Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Making PnP's for card games

This post will go through the process I use for creating a Print and Play(PnP) for poker sized card games. This article assumes you already have the cards done and just need to get a PDF of it for printing. Also this tutorial is for Photoshop in here I'm using CC but it should work with most versions. First open up Bridge(comes with Photoshop) and direct it to where you keep your cards. Select your cards you want in the PnP.

Now from the menu go to Tools > Photoshop > Load Files Into Photoshop Layers... 

This will open up a Photoshop document with each image as a layer. Often card games have duplicates of specific cards. to do this you select the layer that you want to duplicate and press Ctrl+J to duplicate the layers do this for all duplicate cards.

If you use a template like I use for (The Game Crafter)TGC your image size is slightly bigger than the card. to fix this you will want to go to Image > Canvas Size. You will want to change the unit drop down to Inches and make sure your anchor is in the center. Change the width and height to 2.5x3.5 inches like the following.

Press OK and you may get a popup that says some clipping may occur, this is expected. click Proceed. Now your image is the correct size. Now you want to export the layers back to their own files. To do this you click File > Scripts > Export Layers To Files which will prompt you with a dialog. for the destination i usually create some working directory. for File Name Prefix you may want to include the name of you game. I often don't because i organize it based on the folder structure.

When you are done click run and Photoshop will go through each layer and create a file for each layer. Let it run through each layer this may take a while depending on number of cards. If it completes you will see an alert pop up that says "Export Layers To Files was successful."  after this is done close the file and go back to bridge and navigate back to the folder where you stored these exported files Select them all.

After that's done go to the menu and select Tools > Photoshop > Contact Sheet II... 
under Document you want the image to be in Inches 7.48x10.48 and  under thumbnails you want 3 columns and 3 rows with 0.01in for vertical and horizontal spacing.

Click OK it will make a file for each page of the PnP it should look like the following. Save each file created to a new folder.

Next in Photoshop go to File > Automation > PDF Presentation and in this dialog in source files click browse and open up the contact sheet files you just saved (In the example i made the back previously and attached them later.) Under Output Options you want to select Multi-Page Document White background and unchecked all the boxes that say include. 

Then click Save and choose where you want to save. and in the next dialog I keep everything default. and click Save PDF. Photoshop will then save the PDF. 

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