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Variable Image Processing 101


How it works:
1. Take an image. Almost any will do, but images that lend themselves to variable processing include areas with text already on them (i.e. signs, billboards, notes, etc…) and/or areas where an addition of a name would make sense (i.e. name written in clouds, words on a mountain top, personalized guitar/snowboard etc…)

2. Dan will edit out any existing text/prepare the image area where the variable name will go (for example, if you wanted a name in the clouds, the existing clouds would need to be cleared/edited to make room). If there is existing text that Dan will be replacing, he first makes sure he can replicate the look/texture/color/style with the new variable text such as cloud shaped letters, letters chiseled in rock, etc…

3. Dan adds the editable text in photoshop that will later become someone’s name. Then, using a mixture of layer styles, effects, and photoshop actions (sort of a photoshop mini-programming function) Dan makes the text fit and look like it belongs in the photo. Once he is satisfied with the look, the file is sent to be merged with an excel data list using XMPie variable processing software. An image is created for every unique name in the list, which can then be used in design projects.

What it’s good for:
Variable image processing is perfect for a number of print and online applications, including (but not limited to): Personalized birthday cards, loyalty and/or promotional postcards for businesses, calendars, and emails.


About Dan: Dan is a self-admitted Photoshop and photography junkie, whose great joy in life is creating and editing photography in interesting ways. Some of the most fun he has (second only to making his daughter giggle) is creating photography that cannot exist in real life such as mountain-sized cameras, punk-rock groundhogs and flying pigs.

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