Have you updated photoshop cs6 by going Help>Updates from within photoshop?
(i believe photoshop 13.0 had a problem running certain actions that required copy and paste operations when
one used floating document windows)
Or tried running your action using document tabs instead of floating document windows?
(my first response that i deleted i think was the wrong reason)
You need to understand how File>Automate>Batch works better. You may then be able to design a action to do what you want. The process you describing would more likely need to be a programmed script that can also use that second action in your screen capture. Batch is designed to process a set of documents. The set can be image files in a folder, the currently opened documents, image selected in the bridge or import. Batch can also save output files and name them. This saving can done by overridings save as steps in actions. The process you describe does not seem to be compatible with how batch works.
I have never tried anything like you want to do. To me Batch would open your pattern gif files. (I do not understand why gif as that file format only supports 256 mapped colors??) Then your batch action would open your template PD file and copy the required layers perhaps using a group over into the document opened by batch. The action would then close the psd template file and use the backgroung pattern to fill in the sleve layer with the clipping mask that was copied in from the psd template. The action would then delete the pattern background layer and do a save as png.
Thanks for the tip - ill just try and check if im up to date and in any case if that could help out.
Actually windowed documents were only for the screenshot purpose, in my batch im not running windowed.
Thanks a lot for your throughout response - really appreciate it!
I do acknowledge that im new to batch in Photoshop and could possibly why this is not working for me - although in not quite sure why and what I would need to make as a programmed script - would you by any chance try to give me an idea on what specific step needs to be programmed?
My actions are very few and quite simple, and seemed to fit in very nicely in how ive understood the actions feature would work - in any case of not being precise enough here's my exact steps.
1. I open up Photoshop - No documents or anything are open at current point. I click "Record" in actions
2. I open my sleeve_layer.PSD file (which opens up in a tab) -> File -> Open -> PSD
3. I open one of the pattern .gif files (which opens up in a tab) - which are all located in the same folder with the same size -> File -> Open -> .gif
4. In my pattern tab window (from nr 3) I select all (ctrl-a) -> copy (ctrl-c)
5. I then click over to my sleeve_layer.PSD window tab and paste (ctrl-v) my copied pattern image into a layer above my sleeve layer.
6. I then right-click with my mouse on the pattern.gif layer -> click "Create clipping mask" (the pattern is now only shown within the sleeve layer shape)
7. I save the work done in the .psd to web -> File -> Save for web -> .png
8. I then close my sleeve_layer.PSD - without saving it (since I dont want to have clipping masks for each pattern stacking up from the batch)
9. Recording ends
If I now run the batch all actions are done fine until it reaches the action with the clipping mask - where I get "The command "Create clipping mask" is not currently available" - I can see that when this error appears, im not seeing any open sleeve_layer.PSD tab - so not sure if the psd file is actually getting opened (and this might be the error for the reference error of the clipping mask to appear).
If I try to manually RUN the actions set in the actions panel, I notice though that the sleeve_layer.PSD tab is getting opened.
When running automate -> batch -> I point "source" to my folder of all patterns (only .gif files appear in this folder)
"Destination" folder is set to some other folder.
I just ran the automate -> batch - in steps so I could see the batch progress through the action steps better.
When running the batch in steps, the sleeve_layer.PSD DOESN'T (step 1) get opened - it runs fine from step 2 and then stops at the clipping mask, which it naturally cant find since the .psd file didnt open.
Playing the action steps manually works fine, and opens the sleeve_layer.PSD from step 1 - saves it out correctly with the pattern and all.
So for some reason my opening of the PSD file is ignored when running the automated batch - struggling hard to find out why :/
Try making the Action:
Open a GIF
do whatever is required
Save For Web
Close without saving
Note that the destination folder of the Save For Web step will not be overriden by Batch. The SFW output will go to whatever folder is recorded in the SFW step of the Action. That SFW step can be re-recorded whenever required without necessitating re-recording of the entire Action.
Ok found out that the following options in automate -> batch -> was checked: "Override Action "Open" Commands" - when this is checked my opening of the PSD file was ignored.
I unchecked it and the PSD file now gets opened in the batch processing.
ISSUE persisting now is that after the first image "p1.gif" has been saved out for WEB, then when the steps are to be repeated for "p2.gif", "p3.gif" etc, then it seems "p1.gif" will always open along with the next batch image in line - and when copying over the image and doing the clipping mask, it will always do this on the first image "p1.gif" and not use the image next in line.
Conroy > Thanks for the suggestion. I tried your steps and I am getting the same issue described in this post, as with my action setup.
Seems some little step is missing, but cant figure it out
conroy > You're a god! Your detailed view of the actions basically showed me how to do it correct!
Your approach does all the work in the .gif file opened and rather than opening the .psd file with the mask layer, you just PLACE it within the .gif - move it into correct position, swap layer order etc.
TIP: if you struggle with the locked .gif layer (which i did) you simply go to IMAGE > MODE > RGB
MANY MANY THANKS - you saved my day
You're welcome! By the way, in my Action, the first step after opening the GIF is convert to RGB.
Yup - just wrote in case dummies like me came by and wondered "uhmm, how do i actually convert it to RGB" - actually needed to google it a bit before finding the answer , hehe