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Day 24: Automation II (Actions)

Lesson 37 from: 30 Days of Photoshop

Dave Cross

Day 24: Automation II (Actions)

Lesson 37 from: 30 Days of Photoshop

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

37. Day 24: Automation II (Actions)


Class Trailer

Day 1


Class Introduction


Overview of Days 1-15


Overview of Days 16-30


Preview of Content, Part 1 - Layers, Comps, Styles, Masks


Preview of Content, Part 2 - Smart Objects and Paths


Day 2


Day 1 Introduction


Day 1 Exploring Photoshop


Day 1 Realistic Expectations


Day 3


Day 2: Best Practices I Part One


Day 2 Best Practices I Part 2


Day 4


Day 3: Lay of the Land


Day 5


Day 4: Best Practices II – Working Non-Destructively


Day 6


Day 5: Layers I


Day 7


Day 6: Layers II


Day 8


Day 7: Layers III - Masks


Bonus Video: "Layers"


Bonus Video: "Vector Masks"


Day 9


Day 8: Getting Images In and Out


Day 10


Day 9: Resolution, File Size, Resizing


Bonus Video: "Free Transform - Warping"


Day 11


Day 10: Cropping (Straightening)


Day 12


Day 11: Adjusting


Day 13


Day 12: Smart Objects & Smart Filters I (Introduction)


Bonus Video: "Copying Smart Filters"


Day 14


Day 13: Smart Objects & Smart Filters II (More Advanced)


Day 15


Day 14: Retouching I (Replacing, Removing, Moving)


Day 16


Day 15: Retouching II (Fixing, Portrait Retouching)


Day 17


Day 16: Quiz & Review


Day 18


Day 17: Shapes, Paths, and Patterns


Day 19


Day 18: Selecting I


Day 20


Day 19: Selecting II (Compositing)


Bonus Video: "Green Screen"


Day 21


Day 20: Type


Day 22


Day 21: Color


Day 23


Day 22: Painting & Brush Options


Day 24


Day 23: Automation I (Built-In, Not So Obvious)


Day 25


Day 24: Automation II (Actions)


Bonus Video: "Actions"


Day 26


Day 25: Presets


Day 27


Day 26: Video


Day 28


Day 27: Finishing Touches


Bonus Video: "Sharpen"


Day 29


Day 28: Tips and Tricks


Day 30


Day 29: Quiz, Review, Projects


Day 31


Day 30: Project, Strategies to Continue to Get Better


Lesson Info

Day 24: Automation II (Actions)

well in our part two of automation is they were going to delve into the world of actions now unlike yesterday when we talked about automation is that were mostly built in or things we were using tools in a different way to kind of make them automation sze actions have a very specific purpose and that is you record a siri's of steps and then you play them back and the key to doing this where the reason for doing it is when you recorded action and place it back at speech much faster than regular human beings could ever do so if you have an operation for example that takes eight steps that might cause you tow go to several different menus you record that as an action and then it zips through it so much more quickly than it would if you did it individually what's surprising to me though is I've taught seminars in large groups for many years and I always usually end up talking about actions and I always ask for a show of hands how many people here are recording and playing their own actions...

on a regular basis and it's usually definitely less than ten percent sometimes less than five percent of a big room of people so then I asked how many people have no idea what an action is and it's usually less than ten percent which means there's a big chunk of people eighty percent that no one actions are and yet don't use them and that concerns me frankly because actions are such a great potential time saver and I think part of the reason people don't use actions perhaps is may be they have either on this understanding of how actions work or when to use them or something like that so I started asking people a long time ago why don't you use actions and there were three reasons that I kept hearing over and over again one I don't want don't really know what inaction is or what it's for well fair enough you're not going to use something if you don't even know what it's for two I thought actions were meant for when I've got hundreds of images and I'm trying to do twenty seven steps that's part of actions is is big batch processing kind of things but there's also a lot more to it and the third reason that I often heard people say don't use actions was something the effect of I tried it once and had a bad action experience where something went horribly wrong about whoa I'm never going to do that again and that's one of the potential downsides to doing actions is that you try something and then it fails miserably and it kind of scares you off a little bit so a couple things to keep noto first of all actions are could be a simple as one step and we'll see that later in this lesson is it could just be a siri's of one little simple step actions but they're hard to get to or require some really weird keyboard shortcut combination also actions don't have to do the entire thing like we talked about in the last hour yesterday I said that automation can also mean I want to automate a portion of what I'm doing and I have plenty of actions that do most of the work and then I do a little bit or they do all the work but set it up in such a way that it's so flexible than I could tweak it because I think some people worry that well if I run an action than every image will look exactly the same if you running on action that includes smart filters or adjustment layers or anything like that it's creating this editable a document that I can very easily work with and the other thing that I mentioned that the reason people say don't use actions is they have this perception that it's for big bulk multiple image kind of things and I must admit I fault myself in some ways for that because when I first started showing actions I would be so enthralled with that I'd create this crazy fifty step action that would turn text into melting plastic lead type or something and people look at and go yes I could see using that all the time so they got the misperception ction of actions because it looked way more complicated need to be so basically lets get jump into a bit but summarized by saying an action simply means look it's something you do on a regular basis or you need to do ten times over the next hour that you could it would make your life simpler if it was quicker and that's what actions all about actions all revolved around the actions panel so if you don't currently see the actions panel you would go to the window menu and find it usually it's there here's my actions panel and here's the list of my sets of actions now they're called sets but in typical photoshopped fashion they looked like folders and that's a good idea to do first of all just to make your life simpler is to make a new set for your actions so I'm going to call this something so I know what it is and there's two reasons for doing this one of them is itjust helps organize your list of actions into more manageable sets but one of the really cool things about working with actions is that they're very share a bowl so if you have a colleague or a co worker a friend that also uses photo shop if you record an action you can share it with them actions are platform independent so does matter mac or pc it's just a small little file you could even email someone and they can load it in because basically it's just a siri's of instructions and actions just a list that says do these operations and if you want to share your actions it's much easier to share it if it's in a set even if there's only one action there is a lot easier to share if it's in this separate folder or set so in this example having said all that about starting off the right way I realize I have a smart object and for this particular example that's not going to work very well so I'm gonna have to go in here and rest arise this layer and pretend it was a regular document okay so let's start that again l a b sharpened record now maybe it's only me that thought this I've talked to a few people who laughed and agreed that they did the same thing for some reason when I first started recording my first action I thought it was recording how long I was taking so I was scrambling trying to things really quickly and I realized later on time has got nothing to do with it so you can relax because it's recording step by step not how long you take but what you do so that way like right now technically it's recording but nothing's being recorded cause I haven't done anything yet so that way you could take your time and if you make a mistake most the time you can edit later as we'll see so all the pressure's off you don't worry about what if I don't get it right the first time because you khun usually tweak it all right so let's go back here to this technique called les be sharpening on the concept of this method of sharpening is we're going to sharpen a portion of the information normally this is what the channels panel looks like rgb red green blue but as part of my action I'm going to change the mode temporarily to l a be color and you'll see it says that in the actions panels so anytime you record a step it should show up here if it doesn't we will see examples of how you can kind of work around that so then as part of this action I want to click on the lightness channel make that the act of channel then I go to my filter menu and I'm going to do for example on sharp mask now here's the first question that comes up when we're recording and action what what do you do with filters because filters as I mentioned before it's going to record the very specific settings that I put in here so how do I know what settings to put in that's going toe apply toe all photographs well the likelihood is I probably don't so you have a couple of choices here one would be to pick settings that are as best you can a rough idea of its going to be applicable for a bunch of images or put in some numbers and then edit on the fly and I'm going to do the latter I'm gonna go in here and say let's just put it up to certain numbers I don't do it higher than I normally what's you khun see something happening and then I click okay and you can see any time you see this little theworld down little triangle here can tell me showing me this is exactly how this was recorded so now I go back and I change the mode back to our g b and then I stopped recording so basically now I have an action that simply says convert this l a b mode select the lightness channel apply on sharp mask baked go back to the main lobby and convert back to rgb okay so now let's uh use our history panel and go back here to this so here you can see this is before I did any sharpening now I go and I run this action and I hit play and it goes bang and it's done so I went through all those steps that quickly and it sharpened my image and that's a simple but effective example of running in action because that did it way faster you think how long that would take me to go under this menu and choose convert mogo the channels panel click on that go back here and apply the filter this does it that quickly which is really impressive now let's go and go back for a second what happens though if you decide for example well maybe I that amount of sharpening is too much or too little take a look beside this step where says a kn sharp mass there's a little empty box here this is known as a motel control and that really is an interrupt switch and if you click on it that means this time when it runs the action it'll get to this step pause and let you interact with so watch the difference this time when I run this action is going to play and then stop and say how much would you like to sharpen and we'll say even maur no not that I would normally do that but it again for the purpose of demonstration I click okay and then it does the rest the like many things in photo shop if you turn on this little interrupts which it means it will stay on from then on so every time you go to run this action it will stop at this one shark masks step now one of the concepts of action is like a lot of our kind of pre set type things in photoshopped this is built into photoshopped now so if I open another document and hit play you'll see it does the same thing and says how much would you like to sharpen you say this much click okay and now the next one has done as well so actions can be applied to individual images or as we'll see later you can also do something called a batch where you say I want to take this whole folder full of images and run the same action toe all of them now the other possibility let's just go back here and revert this image too before I did this is if I turn off this motel control in the actions panel it reminds us that you did recorded one forty eight percent radius of nine point two threshold of zero if I decide for this particular image I need a different setting rather than have to put that pause on let me phrase it a different way what if I have six images in a row that I want to sharpen a very specific amount that's not the amount that I recorded the action instead of having to pause each one I don't really want to do that I want to run it automatically is a batch well the problem with having this little interrupt switch on is when if you did a batch supposedly automated process from a to z it would pause with every photograph and say how much would you like to sharpen you click okay so you have to we sit there and baby said so the other option and I actually prefer this a lot of the time is too change the filter settings on the fly before you run the action so in this case let's look again it's saying well I had a gn shark mass one forty eight nine point two zero if I before I go to run the filter on this and a series of other photographs and I want to edit I simply double click on it and that opens it up and I can't say I would like it to be this much and now my click okay you'll see these settings change and from now on those will be the settings in my action so when I edit any step I always have the ability to go back in and edit it from simply by double clicking on that step to change the settings and then it will actually record those settings also when you recorded the action look inside here you'll see there's a check mark automatically beside each step in this case it wouldn't make any sense to do so but if you decided in some action that you need to run it and not do this step then you can just un check it if you recorded an action and you realize that steps in the action were in the incorrect order just like in the layers panel where you khun drag layers up or down in the actions panel you khun drag a step up or down so if you realize oops I should have done that first you khun drag that step up or down so what many people do is they record an action for a particular purpose that's quite specific but then later on down the rule they realized well I could use that action for something else if I just slightly tweak it changed the order of this step and don't do that one operation that that's one of the ways we can edit actions as we go this little file here this action if let's say for the sake of argument that I needed to share this with my colleagues because they we all want to sharpen exactly the same way as I mentioned before the reason I put this in it's own folder or set is now when you choose to save actions you khun do that just to show you the difference if I simply clicked on the one called leiby sharpen save action is great out won't let me do that so I have to do it on the set basis even though there's only one action this set that's where I can save it when you go to save it it'll save it as a dot a tn file as I mentioned also this is a cross platform file format so you can easily export that action or say that action out and send it to someone they loaded into their version of photo shop and as long as you're action doesn't include things like use this typeface that's unique to my machine if it's something like this l a be sharpened it would work like a charm because there's nothing very unique about it now just while we're on this topic there are plenty of places out there where you can find and get actions many of which are free there are action sets that that are out there that are for sale but if you go for example to adobes website there's a marketplace kind of thing who's name is just escaped me but I'll come up with it later on and tell you uh it's a place where you can find actions and most many of them are free you have to register and it's searchable so if you do decide you're trying to find I need some action that creates a particular effect like molten plastic then you can search for that chances are you'll find three or four of them and then you download them to your machine and run it and then you're ready to go now don't be at all surprised and I always throw this little warning in here if you downloaded action from some other that someone has made some person who very thankfully record something and shares it with us but we don't really know how they set up their system so for example I've had cases where I downloaded action I hit the play button and it came up with some error message and the error I was kind of non describable it just sort of said load this something rather missing and didn't really give you an answer and the problem was that as I mentioned actions are very specific so maybe when he record he or she recorded in action they thought oh this works if I'm in c m y k mode but they didn't tell you that so they already had converted their docking to see m y k before they started recording the action well many cases that would mean if you tried to run that action in an rgb document it wouldn't work and again the error message is kind of unique so I only say that because as muchas there's lots and lots of actions that you download that air really useful and worked like a charm there are others that may not be too sure about so let me give you a couple of hints here if you're looking at actions for example let's look in here at this folder called default actions and these air once that cum built in to photo shop so looking here for example see this one that says vignette brackets selection or here's one that says cash shadow brackets type if you are here's one that says layer so basically here's outworks anything you see in brackets that's almost photo shops way of sword the action way of saying first make a or first click first create in this case if it says bracket selection that means first make a selection if I had nothing selected and I tried to run this action it wouldn't work the other one's say for example type or layer if I did not have a separate layer and clicked on it or if I didn't not have type as an active layer then when I went to run those particular actions they wouldn't work so that's a fairly common accepted way of making people's life easier so for example if for some reason this would be a bit of a stretch but let's say someone did create an action that only worked in c m y k mode it would be name of action bracket c m y kate again that would be relatively rare but that's kind of the point of what when you see something in brackets that it's what it means one of things that you can do which is kind of interesting and you'll run into this when you're seeing actions created by other people is let's say in this case that I put that interrupts which right before on shark mask and I was going to give this to a colleague who wasn't that familiar with actions what would they think if it's suddenly they're running in action and suddenly popped up with a gn sharp mass they'd be like what what am I supposed to do here so after you've recorded the action you have the option of clicking just before this step and there's a command in here called insert stop and what this does is it allows you to insert a little message so I'll say next you uh choose the settings for on sharp mask then okay to continue and then you choose allow continue so now you've got this little stop so let's see what this action looks like this time when I run it he comes up here and it says next issue's setting for this man's thank looking okay so now I do that I click okay so that put in that little stop message that whoever was looking getting this action for the first time would know what would happen so part of the reason I show that is if you download an action from some other source and some message pops up that's how it first of all that's how they do it but secondly that's the whole point of them is usually it's to give you some useful information that's good to know and I've talked a little bit about downloading actions from other sources in a part of the reason I'm talking about that affair bit is to me that's one of the most effective ways to really grasp how actions work is fine one that someone else created and then run it and look at all the steps in the action and I found when I was first trying to grasp how his work there were a few things that were mysterious to me so I downloaded an action and worked really well and I went back and I went okay they made sure they did this first and did that second and things of that nature that's kind of the idea of how we learn from other people's actions is by downloading it and then watching looking at you always see the breakdown of how it's done but that way you can kind of see all the steps if you really want to if you wantto make sure you're saying what's happening one of the options in the layers panel is called playback options and what this allows me to do is say I would like you to slow it down normally with the whole point of an action is to be accelerated but if I choose step by step what this means is this time when I run the action everything goals a lot slower so I can kind of see everything unveiling itself in the action's panel so I don't feel like it just sit by and I have no idea what's going on very important suggestion if you do that when you're learning make sure you go back and to playback options and put it back to accelerate because again the whole point of actions really is to speed things up and go really really quickly so that you're not thinking well that that that didn't work why it's not that much faster than me doing it by hand the whole point of actions is again to do things that speeds faster than you possibly can now let's assume for a moment that I had a layer in here and it was called layer one if I was creating an action and I'll just call it something and let's say I'm going to stop for one second because I want to make the snow you look like this okay so let's start recording again so you can see here than in my actions panel I'm on currently on the background layer well if I as part of my action needed to make sure layer one was the act the layer when I click on it see what happens it's actually the action says select the layer in quotations layer one so that means quite literally from now on if I have any layer document the layer that I'm working on had better be called layer one or I'll get an error message and that's how specific actions are so instead there's another way to do it that's going to give me a better way to make sure all I'm telling it is to select the next layer up and not by name so let's delete that step and say if I wanted to do that again there's a whole bunch of keyboard shortcuts with layers and one of them involves select the next layer up so if I press option or ault and the left bracket key it's select the next layer up which in action terminology says select backward layer but the difference is now if I open any other document that had layers no matter what they were named on as long as I initially was on the background layer then when I started on the action the first step in the action be select the next layer up regardless of it's name and those were the kind of traps that usually catch people is that they click on a layer bye mouse so that records the name of the layer instead we want to use these shortcuts so the shortcuts are let me just add a couple more layers the's the option or all key and the bracket keys option right bracket goes to the very bottom and starts see how it just sort of cycling through option or alter the left bracket goes down the other way and if you do option shift left bracket or right bracket it starts to select multiple air so there's different combinations of that shortcut but the real point of this is try to avoid the habit of clicking on a layer unless it's the background layer of that's always going to be called background but even then that could he run into a bit of a problem so try to do in such a way that your recording not the name of the layer but the position of it using those shortcuts and in the er pdf handout for subscribers you'll see there's a list of what those shortcuts are that are so useful to select the different layers okay all right so let's close this document and look at something else that's kind of interesting and this is fairly new in the world of action so even if you played with actions a little bit this is actually a new idea as a photo shop see a six so when I look closely at this photograph I could see that unfortunately I had sensor dust on my cameron you can see there's one there one there and I think there's one up here when I first looked at this I thought this was one too but then I realized that one move so it's actually tape on the floor and the only good thing about sensor dust is that it appears in the same place in every photograph so let me pause and say my hope is you never have to run this particular type of action because it means you have a dirty camera and hopefully you don't but if you do the one good thing about censored us as I mentioned as it does always stay in the same place now the theory was in the past well that way at least you could try it was possible too somehow automate this it would work because the sensor dust is in the same location the problem was up until very recently one of the few things that you cannot could not record as an action was things like paint with a brush or hell with the healing russian things of that nature will now you can and that's pretty darn cool and it's really interesting to me because it's actually of one on ly one thing yu turn on in the actions panel but it's incredibly powerful and that's allow tool recording when that is turned on now that means that whenever I'm recording an action it will record operations like paint with my paintbrush so let's throw away this testament goingto make a new action just a reminder I already have one of my photographs open I'm gonna tell it to make a new action in my set here and we're to call this spot removal now needless to say I would not do this if I only had like two photographs but let's pretend I had one hundred fifty taken at the same time and realize all of them have the same sensor dust issue so I hit the record button now I'm going to first at a new layer because I want to put the results of the tool I'm going to use on that separate layer just in case when I do my hundred fifty photographs there's one or two that didn't work so well so then I go to a spot healing and I paint over that problem and that problem and it didn't work why not because I didn't have sample all layers turned on bad boy dave didn't do your checklist okay now it'll work so what that means if I pause for a second there's a couple of spot healing brushes in there that didn't work so I could choose to tried to fix it but you know what I'll fix it later because I can uh and all that's all I'm doing is those three spots then I going to use a command to save as psd file and then stop recording so now that I've done that aiken delete this thes first to spot healing because those were mistakes I didn't have sample all ayers turned on so now let's close this file if I go to one of my other files taken at the same time now I can see there little sensor dust I should be able to just hit the name of this action and hit play enough I had recorded on function key shortcut I could have automated even that part but I didn't for the purpose of demonstration and I hit save or play I sorry and ago is already done and you'll see there's a new layer and on that layer there's three little spots to fix that now why did I why didn't I just merge the layers of the end well just in case that in one of the photos maybe the ballet dancer has her hand right in a spot where there is one of those sensor dust problems and the spot healing brushwood do something were to her hand so I want to be able to still go in to that step and make sure that part is going to work also in this case I included a step to choose saves psd here's why I did that I'm going to go in here and I'm actually gonna delete the psd files and needless to say I only have four in here but use your imaginations that there's one hundred and fifty that all share the same problem so as we talked about in our discussion of automation yesterday ideally I would love this whole process to be automated so I not do any more work because my fear is that that sensor dust on at least some of the photos might be in the wrong the healing might not work as well that's why I'm gonna make sure that each one of them is saved is a psd so I've recorded my action now I need to tell photoshopped okay let's run this automatically on these images and let me remind you that the built in automation functions are shouldn't say that sorry they're the automated functions and photoshopped you have the option of either running them from within photoshopped or from within bridge if I went back to photo shop now and shows automate batch it's going to say what folder would you like to apply this to now in this particular example that might be okay because I might want to say yes let me apply to every single image in the folder but often it's just a lot harder to do that are because maybe you don't want every single image have that that action applied to them so that's why I personally like using bridge some of the times I still end up selecting all the images but if there was one that was a reject anyways I actually don't need that one that's kind of point of running bashes from within bridge as a starting point is it's more visual and you can say yes these are the ones that I want so then I go to the tools menu and you'll see under photo shop there's a command called batch and in here it's the same one it still goes back to photo shop and it's pretty smart because it says well the last thing you just recorded was this one here so is that the one you want in this case it actually is now I want to make sure that this batch process the whole point of this is ideally I'd like to set everything click okay and then walk away and have it do it automatically but I have to make sure I'm set up for that so first of all I'm going to override action open command because if there was remember I talked about a few by mistake ope included on command your action was like open the document called this I don't want that happen in this case also I would look and say let's not have any color profile warnings or anything like that because I just want to make sure they just opens the next one I don't want to have to pause and babies at this under destination says where would you like to put them if you have none is just going to keep all your documents open which wouldn't be good so I'm gonna tell it let's put them in a folder let's choose the location of that folder and I was used very creative names like after action so I know this is where they're gonna go I create that and I choose it the other thing that I want to have happen in this case it probably won't happen because they're psd file but any time you're saving and file formats that have a second dialogue locks on the words you save for example is j peg and it says what quality of j peg you want or if you don't have maximize compatibility ternana psd he'd say it was a psd and another dialog box would come on I don't want that and I don't want I want to tell it all I really want you to do is remember the file format that I asked you to save it and this little checkbox effectively that's what it's doing is it says just remember the file format where I say that really nothing else under here you can change if you want to have some fancy naming system to remind you this is this second one that I did or whatever it might be but once you're ready to go then you click okay and it says the object layer is not currently available so that error suggest to me that there was something I did a miss and I'm guessing it is in your batch it's probably all I want I probably don't want to override that when maybe it's just this one maybe that's the one that I want let's just see how we're going to choose that after action folder ok there we go now this point if this was a real project I could walk away because it was doing the hundred and fifty automatically and if we go back to bridge will see here's thie after action folder and here's my psd files that I could look at in the hope that one has a problem and I could open it and adjusted and just to clarify when I was going through in the batch and I said turn off the action open commands that was actually I misspoke and saying that because in that case it it almost overrode the ability to say we'll go on to the next one so I don't want to do that in this case it's really the biggest one that normally runs I run a problem with is this suppress sculler profile warnings and you know it many people who were recording the class on photo shop might at this point go back and just redo that whole things you didn't get that error but there's a couple of reasons why I'm not going to do that I want to show you exactly what happened here is because a that's real life that happens and b one of the harsh realities of doing batch processing in photo shop is sometimes you'll have be absolutely certain everything is set up perfectly and then you click okay and it's still forces you to click that second save button every time or it's a batch action that you know you have run before but for some reason this time when you run it it doesn't work properly so I'm deliberately leaving this in because honestly in the real world sometimes batch processing is a little funky so it doesn't always work the way you expect if that happens sometimes and simple is go back and try it again or realized oh maybe I shouldn't have put that checkbox on there so that's kind of the reality of how batch processing works now once you have successfully done a batch kind of thing one of things you might want to consider doing is some people like using droplets I personally don't because I tend to do things using bridge but just to show you you can go to automate and there's a command called create droplet here's what that does I'm gonna put that droplet on my desktop on desktop now this means I'll have to show you my messy desktop once I do this but basically everything else you do the same you still create a a folder you choose it whatever it might be but this time when you click okay nothing actually happens it doesn't run the action what it does yeah there's my messy desktop see that thing right there that is a droplet so if I had a droplet on my desktop I do a photo shoot and I think oh I need to take everything in this folder and run it on this one you just drag it on top of it and it does a batch without you having to set anything up some people like that because they have a siri's of functions they do all the time to images and that's fine personally I would say for me about be about fifty fifty because about half the time I like to go into bridge because again in bridge I can click on images and decide these are the ones that I want when you make a droplet while it's very convenient it assumes the contents of the entire folder unless you tell it otherwise which again in your circumstance maybe perfect so you may end up with a hole desktop with little droplets you dragged things on top of all right let's go back here for a second and let's open this one and let's do a simpler example here let's say that I've got a siri's of images of this motorcycle and all they want to do is say that I know that we're doing some affect where any image which is wide I want to apply a particular look like say a really heavy sharpening but anyone's that are tall I don't because of whatever circumstance I'm going to use these ones for print and the tall one's not well that used to present a problem uh let's just call it a filter some one of the options that we can do now is in the actions panel there is an option called insert conditional and this means I'm goingto help photoshopped decide should I do the next step or not so for example here you can see here are the options and there's a whole bunch of them let's move this up a bit you can see all the different options so you're saying if the document is landscape then do this if the document is has layers or has a selection or if the layers a background see all these different options so in this case I'm going to say if the document is landscape then I want you to play on action otherwise not so I'm going to say if the document is in landscape then play the action the sharpening one that I did before otherwise don't do anything so you'll see that all that's in this action is an if statement and then I can stop recording so let's do this we'll go back here now I realize for this to work I need for these to be just regular not smart object so I'm gonna do a quick little uh image processor end up with ease in j peg run and again I'm doing that only because when I have because of the action I recorded having smart objects wouldn't be as useful but this way you'll just be ableto see the results of this real quickly get me set up the way that I want with a bunch of j pegs one of them was a photoshopped format that I'm saving a shaping okay so now in this j peg folder I goto tools photo shop batch in this case I'm going to say I want to use a filter some and let's put them in another new folder this click okay I forgot that I had that scharping thing turn on so that would normally be something I would turn off in this case I'm gonna have to go with the flow so that was a good example of don't run too fast dave check first in this case it's not a horrible thing for me to sit here and click on just because I have like four or five of them but imagine if I had three hundred I definitely wouldn't want to do this so I should have remembered that before I because I'm this if statement is saying play the action les be sharpened so I should have gone into this one and turn off the stop and the shark mask function but basically we see now if we go back to our one hears the after batch and you'll see it's kind of hard to hopefully you can see that one obviously as a filter applied to it this one does not even see it the difference in sharpening their so it basically skipped the one photograph that was tall and did the sharpie to everyone else and that is a conditional statement so that in the in any filter sorry in any action you have the option of saying insert conditional and then you can say well if these circumstances happened so what you could do is for example here's a let me pauses say here's an example of a way that people use this let's say you want to put a watermark on the bottom right hand corner of every photograph well if you recorded an action on a landscape photograph and said put your watermark right here then you ran the action on a tall document maybe the position wouldn't work so the solution that lot of people used to do was record two actions one where you're putting the logo in the bottom right hand corner of the tall document and then you stop and start a second one where you put the logo on the bottom right hand corner of a tall document that worked but that what that meant was in the past you had to run yourself going it's okay let me find all the tall documents and run action number one then let me go back and find all the landscape documents and run action number two and here I dont obvious don't have these already recorded but let's imagine I had recorded those two actions one for tall one for wide then in this conditional I would say if the document is landscape play the action that's landscape logo otherwise play the action that's portrait logo or whatever I call them so that's a nice little add on that's very new to photo shop is the ability to do things based on some condition that you're working on all right let's let's do an example here of an action that is going to try to set us up too create an effect but then be able to edit it on different images let's go back here and find r j peg and let's use uh this one and I want to create some kind of border effect but I'd like this border effect to be quite editable yes they want every photograph toe look exactly the same so we're going to make a new action and more gonna call it border and we won't bother with a function key shortcut now I'm gonna look at the situation just to make sure in this time okay I've got an image open them on the background okay good so I record first thing I want to do in this case is unlock the background layer optional double click on it will on lock it and then at a new layer below commander control click on the new layer button on this new layer I'm going to make a selection now if I just dragged a selection that would work if every image was the same size but here's an example of a way in actions to kind of make sure you're giving yourselves maur flexibility I'm going to choose select all then I go to transform selection and I'm going to transform the selection by percentage and I'm going to say let's make it eighty percent smaller actually it's probably too much about ninety percent that's better click okay and enter and now on this new layer I'm gonna fill that with black and d select now I'm goingto take this layer and convert it to a smart object because I want to be able this is one of things I want to be able to customize so I'm going to go in and choose distort displace and put in some numbers again these wolves once I'll be able to fix later on and we'll go to our desktop and make sure I have some kind of map don't even know what this is look look okay on dh I'm not sure that it really did anything at sea I'm gonna make a clipping mask okay it's a little bit of a border and so not as much as I want I might have to go in and adjust that later on and then the final thing also add another layer and philip below I should say and fill it with white and then go back to my action and stop recording okay so now let's first of all before we do anything else make sure it works on this one image so we're going to go back for actions panel and look on border you can see there's quite a few steps here but that's ok because we want the editor billy this is going to give us so I hit play and it goes through and there's the effect that I want now it's done that but I look at this and go for example I'm not one hundred percent convinced about this effect here but that's okay because I still have the displaced filters liken double click on it and say let's try much higher numbers and click okay so this is after the action has been recorded I'm editing the results so I can go on and say I want to try something different that's a little better still not exactly where I want so I can take my move tool and reposition it and I could try some different kind of map to get this to work so really the point of this little exercise what to say to alleviate the fear that well what if I create a action every photograph will look the same way and it's kind of the same theory is people who shy away from using presets infor adjustment layers because it's while every photographs colonel if I click that same preset it will look the same have the same effect and looked the same way and the reality is if you do it in the ideal manner then like in this case I do have the ability to edit it so if I kept playing with this and tried a different mask if I moved to a different sized photograph I get a different result but in each case the net result of the action is creating a layered document that I can work on so in an example like this I wouldn't record this necessarily or probably to run as a batch on one hundred images but I would have here is a siri's of little borders that I have created I can run the action by hitting play it does all the work for me and then I just tweak a little bit so instead of every time I want a border remembering all those steps I'm letting the action do it all for me but in a way that's that's very non destructive editable kind of manner of working and that's one of the approach is that you can take with actions I think is going to make your life simpler is knowing that this is a smart filter this is a clipping mask this is all avery editable kind of operation all right let's go back here and let's go back and get another document I'm just gonna open a non cameron's opening it directly in photo shop but I do probably wanted to be a little smaller doesn't quite so large just make it a little smaller ok one of things that I want to point out to you is again just so you don't have any worry that actions are these complicated multi kind of step procedures there was a function and photoshopped years ago that looked like this I'm just going to show you what before I used to have to do is if I had a layer and I decided I wanted to use the layer style called stroke every time I went to it now this is fixed but in the past or what you did it would always default to outside and this would always be red that's just the way it works now this is a new button so this is no longer the case but what this led to me doing was looking at it going I am so tired of every time I simply want to add a black stroke I have to go stroke change it to inside change it to black and do that over and over again so one day I just thought you know what I'm going to record an action and all that action is is just this one thing at a black stroke that's it nothing else and when I did that I had this little kind of low light bulb moment I thought you know what there's probably a lot of little things like that that I do all the time that require two or three klicks to fix so one afternoon I sat there let's just delete that layer and I went into my actions panel closes up and I made a siri's of little actions all of these are just one step rotate ten degrees clockwise roti ten degrees counterclockwise flip for asato flip vertical scale ten percent smaller duplicate layer so all of these are just little simple one step actions like here's one that's at a black stroke at a white stroke all that kind of thing okay so the idea behind this is I want to do a series of operations to a bunch of photographs each one is different though so I can't just record one action that says do all these things so I need to be able to kind of on the fly say do this now to this now too this so let's put this into this function called button mo you don't have to do this you could also give function key shortcuts but when you're in but mode these now become clickable buttons that our actions for example if I say all right let's duplicate the layer and then I'll make it smaller sanders hitting this ten percent button and then I wantto rotate it a little bit and and a black stroke this basically all of these things are just saying I just want to speed up my work now I wantto rotate it again even smaller and aiken in the middle decide I want it up here and maybe I want to make it a smart object so now I could do a filter so all that I'm doing is saving myself time like convert to smart filter normally have to leave what I'm doing right click on here and choose convert to smart filter scale ten percent smaller normally have to go free transformed type in ninety degree or ninety percent and hit enter so the point of these little one step actions is that it's just faster it's me clicking on buttons now as I mentioned you don't have to do but mode you khun have keyboard shortcuts for everything if you decide let's look at that for a second let's turn off button mode if I decide that for example I want to have a keyboard shortcut that simply makes smart object then all I have to do is I've already recorded this I just go back and say you know what let's give it a function key like f six so from now on on this computer anytime my press f six it will take on object and make it into a smart objects I distress of six it's smart so when we talked previously about editing keyboard shortcuts here's another option is record a single operation as an action give it a function key shortcut and then it's very simple for you to go in and say well from now on it's f something and if you look at the layers excuse me the actions panel it will show you its f six and you have to remember this is f six this is f four now once you have a siri's of one step actions if you really wanted to have some fun you could create an action and that action khun play multiple actions so if you wanted to say have an action and said well I want to take advantage of several these so I'm gonna hit record and say make smart object duplicate and click on these actions you're literally making an action that runs other actions and it sounds pretty crazy but it actually works but this idea here of making a smart object our shoes make adding a keyboard shortcut to any single action is a very effective way to take advantage of these single step actions now just before we as we wind things up here I just want to summarise a couple of things because I mentioned kind of before about editing but let's take a look here real quickly here's some default actions oh look there's actually one called molten lead I don't even remember that when I made that a comment about the action that turned something into molten lead so let's look at that and see what it is it's doing all these things well let's pretend for a moment that I actually recorded this and when I did I realize that these two steps here are in the wrong order so this I just drag up here and now from now on it will be the other way around the correct way or I decide that it doesn't make sense to have this one step anytime you see this little box gray that means this motel control has already been turned on so you have control on it so you can turn that on or off okay that don't show again thank you very much so now I can say all right well this is you know the toggle switch has been turned on or off I can also delete a layer excuse me a step in the action or duplicated so if I realize that I for example made a layer on it to make two layers I can take that step and duplicated so now there's two of them now be cautious a little bit about this kind of editing because sometimes when you recorded action fact this happens quite often the wording that photo shop uses for example here you say like make layer and others would sometimes it says set selection and that's when you choose d select it might say cents selection to none so if you go later on looking for a step called d select don't be surprised if it's not actually called that sobhi careful about editing and deleting steps that you think aren't necessary because they just might be worth a little bit differently the example of where I would do it is when I was showing you earlier and I forgot I didn't have sample all layers turned on so then when I did to healing brushes they were completely unnecessary so in those ones I could delete completely when I first started recording actions what I would often do is use the wrong tool and then undo and then keep going which of course meant my action would have the wrong function and then undo so once I finish recording I go and delete those two steps because there's really no point in having it do a step and then undo it but you can see there's lots of different options for editing and it's not a bad idea to look at an act it's already there and let's take a look at this one that says vignette selection and let's see if it's going to run I didn't check to see all I know is that the title says then yet selection means start with this election so let's see what happens I hit play and it goes through and goes interesting that's fun wonder why that happened let's backtrack a little bit I think what happened there was even though I said second let's try that again I think my problem was there that I didn't have the right action selected so let's try I think I didn't actually hit the play button here so let's try now plate okay so this example are now saying how much would you like to feather I really don't know let's try thirty click okay and then it does the rest now look at the results of this action this does not make me terribly happy because while it created the effect it's not vory editable so if I was going to do a version of this I would say well let's try to do it in a way I remember way back to the beginning we talked about working on destructively and I did kind of a then yet edge but using an adjustment layer and an editable mass so I would like I prefer to make an action that did those did in in that kind of manner so here's what I'd like you to do as a little assignment to start playing around with actions first make a very simple action no more than three or four steps that basically is a good example just I have a document open that's not a smart object and then record in action that's convert to smart object apply a filter click okay even just those two or three steps and stop recording then run it on a different document and see that you're creating this layered document that you can still read it and then if you feel you want to progress further you certainly contrive more complicated actions I'd also recommend that you look at a couple of the default actions run them and kind of get a feel for how they work but the most important thing I want to leave you with with actions is I don't necessarily think I think some people think I should record in action for this operation and they sort of think about it try to think ahead of time the reality for many people is here in the middle of a project and you've already done something five times I think I should have made an action for that and at least make an action for the remainder of that operation and any subsequent time but I think you'll find if you start with very basic actions then you can progress and do something further if you want to experience with batch actions that's great too again as I mentioned earlier don't be shocked if you run a batch action and it kind of doesn't work exactly the way you want my suggestion there is try a batch action on three photos or three images before you try it on three hundred because I'd rather have a mistake happened with a few images before it happens on many many images but that's what we're going to talk for that so I'm gonna leave you with that for the world of actions tomorrow we're goingto revisit presets we've talked about presets here and there but tomorrow we're going to kind of summarize everything and talk about how they all work and how you can create backup plans and move them around and really take full advantage of presents so we'll see you tomorrow have fun experimenting with actions

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Melinda Wong

Very good teaching. I really liked how clear Dave was with everything, the order he taught the material, and I thought the stories were very helpful. I REALLY wanted to understand photoshop and extremely thankful for his wisdom and knowledge. Thank you so much! This is what was holding me back from getting my photography started! :) It just seemed so intimidating and now I have a greater understanding.

a Creativelive Student

I'm a beginner and have found that the information Dave gives is great, although a little to fast at times. I'd like to buy the course but am curious. If I purchase can I watch it and pause it and rewind it? That would be extremely important to me. Thanks for a great service CreativeLive...

a Creativelive Student

Lots of information! Initially I thought I'd just watch the free version as I already have several Creativelive videos on Photoshop but I really like how the classes are broken into subjects and shorter, 1 hour sessions-it will make reviewing much easier! I love Dave's teaching style-he covers everything very well. (Plus the fact that he's Canadian, eh?) :D Thanks for offering such a great course! I'd would love to see Dave do a similar one on Illustrator.

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