Advanced Photoshop Batch Processing: Using Sources from Multiple Directories Through Templating

May 20, 2012 5 Comments by Tom Fang

This week, I had multiple people ask me how they can create a batch of 300×250 ads with their current collection of 310×110 ads. So, say you had 80 small ads and you wanted to combine them into 40 IAB banners, how would you do it? At first, I thought there was no way since Photoshop’s batch processing function only allows you to use 1 directory as the source to loop the actions through. I kept, however, thinking about it since I always love a challenge, and last night it came to me.

Batching Multiple Sources

This can be accomplished through what I would like to call templating, which is using 1 file (the template) as the vessel to move files from one action (or directory) to another. The template file, which is, like I said, 1 file, but it’s contents dynamically change as needed to serve the required information to the next action loop. That will probably make absolutely no sense to you until you watch the video. Once you’ve watched and understood what we did in the video, you’ll realize that this concept of templating is immensely powerful in the context of Photoshop batch processing.

The video simply combines the ads randomly and only applies pretty simple functions. You can, on your own, juxtapose the specific 310×110 ads that you want by naming your images alphabetically according to the order you want Photoshop to go through the files. You can of course, do a lot more actions than we did such as taking advantage of the space in between the 2 ads in the 300×250′s. Sky is the limit.

After I watched the video, I realized there were things we could have improved (such as avoiding the pop-up that comes at the end of the second action sequence), but the key takeaway is the concept. It might seem like it takes too much time to create the actions, but remember, you only have to record the actions once and then re-use them. You can even edit specific steps in the action sequence to suit your specific needs when such occasions arise.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. When there’s a will, there’s a way.