Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a contact sheet in Bridge or Photoshop, part of Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features.
One of the benefits of digital capture is that it's now easier than ever to take and to make photographs. One of the downsides is that many times we capture too many images. We need some tools which allow us to kind of handle and organize our files, because otherwise they can get lost on a hard drive. Well, here I want to look at one such tool which allows us to create and design a Contact Sheet. Now in the previous version of Photoshop and Bridge, you could go to the Output module. There you could design a Contact Sheet, export that to a PDF format.
Yet in the new version of Photoshop and Bridge, there's a Contact Sheet which allows us to create this Contact Sheet layout, which will automatically open up in Photoshop. Let's take a look at how we can do this. Well, first we want to select some images, and we'll do that in the Adobe Bridge. Here I'm going to click on this folder, Bridge, and then I want to select all of these pictures. On a Mac press Command+A, on Windows press Ctrl+A. Next, navigate to the Tools pulldown menu, go to Photoshop, and here with the Tools you'll notice there's a new tool Contact Sheet II.
Let's click on that. This will open up the Contact Sheet dialog and also show us the Photoshop interface in the background, because it's a Photoshop engine which will build this Contact Sheet. Well, here you can see we're using these 11 files. We can specify Width and Height, Color mode, Bit Depth, Color Profile. Then there's this little check box. You can either choose to Flatten All the Layers, or if you want to edit the layers after the fact, you can turn this off. Let's turn that off, because I want to highlight a feature in regards to working with layers which can be helpful for modifying multiple layers.
So again, we'll turn that option off for demo purposes. We can also determine how many columns or rows we prefer. And if we want to use the file name as a caption, we can choose a font to our font type or size. All right. Well, let's leave all these settings as is and click OK. Once you click OK, Photoshop will create a new document and begin to create this layout. In the Layers panel you can see it's populating that panel with the different images and also text files which are describing the images, the file names.
Once this is complete what we can do is we can customize things. For example, if I go to my Layers panel, I can turn off the visibility of certain layers, and you can see how those layers are now not shown in this document. Another thing that you can do is make changes after the fact, and this can be really helpful. For example, one of the new features in the Layers panel allows you to filter or just show certain layer types. Well, if we click on the T key, it will then just show us the text layers in this document. There they are.
Well, here I'll go ahead and click on one, scroll down, hold down the Shift key and click on another. Next, I could change the opacity or the font or the color. I'll just decrease the opacity so you can see that that now shows up in a much more muted way. It's now light gray rather than black. So again, we can make changes to our Contact Sheet after the fact. In regards to the layer of filtering, we'll talk more about that later, but for now when you want to turn off the Filtering, we'll just click the icon again, and now it shows us all of the layers.
Another way that you can create this same contact sheet is from right inside of Photoshop. To do that you'll navigate to the File pulldown menu, then in the File pulldown menu what you want to do is go all the way down to Automate. There underneath Automate you'll see you have the option for Contact Sheet II. When you click that option it will reopen this dialog. Now you could either use the files that you've already selected in Bridge, or you can manually select those files and then create the Contact Sheet. It's the same process as we did before.
I just want to highlight that you can initiate or start this process either from Photoshop or Adobe Bridge.
- Getting familiar with the new interface
- Exploring improvements to Bridge and Mini Bridge
- Recovering highlights and improving exposure with Camera Raw
- Making precise raw adjustments with the Point Tone Curve
- Grouping, filtering, and finding layers
- Correcting distortion with Adaptive Wide Angle controls
- Working with the new Content-Aware tools
- Making better selections
- Performing perspective cropping
- Getting started with video in Photoshop
- Making picture-perfect prints with the Print dialog