Batch conversions in Photoshop (ie resizing and adding watermarks)

Nov 22, 2001
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Southern Virginia
#1
Since this topic was brought up in a thread earlier today as well as several PM's, I figured I'd write up a quick how-to on using Photoshop to convert a large quantity of photos at once. The two popular issues were resizing photos and adding watermarks to them. Below is a separate how-to for each, but they can be combined into one action after you get the hang of it.

Note: These instructions are based on Photoshop 6.0 in Windows, so the process should be similar if not easier in newer versions. I'm not sure whether or not older versions have this capability.

RESIZING
  1. Before you begin, make sure that all photos are in the same folder and are oriented in the same direction (landscape vs. portrait).
  2. In Photoshop, goto the Actions Tab of the Actions / History window.
  3. Across the bottom of this window, you will see buttons for "Stop", "Record", "Play", "Create New Set", "Create New Action" and "Delete". Click on "Create New Action" and a new window will appear.
  4. Name your action and then press the "Record" button.
  5. Open one of your original files.
  6. Goto the Image pulldown menu and choose "Image Size".
  7. Set your image size.
    Note 1 -- When setting either your height or width, make sure the adjacent box is set to pixels and not percent or inches. This will help to ensure that all of the finished images are of the same size.
    Note 2 -- If "Constrain proportions" is checked at the bottom of the window, the height will resize automatically once you set the width and vice versa.
    Note 3 -- Set your resolution accordingly. 72 pixels per inch is the maximum that most computer monitors can handle. 300 pixels per inch or higher would be better for quality printouts of the photos.
  8. With your settings established, press OK.
  9. After the image is resized, save it and close it. If saving as a JPG file, set the Format Options to "Progressive" and the number of scans to 5. Then adjust the quality until you see a reasonable file size at the bottom of the window.
  10. Stop recording the action by pressing the stop button in the action window.

Now your resize Action is set. The procedure for running the action and performing the batch conversion is shown at the bottom of this post.

ADDING A WATERMARK
  1. We'll begin by making the watermark itself. Create a new Photoshop file with the same dimensions as the photos that you want to place your watermark on. Make sure that contents are set to "Transparent".
  2. If you're using a pre-existing logo or image with a transparent background, paste it into the new image in the desired location. For this, I'm using an FSC logo using the font donttalkback. For my 1024x768 photos, "FSC" is size 48 and red, "fullsizechevy.com" is font size 24 and in white. Both have subtle layer effects.
  3. Merge all layers and save the file as a .PSD file. Keep it open.
  4. Start a new action following steps 3 and 4 in the resizing section.
  5. After pressing the "Record" button, open one of your photos.
  6. From the Image pulldown, choose "Apply Image".
  7. In the source box, choose the name of the PSD that you saved the watermark on.
  8. If you did not merge the layers before saving the PSD, make sure that layers is set to "Merged".
  9. Set Blending to "Normal" and your opacity.
  10. Press OK.
  11. Your photo should now have the watermark on it, and there should be only one layer. If not, merge your layers.
  12. Save the file and close it. If saving as a JPG file, set the Format Options to "Progressive" and the number of scans to 5. Then adjust the quality until you see a reasonable file size at the bottom of the window.
  13. Stop recording the action by pressing the stop button in the action window.

RUNNING THE ACTION
  1. In Windows Explorer, create a blank folder to save your converted files in. I'd hate to permanently lose your original photos should something go wrong with the Action.
  2. For the Watermark Action, you'll need to open your watermark PSD file. Make sure that this is the only open file in Photoshop.
  3. From the File Menu, goto "Automate" then "Batch"
  4. Choose your Action and make sure Source is set to "Folder". Choose the folder that contains your original photos.
  5. Make sure that "Override Action Open Commands" is checked active.
  6. Choose the blank destination folder you created above.
  7. Make sure that "Override Action Save In Commands" is checked active.
  8. Set your file naming criteria and how you want it to handle errors.
  9. Click "OK"

After doing this, Photoshop will automatically open, edit, save and close each file individually. This may take a while depending on your file size and system speed.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask and I'll answer as best I can.

-- Bob
 
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