Macworld contributor Ben Long has released Version 3.5 of his popular Photoshop Action Pack, a collection of 86 Automator actions for scripting Adobe Photoshop. The update adds support for Photoshop CS3, a new Auto Color action, improved watermarking functionality, better Camera Raw support and also includes a number bug fixes.
The Action Pack is a set of building blocks for the automated processing of images, and includes access to most of Photoshop’s core functions and filters. With it, you can create complex workflows for processing images using Apple’s Automator; these workflows can encompass not only Photoshop, but can be broadened to use other applications and functions. For example, you could resize and sharpen a group of images based upon their aspect size, upload them to a server via FTP and then burn a CD or DVD as backup. (If you’re interested, Ben also wrote a tutorial for Macworld in December 2005, covering an earlier version of the Action Pack.)
Ben includes a comprehensive 71-page manual that details all of the actions and their options. He also includes an easy-to-follow beginner’s tutorial on using Automator and some sample workflows to get you started.
The Photoshop Action Pack is free for download at Ben’s Complete Digital Photography site, and most of the actions work with all three Creative Suite versions of Photoshop, so you’re not limited to the latest and greatest version. It doesn’t yet take advantage of any of Photoshop CS3’s new features, however—that is planned for a future release.
[full disclosure: I help Ben out as an editor/writer at Complete Digital Photography, although I have nothing to do with the Action Pack.]