Incorporating Actions into your Portraits Workflow

Lesson 7/9 - Creating a Compound Action


Incorporating Actions into your Portraits Workflow


Lesson Info

Creating a Compound Action

The next thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to now create another action and this action is going to be called, "Evening Face Tones." Even... Face Tones So we'll go ahead and press record and my first direction to Photoshop in this action is going to be to play my Tone Down Highlights action. Play. So Play action Tone Down Highlights. That's my first instruction for this action. So I'm telling an action to play an action, alright? I hope somebody has an action tally. (chuckles) Somebody should make, "Ding Ding" action. Alright, the second thing that I'm gonna tell this action to do is to play the Brighten Midtones action. Play. So Play action Tone Down Highlights. Play action Brighten Midtones. Alright, perfect. This is good. We're not finished just yet though because what we wanna do, as we did before, we wanna incorporate our file keeping, file organization, that's what I'm trying to say. Our file organization, we also want to be recorded into this action as well. So, just as we did wit...

h the Whiten Teeth action, we want to create a new group. Name this group... Even Face Tones Hold down Option or Alt while clicking the Add Layer Mask button to add a black mask to it. We're going to select the brighten midtones layer. Hold down Command + Bracket key to move it into the group and then we select Tone Down Highlights, hold down Command and Bracket key that one into the group, so that now both of these layers are living within the group and now all of a sudden the effect is invisible from the entire image because we've hidden it all behind a black mask, but because I only want this mask to be visible over face tones, over specific areas that I wanna be responsible for, that's where I want this action to end. So let's go ahead and press stop. We've got our Even Face Tone actions. Go ahead and click and delete that. So now, Even Face Tones, press play. There it is. Now what we can do is we can use our brush tool painting on white to darken the highlights of the skin, and brighten the shadows of the skin at the exact same time. And we just painted in where we wanted to be visible. Especially on her dress, okay? So... Before. After. See how that's evening out that skin tone? If you've ever had to photograph a group of people under a dappled, light tree, like a tree with spots in it and all of a sudden everybody has hot spots of sun all over their faces, this would be a perfect thing for you to use, okay? I think that looks good and it's getting me closer to what I was kind of hoping for this image, alright. Again, the nice thing about these actions, if you build them the right way where you're not actually building the action to be specific to a certain image, but instead you're building the action to be specific to a certain task. Then what we can do is we can come to a completely different image where the light is also quite directional and we want to soften that, the difference between the highlights and shadows is we can go to the Even Face Tones action again and go ahead and press play again. Come in here and not have our... tablet wig out. And then in one step, I'm brightening the shadows and I'm darkening the highlights over the areas that I want that to be a little bit more visible, okay? Any questions? Yeah? If you mess up an action or change something later like let's say you rename an action that you've named before, or you didn't realize you were on the background layer and you had that selected so you open a new one and it wants a background layer, but you don't wanna... Do you just have to start over, or can you go to the action and fix that? You can totally go through the action and fix that. It's hard for me to show that. It's hard for me to like... Okay here, so let's say we have this action and then I'm recording it and then I add... a Hue Saturation layer by accident, okay? And that was recorded into the action, but stop that, let's delete these and let's make sure that the action did record this wrong step. We've got our Even Face Tones action. Go ahead and press play. And there's our Hue Saturation layer that we didn't want. What I do is I go to the last step of the action, I press record I click off of the selection to make sure that the selection of the Hue Saturation layer is recorded. Hue Saturation and I'll delete that layer. So I have two more steps, select current layer. Select layer Hue Saturation, delete current layer. So those are now two additional steps that have been added to that action, so now I can stop this action and now let's try again and see if... Or you know what I could have done? I could've just deleted the Make adjustment layer. I could've just dragged Make adjustment layer to the trash. Here in my action, that probably would've been easier, but instead I recorded the deletion of the layer in the action, so whichever way you wanna do it, I don't care how you get there as long as you get there. Alright? But let's just test and see if we still have that rogue Hue Saturation adjustment layer visible. Now it's gone, it's gone. Whichever way suits your fancy, that can be done, okay? Cool, that was a good question.

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!