27 October 2006

Photoshop Action and Batch to watermark images

Jingye says: 'I am scratching my head on Photoshop tasks'. I am not a pro (digital) photographer. With busy life, I just want to get some reasonable quality picture from my digital cameras. I took many many photos during holidays (easliy over 5Gb for two weeks in a exotic country). I only have time to tidy them up a little bit, mostly an auto-leveling and an auto-curving. Then I will print some, upload a small size to flickr; archive a large version.

Many ps tasks I have done in the pass were forgotten fast. So here I steal/rewrite from other people’s Photoshop tips/how to do something. I claim not rights of them unless stated. This is just my web notepad for myself and everyone else.’

Photoshop Action and Batch to watermark images

Rewrite and proved based on Chris Kitchener's Watermarking your photos in Photoshop 7 and CS technique ) and Watermarking Photos (batch)

1) Create a reusable watermark.
2) Create a custom action and use Photoshop’s batch command to process a group of images to apply watermark.

Applicable versions
Photoshop CS (v8) and Photoshop v7

Prep work
I used transparent watermark for protecting IP rights yet showing off pictures. I would try to make all images looked consistent when viewed as a collection-the size, effect, position etc. For this reason, I will resize all images to a certain size (see Using Photoshop Actions and batch command to resize images . Then group landscape and portrait photos in two source folder (i.e. source_landscape, source_portrait) 2) create two actions: e.g. ‘watermark Landscape’ ‘watermark portrait’.
Create an ‘output’ folder as well.

Task 1: Create an custom shape, which will be used as watermark later.
At this stage there is no need to tweak the shape yet for special effect yet, just create a new document with plain text/logo. For example a square logo can be of Width: 3 inches x Height: 3 inches, Resolution: 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and the Colour Mode: Greyscale, Contents: White, Type the text with desired font and size it to fill all canvas.
(important) Go to the 'Layer' menu, highlight 'Type' and select 'Create Work Path'. This action converts the text to an outline vector path. To add the shape the library, choose 'Define Custom Shape' from the "Edit' menu and name the item 'watermark'. Click 'OK'.

Task 2: Create Watermark
1) Open a test image, ideally this should be in similar size to those will be in batch process later, pick an image that it is not too dark around watermark application area. Also consider an watermark for lanscape and portrait images each. Here I will only give lanscape images as example.
2) In the 'Preferences', check that the 'Units and Rulers' are set to 'Inches'. 'Units' set to 'Pixels' or 'Percent' create a watermark that changes size based on the files resolution and will prove unreliable.
3) Add a new layer(shift+ctrl+n), nae it 'watermark'.
3) From Toolbox, select 'Custom Shape Tool' (U), found under the 'Rectangle Tool'. Select 'watermark' shape from the listed icons.
4) Hold 'shift' key and draw watermark on new layer to fill the entire width.
5) (Layer menu) Rasterize->shape
6) (Filter menu) Stylize->Emboss, angle 135
7) (Layer menu), 'Layer Style' ->'Blending Options'. Set the layer blending mode to "Hard Light" to let the image show through
8) Sets up the file and its attributes. (File menu)->File Info (Alt+Ctrl+i). Key in the information you want attached to the file.
copyright info: Some rights reserve. Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales You are free: to copy, distribute, display, and perform the work to make commercial use of the work(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/uk/)
9) Flatten the file.
Watermark is done.

Task 3: Record Task 2 as a custom action

Close all working files. Now we ready to create an watermark action. Most of the steps in this task is repeat from task 2.

1) Open an new image to be worked on.
2) Create a new action. Click the “create new action” icon in the Actions panel.
3) Name this Action “watermark lanscape image”. As soon as you create a new Action, your
action starts recording.
4) Repeat task 2 all steps
5) stop recording
5) Save image use 'save as' from File menu. Remember(very important): DO NOT rename the file; and save it to the target output folder that batch process is output to. (the reason for this two points are explained here: Using Photoshop Actions and batch command to resize images)
5) Stop recording.
6) Close working image,
7) Open the original image. Test& re-recording “watermark lanscape image” action to satifaction.

Task 4: Batch process all images
1) In Photoshop, go to FILE --> AUTOMATE --> BATCH.
In the Play section pull down "Action" and select "watermark lanscape image" action you created earlier.
3) The “Source” Section. Since we did not create an “Open” Command in our Action, we need to make sure the “Override Action “Open” Commands” is NOT checked. The “Suppress file Open Options Dialog” should be checked. And the “Suppress Color Profile Warnings” should be checked.
4) Click the “Choose” button and select the folder "source_landscape" you created in prep-work.
5) The “Destination” Section. The “Destination” should be set to “Folder”. Click on the “Choose” button and select the folder you created called “output”. Make sure the “Override Action “Save As” command” is checked. Otherwise batch will create two identical files for each image – one named after original name (this is what action records in ‘save for web’) and the other name after the following pattern.
6) In the “File Naming” Section. I prefer to prefix original image file name with something like ‘forWeb_’ just to differential it from original file. To do this Set the first box to ‘forWeb_’ second box to “Document Name” and the third box to “Extension”.
7) uncheck 'Override Action "Save as" commands'
8) Now, to process your images, just click “Ok”.
And that’s it. (repeat this for protrait images)