Photoshop: Crop and Resize Adjustment Layers

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  • Updated 6 years ago
To deal with the growing number and variations of image sizes for devices and social networks/standards, it would be very useful to have non-destructive adjustment layers for crops and resizing.

For example, a workflow I have is to take 24MP digital photos into Photoshop for retouching and output them to a blog, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Each requires a different image size and crop aspect. My WordPress theme works best with a max pixel width of 972, output for Flickr is full resolution, Facebook output can be one or more of the many different uses; cover photo 851x315, profile photo 180x180, timelime preview 403x403, highlighted milestone 843x403, etc.

While I am cropping and resizing and notice something that needs to be changed I have to start all over again. When I need to go back to the original PSD to make any adjustments I have to regenerate all the different sized output files again. If I have to edit the photo for the different formats, say move two people closer together for the 1:1 Facebook timeline preview version, I end up with multiple PSD files for the same image. Having different files for each size and aspect ratio is slowly driving me mad- especially when a spec changes and I have to start over when reusing a digital asset.

It would be very nice to edit the image while being able to switch between the different sizes and aspects.

This would also be useful for designing desktop/device wallpapers from a single image. Perhaps with a rotation adjustment layer.
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Darian Glover

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  • hopeful

Posted 6 years ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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»If I have to edit the photo for the different formats, say move two people closer together for the 1:1 Facebook timeline preview version, I end up with multiple PSD files for the same image.«
How familiar are you with Layer Comps and Smart Objects?
But basically storing different images in on file seems to always pose a risk of mix-ups further down the lone.

As for cropping and resizing one actual image for different output sizes this could be automated with a Script (or Scripts) and the different cropping bounds and sizes could be stored in various ways in the file itself (file metadata, layer metadata, paths, ...).
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Darian Glover

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Thanks for the reply Christoph,

Unfortunately Layer Comps and scripting will not do what I need.

Let me put it another way, I need InDesign's Alternate Layouts feature in Photoshop.
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iMatt

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I have similar demands for different print executions. I use Link this helpful script to save out multiple crops of the same document. It may give you a starting point.
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Darian Glover

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iMatt,

This is an interesting approach. I am looking into using vector masks.

Sadly I can only have one vector mask per layer, so I'll have to duplicate my image into a new layer for each mask- which defeats part of the purpose of this request which is to allow going back into the file after the fact to make an edit and regen all the crops and sizes. This will likely work for about 80% of my edits that are adjustment layer changes.

Using vector masks will save me time as I can have a mask for each target output size. Each mask can be at the proper aspect ratio. I can scale and position the mask, crop to it, then resize and save.

Now if I can figure out how to cleanly crop the canvas to a vector mask...
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iMatt

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Allowing the script to load a vector mask should be a pretty easy fix. I'm not a scripting master, but the people on the PS script forum are really helpful, I would suggest you join the community there.
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iMatt

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Also, the script will save out multiple crops, as long as each layer is named "Crop".