Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp

Lesson 74 of 118

Introduction to Actions in Photoshop

 

Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp

Lesson 74 of 118

Introduction to Actions in Photoshop

 

Lesson Info

Introduction to Actions in Photoshop

What is an action? Why do we use them? And some best practices. And this is gonna be a really wildly important one for you, especially if, I don't wanna sell myself outta the industry, but if you ever wanna sell actions, the best practices here are going to be gold for you. I just gave away my whole business. So what is an action? Actions in Photoshop will allow you to record yourself while you work so you can play them back later on any other image. I need you to think about the VCR, the VHS, the cassette player. So when I was a kid, there was this thing called TGIF, Thank God It's Friday, and they'd play all of our favorite television shows on Friday night. Now you don't dare show anything good on Friday night because nobody wants to sit there and watch TV. One of those shows, I believe, was Full House. So we would always rush, 'cause our parents would wanna go out to eat on Friday night, so we would rush to the VCR, we'd put a fresh blank tape in there, we would set the VCR to recor...

d itself so that we could record Full House and watch it when we got home. We could play it back whenever we wanted to over and over and over again. And it was always there for us. Probably did the same thing with Saved By The Bell. Maybe I'm dating myself a little bit. But Photoshop has the exact same capabilities. There's something going on in Photoshop, you can record it and you can play it back later. Why we use them, why would use them as photographers? Well, actions have changed the way I edit entirely. I rarely start any of my processing without them. I very rarely will start an image without putting it through some type of action, because there's some prerecorded workflow that's gonna help me out. So the whole thing here is this is workflow automation. They allow you to do things that you would commonly do, but do them faster and do them more efficiently. And not have to be doing the redundancy of constantly making those things. So what we've already talked about so far in this course, you've seen me make it a couple times. The dodge and burn layers, whether that's a dodge and burn 50% gray layer, or that's the curves layer, dodge and burn. If you make those all the time, it's redundant, and it becomes a pain in the butt. But you can go ahead and make an action of that, press play, and it's always there for you. We do this for efficiency. We do it for accuracy, so we can, accuracy so if we have a style that we have that's our own, we can replicate it without going outside of that style. We can do things deliberately, and definitely more predicatively. So we know, because we've record it, that it's done this on this image, it should do this on this image, I might just have to make a few minor tweaks. So here's some of your best practices when you're working with actions, because you would think, it's just like a smart object. Smart objects, you'd say, oh wow, we could do all this stuff with smart objects, why don't we always just use smart objects? Well because they have some downfalls and so do actions. With actions, you wanna experiment with what works. You can't be afraid of these things. When I first started working with actions, it was probably around 2006 or seven, when I pressed the record button, and I didn't know what I was doing, and I recorded like an entire day's worth of work. And I didn't know that you had to press stop. So tried to play this thing back on another thing and images are opening and closing and flying all over in front of me in Photoshop, and I was just, it was wild. But I learned a lot from that. I was like okay, well I recorded literally everything I just did in Photoshop, that was pretty cool. And then from there I started to deduce how actions worked. So you have to experiment with it. If you're, with anything with Photoshop, if you're playing around with a button, or you're playing around with something, do it on something that's like in your test folder, images that you don't really care about at that time and you wanna experiment. And don't be afraid to experiment. They don't bite. Anything that can be undone if you just press undo or go back to your history state to the very beginning. And if fails, just start over. It's not like the film days. So when I was younger and I was in high school working with black and white film in the analog days, I had made this print that I really loved, and I made it on this paper that had pockets and pits in it. That allowed me to paint onto that with these oil paints, special oil paints, for painting on images. Got all the way through this thing and made one little error and ruined the entire thing. I couldn't go back and repaint, because it was all manual painting done on this photograph. Here's the cool part. We're in Photoshop. If it fails, just start over. There are no harm, no foul, if you don't do this correctly. But I do annotate a lot things. As I'm doing this, as I'm experimenting, I write down what I'm doing with each one of those actions so that if it didn't record exactly the way I wanted it to, I can always go back and look at my annotations that I've made on my notebook, and it looks cool. It does look cool. It actually looks really cool. You open up my actions notebook and it looks like some type of wicked Photoshop code. Like I've got my wizard book of actions. So annotate everything. Not all steps are actionable. There are certain things that you're gonna do that just cannot be recorded into an action. Some of these things are masking with brushes. It can record masking with brushes, but I wouldn't do it. Just because you don't know what the image size is gonna be on another image. Here's just a little aside. A lot of things in Photoshop are pixel based based on the constraints of whatever that image is. If everything overnight, and maybe Adobe can listen to this, would turn everything into percentage based things, this would all change. So instead of looking at actual pixels, if we just looked at the percentage, there's certain filters in Photoshop that base things off of a percentage, and not off of the actual aspect ratio. Therefore, if it's an image that's this big, or an image that's this big, it's gonna do the same thing, because it's based on a percentage and not in the actual pixels or aspect ratio. So maybe we can all write to Adobe and get that fixed. (laughing) Anyway, masking with brushes can be very difficult. Sometimes they don't show up in the process of the action, or they might not show up with the exact same pen strokes or brush strokes. So my rule of thumb is to never put masking with brushes in my actions. Just don't do it. Selections are okay. So manual selections that are, well I should say, automatic selections, selections from things like luminosity masking, selections from the color range, the color range menu. Those are okay. But a selection made with the magic wand, just don't do it. 'Cause it's not gonna be predictable. What we're doing is we wanna get predictable results. Blend If is also okay. Blend If can be recorded into any of your actions as well, which is really awesome, because you make a really cool effect you like, you throw some Blend If in there, and it's going to be predictable. On the next image, it's going to protect the highlights, or going to protect the shadows, because you've got Blend If in there. I would avoid flattening your work without making a duplicate copy first. This is really important if you're making actions for other people. I can't stand it if I get someone's action and I press play on it, it takes all my work and flattens it down and then it runs. It's a lot easier to build an action on a flattened document, that's why a lot of these actions that you might even purchase online will flatten your image first. But what happens if you had 50 history states selected in your preferences, and this went through 99 things? Now you can't go back. All that work that you did in there, that layered work that you did that was beautiful, that you press play on that action, you can't go back in your history and fix it. So what I do is always make sure that if I'm making an action that needs me to flatten the work, I do it on another document, and that document will be a duplicate state from a history state, so you go into the history palette, make a duplicate state, and that fixes that problem. You gotta consider who you're making them for. If you're making them for yourself, you know how you operate, so you shouldn't have a problem. You don't have to make everything perfect. If you're making actions for yourself, they can be sloppy. There's nothing wrong with making 'em a little sloppy if they're just for you. And also this thing right here that says modal control stops may not be necessary. A modal control stop is where you stop an action from working so that you can give directions. And some of my actions will do that too. Because you might press the button and be like, "That's great, what did it do?" Well, a modal control can stop at any point between an action and say, "Hey, you're about to do something with the gaussian blur, "try anywhere between 40 and 60." You can be sloppy. If you're making them for other people though, you have to consider foreign language versions of Photoshop. This is something I never knew until I released my very first panel, and everyone who was in the Dutch version of Photoshop would press a button and it would just boom. How do you think I felt? 'Cause I didn't test it for foreign language versions of Photoshop. And I'll show you what to look for when you're working on your actions to ensure that things work in foreign languages. I'm really giving away the farm here. You can't cut corners. If you're doing these for other people, don't cut any corners, don't be sloppy. Make actions that are gonna work and be predictable for others. And if you are making them for others, you should consider adding modal controls, stops. And I'll show you what stops are in this course.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop® CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop® expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop®. Topics covered will include:

Week 1
• Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
Week 2
• Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
Week 3
• Smart Objects , Transforming, Actions, Filters and Editing Video
Week 4
• Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop® prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.

Software Used: Adobe® Photoshop® CC® 2018

Lessons

  1. Bootcamp Introduction
  2. The Bridge Interface
  3. Setting up Bridge
  4. Overview of Bridge
  5. Practical Application of Bridge
  6. Introduction to Raw Editing
  7. Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface
  8. Global Tools Part 1
  9. Global Tools Part 2
  10. Local Tools
  11. Introduction to the Photoshop Interface
  12. Toolbars, Menus and Windows
  13. Setup and Interface
  14. Adobe Libraries
  15. Saving Files
  16. Introduction to Cropping
  17. Cropping for Composition in ACR
  18. Cropping for Composition in Photoshop
  19. Cropping for the Subject in Post
  20. Cropping for Print
  21. Perspective Cropping in Photoshop
  22. Introduction to Layers
  23. Vector & Raster Layers Basics
  24. Adjustment Layers in Photoshop
  25. Organizing and Managing Layers
  26. Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes
  27. Screen and Multiply and Overlay
  28. Soft Light Blend Mode
  29. Color and Luminosity Blend Modes
  30. Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes
  31. Introduction to Layer Styles
  32. Practical Application: Layer Tools
  33. Introduction to Masks and Brushes
  34. Brush Basics
  35. Custom Brushes
  36. Brush Mask: Vignettes
  37. Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn
  38. Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation
  39. Mask Groups
  40. Clipping Masks
  41. Masking in Adobe Camera Raw
  42. Practical Applications: Masks
  43. Introduction to Selections
  44. Basic Selection Tools
  45. The Pen Tool
  46. Masks from Selections
  47. Selecting Subjects and Masking
  48. Color Range Mask
  49. Luminosity Masks Basics
  50. Introduction to Cleanup Tools
  51. Adobe Camera Raw
  52. Healing and Spot Healing Brush
  53. The Clone Stamp Tool
  54. The Patch Tool
  55. Content Aware Move Tool
  56. Content Aware Fill
  57. Custom Cleanup Selections
  58. Introduction to Shapes and Text
  59. Text Basics
  60. Shape Basics
  61. Adding Text to Pictures
  62. Custom Water Marks
  63. Introduction to Smart Objects
  64. Smart Object Basics
  65. Smart Objects and Filters
  66. Smart Objects and Image Transformation
  67. Smart Objects and Album Layouts
  68. Smart Objects and Composites
  69. Introduction to Image Transforming
  70. ACR and Lens Correction
  71. Photoshop and Lens Correction
  72. The Warp Tool
  73. Perspective Transformations
  74. Introduction to Actions in Photoshop
  75. Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface
  76. Making Your First Action
  77. Modifying Actions After You Record Them
  78. Adding Stops to Actions
  79. Conditional Actions
  80. Actions that Communicate
  81. Introduction to Filters
  82. ACR as a Filter
  83. Helpful Artistic Filters
  84. Helpful Practical Filters
  85. Sharpening with Filters
  86. Rendering Trees
  87. The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters
  88. Introduction to Editing Video
  89. Timeline for Video
  90. Cropping Video
  91. Adjustment Layers and Video
  92. Building Lookup Tables
  93. Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type
  94. ACR to Edit Video
  95. Animated Gifs
  96. Introduction to Creative Effects
  97. Black, White, and Monochrome
  98. Matte and Cinematic Effects
  99. Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades
  100. Gradients
  101. Glow and Haze
  102. Introduction to Natural Retouching
  103. Brightening Teeth
  104. Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool
  105. Cleaning and Brightening Eyes
  106. Advanced Clean Up Techniques
  107. Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization
  108. ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits
  109. Portrait Workflow Techniques
  110. Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization
  111. Landscape Workflow Techniques
  112. Introduction to Compositing & Bridge
  113. Composite Workflow Techniques
  114. Landscape Composite Projects
  115. Bonus: Rothko and Workspace
  116. Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos
  117. Bonus: The Mask (Extras)
  118. Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR

Reviews

a Creativelive Student
 

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Esther Gambrell
 

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

Sonya Messier
 

I'm been using Bridge, Adobe Raw and Photoshop for 12 years. I thought I knew those programs until I started to follow Blake and do this Photoshop CC Bootcamp. This course is AMAZING. I love the way Blake teach, brakes down concepts and tools... excellent teaching qualities! I'm half way in this course and I change all my workflow already. Much better results and better use of what Adobe offer me. This course is an investment! When I will be done, I will listen it again. Great job and congratulations on your success Blake!