11 Replies Latest reply on Dec 14, 2007 7:41 AM by JimHess-8IPblY

    Actions according to THE book

    JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
      I have been experimenting with the very simple "preview JPEG" action in the Real World book. Maybe I'm misunderstanding something. I created the action following the steps in the book, and everything ran as expected. But then I opened one of the original RAW images and changed my color space back to ProPhoto and also changed the resolution and bit rate. Then I tried to run the action on that same image thinking that the action would set the right parameters, but it didn't. It was still in the ProPhoto mode and would not automatically save. I was under the impression that the action would apply all the right parameters as long as they were properly set when the action was recorded.

      Using Windows XP, 1 GB RAM, 1.6 GHz processor. I know, not quite up to par. But it will have to do for now.
        • 1. Re: Actions according to THE book
          PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional
          Look in Camera Raw preferences, there is an entry about actions, if I'm not mistaken.
          • 2. Re: Actions according to THE book
            Level 1
            Actions are both really, really smart and rather stupid. They will _ONLY_ ever do what you record (they can't think) but they will do EXACTLY what you record whether that is what you really want or not.

            Can't really help unless you outline _EXACTLY_ what steps you recorded and how you recorded them and how you were trying to run them. Were you running them in a Batch? Did you have the Batch settings correctly set?

            Since you have the book, you can go to realworldcameraraw.com and using the ID and Password (given in the book), navigate to the downloads page and actually download the actions I wrote for the book.
            • 3. Re: Actions according to THE book
              JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
              1. Created a new action set.
              2. Started recording a new action.
              3. Ctrl/O to open the raw image.
              4. Selected "Image Settings" as instructed. Set color space to sRGB, 8-bit, resolution 72.
              5. Opened image into Photoshop.
              6. Changed interpolation to bicubic sharper, Fit Image 1024x1024.
              7. Ctrl/Shft/S and saved the image to the desktop.
              8. Closed the file, reset interpolation, stopped recording the action.

              As long as I leave ACR configured the way I set it while recording the action, the action will run as expected and process all the images. But the way I read the book (it might not have been written that way) I thought I could change the ACR workflow options and still have the action process properly. However, if I change the ACR settings back to ProPhoto/16 bit/240 PPI and then try to process the same images again using the recorded action, the action starts, and resizes the image, and then displays the "Save As" dialog. The image is still in ProPhoto and JPEG is not one of my saving options. It's possible (no, likely) that I have misunderstood this point.

              By the way, Jeff, the book is excellent. I am not a professional photographer, but I really do appreciate the work you did.

              Photoshop is up to date, Bridge, ACR 4.3.1.
              • 4. Re: Actions according to THE book
                John_Cornicello_Photo Level 2
                I don't have the book yet. But it sounds to me like you are maybe trying to save a 16-bit file as a JPG? JPG doesn't support 16-bit so I think it is asking you to select a different file format.
                • 5. Re: Actions according to THE book
                  JimHess-8IPblY Level 3

                  Yes, that is the point. The way I interpreted the book, I thought if the ACR settings were changed they would automatically be changed back when the action was run. I didn't understand how that would be possible, but I assumed from the way I interpreted the book that that is what would happen. It really isn't a problem, however. As long as I manually set the ACR options properly the action works as expected. Thanks.

                  I hope Jeff doesn't mind. I'm going to quote from the book:

                  "Recording the Open step: The first step is to open the image in Camera Raw so that you can include the correct Camera Raw settings in the action. When you use the action in Batch, the Camera Raw dialog box won't appear, so it's essential to get these settings right when you record this step..."

                  That is the little bit from which I drew my conclusion that the settings would be changed when running the batch. But it didn't work on my trials that I ran last night
                  • 6. Re: Actions according to THE book
                    Level 1
                    When you recorded the Open step, did you actually CHANGE the settings in the Workflow Options dialog? Just opening the dialog isn't enough...you actually have to record changing something for the steps to record in an action. You can expend the Open step down to see exactly what settings were recorded in the action. It should contain a "Space" setting, a "Depth" settings and a "Resolution" settings in the actual action.

                    You say you WERE using a Batch? Did you check the Override Action "Open" Commands option? You need to have this option checked. The Batch will then ignore WHERE the original Open command came from but WILL use all the recorded Camera Raw options.

                    Works here, for me (of course, it kinda would HAVE to work for me)...

                    • 7. Re: Actions according to THE book
                      JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                      I knew that I didn't go into enough detail. Yes, I made the appropriate choices in the Batch options. I **think** I made the changes in the ACR settings while recording the action, but I'm not sure. You know how IT guys are. They won't let me have CS3 here at work, so I'll have to double check on that tonight.
                      • 8. Re: Actions according to THE book
                        Level 1
                        Open the action, expand down the Open step and see what, exactly was recorded (or not).
                        • 9. Re: Actions according to THE book
                          JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                          Thanks, I will give that a try. I have some other commitments when I get home from work tonight. So it will be later before I get a chance to check things out. I will report back when I find out for sure what I did wrong. Don't expect a reply until at least 9 p.m. MST.
                          • 10. Re: Actions according to THE book
                            JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                            Okay, here is what I did:

                            Created a new action set.
                            Created new action in that action set.
                            Ctrl/O to execute opening the raw image.
                            Chose Image Settings as instructed.
                            Changed color space to sRGB.
                            Changed to 8-bit mode.
                            Changed to 72 PPI.
                            Clicked on the Open button to open image in Photoshop.
                            Preferences to change interpolation to bicubic sharper.
                            Fit Image - 1024x1024.
                            Saved image as JPEG.
                            Closed image.
                            Reset interpolation to Bicubic in preferences.
                            Stopped recording the action.

                            Then I went back and looked at the Open command in the action. The only entry was the path/filename. No other parameters.

                            I opened an image in ACR and changed my parameters back to ProPhoto/16-bit/240 PPI and clicked Done to close ACR and returned to Bridge. Then I highlighted a single image and from the Bridge menu I chose Tools/Photoshop/Batch. I chose my new action and made sure there was a check mark in the Ignore open command as well as in the Ignore Save As command. I chose my destination folder, having chosen folder as my option in the save options. I clicked on OK, the image opened and was resized and then I was presented with the Save AS dialog. I clicked on Cancel so I could check the image. The image was still in 16-bit mode and was in the ProPhoto color space.

                            I have created actions before. I know how to choose the appropriate options in the batch dialogue. For some reason those ACR settings are not being carried back into the action.
                            • 11. Re: Actions according to THE book
                              JimHess-8IPblY Level 3
                              OK, I think it's time to clear the air on this one. First of all, I am not a professional photographer, nor am I a Photoshop expert. I am an old geezer (64 years old) who has a disability. I'm very shaky and have to use a tripod to take my photos. We all realize how confining a tripod can be at times, so I don't have a huge library of images that I can be proud of. So now you realize you don't have to take any of this very seriously. But that doesn't matter because I like to keep learning, and I will do so.

                              Now that I have made the full disclosure, there is just one thing that puzzles me about this little exercise we have been discussing. I was reading the book at work the other day where I have Photoshop CS2 and ACR 3.7. I decided to see how far I could follow the steps with the older version. The location of some of the features was a little different, but I was able to create the action, and it works. I expanded the action and I see that all of the changes that I made in ACR have been recorded in the Open event of the action; the bit rate, even the camera model, and all of the other pertinent settings that need to be part of the open event. But when I repeated the process at home with Photoshop CS3 and ACR 4.3.1, following the same steps the same way I did at the office, the only thing that is recorded in the open event of the action is the path and the name of the file. Nothing else. I erased the action and tried it again, and again, and again. I made sure that Bridge was closed so that I was certain that ACR was being hosted by Photoshop. No difference.

                              But I guess in reality none of this really matters anyway, because there are numerous other ways to accomplish this task. And if I set the ACR parameters ahead of time, this action works as it should. Maybe it's because I have that older computer, I don't know. But I realize that this isn't an issue that needs to have a lot of time devoted to it. So, shall we all move on?