Saving Cards with Adobe Photoshop Actions - Tutorial

Hate having to spend hours just to make 1 deck? With this tutorial, you will learn some very useful tricks to make cards. You will need Adobe Photoshop for this.

Here we go!

Alright, so i'm assuming you have your card template all set up. For this tutorial, i will be using this template.


First, hide all your image layers. You'll realize that your template probably has a few layers (excluding images). For this template, i have a few border layer, the bar layer, the stripe layer, and the text layers.


Regardless of how many layers you have, make sure NONE of them are named "Layer #". Rename them to anything you want. If you are neat, give them names like "bar", "border" and "stripes". If you aren't, like me, just naming them "a" "b" "c" will do. To rename a layer, double click on the name. Your mouse must hover over the NAME of the layer in order for this to work. DO NOT RENAME YOUR NUMBER LAYER. You may rename the deck name layer as well. I've done so in the example below.




Putting the images in

Copy your image into the template and make it pretty. If you renamed all your template layers, the first image you paste in should automatically be named "Layer 1". Make the image adjustments. (For a tutorial on how to make pretty shiny cards, click here.) Continue putting all your images in in the same manner. If your deck is a 15 card deck, you should have 15 image layers, Layer 1, Layer 2, all the way till Layer 15. If your deck is a 20 card deck, you should have 20 image layers. Make sure your images are aligned properly! In my example, i have 20 image layers, but you can't see them all.




Double Check!

The first thing you need to make sure of before this starting to save is that all your layers are properly named and arranged. Layer 1 should be at the bottom, followed by Layer 2, and the highest card number should be at the top. Layer 20 will be card 20, Layer 4 will be card 04 and so on. Also, make sure that your number layer says 00 and you did NOT rename it.To check, change the text to 05. The layer name should follow your text layer and change to 05 as well. After this is confirmed, change the text back to 00!


Is everything in order? Great! Let's start creating the action!


Actions

Your actions window is set to hide on default. To make it appear, go to Window -> Actions. In the Actions window, click create new action. Name it "TCG NAME - SAVE" or something to that effect. Please note that you need to make 1 action per card template you have.



After you've done this, HIT STOP.

Next, select Layer 20 and hit RECORD.

The hard part

Here we begin the hard part. Are you ready?

1. With Layer 20 selected, double click the 00 layer and change it to 20.
2. After you've done this, click on the layer to deselect it.
3. Go to file -> save for web and devices, and create a folder called "TCG NAME - SAVED VIA ACTIONS" or anything you want.
4. Name the file 20.png.


You will be taken back to your workspace.

5. With the text layer 20 still selected, move your cursor down to Layer 20, and click the EYE. Layer 20 should now be hidden, with layer 19 showing up on the card. The number on the card still reads 20, however.
6. Move your cursor back up to the text layer, and change that to 19.
7. Go back to save for web and devices, and in the same folder you saved 20.png, save this file as 19.png.

You will be taken back to your workspace.

5. With the text layer 19 still selected, move your cursor down to Layer 19, and click the EYE. Layer 19 should now be hidden, with layer 18 showing up on the card. The number on the card still reads 19, however.
6. Move your cursor back up to the text layer, and change that to 18.
7. Go back to save for web and devices, and in the same folder you saved 20.png and 19.png, save this file as 18.png.

REPEAT THESE STEPS UNTIL YOU HAVE FINISHED SAVING ALL THE LAYERS, INCLUDING 00.png ! Once that's finished, hit stop.

And that's it!

Now your action is complete, and you should have all your cards saved in the same folder. 00.png, 01.png, 02.png, 03.png all the way to 20.png.

From now on, everytime you hit PLAY, photoshop will automatically hide your layers and change your text layers for you, and will overwrite all the files in that folder.

Therefore, before you hit play for a new deck of cards, you need to rename them. For this, i use Adobe Bridge.

Adobe Bridge

Open up Bridge, and navigate to the folder you saved your cards in. Once there, select all your cards and go to tools, batch rename. (Click to view the image below, as it is huge)

VIEW IMAGE


1. Select Copy to other folder, and choose the folder you want your cards to be saved to.
2. In the section called "New Filenames", edit the info like i've done below, replacing deckname with the deck name. (Click to view the image below, as it is huge)
3. Hit enter.

VIEW IMAGE


Your cards should be automatically saved to the folder you specified, with the decknames properly organized with numbers at the back. And you're done. You can now go back to photoshop, and for every deck you make, just hit the play button, and go back to bridge to rename them.

FINISHED!

I know that wasn't easy. But once you get it properly set up, making cards becomes a total breeze. Trust me. Try it out, and if you have any questions, do not hestitate to contact me. You can email me at whistlestop(@)dustysk(y).net (no brackets).

Trust me, this method is MUCH easier than using sheets for cards. :) It is, however, up to you to decide which method you prefer. I highly recommend everyone give this method a try. I've been using this method to make cards for more than a year now, and it is the reason why making cards is such a breeze. Actions rule! :P