Variables: Baseball Card Template
We could get more sophisticated with this and we could make a much better looking document this is a pretty ugly document, so let's take this and I'm just going to save this image so in case we need to come back to it, I'll just type command ass and now let's work with better looking files a little more sophistication in see if we can just slowly push it a little further. My wife karen set up some files for me just so we have, you know she's, a graphic designer and often times I asked her if she'll make me up you know some graphic design to use during, uh, my demos and so she came up with this I mentioned a um baseball card as an idea, but we're not sports people we don't know if there's a field goal in in football or hockey or baseball, we wouldn't really care, but instead we play with photo shop so here's what she came up with I gave her the idea of a baseball card she came up with. This is that's what she can think of for a baseball card and let's see how it could mess with us let's...
say at the top this represents the name of a team below that down here is the name of the player we could have an additional text layer that would maybe say their position if there are no what are you a right fielder whatever they don't know positions and then up here we have a badge this one says uber geek but it could si se m v p you know most valuable player or what is an all star player or something like that that we could toggle on and off but depending on if that particular individual warrants the badge makes sense so far so good you're getting all the all the good stuff allstar not any of those words right now you're good you're good uh goalie the goalie yeah for football right soccer e anyway she set this up all these different layers in here now let's set it up to be used with variables so first I want to wanna double check to make sure I haven't used this in the past um if I have to find any yet no so if I go in here to define variables and I click on the layer pop up then you remember any of these that are already to find is a variable are gonna have an asterix at the end so what I'm going to do in here is first just to make it easier I'm going to scroll through my layers to see where is the first layer I would like to be able to vary and I believe it's going to be this layer you see it's the top one up there so I'll go over here to find it is variable in that one is one where I want to be ableto replace the text, so I'm gonna call that team s o then I don't have to leave this each time if I can figure out the name of the layers, I could just keep defining variables in here the next one is my name, which is down here at the bottom and I think that's the name of the layer so I could just find it here and I'm going to do that as a text replacement and I will call that name so, so far I think I have was a team in the name, but then I want to be able to switch out the photograph and I'm not sure what layer that's on, but I can scroll through my layers even though I'm in this dialog box, so I see that layer is called photo, so I'll find that in here I'll define that as a pixel replacement layer and I'll call it photo I'll tell it to fit actually won't needed to fill the car because we don't want any white space around it, so let's set it to phil and centered all right, and then we have that little badge right now let's see what layer with name of that layer would be, it looks like they're it's actually in a in a group called uber geek badge so let's see if we can find that here and that's gonna be a visibility one and I'm just gonna call it a badge makes sense what I've done now I need to make sure in the spreadsheet file that I create that we define every single one of these variables that we've to find here so I might want to count the number of these that have an asterix after it so I know how many variables I have what I would usually do is just have a post it note sitting in front of me and when I define a variable I just write down the name of the burial then it defined the next when I write it down and because the name of the variable in the photoshopped file has to precisely match the name of the variable in um the spreadsheet I try to make it easy on myself to make it easy on myself. I always use lower case that way there's never ever a question is it upper or lower case in anything I never use spaces I used underscore instead because I don't believe you can have a space in a variable name uh and I stay away from weird characters, so if you always use lower case and instead of using space bar you doing underscore then that it's easier to remember between things all right, I'll click. Okay now, let's, go define our data set gonna goto our spreadsheet. I'll create a brand new one. Just a blank one not a template. And on the top row all the way across I'm just gonna list the names of the variables so I know there was a name one called team and by the way doesn't matter what order they're in. So there's team there was name there was badge. There was photo. Was there anything else that's it then below that I'm going to type in the information I wanted to swap out so the team could be wouldn't have a creative live team. Uh, then I can just press tab to move over a field and I'm gonna be on that and he's an uber greek. And then the photo I'm gonna call ben dot j p g um then if it return in a spreadsheet usually gets you down in the next line and so I could just type in other one. So what's another team name, huh? We're gonna go with the seahawks. How do you spell that? S e h a w k on the name karen. Karen. Is she an uber geek? Oh, yes, ok can't have everybody be a cuban, keep till here, uh, okay all right? And we could just continue putting in more and more entries depends on how many you want to use. I'm just going to do one more because I want to show you a few issues you're gonna run into. So, um, jim cat just something long is what I'm trying to put in here and now he's not so false, and I'm going to call this jim dot j p j I don't get the dot in, okay, make sense we got now remember, though, at least with this spreadsheet, I'm not sure if all from her this way or not, but it thinks that these empty entries in here really are recorded in the file, so it would put in commas for each one of these, and so I need to grab that thing and lower right, drag it up here to say on lee, use that much, and therefore we don't get the extra commas, and so I'm gonna then grab this and just save it. I usually save it in both the default file format, just because sometimes opening the text file looks a little different and I'll just call this second one and then the main thing is the thing that photo shop needs the fed is that one that only has comets in between, so I'll come over here and I'll export is a csd although not all spreading sheets will use the letter c s v some of them will just have export and you'll have some options and one will be comma or tab delineated and then as long as it's a text file it might end with letters dot t x t it's fine put that one on my desktop was well now the only thing I don't have in place are the photos so let's see we have ah bana karen and jim I don't know that I have photos they're going perfectly align with that but hey look there's karen there's been and we're going to make that jim so I'm just going to take those and I kneed him in the same location as the text file so I'm gonna drag it to my desktop and then I'll goto look at my desktop and I need to make sure they're named correctly so I think we said it was gonna be ben karen and jim so now let's see if it works we'll go back to photo shop got our file set up here we should have our variables to find I'll go back to the image menu back two variables until it I want to feed it a data set import buttons on the right I wish it would just when I chose data sets just pop up and asked me for it but it seems like they like me to click a lot um and so here is the one called second one leave it's formatting, set to automatic and click. Okay, now you see, it automatically switched out one because it remembered my previous check box was on, and so we have this I can switch between these just again using the little arrow keys here and you'll see swapping it out, but you'll also notice a few issues now. One issue that I run into on occasion and I don't know why it happens is you see how small the text is there. I don't know why that happens. I have seen it happen before. A variable should not be able to change the size of the text used the original size, but what I found is when I export these images there's a way to export and where you get a separate file for each one is usually the texas the right size. I don't know why it's just one in preview it and it makes it small. Uh, so anyway, we have this now I notice a few issues with the design. First off, the name of the team at the top is not centered. Secondly, if I switched through these, somebody came up with a team name called super special special sniffy. I think team from hell because it's all so we go off the edge of the screen and I made this go really long so that it would go off the edge of the screen because when you make your template you tie pins and text to put in there but that doesn't mean that's going to be the longest text that you might encounter so let's modify this now if I were to just come in here and click okay it's not going to necessarily apply this data to my image were instead we're going to see the original text that we used when we created the template there is an applied button and that means apply this text to the image I'll do that and I'll click okay so now that I've applied that to the image it keeps the tax instead of going back to what was in the original and I could modify the template I might come in here and make this layer active and maybe with that layer active I say I want it centered and then I used my move tool over here and get it actually centered within that file maybe I scale it down a little bit I do maybe a command tea for transform and if this is the longest entry, I think I'm going to end up with, um eyes we'll make it fit that with and move it up there like that down the bottom I have that other line of text of mice will make that active in this particular one got to decide do I want it centered there or do we want it flesh left it's up to me s o I'm duke mantee and get a scaled down so it fits now maybe scale it up a little exciting phil's moving up and then with my text if I double click on the letter t m I layers panel and let me edit the text and right now its flesh left I just have to decide do I want that order? What I'd rather have it centered uh I'll do this flush left so now I can go back to the image menu I can go back to variables and I could go back to my data set now it already has that data set embedded into this file because I hit the apply button that data is in there and so I can switch between these now and tested out to see how it looks uh and let's see if that uber geek badge thing is working okay, so this one doesn't have it this one does this one does so we're swapping out photos were controlling the visibility of other things we're getting the text to swap out and it seems to be working so in this area called data sets at the top is a data set name you can use the data set name or not, you don't have to it's just going to use data set one, two, three and four if you haven't to find anything, um, below that, it actually tells you the data that's in each one of these s o it will end up telling you that this has got a different layers, the data that it's going to end up feeding it all that the main thing is you could come in here in kind of proof. Read what kind of information is being used let's say that I come in here and somebody misspelled a last name. I have a database of twelve hundred people, and I don't want to find the typo in the spreadsheet and go back and change the spreadsheet. I've already applied the data here, I could just cycle through all my data until I find one that I think has thie uh, the error in it and then down below, I can tell it which one of those particular, um, things what I like to change, maybe karen shouldn't have the badge, maybe she's, not a number greek, so I can say invisible I heard somebody gasp out there, though, so I think we should have to keep or I can change her name type in a different one or maybe somebody has the wrong photo and I could select a different file just hit the selectmen you tell it a different file now we have all the stuff set up it seems to be working but it's all stuck in one file so what the heck can we do with it? Well, if I go to the file menu under export there's a choice called data sets as files which means it's going to produce one file for each one of the entries in that spreadsheet so when I choose file export data sets his files this comes up at the very top it simply wants to know where to save it so I hit select folder I'll go on my desktop I'll create a new folder and I'll just call it results so that's where is gonna put it below that it asked me in here data sets do I want to just out put one of these or all of them? If I just say all data sets I get one for each entry but let's say I did twelve hundred business cards they came back and said, you know the business card for for ben is wrong you had a typo in this last name he took the l out of the middle of it I could tell it just output one of him not don'thave to him all and then below that it wants to know how should it end up naming these files and I can come down here and just call this um keep card and then having to an underscore and then either a number or something else but data set names fine then I just just tell it to I want uppercase or lower case file extension and I'm gonna click okay so now you see photo shop switching between those various data sets it did it pretty darn quick and it should have created one file for each one of those entries that we had so let's go on look on her hard drive and see what we got on my desktop remember I had a folder called results that's what I told to put it if I opened that up there are three files within it and if I look at those three files come on preview now I'll do it in bridge sometimes the mac operating system doesn't always want a generator preview so here I'm pointing bridge at the folder and you'll see that we ended up with three different and results and notice that it didn't make my name really small I don't know why it previews on occasion really small but whenever I tell it to actually generate the files it's usually fine so these air always in photoshopped file format and if I would open each one of these double click on it, it will have all the layers that it had in the original. That can be nice, because then I confined tune each one so that if I think the name appear at the top needs to be larger, I could just click on that name type, command tea to transform, and I could come over here and scale that up for that particular card or any other kind of change. I think I need to make but let's say I didn't need to make any of those changes. Well, it always comes out it's photoshopped file format. There is no choice for any other file format, but what if the client needs j pegs or tips or something else? Well, the final thing that I would usually do is select all these images in bridge choose tools, photoshopped image processor because in the image processor, this thing comes up and it says, just where do you want to say that? I'll stay in the same location? And down here you can choose the file format that you'd like, so I'm going to say, save j pegs, uh, quality setting of tennis, fine, and then I'm just gonna hit run, and now it's going to open each one of the images and it's going to save them out of j pegs if I go back to bridge, you'll find in the same folder that I was originally in here that's where I told it, save it there's an extra little folder here called j peg and if I open it up there's my j pigs so you just have to do one additional step if you need a different file format and that is to select the resulting images and bridge, go to the tools menu choose image processor, they're cute tools, photoshopped image processor and that's where you can tell it to save out those files again as j pegs tiffs, that type of thing. So now we've seen what we could do with a better looking template because somebody actually spent some time on creating it instead of me, you know, he's throwing something together before I get on to pushing this even further what kind of questions they're we, uh, bumping into c three would like to know for the photo variable in the c s v file can you define the photo location folder? You can define the location of the photo, but it has to be the full path to the photo, which means I believe it would usually start with the name of your hard drive, then the word user and then your user name, and then you know that the full path it would take to get to that file otherwise, if you don't specify a path, it assumes the folder the photo to be in the same folder as the text file so you have either one of those two choices I just find it's usually much simpler tio throw the text file in the same folder as thie photos okay, so even if it's located deep on your hard drive, just throw the text file in the same folder is those images and then when you feed it, your data set, you just have to navigate to that folder to say, hey here's, the textbook perfect um dpt cam would like to know can you drag the text box so the text will automatically fit so the text will automatically fit in the text box no matter what the size or sort of way to do that? Not that I can think of on the top of my head, okay, I'm just trying to think and nothing comes to mind and photoshopped that will automatically size the text just so you know the background cannot be varied if you have the layer called background. If you want to vary it, just double click on its name, change into anything else if you want to show her hide multiple layers, then all you need to do in order to shore hide multiple is in photo shop put the multiple layers inside of a group so that means select those layers type command gear, control ji and windows and that's going to throw it in. A group of group looks like a folder within your layers panel, but the name of that group will be available as one of the things that you could very the visibility of. So if it's multiple layers, throw it into a a group before you define your variables, you cannot. If you end up using smart objects, the only thing you're going to be able to do, even though the smart object might contain a picture is you're only gonna have the choice of doing a visibility variable. You will not be able to do. What's called a pixel replacement because photo shop is not smart enough to look into the contents of the smart object to see. Is it made out of text? Is it made out of a picture in so it will on ly it turned on or off, you know, visibility, you can get fancy and add layer styles. For instance, the text in these particular layers have drop shadows on them. You could do babylon and boss. You can do all that kind of stuff, but it will be consistent throughout the design.