Using the Image Processor with RAW Files

Using the Image Processor with RAW Files

You may want to save processed RAW format images to different file formats for different purposes. In fact, it's usually a very good idea to do this because you can automatically process all open files, selected files, or files in a particular folder for different purposes, such as:

  • JPEG files destined for a web gallery to be used for client approval

  • TIF images at full or enhanced resolution for printed publication or for delivery to the client (you probably don't want to give away your trade secrets and send the client all the layers you use to adjust non-destructively).

  • PSD (Photoshop) images to be fine-tuned and enhanced in your own "digital darkroom"

There are a couple of ways you can access the image processor (see Figure).

Figure. The Image Processor dialog.

  • In Photoshop, choose FileImage Processor. Nothing needs to be preopened in Photoshop. The dialog will let you work on either all currently opened files or on the files in any designated folder.

  • From Bridge, choose ToolsImage Processor. If you have several files selected, the dialog states the number of opened photos to be transferred. If no image is selected, you can either translate all the images in the current folder or check the box labeled "Open First Image to Apply Settings." If the box is unchecked, all the images in the folder will be processed according to whatever adjustments have already been made in either Camera Raw or Photoshop. If it is checked, only the image(s) you choose after browsing will be processed.

After completing one of those steps, change the rest of the settings in the dialog according to the file format you want to translate to and how. But first, a close look at the dialog in Figure.

These are the rest of the steps for using the Image Processor:

  1. In Section 2, select the location where you want the translated file to be saved. Regardless of where you save the translated files, each file format will be saved to a subfolder named after that format. The default choice is to have the "Save in Same Location" radio button active. If you want to browse to a different folder, click the Select Folder radio button, and click the Select Folder button to bring up a Browser dialog. Use that dialog to navigate, and pick the folder in which you want to place the translated files.

  2. Image Processor will translate to any or all of the three file types at once. In Section 3, check the boxes for the formats you want to use. If you choose "Resize to Fit" for any file type, the files will be resized to fit within your designated dimensions while maintaining their original proportions. For JPEGs, you can choose the quality level by entering a number between 1 and 10. The lower the number, the faster files will load on the Internet. If you are saving JPEGs to be printed as proofs, select a quality level between 8 and 10. Finally, JPEGs destined for the Internet should be saved to sRGB color profile so they look more consistent on a wide variety of monitors. If you are saving to PSD, you will want to check the Maximize Compatibility box if those files will be shared with others who have different operating systems or versions of Photoshop and other compatible image processors. If you are saving as TIF, I recommend using LZW compression, since it is lossless and saves file space. The only danger LZW poses is very rare incompatibility with some programs.

  3. You will rarely use Section 4, but it can be pretty jazzy. It can run any Action you've recorded on all the files you're translating. Keep in mind that it will run that Action on all the different types of files, which may be reason to designate only one file type for translation in Section 3. You can also enter copyright text that will be saved in the image's metadata; type "Copyright Your Name Year" in the Copyright Info field.

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