1 Photoshop Actions
What if I told you that by the end of this article I could drastically boost your Photoshop productivity? Interested? That's actually not an exaggeration if you've never taken advantage of Photoshop's actions and batch processing tools. If you find yourself repeatedly performing the same (often mindless) tasks in Photoshop one step at a time, I'm going to show you a better way to work.
Actions are essentially a way to have Photoshop perform a series of predetermined steps on an image. You create them by first manually performing steps for Photoshop to record. But don't worry, Photoshop isn’t timing you when you record an action. No matter how long you take to perform the steps, once the action is created Photoshop will execute it as quickly as possible, which will always be faster than we mere humans could do it. Most Photoshop commands can be included as part of an action, and I'll show you how you can incorporate those that cannot.
We'll explore how to:
- Create a basic action
- Create an action with a modal control
- Create an action with a stop
- Batch process images
- Create a droplet
- Use Photoshop's Image Processor
In this article I'll be using Photoshop CS5. While Photoshop Elements cannot be used to create actions, it can import and run actions created in CS5.
Actions live in the Actions panel, available if you go to Window>Actions. Without creating a single action of your own you’ll see the list of default actions that ship with Photoshop. It's important to note that an action must reside in a folder, called an action set. You can name both the Action Set as well as the individual actions. Because Action Sets are the primary means of sorting and finding your actions, I recommend giving them descriptive names that relate to the actions contained within them.
|A collection of Photoshop's pre-built
actions can be found in the Default
Actions folder of the Actions panel.
|More action sets are available
via the panel's fly-out menu. Click
on one to add its contents to the
Let's begin by creating a new action set to store our custom actions. Click the folder icon at the bottom of the Actions panel (shown below). A dialog then appears in which you name this new set. In the examples below I typed 'Ellen’s Actions'. This set is where I will store the actions I'll be demonstrating in this article. As you start to create additional actions on your own, however, I recommend that you create several distinct sets that are geared towards specific techniques such as resizing, editing or prepping for output and name them accordingly.
In this action we're going to add a copyright watermark to an image. Open an image in Photoshop (the simplest, though not the only way to begin) and then click the New Action icon (shown above). Because we're going to create a white watermark to use on images that are 1280 pixels wide, I name the action accordingly (shown below).
I've given the action a descriptive name and chosen to house it inside the 'Ellen's Actions' set.
Notice that you can also assign a Fn key to invoke the action, as well as give it a color label.
Press the Record button. To create the watermark perform these steps:
5. Go to Layer>Flatten Image.
6. Press the Stop recording icon.
7. Close your image (without saving it).
That's it. You’ve created a watermark action. To test it, open the same image you began with, select your newly created action from the Actions panel and click the Play button.
Before we go any further, you should know that by default the actions sets you create are stored in Photoshop's preferences. Should those get reset or corrupted, you've lost your actions. Fortunately you can save action sets to a more easily accesible location on your hard drive, which I strongly recommend.
|With an action set highlighted, clicking on
the panel's fly-out menu lets you save the
it and all of the actions it contains.
|Action sets are saved with the '.atn'
extention and can be stored on any shared
drive within your network.
Doing so allows you to export them to another computer, share them with others (including Elements users) and easily bring them into a newer version of Photoshop should you upgrade.
Sep 30, 2014
Jun 18, 2014
Jun 18, 2014
Jun 18, 2014
|Nectar Dancing by Lensmate|
from A Big Year - birds
|Sad clown by PEB|
|Mtl Gen X 2015 DP by MarioSS|
from - Gen X - (In Full Colours+ Border)
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.