Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ongoing "Frame" Saga

Wondering what I've been cooking up for the last few days, read on...

There's a series of event currently unfolding that's going to get me into photography again. In preparation of such, I started looking at my Flickr account and ways I could make it look more professional. One of the things I noticed, some photographers use a "gallery frame" for their online photos with their personal signature/logo watermark. Being the obvious thing for me to do, I decided to start designing my own to later replace all the shots on my Flickr account. The constraint: It has to be "Batch-process" friendly inside of Photoshop.

The first step was to design the frames and adapt them to Photoshop Actions. By the end of the first night, I had designed four of various styles and contrast-effect to the pictures. All four of them were also all adapted to Actions, not including the signature. I may post in a near future the quick way to get a "gallery frame" for digital pictures setup.

The second day (today), I tweaked a bunch of the designs and still was not happy. I looked around for inspiration and started to question myself: Do I really need to stick to black and white? I started using a dark gray instead of black and the way it complemented photos of all shapes and colors. I worked on a fifth and final design and was happy with it. Now, time to work on a signature-watermark.

I knew what I wanted and it didn't take long. A problem that I'm still working around arose at this step. As you can see from the first picture above, I want my signature to be at a specific distance from the bottom and right edge of the image regardless of the image size or orientation (portrait/landscape). In pseudo-code/logic, it's extremely simple considering that top-left is (0, 0).

Signature X = image width - specific distance in pixels
Signature Y = image height - specific distance in pixels
This is rare I'm going to say this, but I believe that Photoshop is the problem in this situation. I don't know of any ways, and believe me—I'm still looking, in an Action to have a layer/object move to a specific location based on the bottom or right edges (translates to height and width).

So, I'm still looking and I'm still asking around many communities and professionals. In the mean time, I have set up the multiple Actions sequences (I could've done it all in one or two Actions, but being a programmer at heart, my logic work is mostly clean) including one for a specific image size and portrait orientation and the other for a specific image size and landscape orientation. If I divide my batches in two and make sure all my images are the same size, for example 800x600 and 600x800, it works wonderfully by only running two separate Batch Automations.

If I ever find out how I could move an object or layer relative to an edge of the image, I will post it here ASAP.