I'm making my print and play card game. Everything is ready: card frame which is common for all cards (svg), custom image for each one (svg or png) and text to be placed below image in the text field.

This Magic card gives you an idea (the main difference is I'm working with black and white images only):


I know latex and indesign, but batch combining images seems to be a hard task for both of them. I could also go with the python scripts in Gimp, I suppose, but all those approaches are not straight forward. Am I missing something in those tools or should I use something else?

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    Hi Moonwalker, Welcome to GD.SE! For producing graphics that have variable parts (images, text). I would I use "Data Merge" within InDesign. – AndrewH May 5 '16 at 16:08
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    I have done something similar for a large number of "comped guest tickets". I typically set up a single sheet of the fixed matter (the card frame) 4-up on a single sheet exported as eps, pdf, whatever. I then place the variable info carefully aligned 4-up using whatever tool is most useful, such as Word Processor data merge, export this as a PDF, and then place the fixed matter as a 100% size watermark using e.g. Acrobat. This has the advantage of being a very small final size for the merge, since the watermark asset is stored once, rather than 100x. – Yorik May 5 '16 at 21:20
  • This is not actually a hard task at all. Not in in design and not in LATEX or in many other tools such as illustrator either. The thing is you need to have your text and images in some sort of table or xml file to be imported. – joojaa May 6 '16 at 6:21
  • @joojaa I somehow got the idea of how to achieve this with indesign, but how do I do this in latex? I'm way more comfortable with latex and it runs natively in my ubuntu... – Moonwalker May 6 '16 at 17:43
  • @Yorik thank you, datamerge tool worked perfectly! – Moonwalker May 7 '16 at 12:59

How many cards are there? Assuming its not hundreds, and you already have some basic knowledge of ID, one straighforward option would be to make a master page with your common frame image as a background (could be on a locked layer) + one image (of the first card or any card) + one formatted text box (of the first card or any card). So this master page could look like a single card.

Then you create as many pages as you need (equal to the number of cards) and apply this master.

Then for each page you CTRL+click the image and the text box. This unlocks the elements defined via the master and you can just replace your text and relink with the following image and so on, while the background could stay locked.

This shouldn`t take too long if you know how this works in ID.

  • I thought about this route, but I have 300+ and growing card pool, so manual work seems tedious... You see, we've been playing this game with friends for quite some time, so now I want to do it in proper way, instead of my old hacks in whatever tool was available. – Moonwalker May 6 '16 at 17:46

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