Crop Center Head
Script for Adobe Photoshop
Latest update 10/17/2023, version 2.7
Crop images to center subject eyes, face, or head. Includes “blind” version to use in Actions.
- Crop current image or folder of images
- Option to use content-aware fill
- Append suffix to output file names
- Output to BMP, JPG, PNG, PSD, or TIF
- Save and restore all settings
- User-configurable localization
IMPORTANT: the script depends on the Photoshop feature Select Subject that was introduced in Photoshop CC 2018 (version 19). Earlier versions of Photoshop will not run this script correctly. For best results use the latest version of Photoshop as the Select Subject feature has improved greatly in recent years.
How to use the script
The interface has four sections: Process, Options, Output, and Settings. Set options as desired and click OK to begin. If processing the active image, any errors or concerns are reported immediately. If processing a folder, a progress bar is displayed. To cancel processing, press the ESC key. Otherwise, when complete, the number of images processed is reported. If problems occur, a log file is written to the output folder, and the user is notified.
The script depends on the accuracy of Photoshop’s Select Subject feature, which works well in most cases, but isn’t perfect 100% of the time. At a minimum, the user should open Bridge and scan through thumbnails of cropped images to ensure the results are satisfactory. For any images that crop improperly, open in Photoshop and crop manually.
As of Photoshop version 23.5.0, Select Subject added the options Device (Quicker results) and Cloud (Detailed results). For most installations the default is Device, the only choice prior to version 23.5.0. The script uses whatever is the default method. To change the default method to the superior Cloud option, go to Preferences (Windows) or Settings (macOS), section Image Processing. Set the drop-down list Select Subject Processing to the desired default method.
Section 1: Process
Active image — processes the image that is currently open and the top-most window if multiple images are open. When this option is selected, the section Output is disabled. It is for the user to perform additional transformations if needed and Save As the cropped version of the image in the desired format. A revised file name should be used to preserve the original un-cropped version of the image.
Folder — processes a folder of images. Click the button Folder to select the desired input folder. If the option Include subfolders is enabled, all folders within the selected folder are also processed, and the same subfolder structure is created in the output folder. Each image file found is cropped using the options set, and the image is saved in the format selected in the section Output.
Section 2: Options
Target size — enter the width and height in pixels of the desired dimensions of final cropped images. Before resizing the image, the current resolution is recorded, and once the image is resized, the image resolution is adjusted to match the original resolution. If resizing causes the image to increase resolution, the script employs the resampling method Preserve Details 2.0 for maximum quality.
Margin top — enter the desired margin from the top of the subject to the canvas top edge.
Margin bottom — enter the desired margin from the bottom of the subject to the canvas bottom edge.
Both top and bottom margin also accept negative values. In this case, the script calculates the subject height when scaled to match the height entered for the option Target size. Then at that scale, the negative margin values diminish the subject selection, and the result is resized to match the target height less any positive margin.
Center Eyes/Head — for both options, the script attempts to detect the subject’s eyes. For the choice Eyes, the image is cropped horizontally so the subject eyes are centered. For the choice Head, the subject selection is diminished from the eyes down, and the image is centered horizontally based on the remaining selection.
Center Face — the script attempts to detect the subject’s face, and the image is cropped horizontally so the subject’s face is centered.
The options to center Eyes, Face, or Head are useful for images of models with an arm, elbow, or foot extended, which otherwise is centered based on the entire subject selection.
The difference between the options Eyes, Face, and Head can be subtle or drastic depending on the subject features and pose. Use whichever option works best for the particular images to crop. For example, full-body model shots generally look better when the head is centered. Head shot portraits cropped tighter are often better with eyes centered. The choice is up to the user.
If the script fails to detect the subject’s eyes or face, the subject is centered.
Center Subject — the image is cropped horizontally so the subject is centered.
Center offset — allows fine-tuning of how cropped images are centered horizontally. Zero positions eyes, head, or subject at exactly the center of the cropped image. Enter a negative value in pixels to move center to the left, shifting the subject left. Enter a positive value to move center to the right, shifting the subject right.
Image less than crop — when the result of sizing the image does not reach one or more edges of the cropping boundary, the user may choose to complete the missing image using one (or none) of the two options.
Use Content-Aware Fill — content-aware cropping is used to complete the missing image.
Scale to fit — the image is scaled until it reaches the cropping boundary. This alters the margins, but no more than the minimum required to reach the desired size without creating additional image area.
The options Use Content-Aware Fill and Scale to fit are mutually exclusive. Choose one or the other, or neither. The script does not allow both.
If neither option is selected, the missing image is filled with the current background color when the original image is flattened (single background layer with no other layers). If the original image is one or more layers with or without transparency, the missing image is transparent, unless processing a folder and the option Flatten is enabled, in which case the missing image is filled with white. Masked images are never considered less than crop and remain transparent, unless flattened, which results in a white background.
Log — available when processing a folder. Enable the option and when the image is less than crop, an alert is added to the log file along with a description of the remedy. When processing the active image, this option is disabled, and any alerts and remedy are reported when processing is complete.
Save in subfolder — available when processing a folder. Enable the option and enter a name for a subfolder under the output folder into which images less than crop are saved rather than the top level of the output folder. When enabled, the subfolder is created if it does not exist, and all images less than crop are saved to it. The options Use Content-Aware Fill or Scale to fit may be enabled, or not. No matter the remedy, or none, each image less than crop is separated from others so the results may be inspected.
Section 3: Output
Folder — the location to which cropped images are saved. Click the button Folder and navigate to the desired location.
Format — select the file format to output. Choices are BMP, JPG, PNG, PSD, or TIF.
Flatten — the result is a single “Background” layer. BMP and JPG always perform this step.
Single merged layer — applies to formats PNG, PSD, and TIF. When enabled, hidden layers are discarded, and the remaining layers are merged to a single layer. If a layer mask remains, it is applied. PNG does not support multiple layers, so this step always occurs if not flattened. The option does not apply to BMP or JPG as both do not support transparency and must be flattened.
The options Flatten and Single merged layer are mutually exclusive. Choose one or the other, or neither. The script does not allow both.
Understand that some formats and situations always flatten or reduce the image to a single merged layer. For example, output to BMP or JPG is always flattened because the formats do not support layers. The PNG format supports one layer at most, so the image is always reduced to a single merged layer if not flattened. As well, images converted from RGB to CMYK may flatten or merge to a single layer to preserve the effect of adjustment layers, which cannot reliably convert from one color space to another.
Quality — applies to JPG format only. Valid range is from 0 to 12. 0 is extreme compression resulting in low quality. 12 is light compression that is virtually indistinguishable from the original, the highest possible quality, which of course, results in the largest file size. 10 to 12 is recommended for print or other high-quality reproduction. For web images, 5 to 8 is an acceptable range.
Convert to profile — converts color to the selected profile prior to output.
The formats JPG, PSD, and TIF always embed color profiles. BMP and PNG do not embed color profiles.
Original file name + — a suffix of characters appended to each output file name. The characters entered must be legal to use in file names. Any illegal characters are automatically removed. Having no suffix is allowed, in which case output file names exactly match input file names.
When files are output, any existing files of the same name in the output folder are replaced without alert.
Section 4: Settings
The current options may be saved and restored later. Select from the Load drop-down list to choose saved settings, and the current options are updated. Click the Delete button, and the saved settings selected in the Load drop-down list are permanently removed. Click the Save button, provide a name for the settings, and the current options are preserved. If the name already exists, the user may choose to replace the saved settings. Or click the checkbox Replace settings, and choose the settings to replace.
The script provides default saved settings named [Default]. These settings cannot be deleted but may be updated to the current values. Save settings, click the checkbox Replace settings, and choose [Default].
When settings are saved, there is also the option to include Input folder and/or Output folder.
Each time the script is launched, the input and output folders are restored to the last location used. To override these defaults, enable the options to include Input folder and/or Output folder. When the saved settings are loaded, the input folder and/or output folder are restored to the values saved.
Available color profiles
For the option Convert to profile, the list of profiles from which to choose is compiled by searching known locations in the system for .icc/.icm files and extracting the profile name. This occurs each time the script is launched. The list should include most of the same profiles Photoshop displays in dialogs such as Color Settings, but it doesn’t match exactly. If a needed profile does not appear in the list, add the profile to a location both Photoshop and the script look for profiles (below), and relaunch the script.
By default the script language is US English, which does not require further download or configuration. To have the script interface display other languages, choose from the available languages below. Download and copy the .i18n file to the script folder alongside the script. When launched, the script detects the language file and displays interface text in that language. If your language is not listed, download the English file and translate it. The file is plain text formatted as JSON, containing interface text in English, and a second value for its translation, which for the English file is the identical text. Copy the file and rename it to replace “en” with the relevant code for your language, then edit the file to change each line’s second value to the translation in your language. For more detailed instructions of how to edit and install i18n files, see How to Localize Scripts.
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Change log: crop-center-head.txt
How to use the “blind” version of the script
The download includes a second version of the script with reduced interface, intended to use within Actions that perform other recorded steps. In this case the batch processing features of the script do not apply, therefore the sections Process and Output are omitted.
All options work the same. To set the options, launch the script when no images are open. Click OK, and the choices are saved. Then when an Action is run that includes the script, the last options saved are used.
Unlike the regular version of the script, the settings file for the blind version resides alongside the script file, in the same folder. Because of this, it's important the script is parked in a folder that doesn't require Administrator permissions, or saving the settings file fails. So don't put the script in the Photoshop Application folder. A better place is somewhere in the user home folder, or a subfolder under it.
The advantage of the settings file alongside the script is that copies of the script may exist in multiple folders, each called by different Actions. Because each copy is in a different folder, each can have a different settings file. This isn't required, but saving the settings file alongside the script provides this functionality if desired.
When the script is used in an Action, processing a folder requires the normal Photoshop Batch Automation steps used to run an Action on a folder of images, including steps to save the image in the desired format at the desired location.
For help installing scripts, see How to Install and Use Scripts in Adobe Creative Cloud Applications.
IMPORTANT: scripts are developed for the latest Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Many scripts work in CC 2018 and later, even some as far back as CS6, but may not perform as expected, or run at all, when used in versions prior to 2018. Photoshop features Select Subject and Preserve Details 2.0 definitely fail prior to CC 2018 (version 19) as the features do not exist in earlier versions. For best results use the latest versions of Adobe Creative Cloud applications.
IMPORTANT: by downloading any of the scripts on this page you agree that the software is provided without any warranty, express or implied. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Always make backups of important data.
IMPORTANT: fees paid for software products are the purchase of a non-exclusive license to use the software product and do not grant the purchaser any degree of ownership of the software code. Author of the intellectual property and copyright holder William Campbell retains 100% ownership of all code used in all software products regardless of the inspiration for the software product design or functionality.