PS Script for Artists: Automatic WIP Maker

Script #1: Automatic WIP Maker

Here is how to create a one-click action that marks and sequentially saves every stage of your project without missing a beat!

The really nice thing about Photoshop is that you can program automatic processes to make your life easier.

Here is a short tutorial on how I make my life a little easier with Actions and Scripts!

These instructions are for Adobe Photoshop CC. If you don’t have it… well, I can’t force you to get it, but scripts like these make me urge you to try it out. You can subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud for as little as $9.99/mo and that’s a pretty cheap price to pay for the ability to automate things like this. There’s a 30 day free trial as well. I will not be making instructions on how to do this in any other programs because I don’t know how to use them!



Download This Action


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For those of you who opted to go the analog route and DIY this sucker, onto the tutorial!



Since this is an automated process, you’ll need to set aside a directory where you will NEVER move these files.

I created a directory in my artwork drive that is dedicated to files that are made specifically for automation. That way they don’t get caught in the fray of any other files. Tucked away in a dark corner where they only speak when spoken to is exactly where you want them. Like enslaved podlings except digital files so there’s no ethical questions.

Automation Directory
Automation Directory


Create a WIP Stamp you’d like to put on your artwork. It will need to be visible on both dark and light backgrounds. I made a black splash and added white text over it with my information. I’ve made this mark nice and big so that it can be used on any size image without a loss in quality. Really big. Like this sucker is 2283×1190 at 150 dpi big. I ain’t kiddin’ around.



Before you create your action, you’ll need your script ready to include in the action.

This script will make a JPG image of your file in the same directory as your working PSD file.

STEP ONE: Open up Notepad/Notepad II and paste the following code into a new document:

#target photoshop


function main(){

if(!documents.length) return;

var Name =[^.]+$/, '');

Name = Name.replace(/d+$/,'');


var savePath = activeDocument.path;


alert("You must save this document first!");


var fileList= savePath.getFiles(Name +"*.jpg").sort().reverse();

var Suffix = 0;


Suffix = Number(fileList[0].name.replace(/.[^.]+$/, '').match(/d+$/));


Suffix= zeroPad(Suffix + 1, 4);

var saveFile = (savePath + "/" + Name + "_" + Suffix + ".jpg").replace("__","_");

SaveJPEG(File(saveFile), 8);


function SaveJPEG(saveFile, jpegQuality){

var doc = activeDocument;

if (doc.bitsPerChannel != BitsPerChannelType.EIGHT) doc.bitsPerChannel = BitsPerChannelType.EIGHT;

jpgSaveOptions = new JPEGSaveOptions();

jpgSaveOptions.embedColorProfile = true;

jpgSaveOptions.formatOptions = FormatOptions.STANDARDBASELINE;

jpgSaveOptions.matte = MatteType.NONE;

jpgSaveOptions.quality = jpegQuality;

activeDocument.saveAs(saveFile, jpgSaveOptions, true,Extension.LOWERCASE);


function zeroPad(n, s) {

n = n.toString();

while (n.length < s) n = '0' + n;

return n;


STEP TWO: Save it to your Scripts folder and call it something you’ll remember. Set the filetype to ‘All Files’ and give it a .jsx extention


Name your Script file and give it the correct extension

If you go into the folder later and realize that your file ends in .jsx.txt – It’s okay. Just edit it and take the .txt off. It won’t work if .txt is on there so just be sure to remove it.

You’re ready to record!


Open up your Actions Panel. You can find it under Window > Actions or press Alt+F9

Actions Panel

Press record and here we go!

Step 1: Save

This is important because we will be using the revert command to undo everything at the end and we don’t want to accidentally revert to a phase where we lose work.

Flatten Image
Flatten Image

Step 2: Flatten Image

This makes the image easier for the computer to process during the action because the file size is smaller.

This is located in the Layer dropdown at the bottom.

Place Embedded

Step 3: Place Image, Press Enter to place.

This adds your watermark. I use ‘Place Embeded’ because it doesn’t matter and we’ll revert all our changes anyway.

Navigate to your watermark file. If you made it nice and big, it should appear as large as it can fit on the canvas in the current orientation, right in the center.


Press enter to accept the mark’s position. Do not move it or resize it yet.


Step 4: Rasterize Layer

Pretty self explanatory. Right click the watermark layer to open the menu and select Rasterize Layer.

Now the mark has a new 100% size and we can resize it in proportion to the piece.


Step 5: Transform Layer

From the top menu, go to Edit > Free Transform or press Ctrl+T.

DO NOT resize using the corners of the selection box. You’ll want to use the percentages box up here so that the action can record it properly.

I set mine to 70%. I want my mark to be big in order to compensate for my shortcomings, like my height.

Step 6: Select All

Get the dancing ants! You should still be on the watermarks layer. From the top menu, click Select > Select All or press Ctrl+A to select the entire canvas.

Step 7: Align the Layer

Layer > Align Layers to Selection > Your Choice – I want it on the bottom.


Lather, rinse, repeat to move it to on side. My marks usually go on the right.

Step 8: Layer > Align Layers to Selection > Your Choice



Step 9: Nudge it

Using the arrow keys, put it in the exact spot you want it in. DO NOT CLICK AND DRAG. This will not record correctly. This command won’t appear in the list until you move to the next step so don’t worry when it doesn’t show up immediately.




If you like your mark as it is, then skip this part. I like to add an effect because I’m a tryhard.

OPTIONAL STEP: STOP RECORDING FIRST. Play with the layer effects to find one you like. When you make your choice, set the layer back to Normal before you click record again. I like Difference in this case because it applies my Black splash only when the background is light.


Step 10: Revert

This resets the canvas back to whence you came.


That’s it! You now have an action that instantly saved a marked WIP for you!

If you’re having trouble, go through these instructions again with a fine toothed comb. Actions can be VERY picky and one wrong click can botch the whole thing so I’ve tried my best to make this as simple as possible.

Hope you were able to get it working! Now all of your WIP’s can be safely marked before you share them! Enjoy!

~Your friendly neighborhood cat-bird, Z