I do a lot of retouching, and I like to create contact sheets of all the images, for two reasons: it helps my client quickly find the correct image on disk, by referring to the contact sheet, and it lets me see all the images together so I can determine if they need more work. This is helpful when there are multiple shots of one environment — for example, a golf course — and I want to make sure the grass and sky color are consistent across the group of images.
I used to do contact sheets in Photoshop, but if a couple of images were kerscrewy, I had to fix them and either manually replace them in the giganto contact sheet image created by Photoshop, or regenerate the contact sheet. Big pain.
But all that changed with the introduction of Bridge with Creative Suite 1, and its ability to use a script to commandeer InDesign for the creation of contact sheets. I whooped out loud when I discovered it. To use it, I’d select a bunch of images in the Bridge window, and choose Tools>InDesign>Create InDesign Contact Sheet. InDesign cranked up, automatically placed images and included the filename below each one. When I modified an image, I just had to update the InDesign link. Much saner!
Thus, I was heartbroken that Bridge CS4 didn’t include it. Waaaaahhhh! Adobe apparently didn’t think the workflow automation scripts were useful (!). So I had to use an older version of Bridge to do my contact sheets; luckily, I never throw away old software (or much of anything else, if my garage is any indication).
But today, courtesy of my friend Bob Levine, I received joyous news: Bob Stucky, the creator of the Bridge CS2/3 Contact Sheet scripts, has brought it to life again. He’s charging a paltry $25 for the script (I’d pay more, but don’t tell Bob that), and I’m back in business. It’s an absolute lifesaver for me. If you’ve been slogging through the Photoshop approach to contact sheets, I highly recommend that you make life easier by letting InDesign do the heavy lifting.
Bob Stucky’s site is here: Creative Scripting. The Contact Sheet page throws up a missing link, but click the “Purchase Services and Scripts” link on the right side and then click the Add to Cart button to purchase.