Learn Photoshop Now..Photoshop Batch Processing

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Published: 20th June 2008
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If you weren't already aware, Photoshop has these great features called Actions. Actions can be used for many things, including doing the mundane tasks you don't feel like doing, creating amazing effects, and maximizing productivity.

I recently had the pleasure of a little thing called Batch Processing. I'm a dedicated designer, but there was no way I was going sit in front of my computer for hours changing the Hue/Saturation for every single image for my forum. What is Batch Processing, you say? Well, it's something that processes a batch,and I'm going to show you how to do it.

When creating an action, you need it to produce the same one result. Let's imagine an example of changing the Hue/Saturation in 100+ photos from bright red to a rose tone. You might need an action to serve another purpose, but let's stick to this Hue/Saturation idea for this tutorial. Now pick a small image such as an icon and we'll continue.

Next go to Windows > Actions, making sure it is checked. If checked, you should see a tab in the Layers Palette appropriately labeled Actions.

Click on the arrow button to enter the Actions menu and then "new Set." This will create a folder for your newly created action (the folder is not mandatory, but it does help with organization.)

Go back to the Actions menu and select "New Action." I'll give you three guesses as to what this does. Now, before recording an action you need to figure out the steps you'll need to take and the order in which you'll need to take them. Since this is a pretty simple action you can do this is your sleep eventually.

Now for the recording part. There will be a small circle icon between the square and the triangle at the bottom of the palette that you will need to click. Now Photoshop will record everything you do until the end of the Action. If you have an error, simply stop the Action by pushing the square icon and go back to your last step taken.

For our action, the first thing we need to do is change the Mode of the image to RGB, since .gif files are saved in Index mode which don't take too kindly to colorization. So with the action recording, go to Image > Mode > RGB.

Next, we'll have to strip the image of it's current color to make adding our (my) own color easier to apply, so go to Image > Adjustment > Desaturate.

You should see a naked grey image and so we need to add some color. Make sure your action is still recording and go to Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation. It helps to have the settings for color saved in a .ahu (Hue/Saturation) file so all you have to do is click Load and select Teal.ahu. If you don't have a file saved you can simply use the sliders.

Woo, we've now SunBlinded the icon! All that's left to do now is save it for the web. Is your action still recording? Good. Go to File > Save For The Web and set your file type and optimization settings. I use the standard GIF settings, but whatever floats your boat, dude. Select your destination directory and save. If your Actions palette looks like this:

You can now stop recording because your Action is complete. Now we will perform a Batch Process to put your Action into effect. This will take all the images in a specified directory and incorporate the changes recorded in the Action.

Begin by going to File > Automate > Batch and make sure the name of the Action Set you just made is in the first dropdown list and the name of the Action is in the second. Set the third dropdown box (next to Source) to Folder and use the Choose button to find your duplicated or created folder of images. For destination, you can leave it set to it's default "None" to have the action applied and saved in the source folder, or save the "actionized" images into a separate folder. Click OK once you have everything set to your liking..

The hard part of the job is now done for you! All that is left is to relax and watch your pictures color themselves thanks to Actions and Batch Processing.

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