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Adding extra space around an image

Sometimes you may find that you have cropped a image a little too tight in camera and need to add some extra space around the image to achieve a larger crop area than the original image permits. Often this is with high-key images (with white backgrounds) or low-key images (with black backgrounds).

Obviously you can open the image in Photoshop, add the extra space and re-import it into ProSelect. However, it is easier to use Custom Effects Actions to do this "on-the-fly". (See the Custom Effects section in the ProSelect Reference Manual for more information on how to setup and use these). 

The general rule, when creating Custom Effects Actions in Photoshop for use with ProSelect, is that the action should not alter the aspect ratio (image width divided by image height) of the image because this will effect the image's cropping when you output it through Hi-Res Production. However, Photoshop allows you to create an action which increases the size of the canvas by a percentage which won't effect the aspect ratio provided you apply the same percentage to both the width and height.

A useful action for a high key image might be one that expands the canvas size by say 20%, keeping the image in the center and the background color white. You might call this action "Expand 20% white".  Likewise, you could create another which fills the extra space with black. If you are using Photoshop CS6 or newer you can also take advantage of the Content-Aware Fill tool to have it automatically fill the extra space with similar content to that near the edges of the image. 

We have created a set of actions that does white, black and content aware fills which you can download from here.

When you run the action on the low-res image in ProSelect the resulting image will be re-imported "in the larger size" and you can take advantage of the extra area to adjust your cropping.

Because ProSelect allows you to sequentially apply actions, you can run the same action more than once to add twice as much space around the image (in the above example it would, in fact, be 1.2x1.2 =1.44 times larger).

The great thing about using this approach is that, when you run Hi-Res production, the same actions will be applied to the original image and your output print or composite layout will be produced exactly the same as you have designed it in ProSelect.




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