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Printing and looping an action in photoshop

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  #1  
Old 01-28-2004, 08:30 PM
kbphoto kbphoto is offline
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Question Printing and looping an action in photoshop

I am trying to get photoshop to make a contact sheets and run an action on each page and then print the pages.

Right now I have to make the contact sheets and then run the action manually on each page.

Plus I would like the action to print the pages but it wont remember the print settings. Such as high resolution.

I want it do all of that by running one action (make contact sheets, modify those pages, print those pages, and close them.)

Please help, I don't want to do all that work many times a day.

Jeff
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  #2  
Old 01-28-2004, 10:16 PM
Doug Nelson's Avatar
Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Unless you put the images in the same folder each time, you'd need to put a stop in the action anyway to change that setting, so I'd just run contact sheet, then write one action to do the rest. That would be easy enough.

The printer settings aren't a Photoshop function, so there you might be out of luck. Maybe with a PostScript printer you'd have some control from within PS. You can, however, set up multiple printer controls using only one printer, and set one to high-rez (label appropriately to keep them straight).

Although, don't take just my word on this. We have a lot of action experts on here (of which I'm not one).
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2004, 11:37 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbphoto
I am trying to get photoshop to make a contact sheets and run an action on each page and then print the pages.

Right now I have to make the contact sheets and then run the action manually on each page.

Plus I would like the action to print the pages but it wont remember the print settings. Such as high resolution.

I want it do all of that by running one action (make contact sheets, modify those pages, print those pages, and close them.)

Please help, I don't want to do all that work many times a day.

Jeff
Hi Jeff:

This is new ground for me so I'm kind of winging it here. Need to know a little more about your workflow and how you're handling it now.

How are you making your contact sheets now? File > Automate > Contact sheet or what?

RE: "...modify those pages"
Give me some examples of how you modify the pages before printing them.

RE: "...close them..."
As in Close the contact sheets you've crafted on in the PS window that you're printing, right? You're not saving these contact sheet files.

- - - - - - - -

I just created three actions that might do what you're hoping to accomplish.

* An action that invokes File > Automate > Contact sheet; contact sheets are created hands off in Photoshop's window. The source of the images is the \folder name specified when the File > Automate > Contact step was recorded. Note: One has the option to always use the same source folder or to invoke File > Automate > Contact each time to specify a different folder.
* A second action that prints the active image (contact sheet) and closes it (without saving) when finished.
* And a third action that invokes the other two, the second of which is executed via File > Automate > Batch so it (in effect) prints/closes all images in the PS window until all are processed.

The result:
* Contact sheets generated from a folder of images
* Each page printed and closed

All hands off after invoking the 3rd action. Print settings stayed the same for each contact sheet (I specified hires).

Is this what you had in mind?

~Danny~

Last edited by DannyRaphael; 01-28-2004 at 11:53 PM.
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  #4  
Old 01-31-2004, 09:38 PM
kbphoto kbphoto is offline
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The batch command was what was needed for the mutiples pages (looping).

I tried doing the seperate printers, but photoshop doesn't print right (it remembers the last printer used not a specific one) that info is not recorded in the action.

The next thing is how to have the action print to a certain printer and with certrain settings and partal pages produce errors.

Being very specific with what I am trying to do:
-Take a bunch of pictures (say 30) from a specific folder and make 4 up contact sheets.
-Then apply an action to each page (that places copyright info over the contact sheets.
-Then prints each page at high resolution on a certain printer.
-Lastly close the pages with out saving them.

I now have two problems left:
-Printing to a certain printer with specific settings.
-If a page only has two pictures on them (the last page not being full of pictures) an error comes up because it can't do everything in the action. Is there a way to supress the error and continue the rest of the action?

Jeff
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2004, 03:14 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbphoto
The batch command was what was needed for the mutiples pages (looping).

I tried doing the seperate printers, but photoshop doesn't print right (it remembers the last printer used not a specific one) that info is not recorded in the action.

The next thing is how to have the action print to a certain printer and with certrain settings and partal pages produce errors.

Being very specific with what I am trying to do:
-Take a bunch of pictures (say 30) from a specific folder and make 4 up contact sheets.
-Then apply an action to each page (that places copyright info over the contact sheets.
-Then prints each page at high resolution on a certain printer.
-Lastly close the pages with out saving them.

I now have two problems left:
-Printing to a certain printer with specific settings.
-If a page only has two pictures on them (the last page not being full of pictures) an error comes up because it can't do everything in the action. Is there a way to supress the error and continue the rest of the action?

Jeff
Hi Jeff:

Looks like we're making progress a few inches at a time.

I now have two problems left:
(1) Printing to a certain printer with specific settings.
Have you tried this: Record a File > Page Setup command at the beginning of the action. This will allow you to specify printer/printer settings when the action plays. Settings are not stored (not automatic/hands off), but at least you'll get the right printer/settings. I believe it will carry through for actions that follow, but maybe not... You may have to add additional steps to print a "blank page". See steps 1a, 1b below.

If this does not work your recourse may have to be inserting a STOP command at the beginning of the action that reminds you to change the default printer via Windows (while the PS batch is running) and another STOP command to remind you to set the default printer back when the contact sheets are printed. Not exactly full automation, but may be the best you can do with actions. I don't have a multi-printer setup, so I can't be sure.


(2) If a page only has two pictures on them (the last page not being full of pictures) an error comes up because it can't do everything in the action. Is there a way to supress the error and continue the rest of the action?
In a script, yes, errors could be suppressed and the script could be continued. Actions don't have the built-in smarts to ignore errors. But there should be a way to process all images using actions regardless of how few/many there are. See following.

Three actions should do it:
1. An action that executes a Page Setup step, a File > Automate > Contact sheet step and steps that invoke the following two actions via Batch commands
1a. Create a new blank document.
1b. Print blank document = this printer/settings will be the ones PS "remembers" for subsequent action below.
2. An action that applies the copyright info to a contact sheet. (Different ballgame if you meant applying a copyright to each image in the contact sheet, but still doable.)
3. An action that prints and closes each contact sheet w/o saving.

In other words here's what the action would look like (each * represents a step):

Action 1: Create and Print Contact Sheets
* Set Page Setup of current document (File > Page Setup...). This is where you specify printer + paper type and orientation, print quality, etc.
* Create Contact Sheet II (File > Automate > Contact Sheet II). Contact Sheet II, where you specify the source folder in the CS II dialog). Destination is PS Window.
* Batch (using action=Action 2: Apply Copyright). Source: Open Files. Destination: None. These settings will leave them there when done. In this action you apply the copyright info to the open contact sheets in the PS Window.
* Batch (using action=Action 3: Print Contact sheets). Source: Open Files. Destination: None. In this action there are two steps: Print and Close w/o saving. This will print the contact sheets w/o saving them.

Specifying the printer/printer setup & specification of image source folder would occur within the first 2 steps

RE: partial pages produce errors
When images are processed by actions invoked by Batch commands, PS will process all image files regardless of how many or how few there are... full page or not.

Since I don't have your action, I can't speculate why it's failing. If you want to send it to me via e-mail attachment, I'll be glad to take a look:

dannyraphael AT yahoo dot com

~Danny~
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  #6  
Old 02-25-2005, 04:53 AM
wrybread wrybread is offline
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printing

Are you on Windows or Mac? If Windows, go to control panel --> printers and set your printing preferences there. That way it remembers them (as opposed to the stuff you do in PS, which doesn't save for the next session). And I think you'll have to set the printer you want to use as default.

As far as automating the contact sheet process, I recently hit the same thing as you. My solution was to create a photoshop droplet that produced the contact sheet and printed them and closed the image it created. To open 4 I needed, I started droplet from commandline like this:

contact_sheet_droplet.exe picture1.jpg&picture2.jpg&picture3.jpg&picture4.jpg

That would send those 4 pictures to the droplet I created called contact_sheet_droplet.exe. Works great, but definitely a bit kludgey.
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  #7  
Old 02-25-2005, 08:31 AM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrybread
Are you on Windows or Mac? If Windows, go to control panel --> printers and set your printing preferences there. That way it remembers them (as opposed to the stuff you do in PS, which doesn't save for the next session). And I think you'll have to set the printer you want to use as default.

As far as automating the contact sheet process, I recently hit the same thing as you. My solution was to create a photoshop droplet that produced the contact sheet and printed them and closed the image it created. To open 4 I needed, I started droplet from commandline like this:

contact_sheet_droplet.exe picture1.jpg&picture2.jpg&picture3.jpg&picture4.jpg

That would send those 4 pictures to the droplet I created called contact_sheet_droplet.exe. Works great, but definitely a bit kludgey.
Welcome, wrybread (very witty and "wry" login name, btw )

I didn't know you could invoke a droplet via command line. That's pretty slick.

Do you literally have to separate the individual file names with "&"?

What's the advantage of the command line method over just dragging/dropping the individual file icons onto the droplet.exe icon?

~Danny~
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