Hello there, I am having a tough time implementing something that will greatly speed up my workflow. Essentially, I need to find a way to automate the "Load Files Into Photoshop Layers" tool in Bridge. As a quick background, I have to make collages for work every now and then. For example, I have an action that makes a 3x3 collage when you give photoshop 9 images. This process isn't automated as I have to load 9 files into photoshop and then run the action.
It would be ideal if I could give photoshop a stack of files to perform this action. In bridge, I have different stacks that contain 9 photos each in them. I can't wrap my head around how I can tell photoshop to process each stack individually and run only one action per stack. I believe that all I need is a script that takes a stack of photos and makes a new document in photoshop with each image being a unique layer in this document. Then, I would be able to run my script that can make a collage from those layers. If I were to accomplish this, all I would have to do is separate my photos into stacks and run a batch from Bridge into photoshop. Thank you so much for the help!
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The simplest way would be to start using JJMack's scripts:
You create a template file with alpha channels that govern how each image is placed/sized. It will then create montages of the source images using the template. It does not need an action as the alpha channels provide the size and placement and the number of alpha channels control the number of images used per template.
An alternative approach if you wish to continue to use your action, would be a script that would simply create a layered document using N amount of input files, it would then call your action to create the layout, then it would save to PSD or whatever file format/s were required.
I have created such scripts which could be easily modified, for example:
Thank you for both your suggestions. I can look into JJMack's scripts if I can't find a solution for this as I have my action worked out and ready to go. I am still having a little bit of trouble and tried to mess with your sccript a little bit. I don't want photoshop to ask for an input folder. This is what I ultimately need the script to do:
1) find first stack (in Bridge [in selected folder])
2) open as layers in PS
3) run PS action
4) save and close (as jpg)
5) find next stack in Bridge (selected folder) and repeat.
If there is anyway of accomplishing this, I would greatly admire you.
I am a relative newcomer to Photoshop scripting, I can write Photoshop scripts to a certain degree, but when it comes to Bridge scripts or Photoshop scripts that interact with Bridge I can only modify existing code.
Therefore working with stacks is most likely beyond my abilities, unless this proves to be easier to hack than I imagine.
I can offer a Photoshop script that will simply look at the alphabetical sorting of images and automatically combine them, play an action and save as PSD or another format. So forgetting Bridge stacks, if the input files were simply named as this example:
A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6, B7, B8, B9.
You would end up with 2 layered files, one containing all of the A sorted files and one with all of the B sorted files.
If you are using stacks because the file names don't have an alphabetically sorting pattern, then such as script would not help you.
EDIT: I'm not sure if Bridge Stacks are the best choice for batch processing in Photoshop, unless there is a way to integrate them better. There are other methods that could be used besides filenames to "tag" and conditionally process a batch of images.
I'm pretty new to this as well and probably diving a little deeper than I would like to. I wasn't sure what the best way to tackle this problem was. I would definetly like to mess around with that script! Before I came to the community asking these questions, I was pretty close to having a photoshop action that can take every 9th image and make a collage for the next images in its sequence, but the problem was it would skip every other sequence and I could not get a fix for that. I am still dumbfounded. Maybe that script would work better for me and I could tweak things around again where I don't have that problem.
Thank you so much for the help, it is greatly appreciated.