Recording an Action (Refresher)
the world of actions is interesting because for anyone, there was an earlier class that talked about the basics of actions. But I want to reiterate for anyone that didn't see that for anyone that's not familiar with an action. The whole concept of it is you can record one or more steps that playback automatically. As I mentioned right off the top, I would say, Don't worry about trying toe record entire end end procedure like don't worry about a dizzy If you can get all the way to K, that's still better than doing everything yourself. So I create a lot of actions that set me up to do something. If I'm gonna do a different one to begin with, I think let's do this one first so often when I have a photograph. One of things that I would do is try and do some what I would call painting with light to accentuate highlights and shadows, which would mean add a curves adjustment layer to darken and then mask it and add a curves adjustment layer to lighten and then mask it and then switch between ...
them to paint. So if I'm gonna do that anyways, my feeling is why not do that as an action? I can't record painting because gonna vary with every photograph. But I can at least record everything up until that point. So a couple of notes about actions for people that are brand new before we move too far ahead. Maybe it was only me that ever thought this. I don't think it was. But I know the very first time I recorded in action. For some reason, I thought it was recording how long I was taking. So I'm trying to things really quickly, and I realized that's got nothing to do with it. So you can take your time and relax and just record one step another. The other thing is actions are incredibly literal. They record everything. So one of the mistakes that I made early on as I went, okay, I'm gonna make an action. I hit start record and then I open an image. Well, I just recorded open the image called X Y Z. So every time I ran that action, like, why do you keep opening the same photo? Because I told it to. So you have to start off with a document open or else is going to cause you no end of grief. Same thing applies with layers. If part of your action is click on that layer, it's gonna record click on the layer called whatever that layer is called. So if you have a layer called layer one and every other documents gonna look for a layer called layer one or else it'll give you some Arum s to say it's not gonna work. So we have to think about that. If you're gonna set yourself up to say, Well, I want to do some effect to a type player. Personally, I would add the type player first, then start recording the action based on that layer already being selected. Then in your new document, you just make sure the type player is active and then it'll work otherwise is going to be waiting for you to click on something go, What you talking about? And unfortunately, people find very quickly the error messages you get from actions are not often that helpful because it just says some wording that a engineer rope that's like, okay, and the rest was go when you mean it didn't work. I understand So the other thing I would suggest to you is your make your life simpler If when you start recording actions, you create a set, which is Adobe four folder. So I'm gonna make a set for today, so I know everything's in there. There's a couple reasons room that one is simply organizational. The other is one of the great things about actions is they're very share a bowl, but they're very hard to share unless they're in a folder or set, even really making one action. If I want to give it to you, I have to put that one action into a folder so that I can save it out. I don't know why. That's just the way it works, OK, so I'm going to make a new action that calls. Let's call it light painting compartment. I could give it a function key shortcut. If I want. That's up to me. There's nothing that says color. This is color coding so that when you look at the your actions panel a certain way, some people like to color code your actions to say these air retouching action of these or whatever that's again, a personal preference and then you hit record. At this point, it will record anything I do from now on. So I'm gonna add occurs adjustment layer, and I'm going to darken up my photograph, take the layer mask and invert it. And then let's just rename this one darken and that another curves adjustment layer and, well, Brighton invert the mask and call this one brighter. And then here's an example of a country if you're really planning out because right now, my foreground and background colors or black and white, but someday later, wrong. When I run this action, I might have blue and yellow is my colors. So I want to make sure I'm set up really well to do this. So I'm gonna press d for default and then X for swap. That means no matter what my colors are, I now know that white is my foreground color. And then I'll press be for brush and then stop recording because from now on, the rest of the operation is manually me painting on the brighter or darker mass to say I want not with that brush. Mind you, that would be weird. So let's get back to a more regular brush I could probably paying with it would be really weird. So I'm on the layer mask of the dark and one as I want a dark in these areas even further than I go. The lighter one. I want a light in these areas even more. And I can still edit thes it just added them for me. So the point of this action is to say, get me up to a certain point much faster. So let me show you how fast this really is because this is the whole point of actions. So I open this photograph ago. I need to do that. I just simply hit that button and go play and bang is done. I don't care how fast you are full shop. It's not gonna go that fast. So now I would click on here and start working, so it's still got me closer. The end result because each photograph I want to paint on them, ask individually, but 50% of it was the same in every photo up. I'm always gonna have to adjustment layers, always with black masks. So that's an example to me of a simple action still going to save you time by getting you closer to an end result. Should you had a Is there a brush defaults? Uhm, you could, but I mean, for me, it's just I'm always gonna pick a brush. That's you could certainly do. That is part of it to say I don't wanna have it just happens that it remembers. The last brush I just used was that funky one. But even there, I mean, you could or in this case, I just very quickly switched. So here's ah, nice thing about actions, by the way, Um, let's pretend that I had done this whole thing right up until this point and I thought, Oh, I could even click on the brush tool as part of my action. But I've already recorded it. I've already finished the action. Well, you're never really finished with an action because you can always edit it simply by adding on. In this case, I'm right at the end of it. So I just hit the record button again and press be for brush and then stop recording. So it's quite easy to if you realize Oh, I should have done that other steps somewhere in there. Just go to that part of the action and then added on to your adding on to it. Once you have an action, I could take this action now and duplicated and edited slightly to say I want some different settings for some other things. Like I Every time I run this, these curves are always gonna be the same way which I can still edit individually. But I might want one is even more dramatic. So I might take this exact same action I just created, duplicated by pulling it on top of this little new icon says Copy. And I come down to, for example, here said Adjustment layer and now I can take it and make it even more dramatic. Click OK, and then take the other one that song. So you just double clicking. You can edit one of the steps in there, but I made sure I duplicated at first, So I have my original action and I'm kind of experimenting with some other settings. But for me personally, this is probably the most typical action that I create is something that gets me up to that point. And then I take over and do the rest manually. I do have some actions which are completely automatic, but the bulk of them tend to be something like that where I realized, Gosh, I do that all the time before I start painting on the mask. I am always setting up these layers, for example, and I'm retouching. I almost always end up with four layers named differently, with different layers. Leverage capacity for different functions. So instead of doing that every time I'll make an action. Saves me a little bit of time. But multiply that by the number of photos that I use that on and adds up pretty quickly. Now. Couple of the little things notes about actions just while we talk about this. Photoshopped does come with some actions, and you may see ones that look like this. See the name of this action? It says Vignette. And then in parenthesis, says selection. That's become kind of a standard action way of saying First, make a whatever's in brackets. So this action on Lee works If you make a selection first, if you try to run it on just a regular layer, you'll get some error message because it doesn't work. Uh, see what else? Here's one that says tight. That means first, make a type player, then run the action. So any time you see on action with the name and brackets like that, that's its way of saying Before you run the action, make sure whatever it ISS now, some of them won't say that because some guy in his basement wrote it and put it on some websites that here's an action for you and you'll get some error message that you don't understand. So in an ideal world, if you're making actions for yourself, it's not a bad I idea to do that. The other thing we can do is any time we have, um, on action, you can see in this case I have this action. Let's just haven't run this one a while, So let's see what happens if I just run it as is, he said with his fingers crossed. So this came up with a little thing that said told me what's going to happen or what I need to do next. So this was actually an action that I created, and my intention was perhaps to give it to someone else. who would not know what to do if suddenly this thing popped up and said Displace and they'd be like, What? So I hit. Continue and then it comes up with this Dhamma. Okay, now I see what that is, and then I can pick a displaced map, etcetera. So this particular one has this little thing right here. It says, Stop. So what I did, I'll just hide that for a second was after I record the action. I came to this step and used the menu item that said, Insert, stop. And that's a message that you can put either for yourself or someone else. Now the practical way to use this is to write something like next. You'll have to determine what settings to use in such and such filter. The much less practical but fun thing to do is just put in like Hi, Fred, and just give it to Fred. And then he's running an action of Suddenly Photoshopped speaks to him, and he just like, Whoa, what's happening? Especially if they're very new to photo shop, that's much more fun to do. Anything you have in there, you can see if we look closely here. This particular action. Some of these steps don't have a check. Mark. I recorded them. I did a couple of staff when I played it back, I thought, kind of like the way that looks without that step, I don't want to delete it. Complete leaks. I might want to use it in some other photograph, but that's what these check marks are. Are. Do you want that step included in an action? So you may recordable action, run it and then see what happens if you take out a step. Generally, that only works. If you've have a step that's kind of duplicating or doing more than one of the same operation otherwise of its key operation, your action might not work very well because you've removed something that's important. The other thing we can do. And this is something that's really important if you're especially if you're doing something with things like filters and things of that nature, and that is, if I recorded action, I'll just do a real quick one here. Let's just say I was going to do something with a blur filter. I would go to the filter menu, and when I choose blur I'm faced with. What number should I put in here? And it will record what? What setting that I put. So I basically have a couple of choices. I could either think for this particular procedure, what would be a good number to put in here or just do anything and not really care, which is usually the philosophy I tried put something I think is gonna be good. But I know I can always change it. I'll just stop recording in this case and then undo that. So now if we look really closely beside this ghazi and blur step, there's a little empty box. If I click on that, that's called a motile control. And what that means is now. When I run this action, it's gonna open Ghazi and Blur. But say, how much would you like to do? So each time I run the action, I can determine the settings Now. This was the middle of a 20 step action. It would go, how much blood you want. You put a cloak, does the rest I just happened to only have one step. But that's what that little motile control does for any setting dialog box control that has numbers you can edit. You can have the actions stop at that point and wait for your interaction. It's important to note it's going to stop and wait for your interaction. So in other words, you cannot say I'm gonna run this to every single image in this folder and then leave when you come back in the morning. It's on the 1st 1 going Hello? How much Gaussian blur do you want, cause gonna wait for your interaction. So interactive actions like this are meant for ones where you're sitting there interacting with and going. In this case, I want to use thes settings, so that's a couple of ways where we can edit ah, function that's already there.