Batch processing photos is a very common need if you have digital camera or a mobile phone with a decent camera. I recently realized how cumbersome it can get when you have to make the same edits to hundreds of photos, just because the camera settings were not right to suit the conditions.
There are, of course, other uses for batch processing photos limited only by the type of application you are using. We have shown you some batch processors before. However, those were focused on fairly trivial tasks that you could automate.
If you want to achieve something more challenging you would have to resort to Photoshop Actions or GIMP scripts. Or, as we shall do now, you can look into the cross platform application – Phatch. Phatch is an awesome tool that lets you do a number of operations to a batch of your photos in a snap. As the Phatch website details, Phatch is actually “photo + batch”!
DEB packages and a PPA are available for Ubuntu users, installation on Windows and Mac is bit more involved and requires you to download and install Python and wxPython separately before you can use Phatch. Nevertheless, follow the instructions on the Phatch download page and installation is fairly trivial.
Once you have Phatch on your computer, fire it up and let’s see what this baby can do. You will be greeted by a Phatch window prompting you to add actions. Click the ‘+’ sign and it opens up a window wherein you can choose various actions that Phatch photo batch processor can perform on your photos.
There are a number of actions you can choose from. The actions are categorized according to the function they perform. For example, you can find actions to downsize or crop an image under “Size” and actions to remove or manipulate exif data under the “Metadata” category. Click on the action you want to perform and hit Add. You can now specify various parameters as required by the actions. You can enable/disable added actions, remove actions from your list or change the order of the actions to achieve what you want. You would need to add a “Save action” at the end of the list. If you don’t, Phatch will prompt and add one for you.
Let’s now put Phatch to test and try to accomplish something fairly challenging. Let’s say you have got a batch of images out of your camera and they seem too flat. You would like to adjust contrast, add a border, crop them to a specific size, remove metadata and add watermark so that they all look the consistent when you upload them to say – your Facebook album. Here is one possible way Phatch can accomplish this:
- Add the Crop action, specify the parameters according to your requirements
- Add the Auto Contrast action
- Add the Border action and specify the border size and color
- Add the Delete Tags action and choose all
- Add the Watermark action, choose the watermark image and specify other details
- Add the Save action, choose the filename and location and you are all set to roll
Now go to the Tools menu and choose Execute. You can choose the files/folders containing the images you would like to apply the action list to. Choose the filetypes you want to process and uncheck the ones you want to ignore. Customize a bunch of other settings according to your needs and hit Batch. Phatch will faithfully do whatever you taught it above and you can then view the results in Save action’s configured folder.
Phatch is really an extraordinary tool if you need a tool for batch processing photos. It offers a lot of functionality and actions that can utilize in your batch processing. Do you know of any similar application? Let us know in comments!
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