I'm looking for a software tool to slice an image into smaller ones. It will be a part of a much bigger project so the effort to export the output should be minimal. It doesn't matter if the initial setup takes time but making a change into the scene and taking an export will be something that we would be doing regularly so it should be doable with minimal effort.

Here's an example of what I'm looking for in the tool.

Consider the following image as my scene:

enter image description here

The two white and blue boxes show the output slices that I'm expecting to have as exported files. The white one contains the gate and the blue one its shadow. The tricky part is that I'm expecting to have them like this:

enter image description here enter image description here

Which means that the background picture is invisible in the exported files. I have the gate and its shadow in separate layers so I can easily produce the desired output (as above) manually but I'm looking to a tool to do that for me automatically (as I might be exporting this a thousand times).

Perhaps I can set which layer is visible in each slice! I mean that would be great.

Does anyone know such a tool? Inside or outside of Photoshop?


2 Answers 2


If you convert each layer or layer group to a smart object, you can double-click and open them up as if they are their own auto-cropped psd file and save out your image from there.

With this in mind, try creating an action (or script) to: 1. convert current layer to smart object and open it. 2. save as png (or whatever) 3. return to original psd and undo x steps.

You could rasterize instead of undo, but this would flatten any layer groups.

Not sure if this is possible with actions, but it is something that is definitely achievable with scripting if you know javascript.

  • Honestly I was looking for something much simpler. As I recall ImageReady had a similar functionality to what I'm looking for. We could show / hide layers in each frame (in an animated GIF) separately, without affecting other frames. I was hoping slices would have a similar functionality.
    – Mehran
    Sep 23, 2013 at 15:11

If you're working on a mac, Slicy from MacRabbit may be just what you're looking for. Basically you specify output files (png or jpg) by labeling layer folders in Photoshop. Once you set up your hierarchy exporting the slices is drag and drop. It's really simple but really powerful.

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