This will probably be a long one. Basically, I'm able to complete my tasks, but it is really time consuming and I can't help but feel like there is a better way. I'm hoping someone here can clue me in.
I sell digital downloads of a planner. There are several variations (with Holidays, without Holidays, weekly views, month only views etc.). Each variation is offered in several "designs". These are just different BG patterns. Once I've got them saved as a secure PDF (so no one can edit my design or copy/paste my resources) I have to create mockups of several views of each one. So right now, when I make a new background pattern that I want to intoduce to the set, I workflow ike this:
- ►Open 17 Indd files. One for each variation.
- ►Relink the BG image to the new design.
- ►Save 17 Indd files in a new folder with a new name indicating the new BG. (ie: Jan-13_Dec-14_Basic_Monthly_PurpleWeave.Indd)
- ►Export 17 indd files to PDF, going through the menu to change the security settings on each one.
This is a nightmare. It takes ~3 seconds to choose all the menus (not to mention typing in my security password twice), but then another ~5-10 to actually save the 144pg file. I can do nothing but sit and stare while it does this. I've found a couple of scripts that will export the PDFs from a whole folder for me, but since you can't save security settings in the PDF presets, I have to do it all by hand.
- ►Open 6-10 Photoshop Files for the mockups.
- ►Right Click "Edit Contents" for each smart object containing the PDF. (Usually 2 per PSD)
In order to allow the Transform>Distort for the placed PDF Smart Object, I have to place it, then "Create Smart Object". This means that the regular "Replace Contents" doesn't work. It does replace the PDF, but it loses the distortion that made it optically match with the perspective in the mock up. So, I am forced to use "Edit Contents" which opens a new window and adds steps.
- ►Wait for PS to open the Edit Contents in new window.
- ►File > Place new PDF.
- ►Save and close, return to Mockup File.
- ►Save As... Mockup File as Jpeg with proper name to reflect new BG.
I've been looking for a method like InDesign has, where I can easily replace all iterations of one PDF with another in the mockup. This presents a couple problems. Firstly, Photoshop doesn't really have "pages" so I'd still have to open all of the PSDs (since each one is a different view) and change them manually. I tried instead to just do it in InDesign, importing the base mockup PSD with one on each page and placing the PDF on top (So I can use the relink feature). This doesn't work because ID doesn't allow distorting of placed files, so the best I can get is a crappy shear to imitate perspective on the mockup and the mockups look rediculous. I am totally open to suggestions on this.
I have The Adobe Master Collection CS6. I feel like I must be missing something that will make this easier. Particularly in steps 4, 6, and 10 where I am doing the same repetative task over and over again, I wonder if there is a more efficient use of my time. I've thought about possible PS actions to replace the needed Smart Objects, but as far as I can tell I'd still have to place the new file, so I don't think it would save any time?
Also, I've searched the forums but haven't found a way to batch export to PDF with security. That alone would be a huge time saver. :/
Thanks for looking and I appreciate any advice!