You know how you have certain processes that you end up doing to almost every image, like sharpening for web or watermarking? And even using an action, you have to press the play button dozens of time to get it done? This tutorial is going to show you a quick way to apply an action to a group of images in a few easy steps.
Using the Image Processor to Speed up your Workflow
(Adobe Bridge and Adobe Photoshop)
We are going to use Bridge and Photoshop as tools to accomplish this task. Bridge is where you organize and prepare your images for processing and Photoshop is the workhorse that applies the settings.
In Bridge, navigate to the folder containing the images you would like to process. I typically use the “Metadata” module for this task, but you can use any of the modules, just as long as you have the sidebar open. This is important because for certain actions (like resizing), you may need to filter the images so that you are only working on a particular orientation (landscape or portrait/horizontal or vertical). You will find “Orientation” under the Filter tab in the sidebar.
Once you have selected the target images, choose Tools -> Photoshop -> Image Processor. If Photoshop is not already open, it will launch.
You will see the Image Processor Box open in Photoshop. There are 4 parts to customizing the way your images will process.
• Number of Images: First, make sure the correct number of images are selected for processing. Then you can choose to open the first image to tweak the way the action runs. This is particularly helpful if you are applying a watermark and want to make sure it is correctly positioned and sized on the images.
• Destination Folder: Second, select the destination folder for your images. I usually choose to have the program simply create a new folder in the original folder, just so I can remember where they are! If you choose to have a new folder created, it will appear as “JPEG” (or PSD or TIFF, whichever file type you choose in the next step).
• File Type: Choose your file type. You can choose JPG, PSD or TIFF. For each file type you can select file-appropriate settings and whether to resize to a specific parameter.
• Preferences: Set your preferences. First, select the action you wish to apply. You find the Action Set in the first drop down menu, and the individual Action in the second.
Next, set your copyright information. This will be visible any time someone looks up the detailed data for your images, as well as appearing automatically as the photo description when loaded into certain applications, Facebook being a prime example. I choose to add my website information so that anyone who looks at my images will have a direct link to my site.
Finally, choose whether or not to include your color space profile. This is only applicable if you have calibrated your color.
At the top of the Image Processor box, click Run.
Photoshop will now become a blur of activity, as each image pops up, the settings applied and the file is saved to the specified folder. Don’t be alarmed if your images look like they are transparent canvases! Things are just happening so quickly that you don’t see all the steps. You can sit back and relax while the process runs – change a load of laundry, check that the potatoes aren’t boiling over or just enjoy a few minutes of peace.
Once Photoshop has finished its work, go back and double-check that your images have the desired outcome. If necessary, you can now run a subsequent action on this same batch of images – but remember to rename the file first, or you will have files named 1_1, 1_2, etc.
Have fun using the Image Processor to speed up your workflow and reclaim some of your editing time!
Mandy Blake, owner of Mandy Blake Photography and Flow for Photographers, is a natural light family and children’s photographer, as well as a Photoshop Action designer, Photoshop mentor and Photo Editor. She is the mother of two sassy, stubborn girls, wife to an amazingly supportive husband, and slobber-covered-ball thrower for her faithful Lab-Hound mix. You can also find her on Facebook.