26 Replies Latest reply on Mar 3, 2012 2:28 PM by JJMack

    Actions containing Plug-ins?

    john.l.stevenson Level 1

      I'd like to be able to construct some Actions which use third-party Plug-ins - can anyone point me to a tutorial on this? Is it even generally possible ....? The simpler the construction scheme the better. I'm working with CS5. Thanks for any assistance.

        • 1. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
          Noel Carboni Level 8

          Yes, actions can run plug-ins, assuming the plug-in itself is properly set up to read parameters from the scriptiing subsystem.

           

          Record an action using the plug-in and see if it works.

           

          -Noel

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
            Jeff Schewe Level 5

            jstvnsn wrote:

             

            I'd like to be able to construct some Actions which use third-party Plug-ins - can anyone point me to a tutorial on this?

             

            The only limitation with recording actions with 3rd part plug-ins is the dependency on having those plug-ins installed. If you record an action with a 3rd party plug-in and that plug-in is not available, it will error out. An example would be if 3rd party plug-in with only 32 bit support is recorded and you try running the action in 64 bit.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
              john.l.stevenson Level 1

              hi Noel, Thanks for this. Yes, I did make some trials - it seemed to be that some Plug-ins worked fine within Actions and others did not (work at all). I'll do some more definitive test work soon. I was left wondering/guessing whether the SDK for the Plug-ins had special requirements for this .... when initially recording the Action the Plug-in itself needs to report a parameter set back into Photoshop after all.
              John

              • 4. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                Noel Carboni Level 8

                Yes, there are some specific and non-trivial things that must be done in the plug-in code to support storing and retrieving parameters in actions.  This is closely related to running via control-F.

                 

                -Noel

                • 5. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                  john.l.stevenson Level 1

                  Noel, ... and control-F would be ....? (in brief). Thanks again for your interest.

                  John

                  • 6. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                    Sorry, that would be the "run the same filter again with the same parameters as last time" functionality that you find at the top of Photoshop's Filter menu.  If your plug-in can do that, chances are good it can receive parameters through an action.

                     

                    -Noel

                    • 7. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                      john.l.stevenson Level 1

                      Noel, No worries. Not a good keyboard-shortcut user myself .... but, will try that separately for the Plug-ins which I could not get to work in the Actions that were my try-outs today. More news later.

                      best,

                      John

                      • 8. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                        JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                        Jeff Schewe wrote:

                         

                        The only limitation with recording actions with 3rd part plug-ins is the dependency on having those plug-ins installed. If you record an action with a 3rd party plug-in and that plug-in is not available, it will error out. An example would be if 3rd party plug-in with only 32 bit support is recorded and you try running the action in 64 bit.

                        There is more to it then that. As Noel pointed out the plug-in must include code that will record the setting used during recording an action into the action step.  Without that code the action may record a step but it will not have recorded setting.  I have one old free prugin from Reindeer Graphics "SelectEdges.8bs" installed on my system which I cam use without a problem manually.  However if I try to record using it in an action no step is recorded into the action. I have to insert a stop message to have the user use menu Select>OPTIPIX>Select Edges and also include instruction for the setting to use. Then have the user continue the action by clicking on play.

                         

                        There are several types of plug-ins those the are compiled and others that are scripted interpeted code.  Compile code may have a dependency on 32bit support or 64bit support.   Photoshop Scripting in CS3 Adobe added  Prug-in support and changed the compiled Fit Image Plugin to a script. Additionaly some changes to scripting plug-in support were made in CS4 and CS5.  Changes were also may to the way the Action recorded records these step. CS3, and CS5 do not record these step the same way CS3 recorded the script full path into the action step so the script can be any where on your system.  CS5 does not record the path so the script must be in Photoshop script path which can be extended to other path by adding shortcut links to the script folder in Photoshop scripts folder.   Window 7 or Photoshop also through in a monkey wrench with 64 and 32 bit support when resolving "Program File" in the path name.  Scripts will work with both versions of Photoshop 64 and 32 Bit so there is no need for two version or script folders.  I created a folder C:\Programs Files\Adobe\Scripts\ where I store my scripts and I placed a link to this tree into Photoshop Presets/Scripts  I did the same when I upgraded to Windows 7.   I added this link to both versions of Photoshop 32 and 64 bit thogh both links are to C:\Programs Files\Adobe\Scripts\  when Photoshop 32bit exe is run some peice of code  add a " (x86)" to "Program Files"   so I created the path and dupe my tree there. I may try moving where I store my script from C:\Programs Files\Adobe\Scripts\   to C:\Adobe\Scripts\  to get "Programs Files" out of the picture.

                        • 9. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                          PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                          Hello! The question is adressed in the Mother of All Actions Tutorials by Danny Raphael, but the answer is "it depends". He gives some tips in that you can use an insert menu items for some plug-ins, or that you might want to hide the dialog for plug-ins that display it through actions: you'll find this treasure on crafting actions on this page: http://www.AtnCentral.com/links.html

                           

                          As for the SDK, the best place to ask you question is in the sdk sub forum: http://forums.adobe.com/community/photoshop/photoshop_sdk

                          • 10. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                            john.l.stevenson Level 1

                            howdy, Thanks for this. I looked at the "IMI3RD" routine in Danny's tutorial (which I used to have someplace, but had forgotten ....), but it doesn't meet my objective (which is to record Actions featuring two different commercial Plug-Ins). I'm still testing the two products separately and together, and will share the outcome later.
                            John 

                            • 11. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                              Noel Carboni Level 8

                              Just to offer some encouragement, I don't know what your goals are, but I have been selling a commercial set of actions for quite a long time (wow, has it been 8 years?) that operates a 3rd party plug-in, and while customer support has proven to be just a little more complex, it's been a quite successful set.  A lot of people use it.  I have to provide a lot of different variants of the actions, one each to match each different version of the plug-in that's been released.

                               

                              -Noel

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                john.l.stevenson Level 1

                                Noel, Yes - I know your work and product. May even have been one of your first customers all those years ago!

                                I'm a bit reluctant to say here what my aims are here in full - because: (a) I took a "leave-of-absence" from Photoshop work for a while, and am not so current with my knowledge these days, and, (b) I have a commercial interest in one of the two plug-ins I'm working with. And, wouldn't you know it, that's the very one which gives me grief in an Action. But I will keep working at it.

                                Overall, my thinking is that the more folks nowadays get familar with things like Snapseed (with which I do not have an affiliation ...), then perhaps the scope for Scripts and Actions will get jumpstarted ...

                                John

                                • 13. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                  Noel Carboni Level 8

                                  No worries, I'm not prying.  And wow, yes, you purchased dSLR Fractal Sharpen all the way back in August 2004.  Thanks!    I'd been in the actions business a little more than a year at that time. 

                                   

                                  Best of luck in your ventures!

                                   

                                  -Noel

                                  • 14. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                    JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                    jstvnsn wrote:

                                     

                                    I have a commercial interest in one of the two plug-ins I'm working with. And, wouldn't you know it, that's the very one which gives me grief in an Action. But I will keep working at it.

                                    If you have the source code look at it.   Does it include code for supporting Actions. Code that records the setting being used into the action being recorded. Is there Code that will bypass displaying its dialog if thers are setting available for use from an action or does it always diaplay its dialog?  Only some commercial plug-ins program in action support.  Check the plug-ins documentation.  Commercial plug-ins like NeatImage have a section in their documetation on what options you have when use in actions.

                                     

                                    NI Table of content

                                    8.3. Using plug-in in PS actions and smart filters .................................................................. 48

                                     

                                    And in that section you will see that not all NI plug-in versions support Actions.

                                     

                                    Using the plug-in in Photoshop actions and smart filters is only supported in Neat Image Pro+ edition (Detailed

                                    feature map, page 62) when used with Photoshop (also, smart filters are only supported by the most recent versions of

                                    Photoshop). Other plug-in hosts do not support Photoshop actions and smart filters.

                                    • 15. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                      john.l.stevenson Level 1

                                      No worries on prying Noel. I just want to be careful. Have not done any posting here before, and am obliged to keep all options open. Thanks for your insights.

                                      John

                                      • 16. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                                        JJMack wrote:

                                         

                                        If you have the source code look at it.   Does it include code for supporting Actions.

                                         

                                        Look specifically for an AcquireSuite call using "kPSActionDescriptorSuite" and subsequent calls like GetFloat, GetInteger, GetBoolean, GetEnumerated, etc.

                                         

                                        All *my* plug-ins have always supported actions and they all work as smart filters. 

                                         

                                        -Noel

                                        • 17. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                          john.l.stevenson Level 1

                                          hello, I'm grateful for these suggestions. Yes - I can look at source code. Would not be able to write it ... but can be an observer!

                                          BTW - the Control+F option, as cited by Noel, DOES work for the plug-in in question - just not the Action recording.

                                          More news a little later.

                                          John

                                          • 18. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                            PECourtejoie Adobe Community Professional

                                            John, did you post in the SDK forum to try to gather any pertaining info?

                                            • 19. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                              john.l.stevenson Level 1

                                              hi, Not as yet - am still looking-at/working-with Noel's suggestions. (But, have found two more brand-new release commercial plug-ins that don't record though ....'tis surely a shame!)

                                              John

                                              • 20. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                                JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                                jstvnsn wrote:

                                                 

                                                have found two more brand-new release commercial plug-ins that don't record though ....'tis surely a shame

                                                 

                                                Not a shame its as Noel has pointed out "there are some specific and non-trivial things that must be done in the plug-in code to support storing and retrieving parameters in actions".  In other words its quite a bit of work.

                                                 

                                                I had written a couple trivial simple Photoshop scripts that I wanted to pass parameters to from actions but found out that was not possible.  Instead I had to keep duplicating these script to change a few variables instead for each action.  Adobe then released CS3 and I notice that a trivial Plug-in "Fix Image" was changed from being a compiled plug-in to a script. Adobe had added Plug-in support into Photoshop scripting feature so it was now possible to pass parameters to scripts from an action.  I looked at "Fit Image.jsx" though its function is trivial the script is far from trivial.  In fact is was far beyond my scripting abilities.   However I'm a cut and paste man for I can not type.  It was not that hard to copy Fit Image cut out its trivial function and replace it with my function.  I then Change the scripts dialog and even embellished on my function and added many more parameters to a far more elaborate dialog.

                                                • 21. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                                  john.l.stevenson Level 1

                                                  JJ, I have continued to work on this. Things aren't perfect as yet, but progress is good. And just wanted to note here that the material I found, titled; "JJ Mack's Image Visualization Actions and Scripts", at www.atncentral.com has been very helpful. Thanks.

                                                  John

                                                  • 22. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                                    JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                                    They may be a little old some have been updated some may also fail for there was bug introduced into the Photoshop Action Player in CS4 which has not yet been fixed by Adobe.  I skiped CS4 fount the bug in CS5 and reported it to Adobe. They defered fixing the bug to some future release of Photoshop my hope is that the will fix the bug in CS6.  Adobe also removed a GUI that some of those acrion used. Those have been updated to use a different user interface. I host my packages on my own web server these days.  You can download my Photoshop packages from http://www.mouseprints.net/Photoshop.html 

                                                    Look at my Crafting Actions Package it Contains

                                                    • Action Actions Palette Tips.txt
                                                    • Action Creation Guidelines.txt
                                                    • Action Dealing with Image Size.txt
                                                    • Action Enhanced via Scripted Photoshop Functions.txt
                                                    • CraftedActions.atn Sample Action set includes an example Watermarking action
                                                    • Sample Actions.txt Photoshop CraftedActions set saved as a text file.
                                                    • 12 Scripts for actions
                                                    • 23. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                                      john.l.stevenson Level 1

                                                      JJ, Yes, I found that package also - but forgot to mention it. Incidentally the one Action I found which does successfully incorporate a third-party plug-in comes in a set named Matisse_Final - it is available here: http://homepages.slingshot.co.nz/~mikefinn/action.html It invokes the buZZ Pro plug-in originally developed and sold by Fo2PiX Ltd., and I found that it works fine in CS5 (32-bit) with buZZ Pro version 3 present.

                                                      I only mention this because it is a practical and simple example. But altogether, it is a bit strange for me because I had a short professional affiliation wih Fo2PiX, just before they went out of business (those two things did not seem at the time to be related ....).

                                                      Thanks again for your insights.

                                                      John

                                                      • 24. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                                        JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                                        jstvnsn wrote:

                                                         

                                                        JJ, Yes, I found that package also - but forgot to mention it. Incidentally the one Action I found which does successfully incorporate a third-party plug-in comes in a set named Matisse_Final

                                                        That strange. For you also wrote

                                                        jstvnsn wrote:

                                                         

                                                        JJ, I have continued to work on this. Things aren't perfect as yet, but progress is good. And just wanted to note here that the material I found, titled; "JJ Mack's Image Visualization Actions and Scripts", ......

                                                        And I had previously written

                                                        jjmack wrote:

                                                         

                                                        I had written a couple trivial simple Photoshop scripts that I wanted to pass parameters to from actions but found out that was not possible.  Instead I had to keep duplicating these script to change a few variables instead for each action.  Adobe then released CS3 and I notice that a trivial Plug-in "Fix Image" was changed from being a compiled plug-in to a script. Adobe had added Plug-in support into Photoshop scripting feature so it was now possible to pass parameters to scripts from an action.

                                                        My Image Visualization Package contains two plug-ins that I wrote (AspectRatioSelection.jsx and LongSidePrintLength.jsx) and many croping actions that use these Plug-ins for these Plug-ins have been coded with Photoshop Action support.

                                                        • 25. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                                          john.l.stevenson Level 1

                                                          Sorry if any confusion JJ. I hoped that it was clear from the very first post here that my interest centered on third-party plug-in software products. Not add-ons, scripts, etc. which Adobe provided.

                                                          The Action which Mike Finn sells (linked to above), does call such a plug-in - one that was not from Adobe and one that normally can be launched by itself from the Filter menu. I was not intending for that specific Action to be anything other than a representaive example of what I myself wanted to achieve. But with a different commercial plug-in product. On my own project, the statement "Things aren't perfect as yet, but progress is good" remains the case. Because there is, as everyone here has pointed out, care to be taken in passing parameter sets from the plug-in back into Photoshop when the Action itself is being recorded.

                                                          John

                                                          • 26. Re: Actions containing Plug-ins?
                                                            JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                                            I though the my Plug-in Scripts were third party plug-ins since I wrote them not Adobe.  Are compiled plug-ins writen by other then Adobe not just add on plug-ins.