Building Black Edges Action
On this image I'm gonna try to run another filter. The filter I'm gonna use is the following one: filter, oh where would it be, hmm, find edges. Remember, if you can't remember where they are to do that search. I don't think that search field is built in to Windows though 'cause I think it's part of the Mac operating system. I can go to any program and go to the help menu and search for menu comands. But anyway, here's find edges, let's see what it does. Find edges looks for the edges of detail and puts black lines around them and sometimes varies what color they are, but in general it tries to find the edge of detail and put a line around it. Well the problem is that majority of the image ends up becoming white. Well you remember on the previous technique we had a filter we used, it was called emboss, and it ended up making a huge area gray and there was a blending mode that made the gray go away. Well there happens to be a blending mode that makes white go away and then anything dark...
er than white would darken our picture, and if I used that, then this could apply to the image in a way that might be more useful. So if I wanted to do that I could go to the edit menu and choose fade, and the mode that works that way is called multiply. Multiply makes white disappear, but anything darker than white will darken your picture. So this is the effect that I want. Sometimes I use this when I want a illustrative look on clouds, it can do interesting things, but the problem is, I don't always like it everywhere on my picture and so I might not like it on the clouds over there on the left and if so I don't really want to apply it the way I just showed you. Because if you look at my layers panel, it's applied directly to the image. I'd rather have it applied on a separate layer and therefore I could grab the eraser tool and erase part of the effect or I could have a layer mask, and mask part of it away. I think it'd be more versatile that way, okay? So let's revert this image, I was not creating an action there, I never started one, I was just showing you the technique I wanted to include. So let's go to our actions panel, let's collapse down our emboss me action 'cause we're done with that one for now, we'll create a brand new one, again the icon to the left of the trash and I'm gonna call this black edges. I'm gonna hit record and the first thing I'm going to do is duplicate the layer that I'm currently working on. There are many different ways of duplicating layers, use any of them that you know of. One is to go to the layer menu and choose duplicate. What I use most commonly is my keyboard, I type command J, that's control J on Windows, and I think of it as jumping to a new layer, therefore I can remember the keyboard shortcut. But I have to duplicate layers so frequently that I find it not efficient to go up to the menu. So command J, if you look at my layers panel you'll see we got two layers now. Next I'm gonna choose filter, stylize, find edges and there's no settings involved, it just applies. Then we don't have to use fade because fade means, fade is only for when whatever you just did happened directly to the layer that contained the picture. If this was done to a duplicate and the original picture is underneath, right up here are the same two settings you had in fade and you just change it there. So I'm gonna change it to multiply. As a kind of finalizing step, it'd be nice if I were to change the name of that layer so that afterwards maybe its called trace areas in black or its called find edges or whatever that is. So the way you usually rename layers, you double click on it's name. So let's just call this find edges. Then I'm gonna hit the stop button at the bottom of my actions panel. The thing that's weird is when you forget to hit the stop button and you continue working for like an entire day and then you wonder why your computer is getting a little slower and you finally go, "Wait a minute," and you go over there and you see an action that's got like a gazillion steps, trust me I've done it. So anyway, black edges, let's see if we can test it. Let's revert our picture, let's click on the name of that action, let's hit the play button. Seemed to work. It'd be great if we could test it on a few other images though, just to be sure that its nothing unique to this image. Most of the time I want to check it on a document that includes a layer called background, and also try it when there's not a layer called background. Just double click on the layer and name it something else, because on occasion you've done something complex in your action and somehow the name of the layer got included. Like when I duplicate that layer and it's called background copy or something like that, sometimes that can cause issues with certain actions, you'll see that as we continue. So I think we got our second action made. Its not that hard, is it? All we're doing in general is we think through the steps to make sure we're not gonna mess anything up, then we start recording our action and we're very efficient with how we do our technique.