Incorporating Actions into your Portraits Workflow

Lesson 8/9 - Create a Customizable Action


Incorporating Actions into your Portraits Workflow


Lesson Info

Create a Customizable Action

We are going to create an action, but this action is going to require your brain as the user in the action to tell it what the color is of the client that you're using it on. Alright, so, we're gonna create a new action and this action is going to be called Eye Color Pop. It can be in my default actions. Go ahead and press record. I'm going to create a new layer. I'm gonna name this new layer Eye Color. And then I'm going to insert a stop into this action. So the way that I'm going to do that... And a stop is basically a note, a reminder note to myself. So we'll come up to our fly-out menu for actions and we're going to insert a stop. I'm basically telling myself a note of what I want to happen next. So I want this screen to pop up that says, "Insert "in next "screen "in the next step. "Fill the eye color layer "with an..." I can never spell this word right, "exaggerated, "e x a g g e r a t e d," is that right? My God, only took me 33 years to learn exaggerated, okay, "exaggerated vers...

ion "of the client's "eye color." So this step is going to basically make this action usable whether you're using it on an image of somebody with brown eyes, hazel eyes, blue eyes, or green eyes, it doesn't matter, right? Let's go ahead and press okay. That's gonna give us our trusty little note to tell us what to do. And then, did I say... Did I allow continue? Did anybody see that? I didn't check allow continue? Dang it! No, okay. Something tells me this one is not going to work out very well. Stop, select my step here, stop, delete that. Dang it! And my text was so nice. Go back to recording, insert, stop, what I just said. Allow continue. Now we're gonna press okay. And then, insert menu item. Then we're gonna choose to insert a menu item. Choose insert menu item. Which menu item would you like to insert? I wanna insert edit, fill as my menu item. See edit, fill shows up. Press okay. We're gonna change our blend mode of our eye color layer from normal to overlay. Then we are going to hold down option or alt while adding a black mask. And then we are going to choose stop. Okay. So even though we didn't legitimately change anything in this image, we have still created an eye color pop action, which is pretty crazy because you're like, "But we didn't do a thing. "We didn't fill anything with anything." Let's try this out. We've got our eye color pop action. Let's press play. What I just said, what did that originally say? Fill with an exaggerated color of the client's eye color. Go ahead and press continue. Fill, color, green. Yowza, that's neon green. Okay, she's gonna have Hulk eyes. Go ahead and press okay. And now we don't see anything because we've actually told our action to hide it under a black mask but now is where the brain comes in. Now is where we need your brain, right? Using my brush tool, 30% opacity. (laughing) Yikes. I'm teaching you the technique, right? Not to retouch like this. Yowza. Okay, but what do I do? I go overboard when I create the action so that I can pull the effect way down. Okay? There we go. That's still too high but you get the point. So what's nice about this action that I just created is that even though I used it on green eyes here, I can come over to another image and I can play the same eye color pop action, fill with an exaggerated version of the client's eye color. Continue, choose fill. She's got blue eyes. Okay, okay. Brush over the eyes. This is the sloppiest brush paint job I've ever done. Okay. And she's got neon blue. Okay, pulling down the opacity, okay? So I just used the exact same action on two different images with two different criteria, but it worked in the same way for both of those different actions, both of those different images. This is the smart, this is how to create actions in a smart way, okay? Like I said, you're not really creating an action for a specific image. You're creating an action for a set of skills that you don't wanna have to do a thousand times. Okay? So, if when you're constructing the action, you create it with that in mind, that's gonna make your actions much more valuable for a larger variety of images and it'll be applicable on a larger variety of images rather than only working for green eyes. If I actually said, "Fill with green," in the action itself, if I originally said that, I only would be able to use that action on images with green eyes, and who wants to do that, right? Okay, so, questions? Can you explain exporting these in case you need to move them to another computer? Totally, oh my God, yes, that's awesome, very smart. So if you do have actions, and I just did this because I have a new computer, if you have actions that you want to export and transfer over to a newer version of Photoshop, you can go up here to your fly-out menu and you can choose to... What can you choose to do? Save actions, why is it grayed out? Because I don't have an action set selected. You have to select a folder of actions, so let's choose portrait in a pinch actions. And then you can come up to this thing and you can save actions. What I usually do is just save it to my desktop and then when I have the new actions, I can just have it right there on my desktop. I open the new Photoshop, you double-click it, and it'll immediately load into your new Photoshop, so that's kinda cool. Alright, so who believes that I can actually do a retouch in Photoshop in 90 seconds? Is anybody skeptical? You guys are so cute. Okay, well, so let's do it, let's time me out. Let's do a test. So the first thing that I'm gonna do is go to my portrait in a pinch action folder and I'm going to choose portrait in a pinch action and I'm going to press play. And this is gonna chug. Remember we saw those 150 steps earlier? This is gonna chug through and it's gonna create all of those layers for me. So in this action, I have this little window that pops up to kind of explain what your job is after the action has finished. I remember when I was starting out in Photoshop and I downloaded all these actions and I was like, "Oh, I'm so excited," and I'd play an action and then something would happen and I'd be like, "Well, what do I do? "What do I do next?" So anyway, so this is a note to you to kinda say this is what you need to do next. You action is finished, here are a few helpful hints. You only need to paint on the group masks, the black ones, so to collapse all of the layer groups, press command or control, command plus option, control plus option on a PC and click the arrow next to any layer group icon in the layers window. That's very wordy. Paint with the brush tool using white at a very low opacity so the retouching doesn't go overboard. If you would like to check out more things,, and then if you want to remove this note, 'cause it's kind of annoying if you-- I think the timer started. Oh no. Keep going. Oh no, can I tell you when to start the timer? (mumbles) Okay, it works, the timer works, yeah, the timer works. Oops. Okay-- False start. Yes, okay, so we'll press continue. And then let me bring out my layers palette so I have a little bit more visibility here. And so you can see all the different layers that this action has created for me. So I just pressed a button and then all of this stuff was created for me. Alright, so, command plus option plus disclosure arrow. There we go. So you can see that this action has actually already done some frequency separation skin-smoothing stuff for you and because of the select-- it's not going yet, I'll tell you when to go. Yeah. Okay, I'll tell you when to go. Because of the command select color range skin tones, this guy, little doo-dad guy, because of that command, you're able to immediately create a mask of just the skin tones on any image, which is amazing. And because I didn't even touch the pen to create this mask, I can incorporation it into an action and make my work even faster. So, that's what I've done here. I've created this mask for you and what I did was I did some skin blurring and then I clipped some skin detail to the skin blurring layer and then I added some redness reduction and I clipped that to the skin blur layer, as well. So in here, all of this is done for you, right? So that's the first thing that's done in that action. Then I have some space for blemishes. Then I have eye whites, blue-green iris, brown-hazel iris, adding blush, highlight, contour, teeth, and lips, and then you're done. So this is your outline for retouch. Say, you have 50 portraits to retouch, okay? You don't have time to spend all day on 'em. You gotta be like diligent, okay? You gotta be ruthless, okay? You need to be productive. So once you've hit all of these things, time to move on to the next action. That's the only way you're gonna be productive.

Class Description

Have you tried to use actions in your workflow but found that they’re just not intelligent enough? The problem might be that you’re only scratching the surface of what actions can truly do. In this class, Kristina Sherk will show you how to tailor the actions you create to work perfectly on all of your photos. Once you learn the hidden options and secret tricks to getting the most out of this efficient tool, you'll be on your way to becoming an actions power user!