Gallery Wrap Action for Canvas Prints

If you are looking for GENERAL INFORMATION about gallery wraps, Click Here.

If you are looking for information about SIMULATING a gallery wrap, Click Here.

Updated 3/7/2010 Registered users sent no charge update. Added actions to create tick marks in neat black lines at corners where wrap border meets image face.

Updated 2/2/2010 Registered users sent no charge update. Added white, black and forground color 2 inch wrap. Added routine to create 1 1/2 inch white space to facilitate printing with RIP software.

This action will work on any size image and will do a mirror wrap from 1 to 4 inches deep.

First of all, this set is best used by people who need to make more than one gallery wrap, not the photographer who needs to make one for a print for their parents of the grand-kids. If you need to make one wrap, please contact me directly by email and I will run it through my action for you to save you the cost of the action. On the other hand, if you are likely to do gallery wraps with any regularity this action may be just what you need.

You may download this information in PDF format and view offline. Gallery Wrap Actions Guide and Manual (2181)

Gallery Wrap Action Menu

Gallery Wrap Action Menu

What exactly does it do? This action has a wide feature set for creating gallery wraps. I am frequently adding to the set and if you are a registered user, you will receive all updates at no additional charge. Also I often made custom additions for people who ask for them. Many of these actions replicate what you can do easily in Photoshop depending on your Photoshop skill level. To make a border in Photoshop, one only needs to expand the canvas and watch the color of the expanded area. This is exactly what my action does for those routines. One click vs. a few clicks. You don’t need my action if this is all you are going to do. On the other hand, if you do a lot of them, this is easier… Exceptions to the easy to do in Photoshop are the mirror, stretch and color puller actions. I will go into all the actions over the next few pages and provide examples of all of the actions too.

Mirror actions: These actions are presented in a variety of sizes. If you are printing a small sized image, you are likely to use a 1 or 1 ½ inch wrap. When I created this set of actions, I never imagined a need for a 4 inch wrap. I now offer for your editing pleasure a 4 inch wrap. Why? Because I had a photographer who was printing a huge image ask for it. Boy was he happy. I can’t remember what size he said the image wound up being, or what print shop had a roll wide enough for an image that ended up with 8 inches ( 4 on each side ) of extra canvas. Has it ever been used by anyone else? Don’t know… If you use it, let me know so I can add your name to the list of war heroes. All the mirror actions are labeled as to how wide the wrap is. For example a 2 inch mirror wrap will add 2 inches to each side of your image. Thus a 20 by 30 will become a 24 by 34 image. The DPI will be retained, but you must have an original DPI that will work with the expansion. For example if your image is 20 by 30 and you add a 2 inch mirror and your DPI is 300.15, Photoshop cannot add 300.15 dots per inch x 2 inches = 600.30 pixels. You get irregular results. Please use DPIs that can be multiplied by the number of inches involved and result in integer number of pixels. Failure to do this can result in a white line of pixels where the mirror meets the face of the image. It is smart to check your images at 100 percent magnification before printing an expensive piece of canvas.

Before 2 Inch Mirror Wrap

Before 2 Inch Mirror Wrap

Mirror wrap example: Let’s say for want of an example I decided to print this image on canvas at 20 by 30 with a 2 inch mirror. This is a photo of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley. As a photographer, I endeavor to frame my subject within the viewfinder of the camera, often not realizing I couldn’t print this image on canvas after viewing the photo at home.

After 2 Inch Mirror Wrap

After 2 Inch Mirror Wrap

In this photo, the peak of the mountain would be on the wrap and I also don’t want to lose 2 inches of that beautiful scene if I simply print and mount on a stretcher frame. Make sure your edits are done on a copy of your image in case you make a mistake or change your mind.

Detail of Mirror Edge

Detail of Mirror Edge

The following steps assume you are doing a 20 by 30. Use whatever size you plan on printing, but make sure it’s the correct size and DPI for your image.

  1. Size the image at 20 by 30 by ??? DPI ( use whatever DPI your printer prefers just make sure it’s an integer )
  2. Run the mirror action in the size you prefer. I chose 2 inch mirror for this one.
  3. Save your image to be printed. At this point if you save over your original image, you will be altering the original.

It’s that easy. This action does all the heavy lifting for you. If your computer is fast and has a fair amount of ram, it will take seconds. On my clunker this 20 by 30 took about 20 seconds with Excel and Word occupying memory as well. If your image is very large, free up memory by closing other applications before loading Photoshop and keeping the number of images in Photoshop to a minimum.

One Inch Stretched to two or three: These two actions involve taking the outer inch of an image and stretching it by doubling or tripling that inch in an outward direction. The truth is a larger image printed with a thin wrap doesn’t look so good on the wall so you need to expand that thin 1 inch edge to two inches. Easy to do with this action. So, for your proverbial 20 by 30 with a two inch wrap, you take your image and size it to 22 by 32. This yields a one inch wrap until you run the 1 inch stretch to 2 action. This will take the outer one inch and make it into two. No mirroring, colored borders, etc. The same colors and image from the one inch wrap made into two. The second action in this group is the one that stretches one inch into three. This is an oddball action that is not able to be used often, but it might be just what you need. First, you can use it exactly like above where you want to take a one inch wrap and turn it into a three inch wrap. A three inch wrap is an odd size, but if that’s what you need then you are set. This action was actually made for professional photographer who wanted to take the outer inch of image on the face of his action and stretch it around onto the wrapped edges leaving 1 inch of the stretched part on the face of the gallery wrap and 2 inches on the side. I am not sure if he ever wound up using that action in that way, but I can see where the outer edges of an image are uniform and devoid of any material that would look obviously stretched that this may work. Regardless, it is here in the event you have a need…

20 by 30 with 1 Inch Wrap

After 1 to 2 Stretch

After 1 to 2 Stretch

Remember that the first image is actually 22 by 32, enough for a 1 inch wrap on your stretcher, the second image is 24 by 34, enough to create a 2 inch wrap. Because of the nature of the image, this would look great and not involve mirrored edges or white/black/colored wrap. Cool! I chose this image so you could see the distortion in the outer 2 inches, but remember this will be on the sides of your stretcher bars and not on the face of the image. The face of the image will be exactly the same on both of these images.

After 2 Inch Color Pull

After 2 Inch Color Pull

Two Inch Color Puller: This action takes the outer 200 pixels, does a Gaussian blur on those pixels then stretches the result for two inches. Please note. Since it grabs the outer 200 pixels, the DPI of the image will have some impact on the extent of the color that will be introduced. The other thing to note is the degree of Gaussian blurring that is used.

After Gallery Wrap

After Gallery Wrap

Out of the box, the action grabs 200 pixels and does a Gaussian blur using a radius of 200 pixels. These can be modified for your personal preference. You will find those values to modify in the Routine of 2 Inch color puller action in the subroutine section of the action set. Example: Looking pretty funky here after the color pull, but prior to framing, remember that these blurred edges will be on the sides of your gallery wrap. On the left, you can see the image as demonstrated by the gallery wrap simulation actions you can find HERE.

Two Inch Wrap White / Black / Foreground: This is a set of quick and easy routines. Select your choice and play the action. If you want to use a custom color, preset the foreground color to your choice. You can specify a color by number or click on a spot with the eyedropper.

1 Inch Registration Tics

1 Inch Registration Tics

Expand 1 inch with registration ticks: (Right) This action adds an inch to all edges and leaves in its wake alternating black and white marks that can help you center your image on the back of a gallery wrap frame to assist centering prior to stapling. Of all the actions in this set, this one is the least finished. If you have a great idea about how you might like your tics, let me know… This is an image that has a mirror wrap followed by registration tics.

Ticks for 1 to 2 inch wraps:”(Left) This action adds an inch of white space around the image and creates little black stroke lines that are a continuation of the mirror to face junction. This is a new action as of March 7th, 2010. I personally like it better than the other action that creates concentric strokes around the entire image. Thanks Mark!

Expand 1 ½ inch white border: Exactly like it sounds. If you are printing on a RIP and need to ensure that there is enough white space around your images so you have some canvas to staple with, then this action will easily give you an extra space around your image. Adds 3 inches total, 1.5 per side.

Contract by ½ an inch: Like the action above, this is self explanatory. This action takes a half inch off of each side, for a total of an inch in both directions.

Some final thoughts: This is a gallery wrap toolbox. But in the end that is all they are, tools. You will get the most out of these tools if you practice a bit with them. They all work, and if you get unexpected results, then you need to make sure you understand what is going on. I will help. I can be reached by email or even phone. Sometimes it takes a minute, sometimes several calls and some hand holding. I am game to help to every reasonable extent, but please come to the table with a basic understanding of Photoshop.

My intention is to provide updates as often as needed, and expand the feature set when I find something smart to put in there. I am not a professional photographer or Photoshop user. This is what I do for fun, so if you have a Photoshop project you need help on, or want some custom Photoshop actions made, let me know. I usually work for free if I find the job interesting. If not, I am very reasonable.

If you think this action is broken, you are probably wrong because a lot of people are using this action with success. if you aren’t successful, let me know and I will help you!

The most common problems experienced are:

  1. Unexpected results. First of all, hope you saved a copy of the image prior to running the action. The most common unexpected result is because the image is not flat or is too small. This action is to be used AFTER the image is prepared for printing, but before actual printing. This means it should be flat, and sized for the proper output. The action is not sensitive to DPI, but is sensitive to canvas size. Remember the mirror action is duplicating the outer inch of your image and flipping it around. If the image is not large enough, it won’t work.
  2. Can’t install. Sorry, installation of Photoshop actions is beyond the scope of this tutorial. Google it up, or buy a book! You can start here by visiting an “Intro to Actions” web page.
  3. Single line of white pixels: If your DPI is a non integer, like 168.15974 when the canvas expands it will not expand by exactly 2 inches. A rounding error may introduce a single line of white pixels. Resize the canvas to use an integer DPI prior to running action. For example: 300 DPI, 180 DPI, etc. Another white line issue can be a white line in your original photo. Check the original image before running the action for a white edge. If it is there in the original, it will be in the gallery wrap.

This action is in use by a lot of people who print gallery wraps. I know because I have gotten thank-you emails or special requests from a large number of them. It works. It works fast. It can chew through dozens of images in minutes. If you are a photographer or print-house, buying this action will save you several hours of development of your own action, or many hours if you are doing each one by hand. I will also include support if you need help getting started with it. I have no desire to shaft the hobby photographer. If you are a hobby photographer and you don’t want to, or don’t know how to make a gallery wrap on your own, I will make one for you for FREE. Email me with “I need a mirror wrap for personal use” in the subject line. Attach flattened JPG sized for printing and I will get return email the wrapped image to you. Specify the size of the mirror you want and make sure the DPI is an even decimal like 300DPI or 180DPI, not 300.235 DPI.

If you have a custom Photoshop request I take interesting jobs for FREE. Please thank me and offer me some prize. I will decline the prize ( unless it is a bazillion dollars ) , accept the thanks, and continue to enjoy what I do.

This download is a Photoshop action designed to be used with Photoshop, not Photoshop Elements, Photoshop LE, or Lightroom. It has not been tested with versions of Photoshop prior to Photoshop CS. This action has been found to fail to run with installations of Photoshop in languages other than English. If you have any compatibility questions about this action, please contact me PRIOR to purchase. While this action may function with those versions full compatibility is not implied or guaranteed. This is a software download and no refunds can be issued so make sure you are buying the software you need.

Have fun and email me if you have any questions.


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31 thoughts on “Gallery Wrap Action for Canvas Prints

  1. CA Fields

    My son is requesting a 24″ x 36″ gallery wrap of one of my photos, but he is wanting the wrap to be on a 1.5 inch frame.

    Is there a way I can input a 1.5″ parameter for the wrap in the Gallery Wrap action, or is there another way to accomplish this?

    Thanks very much.

    CA Fields

  2. josh mitchell

    It had been 4 years since i did a mirror sides and i was uncertain.
    I can remember spending much time in figuring it out back then and was not looking forward to figuring it out again! thanks for sharing this info and i will try the action. Your writing is concise and direct and accurate!! Much of my work is 6,7,8 foot so file size is very large and lots of material so one does not wish to make a mistake.


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