enter image description here

I am trying to rotate the arrow in the picture above 72 times (every 5 degrees).

I have tried creating an action set that rotates the arrow and then saves it each time, but this just overwrites the previous file so that isn't an option.

I have also tried creating an action set that duplicates the arrow layer, rotates the arrow layer and then makes a layer comp. The problem with this is that I have this end result (stopped after about 15 iterations):

enter image description here

Would anyone please be so kind to tell me the best way to automate this rotation process? I've been trying to come up with something all morning with no luck.

P.S. No, I can't use programming to rotate the marker, that isn't an option.

  • Could you specify the end result you are trying to achieve? Do you want 72 separate files showing each state of the rotation?
    – user45605
    Aug 29, 2015 at 12:48
  • @ACEkin Yes exactly that, preferably with the files names 0.png, 5.png, 10.png etc but that's not a requirement, the main thing is just to get 72 files with each degree of rotation (so I get a marker with the arrow pointing 5 deg, 10 deg, 15 etc)
    – jskidd3
    Aug 29, 2015 at 13:01

1 Answer 1


That's what I thought but wanted to make sure.

  1. Write your action so that you end up with 72 layers
  2. Either as part of your action or manually afterwards, select the options "File/Scripts/Export Layers to Files
  3. In the new window you will have the options to specify the file prefix, destination folder, and file format. Make your choices and click on OK.

You will end up with 72 separate files each with a slightly different orientation of the arrow. If 72 layers will tax your system, you can do it in groups of, say, 18 at a time. But if your original file is not too big, 72 layers should not be too difficult to handle.

I hope this solves your problem. See the attached image for the control window.

enter image description here


  1. You can download the file https://copy.com/dWdyEP6lXjgpuRtA which contains one Photoshop file and one action file
  2. Unzip the file, open the PSD file which is a simple version of your problem.
  3. While the file is open, double-click on the file with the .atn extension which should load it to Photoshop
  4. Now highlight the Rotate-Merge action and click on the play button. You will see 20 layers being created in each "1" is rotated 5 degrees from its previous position

You can study the action and write your own for 72 steps. After that, you can export layers to files.

  • Thanks for your answer but annoyingly this won't work as the arrow is on a separate layer (required to rotate it around central point). This means we'll have 72 individual correctly placed arrows but without the central circle.
    – jskidd3
    Aug 29, 2015 at 15:53
  • If you name your layers when you start like, bus, circle, arrow, then you can duplicate "arrow" rotate, duplicate bus and circle, merge the new layers; then select arrow layer, duplicate, rotate, .... The thing to remember is to name the layers uniquely when you start, after that when you select a layer it will be selected by its name. Try that approach.
    – user45605
    Aug 29, 2015 at 16:08
  • See the added instructions to find out how to create an action that will do this as many times as necessary after the first time. It is imperative to be very careful in creating the action and not to skip a step. It can be done!
    – user45605
    Aug 30, 2015 at 1:12
  • Thanks very much for taking the time to write this answer for me!
    – jskidd3
    Aug 30, 2015 at 20:55
  • You are welcome. There are variations on this idea that you can come up with with a little modification in the flow. Enjoy.
    – user45605
    Aug 30, 2015 at 21:49

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