Digital Imaging Basics
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Batch Processing

You may find that you need to resize many, many images to the same pixel dimensions, in order to create a digital portfolio, or otherwise prepare your digital images for Web display or print. To save time on such routine tasks, you can use a function called batch processing. Basically, you decide on a set of steps, which you record as an action. You then tell Photoshop to perform that action on the many image files, saving you time and effort.

Step 1 - Record Action: Display the Actions pane in Photoshop by going to Window >> Actions. Then click the "New Actions" button in the lower left of that window (Figure 11). Type a name for your action in the dialog box that appears, and click the "Record" button (Figure 12). Then perform the operations that you wish to perform on all of your images.

Figure 11
Figure 12

Step 2 - Batch Process: Now that I have an action recorded, I can proceed to batch process my other documents using that action. I will go to File >> Automate >> Batch, and in the dialog box that opens, I will choose to play my "duck action" (Figure 14A).  

For the Source section, I need to define the source files upon which the action will be performed. I organized all my source images into one folder, which I now designate by clicking the "Choose" button (Figure 14B), navigating to that folder, and clicking "Choose" again.  

Next is the Destination section, in which I designate where my edited files will be saved. This should be a separate location from my original or source files. I select "Folder" from the Destination drop down menu, then click the "Choose" button, and navigate to and choose an appropriate folder.   

In the File Naming section, I have many choices of combining the document name (derived from the original source file), plus the document extension (also derived from the original source file, unless saving in a new format was included in the action), plus date stamps or serial numbers, to help me keep track of various edited versions of the same image. I'll choose "Document Name" + "extension" + "mmddyy" (Figure 14C), and I'll select all the compatibility options available (Figure 14D).  

If there are errors, I don't want the batch processing to stop, so I'll choose "Log Errors to File" from the Errors drop down menu (Figure 14E) and specify what I want that log file to be called and where it should be saved. Now I'm ready, and I'll click "OK".

Figure 14

After some brief flickering and flashing of document windows that may occur while the batch processing action is running, you will end up with caboodles of images edited to your specifications and saved to the location of your choice, all before you can say "I love batch processing!"


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