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Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 110 of 118

Create a Contour Map Action


Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 110 of 118

Create a Contour Map Action


Lesson Info

Create a Contour Map Action

This is a technique that I never want to perform manually, and I would only do through inaction because it takes a lot of steps. This is creating a contour map. If you've ever seen an architectural drawing of, ah, piece of land, you know where it's the contours it describes. The various elevations in the land with a line looks a lot like this. Well, I'm creating something like that based on brightness levels were each one of these lines describes where, like 10% gray would be found in the image, and another line might be where 20% gray is and so on. And so this is how there might be a complex technique that you would only dio if you're willing to apply actions. So let's take a look at it. I'm gonna start off with the original color photograph, and the filter I'm gonna end up using to get the effect is filter. Uh, I think it's die allies and then trace contour traced. Contour means trace around where there's a particular shade of gray, and in here there's a choice called level, and you ...

can move it around. It varies from 0 to It'll draw little lines. Well, those lines air, usually in color if you have a color picture and if you want just one line instead of multiple colored ones, what you need to dio is just convert your image to black and white first. So let's look at how we might be able to apply that multiple times and get an interesting look. So I'm gonna go to my actions panel. I'm going to create a new action, and I'm gonna call this contours gonna hit record. And the first thing I want to do is duplicate this layer. So I'm gonna type Command J controlled game windows to get a duplicate. I then want to pull the color out of that duplicate. I'll do it by image adjustments, de saturate. Then I want to simplify this because if I have it truly traced where there's a particular shade of gray in our picture right now, Most of the time those areas are really complex little details. Well, if I simplify the image, it's gonna be a smoother and result one filter that can help me simple find images called median that's filter noise median in the higher I bring it up, the more smooth this end result will be. So it's a matter of figuring out what setting still lets you recognize what's in the picture. And it's kind of go for the highest setting where you can recognize things because the higher the setting, the smoother the end result will look. Now, that's the image I'm going to use multiple times when running the trace contour filter. So what I'm gonna do right now is change the name of that layer because I want to be able to easily switch toe that layer even if we have a whole bunch of layers in this document by just clicking on it. I don't wanna have to use that one keyboard shark it we used earlier. So I'm gonna double click on the layer, and I'm just gonna give it a name that you would never find in another document. Ah, I might call it action. So I know that it's part of an action. I'll call it Action Target Layer number one or something. I doubt I'm gonna open a document that's gonna have a layer called action Target Layer one. I'm just trying to put in a unique name. And therefore it's not gonna matter if I click on that layer with my mouse and in the actions panel. It records the name because I made up the name and I tried to make sure it would be unique or just put a random string of digits. That's long enough, and you probably won't find that in other documents. Now, I'm gonna have to be using that particular information multiple times, So I'm gonna type Command J to duplicate it So I don't mess up the original and then we'll come in here and apply the trace Contour filter, and I'm going to start off with it. Turned down to a relatively low setting like this. I'm gonna click, OK, and then I want to make the layer that's underneath active. Well, I named that layer specifically for this action with a unique name. I don't think it's gonna be found in other documents. I can just click on it and it doesn't matter that here in the layers panel, it has the name of the layer. Well, as long as that layer name is unique, then that should still work. I'm in a type command J and Onion. Apply the filter again, and I'm just gonna turn it up a little bit. Click OK? And then I'm going to repeat that process I'm going to. In fact, there's one other step I should do. And that is I should set each one of these to multiply mode, because multiply mode would have it combined with what's underneath. But I'll do that later. I'm going to click on the layer that's underneath command J to duplicate, And I'm just gonna repeat that process over and over and over again, moving this up a little bit further each time, then clicking the layer that's underneath command J to duplicate and apply the filter again, which the later that's underneath command J to dupe. Okay, just repeat it over and over again, And that's why I never want to do this manually. Or I should say I only want to do this manually once, and this is one of those techniques. I always record its inaction because it's a pain in the butt to do it every time. I'm just repeating the steps, Okay, we'll call that good enough Now what I need to do is get all of those layers that were just created up above. I need to get him all selected now. Those should always have the same names because they're based on that unique name that I signed below. So I could just hold on the shift key and click on, um, those or I could use my keyboard. Remember that doing? I believe it was option in the bracket. Keys would select the layer that is above. And if you have the shift key, it will add it to the what's already selected. So I can type that a few times. There are many different choices we have available there. With all of them selected. I'm gonna change their blending mode to a chase choice called multiply, which will allow them to combine together. And then we don't need them a separate layers. So I'll go the layer menu in just choose merged layers that will combine together the layers that are currently selected. All right, then what I would like to do is to get the color of the original or the lines were currently seen to be the color of the original picture, so I no longer need this grayscale version. it's already served its purpose. It was the source material for each high applied that action or not, the action, the filter And I don't need it anymore. It has a unique name that I made this part of the action so I can just click on it and drag it to the trash. And it's OK that the name of the layers in there next. What I want to do is turn this layer into a selection The way I turn something into a selection if I want to do it based on its brightness is I switched to the channels panel, and if you don't have the channels panel open on your screen, you can find it right up here. And if you go into the channels panel and move your mouse onto the top, most channel the little picture of it, you're gonna hold on the command key and click on it. That's controlling windows that will load the brightness of that image as a selection, yet ends up loading all the areas that are white, which is the exact opposite of what I need. So I'll go to the select menu in Choose Inverse. Now we have a selection of all those little black lines, and all I'm going to do is throw away this layer because it's on Lee Purpose was to create the selection we currently have. So now if I drag it to the trash, we're gonna end up on the layer that contains original picture, not gonna add a layer mask when I add a layer mask on Lee. The areas that I have selected are going to remain visible, so the rest of the picture will go away. And now what we have is all the lines that those filters created are filled with the original color of the picture. Finally, I want to fill in the checkerboard with white, so I'll go to the bottom of my layers panel, click on the Adjustment layer icon and choose solid color. I'm going to choose White, and then I'm gonna move that layer underneath, and I could probably click on it with my mouse to move it underneath. But if I want to be better at it, I could use my keyboard shortcuts and that would be command control on Windows left bracket would move it down. Remember, option changes, which ones active command actually moves a layer. So now I have my end result, and in my actions panel, I can finally hit Stop and now we contested. Let's revert the image. Let's find the top of that action. Let's hit play and you can see our end result. That's an example of a technique where I would never apply that technique without recording an action to create it. But now I can apply that any time. I want Teoh in a matter of seconds, and there are many techniques that are that way that just end up being complex techniques that make it so actions become essential.

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • 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)


  1. Introduction To Adobe Photoshop 2020
  2. Bridge vs. Lightroom
  3. Tour of Photoshop Interface
  4. Overview of Bridge Workspace
  5. Overview of Lightroom Workspace
  6. Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents
  7. How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  8. Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders
  9. Developing Raw Images
  10. Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs
  11. How to Save Images
  12. Using the Transform Tool
  13. Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  14. Selection Tools
  15. Combining Selection Tools
  16. Using Automated Selection Tools
  17. Quick Mask Mode
  18. Select Menu Essentials
  19. Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  20. Align Active Layers
  21. Creating a New Layer
  22. Creating a Clipping Mask
  23. Using Effects on Layers
  24. Using Adjustment Layers
  25. Using the Shape Tool
  26. Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool
  27. Masking Multiple Images Together
  28. Using Layer Masks to Remove People
  29. Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky
  30. Adding Texture to Images
  31. Layering to Create Realistic Depth
  32. Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  33. Optimizing Grayscale with Levels
  34. Adjusting Levels with a Histogram
  35. Understanding Curves
  36. Editing an Image Using Curves
  37. Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment
  38. Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode
  39. Editing with Blending Modes
  40. Color Theory
  41. Curves for Color
  42. Hue and Saturation Adjustments
  43. Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment
  44. Match Colors Using Numbers
  45. Adjusting Skin Tones
  46. Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw
  47. Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush
  48. Retouching with the Clone Stamp
  49. Retouching with the Healing Brush
  50. Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools
  51. Extending an Edge with Content Aware
  52. Clone Between Documents
  53. Crop Tool
  54. Frame Tool
  55. Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools
  56. Paint Brush Tools
  57. History Brush Tool
  58. Eraser and Gradient Tools
  59. Brush Flow and Opacity Settings
  60. Blur and Shape Tools
  61. Dissolve Mode
  62. Multiply Mode
  63. Screen Mode
  64. Hard Light Mode
  65. Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes
  66. Smart Filters
  67. High Pass Filter
  68. Blur Filter
  69. Filter Gallery
  70. Adaptive Wide Angle Filter
  71. Combing Filters and Features
  72. Select and Mask
  73. Manually Select and Mask
  74. Creating a Clean Background
  75. Changing the Background
  76. Smart Object Overview
  77. Nested Smart Objects
  78. Scale and Warp Smart Objects
  79. Replace Contents
  80. Raw Smart Objects
  81. Multiple Instances of a Smart Object
  82. Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects
  83. Panoramas
  84. HDR
  85. Focus Stacking
  86. Time-lapse
  87. Light Painting Composite
  88. Remove Moire Patterns
  89. Remove Similar Objects At Once
  90. Remove Objects Across an Entire Image
  91. Replace a Repeating Pattern
  92. Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel
  93. Remove an Object with a Complex Background
  94. Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes
  95. Warping
  96. Liquify
  97. Puppet Warp
  98. Displacement Map
  99. Polar Coordinates
  100. Organize Your Layers
  101. Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss
  102. Layer Style: Knockout Deep
  103. Blending Options: Blend if
  104. Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image
  105. Layer Comps
  106. Black-Only Shadows
  107. Create a Content Aware Fill Action
  108. Create a Desaturate Edges Action
  109. Create an Antique Color Action
  110. Create a Contour Map Action
  111. Faux Sunset Action
  112. Photo Credit Action
  113. Create Sharable Actions
  114. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1
  115. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2
  116. Image Compatibility with Lightroom
  117. Scratch Disk Is Full
  118. Preview Thumbnail


a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it

Madelaine Enochs

Ben's class has been extremely helpful for understanding how everything works in photoshop. I am so grateful for his classes. Easy to understand and thorough. Thank-you Ben!