How to Apply an Action
Now let's talk briefly about how we can apply an action. Because so far, the only way we know how to do it, is open the actions panel, click on the name of the action and apply it. But, there are other ways we can apply it. What if I have a folder of 100 images and I want all 100 images to be reflected those four ways. Maybe that's what I'm gonna do so that I can evaluate which images would be the most effective with that look. Well, if you're gonna do it manually, you'd spend more time mentally at the beginning choosing the image, but why not, if you got 1,000 images, just apply it and see what it looks like. Then, choose which one's best, you know. But I wouldn't want to do that if I was doing it manually. So, I'm gonna go to Bridge here and I'm going to just find... In fact, I'll make a folder and I'm gonna just call this folder "Reflect Me." And I'm just gonna grab a bunch of images. This could be hundreds it could be thousands, and I'm gonna drag them into that. I'm holding Option...
. Option makes a copy, just 'cause I need those for other things. But, here's the folder. So we just have a total of, what, five images. And I wanna run the action on all five. Well, I do that from here, in Bridge. Go to the tools menu in Bridge and within there, there should be a choice... Take me a minute here, go down to Photoshop and right there's a choice called "Batch." It should say batch, apply and action. But, it's just called Batch. That was under the tools menu, under a submenu called Photoshop, batch. Okay. So tools, Photoshop, batch. This comes up, it looks more complicated than it is. The main thing that makes it look complicated is this area, that would allow you to rename the files. Where you could have it totally change the name or add something to the end of the name or something like that. Most of the time, you can just ignore that, leave it empty. So, over here, this is what we have. Set. That is what Photoshop calls a folder in the actions panel. Be nice if they just used the folder. Um, but there's the folder. Remember our action is in the one called "Creative Live." Below that is the name of the action, when I click on that, it will only list the actions that are found within that folder, okay. But here, it's remembering 'cause it's the action I had selected at the moment I came to do this. So, I don't really have to mess with that, if I've preselected it. Source means where are the pictures. If I have it set to Bridge, which is the default, it means the pictures I'm currently viewing. Whatever folder I'm currently looking at. But, if I changed that, I can say it is a folder somewhere on my hard drive and I can go pick that folder. If I didn't already navigate to it in Bridge. But, why do you need that? Just navigate to it first, then you can ignore that. So, so far, if we've already selected the action in Photoshop and we've already navigated to the folder of images we want to apply it to, we can totally ignore the top part, right. Okay, then down here. Should it override any open commands that are in your action? An open command means it would open a document. A file, maybe at the beginning of your action, it says, "Open the file you'd like to apply this action to," or something, then this would skip that step. Most of the time you wouldn't have that turned on because I don't just randomly put open commands unless they were truly needed. But the problem is, if there was an open command and you tell this to apply it to 1,000 images, when you tell it to go, it's gonna bring up the open command from your action and it's just gonna sit there, waiting for you to interact. But, there it would skip it. Include all subfolders. That means if I pointed this at a folder, should it look at folders inside. Suppress file open options dialogues. That means when you usually open an image, if it were to say, "Profile mismatch, or if it were to say some other message, do you want it to skip it. The main thing is we're trying to make it so we can go through a thousand images without stopping in some common, often unimportant, screen. So you could turn that on. Right there is actually what I was describing. Suppress color profile warnings. Sometimes, you have Photoshop set up to say there's a profile mismatch or missing, it would skip that. So, in this case though, I don't think I'm gonna run into anything that's gonna prompt this to matter. Down here what should it do if there's a problem. What should it do if you had a step in your action that said change to layer called layer one. And there isn't a layer called layer one. Should we stop right there and that's the third image out of your folder of 1,000, do you want it to just sit there and stop and then you come back from lunch and go, "Oh man, it didn't do my work. "I shouldn't have gone to lunch." Well, so instead here, instead of us choosing stop for errors, why not set this to log errors to a file. Meaning save a text file, but just tells me which one it had a problem with. And if I do that, right here, there's a save as button. I can tell it where to put the text file. So, this looks big and complicated. Is it really? No, if you already picked the action you can ignore that. Already navigated to the folder in Bridge, you can ignore that, 'cause that's a default. If your actions were intelligently created, a lot of these things wouldn't matter at all. And therefore, nor would that. And you're not gonna rename the files, so in general, as long as your intelligent about making your action, this is quick and easy. I barely glance at it. But, this is important. Destination. Right now it says none. And none means these files would end up open in Photoshop. I don't want 1,000 images open in Photoshop at the same time. So, I'll probably click here, and if you choose save and close, you gotta be careful. That means save and close over the originals. I almost never use that, because it's too dangerous. Instead, you could choose folder. And then, right here's a choose button, and you go and point it at a folder where you want to put your end result. And here, I'll just choose the desktop. They'll just be sitting there. Okay, so now it knows, put it on the desktop. And it's only when you tell it to move it to another folder that this part down here to rename it is there. But I'm gonna use the original name, so therefore I can just leave that alone. Okay, so I'm gonna click okay. After all descriptions, all I would need to have done is choose this command, choose the folder, set it to my desktop, click okay. Alright, now you can go to lunch. There's only five pictures, so it shouldn't take too long. Uh-oh, see the problem? What happened in this particular case and this is why you test your actions. That was a JPEG file, and if you ever add layers to a JPEG file, then whenever you save it back into the JPEG file, it might ask you for options. But in this case it asked you for options and it just sat there. So this is where I might want to look at that part in the lower left and if there is anything about saving files... Or it might've been near the top, that said ignore the options, it would've saved me here. But, I'll click okay. Okay, now, let's look at my desktop. If I can just click here, you see one, two, three, four, five images that are all reflected. And actually I don't know why that popped 'cause it was just JPEG save options. If it would've been the layer thing I mentioned, it would've been trying to save as Photoshop. But, anyway, it did pretty good, except for that one pause. So, what did I do there? Well I navigated to a folder in Bridge, I went to the tools menu, I chose Photoshop and I chose batch.
Can you do this from Lightroom instead of Bridge or not?
You snucked in that little question, that little magical question. Can I do this from light room instead of there. Well, if you go in Lightroom, you go to the file menu and you choose export 'cause that's how you spit out a finished file. When you choose export, you have all these options which are the normal ones, but at the very bottom, is a special one called post processing. And do you see here, where it says, after export what should it do? And one of the choices you can have it do is, do you remember when we did find edges, and we had it in multiply mode? Well, gee, look, it's right there. And you see right down here it says go to export actions folder now. Hmm. There's a special folder, and if you put your actions inside of that folder, I think you might have to save it as something known as a droplet. But you could Google that 'cause I don't want to spend too much time on it. If you put it in that special folder, then it will show up in Lightroom's export screen and therefore you could choose it and therefore I could grab a thousand images in lightroom and I would use an export preset, where one of the steps in the export preset here is called post processing. Right here I would choose the name of the action but I would've had to look into, how do I get to that folder. And I'd have to look into does it need to be saved in a special format called a droplet to make it work. Okay, so it just gives you a hint that, yeah, you might be able to do part of what you're thinking.