I am given a lot (about 300) of single, different size jewelry as .jpg images (necklaces, bracelets, earrings, pins, etc). I am asked to create and place a vector image of a metering scale (as the one below) next to each one of them.


The issues are:

  1. Should I create the vector (metering scale) in photoshop or illustrator (CS5 versions)?
  2. If in Illustrator how do I copy/open it to photoshop? Will any of these suggestion (12931, 17688, 5237, How To Open And Use Vectors In Photoshop) do?
  3. In either case will I have to create a new one for each image or can I re-use the one and only for each of the images? I do understand that in case of re-using I need to resize it accordingly (or not?). Also. In case of re-using is there a way to automate the task through an action or a script that you are aware of? Remember: the jewelry are of various lengths. Still the scale must correspond to their real size.
  4. What would the best, effective, time-saving workflow be?

Thank you in advance.

EDIT: After your initial comments I need to clarify.

Most of the images -.jpg- already have a scale in them. But the person that photographed used a worn-out one. So, they want to have a new scale as a vector for better resolution. "We cannot even look at our jewels with this scale on the picture". They also promised to provide exact measures for the few ones (20 or so) that do not have any scale at all.

  • Images have no scale, thus unless you recorded this information while photographing its lost, and extremely hard to rebuild. Thus automation is a bit tricky. You can reuse the same image but that is the least of your problems.
    – joojaa
    Oct 20, 2014 at 4:50
  • Yeah you can place the image no problem, but if it's actually supposed to represent real scale, it should have been in the photographs of the jewelry. Otherwise, it'll never be correct. Unless, of course, the photographs have some reference scale in them already.
    – Scott
    Oct 20, 2014 at 4:52
  • @joojaa. After reading your comments I clarified your point. But the issues still remain. Any suggestions on the automation part? I would be really thankful. Oct 20, 2014 at 5:33
  • @Scott Thank you for pointing out. Scales do exist. I refined my question. So, what would the best way be to place the vector? Any of the ones I found or a different one? They all seem to have issues. And there is the automation thing as well. Which one do you think would work better? Oct 20, 2014 at 5:37
  • @MrE.Upvoter It might be... bit of time. That is what I mean. I know it canNOT be completely automated. So I am asking for the best way to automate the whole thing for as far as it goes. After that, off to manual refining. :) Oct 20, 2014 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


I think there is no way to automate these tasks, since those worn out scales in the pictures will be every time on a more or less different spot in the picture.

Maybe, if it's +- in the same spot and the background of the picture is solid color e.g. white AND all those pictures are taken from the same distance, using the same lens and settings, you could make a Photoshop action placing background image covering the original scale, placing a new one on top of it and saving it (you could also apply a mask with going from the solid color to transparent to smooth the edges since the color of the BG probably won't be as even).

But I don't think there is a elegant way to do this.

  • @jakub-Šlancar I am aware of the issues you mention. Still, the steps you describe are after the automation of placing the vector into the bitmap. What I am looking for is a most time-saving automated workflow till that point, giving the best possible results. Oct 20, 2014 at 12:22
  • @marikamitsos What do you mean by till that point? You can apply an Action to a batch of files in File -> Automate -> Batch. What else do you want to automate? Do you need help with creating the action? Oct 20, 2014 at 12:51
  • "What do you mean by till that point?" I mean: Should the vector be created in photoshop or illustrator, be multilayered or not, imported/copied/placed or..., as a smart object or not, converted to a smart object before or after the placement (makes any difference?), can rough auto-scaling the vector exist considering the images size in pixels and the lenses' magnification etc etc, action or even better script (I can create actions not scripts) to do all/most/any of the above and even things I haven't thought. In conclusion: Automate as much of the process as possible. Thanks Oct 21, 2014 at 11:11
  • Well, here is what I would do. I'd manually select all the pictures that have the scale in the same spot and are approximately same size (depends how accurate do you want it to be, if you insist on really precise scaling, you have to do this manually all the way). Then I would create the scale (probably with some BG to cover up the worn out one), it doesn't have to be a vector file, just make it bigger than necessary and let PS downscale it, .png should do the trick. Then repeat the steps again (= select another group of similar pictures, create another appropriate action and apply it) Oct 21, 2014 at 20:07

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