How to best automate product mockup and template design work?

Hi all, I am looking to see if anyone has experience solving the best way to automate the product mockups and design templates for apparel.

Historically I have used a full-time graphic designer to do them with self-recorded Photoshop Actions. I am looking to optimize this further since it's the same repetitive work we could be spending on the actual designs.

We do full cut & sew apparel, so there are two parts:

  1. Mockups for ~10 different products (mens t-shirt, women's t-shirt, men's tank, hoodie, etc) to be automated in one process
  2. Templates for those products for our manufacturing (it's the same template every time but we have to lay the artwork out across each product, which varies in size and orientation)

We have one "input design file" which has all of the necessary design work. I am looking for a designer with deep automation (and possible coding) experience that could help me understand the actual technology involved here to go from Point A to Z.

The process goes like this..

  1. Lead designer creates a design
  2. Lead designer lays design across a single standardized template
  3. *What I need help with begins:* design is laid across all mockups (front and back)
  4. *What I need help with*: design is laid across all printable product templates (already standardized)

Anyone with experience of a similar project?

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A former employee iz withholding design files he made for us

Not sure what to do here

He left the company 1-2 months ago.

We've been using the png/jpg version of the files he left us as pitch material, but it needs to be updated and he just doesnt provide us with the psd/sketch files.

He doesnt even seem malignant about it, every time i reach out he just ignores us or says he's busy now and will get to it later

I've literally offered him a ransom to get our files from him, at this point im considering legal action. What can we do here?

Edit: I've been asking for about a month now, he was on salary when he made them.

Anyone know a lawyer for this?

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Do you know Angel investors or VC’s interested in investing in a pioneering ArchiTECHture company that will create a New Booming Niche of uniquely made sculptoric 3Dprinted/cnc machinery interior/exterior Design overalls’ with all Tech imbued onto this second walls that will boost property value ?

My Company is aiming to redesign ample interior and exterior places (facades first) to boost property value through the power of Art composition with imbued technology.

This is a complete overall of an establishment interior to maximize it's Uau factor and for it to be pinpointed in the world map as an unique place.It will attract Musicians and Filmmakers to shoot at the place.

Think complex composition high relief second art walls and ceilings with uniquely designed seats and tables with all kinds of finihsing textures, with interactive tech like https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=11&v=eNQSA4bgoO4&feature=youtu.be but with heat sensible buttons for post covid non touching coupboards to opening doors and "windows" to other rooms,the "magic cupboards" can pop anything from VR headsets to strippers to food,this is only one of my 1000 catalog tech that can be put onto the walls. The most important aspect of this second layered walls are it's unique spatial changing aesthetics (for the place never to look like a cube) and the technology imbued onto the walls (any technology can be 3D scanned and put on the walls as an interactive gadget, or be made interactive with the help of small arduino or raspberry PC's)

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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!