I have a Photoshop file with one standard background layer and about 50 other unique layers. I will be creating 50 files. The same background layer will always be used, but the top layer will change. E.g., the background layer is a mountain and the alternating layers are different people.

I have been unable to figure out how to do this with an action or the export layer function.

Ideally, I'd like to save each file with the alternating layer's name (e.g., bob.jpg, jane.jpg, etc.).

Any suggestions on the best approach here would be much appreciated.

3 Answers 3


I don't know of a good built-in way to do this. However I authored a script back in 2012 and others have added to it over time. It has the capability to export all the layers but keeps the background layer as the common layer.

The script can be found on github.

When you run the script just check the "Export background with every layer" checkbox to activate the feature.

  • Any idea whether this script exists for Gimp?
    – hhh
    Dec 30, 2021 at 19:21

In Photoshop I would put all the background layers in a folder and drag all the foreground images above it. Then turning them all off but the one I wanted to save as a copy in the desired format. This way I can crop and move the foregrounds to my liking. Also I can adjust the blending.

The automation's options are quite limited (read: stupid). From a programmer's view I would make layer compositions of all foregrounds, turn them on one by one, export and then the next, etc.

In Illustrator I would place a link of the background image, copy the art board multiple times and place each foreground to its own art board. Afterwards I can specify which art boards I want to export before I am satisfied with all. And I can even make one big export if I untag art boards option.

You don't need to copy the art board 50 times or so if you rename the foreground files. Name the 10 foreground images foregr-01 to foregr-10. Now copy then in a folder set-01. Have different foregrounds with the same names in set-02 to set-05. Now you only have to rename your current foreground folder and relink the first foreground to the new folder upon opening the file.

If you want different backgrounds for each set, use the same file name.


You can create layer comps to each situation (Bob, Jane, Etc.) and then use layer comps to file and export them.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.