I have a series of different photoshop design files which a share the same alpha channel, which i have to tweak occasionally.
Rather than updating one then manually copy/pasting to every other design file everytime i make a change (16 files), is there a way of creating an external greyscale .psd and linking it to all the alpha channels? Therefore, simply updating once and refresshing across the whole set of designs?
From what ive seen, there's no provision for smart objects in the channels.
An Action or Scripting could help automate, it may or may not be easy depending on the consistency of your files, such as the name being the same for all 16 files.
So you're thinking its more of an automated file swapping process rather than a dynamic link?
As there are no direct smart channels, using a linked smart object could work to help update an alpha using an action or script, however this would still be semi-automated and cumbersome having the smart object in the file with it's only purpose being to aid in updating the alpha channel. I have not tested, so I may be wrong.
»From what ive seen, there's no provision for smart objects in the channels.«
Blend if-settings Knockout and Groups enable one to work around that.
Could you please post screenshots with the pertinent Panels (Toolbar, Layers, Options Bar, …) visible?
Unsure if this is what you need?
Cant see how blend-if is connected with channels? Very keen to see what your suggested solution 🙂
You may have misunderstood my issue, I wish to share an alpha channel between .PSDs, not layer masks. I do not have the equivalent layer to that shown in your example, just a greyscale alpha channel .
Aplogies in advance if ive got the wrong end of the stick. I appriciate your help.
Are all the docs using the same alpha channel name?
Can I presume that the source file for the alpha is static in name and location.
If so it should be simple enough to bulk update, using an action or script.
Are all the files to be updated in the same folder? Or do you wish to update all 16 open files?
More info is needed as there are a lot of unknowns in how to exactly automate this task. I do believe that it can certainly be semi/fully automated...
Thanks for your reply @Stephen_A_Marsh
I was intending to use two or three differnt alphas depending on the design used in the 16 psds - but can reduce it to a single alpha if the process dictates.
The 16 psds + greyscale psd (alpha) are located in the same folder. My intention was to link each psd to the alpha individually, as opposed to bulk processing them a single set - if that makes sense?
I originally hoped I could operate a linked alpha, much in the same way as a linked layer (see pic) works. If I can automate a process which replicates this function - that would be brilliant! This means i can work on a single greyscale psd and apply it as an alpha across all my files.... rather than copy/paste into the alpha channel 16 times for every update.
I have not tested, what I am proposing could be handled by two actions in an action set:
Action Set 1:
1) Open Alpha, copy to clipboard, close without saving
Action Set 2:
1) On an open doc, target the required channel, such as Alpha 1
2) Select All, Paste
3) Save (and possibly close)
One could then run Action Set 2 using Batch, Image Processor or Image Processor Pro scripts. You may need to put the Alpha file into a sub folder so that it is not batch processed.
Alternatively, if you had all 16 files open at once, a script could do similar to the action while cycling through all open docs until all docs were saved/closed. Or a script could do similar to the action + batch process. Apply image could also be used if the alpha was open as a 17th file. Or only two files open, apply the alpha file to the other file, then save/close and repeat until all input files are processed. These are just variations on the same theme.
I am simply automatiing the manual steps that you would otherwise take, nothing special going on.
P.S. I just test my other idea and it works, however I don't think it is worth it.
* Place the alpha as a linked file in the 16 files.
* Edit the alpha file, then when the other 16 files are opened it will auto upate
* Then use an action or script to edit/open the linked file as a second doc
* Target the first doc and alpha channel
* Apply image the alpha doc to the alpha channel
Same end result as my first suggestion.
I don't have any magic bullet answers for you.
I typed out a reply, but it doesnt seem to let me post the damn thing
Sorry, been a bit sidetracked by some other work.
Your suggestion has been a great help, ive slimmed the workflow down... some reason this forum wont let me list so ive screen shotted my workflow:
This seems to work ok, unsure how robust it is so it may need modifying for a different purpose.