on each image. I am going to go out to my desktop so that I can see the results. There's my image processed folder. If I look inside, I'll see a folder for JPEGs and a folder for TIFFs.
I'll look inside the JPEG folder and there are the four JPEGs that the Image Processor made and inside the TIFF folder, the four TIFF copies. I am going to open one of those JPEGs just to see what it looks like. On a Mac I'm going to hold down the Ctrl key and I'm going to click on one of these JPEGs and choose Open With and choose Adobe Photoshop CS4. On a PC you can right- click and do the same thing. And that opens my storm JPEG into Photoshop. To check on whether the Image Processor did everything I asked it to, I'll go to the information field at the bottom of the document window.
I happen to have this set to show the color profile. Yours may be showing something different, but what this is telling me is that the Image Processor did convert this image to the sRGB color space and attached the profile. Then if I hold down the Option key on a Mac or the Alt key on a PC and I click on this document information area, I can see the width and height of the image. You remember that I told the Image Processor that the maximum number of pixels in either dimension should be 400. So it made this horizontal image 400 pixels wide and to be proportional the height is only 300.
If I was looking at a vertical image, I would see that the height was 400 and the width was a smaller number. And of course, you can see the sepia toning here. Finally, if I look in the document tab I'll see this small c, which indicates copyright information has been added to the metadata. If I want to see that, I can go to the File menu and go down to File Info. In the File Info dialog box, I'll see that under the hood, my copyright notice has been added to this photo. And the same is true of all of the other photos on which I ran the Image Processor.
I am going to cancel out of there. So you can imagine how useful the Image Processor will be to you. I use it all the time just to resize images. It's easy to use and I think it will save you a lot of time.
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