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Actions in Adobe Photoshop 2020

Lesson 5 of 7

Faux Sunset Action

Ben Willmore

Actions in Adobe Photoshop 2020

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

5. Faux Sunset Action


  Class Trailer
Now Playing
4 Create a Contour Map Action Duration:10:20
5 Faux Sunset Action Duration:07:20
6 Photo Credit Action Duration:05:54
7 Create Sharable Actions Duration:07:31

Lesson Info

Faux Sunset Action

Well, let's make an action that creates a fake sunset. Meaning that if you don't like gettin' up early for a sunrise and your need to work at sunset you're taking pictures in the middle of the day, that we can still make it look like sunset. Here I'm gonna open two images and I have two images open. I'm gonna make it so I can see them both at the same time by choosing a range. And then choosing tile two-up horizontal. And I'll click on the image that's underneath, cause that's the one I'd like to work with, and I wanna create a fake sunset, you could say. So, what I'm going to accomplish here is I want to do an adjustment that is called a gradient map. So, I'm gonna come into my actions first gonna create a new action and I'm gonna call it Faux Sunset Click on record, and all we're gonna do down here is create a... Where is it? Gradient map adjustment layer. And before we make any changes to this adjustment layer, I'm gonna go into my layers panel and the problem with the gradient map ...

adjustment is it will end up changing the brightness of your picture. I want to prevent that from happening, so I'm gonna change the menu that's found at the top of my layers panel. It's usually set to normal, and I'm gonna set it to color. And that means that the only thing that this adjustment layer will be able to do is change the color of the image and it will not be able to change the brightness. Now let's explore what a gradient map adjustment layer is. What gradient map does is it acts as if your picture is black and white, and then it's gonna replace what ever was black in your picture with what ever shade appears right over here. And then it replace what was 50% gray with what's in the middle. And it'll replace what was white with what's on the far right. And same is true for everything else in between. And it's only because we have this set to color mode that things that used to be black don't end up being this bright. Then you can click on the little arrow to the right and you can pick any choice you want as far as colors go. But what I'm gonna do is actually to edit the colors that make this up, so I'm gonna start off with the choice on the far left, and we'll make our own. If you click within this preview that's here, you're gonna get an editor that allows you to choose what colors things are going to made out of. And let's take a look at what we can do. You're gonna notice the bottom here there is a little stop here, that's full of white and over here is in the little stop full of black. And what I'm gonna do is double click on one of those, and that's gonna bring up color picker. And then instead of coming in here and blindly choosing a color, I'm gonna come in and choose a color out of the image that's above. If you just move your mouse into this area and click on an area, I find you usually have to click twice to get it to choose a color. Then I'll click ok and I should make sure that I'm not messing up because I was thinking black is what's on the left, it could be the exact opposite of that. We'll find out. If it is, I should be starting with the dark portion of the picture instead. But then I'm gonna click on the opposite side that's over here, I'm gonna double click and I'm gonna choose from the dark area of the picture. Just double click in there, and it should grab the color. Then if I want to choose what it looks like a little bit brighter than black, I'm gonna click maybe about here. And then I'll double click. I was just clicking just below that horizontal bar. I'll come in here and see what does it look like? We're a little bit brighter than black, what color is it? Well, I gotta click twice in there, grab it. I'm gonna add a color in the middle, just by clicking below this bar right in the middle. Then double click on it, and now I'm gonna choose the middle brightness that I see in this image. Then I'll continue working my way over. Here I'll add another one, double click, and I'll choose something that's close to the bright area. And I might add one more really close to white. Double click and go for something really close to whatever color is there. And so here we have all these colors, and I think I might have them reversed where I need these colors over on the other side, I'm not absolutely certain though. I think I'm gonna find out by just manually moving them around. It's only going to record these once, and that is when I click ok, so it doesn't matter if I kind of mess up and move things around here. But you can reverse all these by moving them around. You can always shift them around, and yes, I was off. Where white needs to be on the right, just mentally got shifted there. And the only thing with this particular picture is the highlights might need to be toned down so you don't have the white areas. But, I'll click ok. Then I'm gonna change the name of this layer by double clicking on it. And there we go. I'm gonna go to my actions panel, I'm gonna hit the stop button and then I'm just gonna look at my action to see is there anything that could mess this up. This is gonna make an adjustment layer, okay, it's going foreground to background color. And all sorts of other settings in there, but it looks like just black and white are what's defined. Then set current layer to mode called color, that's fine. And then here set the current mode... This is when I was starting to experiment, I went to foreground to background, then there's another one after that where I went and did a custom one. And then I made something visible, and then I set the current layer to its name. So it looks like all these steps will work, there is one additional step in here that's really not needed, I think it's this one. And that's when I was just describing things and I switched from one of the preset gradients to one that's... foreground to background. So that'll slow down the action a little bit, but it'll work just fine. It's just a matter of if this action was gonna be applied to like, you know 1,000 images a day as part of my production thing I wouldn't want to get rid of any extra steps. But I think that'll work out just fine. So now any time I want something to have the look of a sunset feel, I can click on the name of this action, hit the play button, and end up with it.

Class Description


  • Automate a wide variety of multi-step techniques
  • Apply an Action to hundreds of images using the Batch command
  • Use subroutines to incorporate a set of steps into multiple actions
  • Utilize Conditionals to change the course of an action based on the unique characteristic of a layer
  • Troubleshoot existing actions


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


Danna Chiasson

Good stuff ... learned some valuable tips ... thanks !