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Team Think Labs | Batch Processing Will Save Your Sanity
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Batch Processing Will Save Your Sanity

If you’re a designer or developer we all have had to go through a series of redundant tasks for a project. For example say you’ve received a series of images for a gallery on a website. And you have to resize, rotate, and color correct all 11,346 or them. Yay… Well with Batching an otherwise headache is no big deal. This can be super helpful in many other instances. IE creating the same effects on multiple site headers, adding adjustments to photos that need to have a specific look, etc.

For the sake of simplicity I will walk you through how to Batch a group of images that need to be sized the same, and auto leveled.

First off you will want to make sure you have all of your images in one folder that you can reference to.

1. Begin by opening an image (it can be any image it doesn’t really matter which one.) And pull up your Actions Panel (Window > Actions) and start by clicking the “Create New Action” icon at the bottom of the panel. Name your Action whatever you like.

2. Once your have named your Action click Record. This will record any commands you do to your current document. In this case we will want to do the following:

  • a) Auto adjust image levels (Image > Adjustments > Levels) and then click the “Auto” button. Or you can just hold Command + Shift + L

  • b) Resize your image (Image > Image Size) — Now at this point you might want to make sure you do this in a way that will make sure your images will be consistent. I recommend doing the following. Under Resolution make sure it is 72 first (Adjusting this after the sizing can mess things up for you,) then adjust your width and height. Since not all aspects on images are usually the same I will usually just type in the number I am most constrained to, lets just say the height is limited to 500px. So I would just put in 500px in the height field and make sure the Constrain Proportions box is checked on.

If it any point you make mistakes and what not, the commands you use will display in the actions panel under your action, you can click on these and delete them if need be. You can also stop, and begin recording whenever you like.

3. Once all that is done just click the “Stop playing / recording” icon on the bottom of the Actions Panel to stop your actions from recording. You can also close your image. Don’t bother saving.

4. Now instead of doing that 800 more times. Just select the Batch option (File > Automate > Batch…)

5. By default the most recent action you have created will be selected. Choose your source folder that you want photoshop to go through. Photoshop gives a wide range of ways to handle the naming of files but I tend to just make sure I have an extra copy of this folder just in case I need to go back later. My example is set up just to overwrite the current images that it opens within the same folder.

 6. Select “Save and Close” from the Destination drop down, and check the box that says “Override Action ‘Save As’ Commands.”

7. Click OK, and sit back for a few. Once photoshop wraps up you should be good to go.

I would recommend getting in a experimenting with different techniques and ways of batching. It will really help you save time with otherwise long and tedious tasks. Woot!