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Adding steps to an existing action

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Adding steps to an existing action

In this movie,

Adding steps to an existing action

In this movie, I'll show you how to modify an existing action to make it even more flexible. So for example, in our case, we've created an action that's great if you start with a flat photographic image. But what if the image already contains layers in the first place? For example, I have a version of the image open that contains a smart object version of the photograph. And if I double click on it, you'll see that that opens it up inside of Camera Raw, which allows me to make whatever sort of modifications I like.

I’ll go ahead and escape out, because I’m pretty happy with what I have. And I’m got this other layer on top called depopulate. And if I were to scroll over here and zoom in, you can see what’s going on is that I’ve taken all of the people out of the scene. So if I turn off the depopulate layer, we’ve got a spattering of people walking across the top of the cliffs or more. And if I turn that depopulate back on, then they disappear. Our current action is not going to accommodate this scene, so we need to switch things out a little bit and here's how.

I'm going to go ahead and twirl close all these steps, so that we have a little bit more room to work. And then, because I don't want to replace this existing action. Because after all, it works fine for flat photographic images. I'll go ahead and grab the action and drag it and drop it onto the little page icon at the bottom of the actions panel. And then I'll go ahead and rename this action for office printer. Because I'm trying to create a series of corrections that are ideally suited for the printer inside my office. Now when you're adding steps to an action, ideally what you want to do is click on the step.

After which the newly recorded step should occur. Now in my case, I want the steps to occur right at the outset. But if you click on the action itself, then the new steps recorded at the end. So, I'll just go ahead and put them after set background for now. Then we can move them around later. Now I'll click on the circular recording icon at the bottom of the panel. And I'm going to start things off by going up to the Image menu and choosing the Duplicate command. That way, I eliminate any chance of saving over my original file. And I'll just go ahead and accept the default name.

Because, otherwise the new name could get recorded along with the action. Now you might think that we should duplicate the merged layers only because after all, the other steps are set up to work with a flat image file. But if we do that, we won't have a flat background. We'll have a single layer instead. So, we'll address that in a separate step. For now, I'll just go ahead and click OK. And we end up with a duplicate of the original file. Now, I'll go on to the Layer menu and I'll choose the Flatten Image command. Which as you may recall if you loaded D keys, I've given you a keyboard shortcut of control Shift+Alt+A or Cmd+Shift+Option+A on a Mac.

And the only reason I mention this is because I'm going to use that keyboard shortcut. Even though the command's right here doesn't save me any time or anything, but I want to make a point. If I press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+A or Cmd+Shift+Option+A on a Mac. Which is a keyboard shortcut that isn't running on 99% of the versions of Photoshop out there. That doesn't matter. Because again, the actions panel does not record the shortcut. It records the operation itself. So we see this new item that reads Flatten Image.

Now we need to take these two steps and put them at the beginning of the action. So, click on the stop button or press the escape key in order to stop recording. And then select both these steps by clicking on one and Shift-clicking on the other. And then drag them to above Set Background. Now go ahead and click on the Set Background step and let's play the action from here. But without the dialog boxes this time. So I'll go ahead and turn off the dialog boxes in front of Smart Sharpen and Set Filer effects.

And then I'll click the play button in order to play those remaining steps. So that we're up to speed. Now, the next thing I want to do is correct the image for my office printer. So the idea is this. Every time I print photographic images to the printer in this office because it's not a super high end printer, it's just an HP Laserjet. My screen calibration and the printer calibration aren't really in sync with each other. And I could work like crazy to make sure they are, but it's a pretty futile process when you're working with a local printer.

So the better thing to do is to figure out what's going wrong. And then a compensate in the opposite direction with an adjustment layer. So, what ends up happening is the printer increases the contrast of the image. So the shadows fill in and I end up losing the highlights. So here's what I'm going to do. I'll go ahead and make sure four office printer is selected. Either the action or the last step in the action either's going to work, because I want these next operations to appear at the end of the list. Then I'll click on the circular record icon in order to make it red.

So I know I'm recording. And I'll press the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac. Click the black light icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. And then chose the Curves command. And because I have alter option down, that brings up the new layer dialog box. I'll go ahead and call this layer compensation. And then I'll click OK in order create that new adjustment layer. Now because the printer is exaggerating the contrast, I need to reduce the contrast. Once again, in compensation.

So I'll go ahead and click to create a point up here at the top and drag it down a little bit. And I'm specifically looking for an input value of 225 and an output value of 215. And these are values that I figured out through trial and error, I'm not saying that there going to work with your local printer. They just happen to work well with mine. Then I’ll click at another point down and to the left and I’ll drag it up a little bit. And I’m looking for an input value of 30 this time around and an output value of 40.

Now notice that so far, the actions panel has recorded just one step. Make adjustment layer. Call it compensation. And use the default settings. And the default settings are a straight line. In other words, no correction whatsoever. So how do you make the actions panel record your current settings? Well, you do so by stopping the recording. And notice as soon as I click on the stop button, I get this new operation right here. And if I twirl it open, it' tells me that I've made these specific modifications.

Which is exactly what I want. All right. I'll go ahead and hide the Properties panel, just to get it off screen. And I'll twirl these guys close, just to save myself a little bit of room inside the actions panel. So it's not taking up all that much room. Now in this case, I don't have an image to revert. Because after all, I created a duplicate of the image. So I'm just going to close this one out. Because for our purposes, it's just a dummy image. It's just here so that we could record the action in the first place. So I'll close it and I'll click on the No button or the Don't Save button on a Mac.

And then once I'm back inside the original version of my file. If necessary, you might want to go to the File menu and choose the Revert command just to make sure that you're restoring the original version of the image. And then with that New Action selected. Go ahead and click on the play button. And you’ll see that Photoshop creates a duplicate of the image and goes ahead and plays all the steps, including the smart filter, which we can see inside of the Layers panel, as well as this compensation layer. So I want to stress something here.

The whole reason this adjustment layer exists is not because I like this version of image on the screen, but rather because when I print this version of the image. It's going to look like this. It's going to look like the image did before I applied the adjustment layer. In other words, your results will vary. But in any event, whether you need that compensation layer or not. That's how you go about enhancing existing action by adding additional steps both at the beginning of the action and at the end here inside Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC One-on-One: Mastery
Photoshop CC One-on-One: Mastery

101 video lessons · 11253 viewers

Deke McClelland

Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 25s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 25s
  2. 1h 21m
    1. The many and varied filters in the Filter Gallery
      1m 10s
    2. Introducing the Filter Gallery
      7m 25s
    3. Modifying Filter Gallery settings
      4m 27s
    4. Combining multiple Filter Gallery effects
      7m 28s
    5. The strange power of the Sketch filters
      7m 19s
    6. Converting an image to etched outlines
      5m 58s
    7. Turning those outlines into "digital ink"
      4m 21s
    8. Duplicating a complex Smart Filter sequence
      5m 31s
    9. Customizing a filter effect for a new image
      6m 47s
    10. Tracking Filter Gallery effects by name
      4m 2s
    11. Pencil sketching one image onto another
      6m 26s
    12. Brightening eyes and teeth in a filtered portrait
      8m 46s
    13. Using the new Oil Paint filter (CC Only)
      8m 8s
    14. Customizing an effect with a filter mask (CC Only)
      3m 56s
  3. 41m 16s
    1. Shining light onto a photograph
      1m 1s
    2. Introducing the Lighting Effects filter
      10m 3s
    3. Creating a custom, colorful vignette
      4m 34s
    4. Creating an angled watermark pattern
      5m 24s
    5. Lighting a watermark texture map
      6m 22s
    6. Turning text into a soft texture map
      3m 45s
    7. Creating raised credit-card-style letters
      5m 4s
    8. Wrapping an image using a displacement map
      5m 3s
  4. 30m 38s
    1. Magic is a shaky proposition
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing the Shake Reduction filter
      7m 41s
    3. Drawing custom Blur Trace boundaries
      8m 3s
    4. Modifying and comparing Blur Trace boundaries
      3m 1s
    5. The Blur Direction tool and Source Noise
      2m 58s
    6. Adding grain and smoothing color artifacts
      7m 23s
  5. 33m 37s
    1. Correcting barrel distortion and panoramas
      1m 4s
    2. Introducing the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      4m 17s
    3. Drawing polygonal constraints
      4m 10s
    4. Manually straightening a GoPro photo
      4m 45s
    5. Stitching together a seamless panorama
      4m 35s
    6. Correcting a pano with Adaptive Wide Angle
      6m 57s
    7. Aligning constraints and overcorrecting
      7m 49s
  6. 52m 52s
    1. Distorting an extracted image
      1m 24s
    2. Extracting a foreground from a background
      3m 30s
    3. Introducing the Puppet Warp command
      5m 2s
    4. Changing the mode and adding rotation
      4m 58s
    5. Adjusting the Expansion value
      4m 0s
    6. Using Pin Depth and Density
      4m 36s
    7. Applying Puppet Warp to editable text
      6m 41s
    8. Creating an intermediate text frame
      3m 16s
    9. Converting layers into animated frames
      7m 13s
    10. Tweening and animating text
      5m 10s
    11. Exporting a QuickTime movie and GIF animation
      7m 2s
  7. 1h 10m
    1. Why edit video in Photoshop?
      1m 5s
    2. Loading video clips into Photoshop
      5m 57s
    3. Creating gradually fading transitions
      6m 11s
    4. Activating a few painless keyboard shortcuts
      3m 41s
    5. Adding text to your video
      5m 21s
    6. Combining your text into video groups
      4m 57s
    7. Adding motion to text (or any layer)
      5m 33s
    8. Adding soundtracks and voiceovers
      6m 50s
    9. Exporting and examining your video
      6m 14s
    10. Editing an existing video comp
      8m 55s
    11. Adding a video clip to the start of a track
      5m 38s
    12. Superimposing video clips with blend modes
      4m 49s
    13. Applying a Smart Filter to an entire video clip
      5m 30s
  8. 1h 24m
    1. Merging multiple exposures in Photoshop
      1m 52s
    2. Automatically aligning bracketed photographs
      4m 13s
    3. Preparing bracketed photos in Camera Raw
      4m 47s
    4. Introducing the HDR Pro command
      4m 12s
    5. How the HDR Pro settings work
      4m 56s
    6. Dramatically increasing the detail in a photo
      7m 45s
    7. Adding a curve in HDR Pro to heighten reality
      9m 9s
    8. Creating a faux-HDR effect in Camera Raw
      6m 17s
    9. Simulating HDR exposures in Camera Raw
      6m 57s
    10. Merging simulated exposures in HDR Pro
      7m 17s
    11. Creating an authentic HDR portrait shot
      6m 12s
    12. Softening an HDR portrait shot
      4m 28s
    13. Developing HDR in Camera Raw
      8m 53s
    14. Working with a 32-bit channel image
      7m 6s
  9. 1h 11m
    1. Managing the multilayer experience
      1m 52s
    2. Renaming a sequence of layers
      5m 35s
    3. Refining the Layers list using filter icons
      3m 31s
    4. Searching by name, effect, and blend mode
      5m 20s
    5. Color property, hide, show, and lock
      5m 28s
    6. Deleting empty layers; replacing fonts (CC 2014) NEW
      5m 56s
    7. Deleting empty layers; replacing fonts (CC)
      4m 34s
    8. Grouping layers by name
      7m 53s
    9. Masking groups and effects in one operation
      5m 28s
    10. Expanding and collapsing all groups and effects
      3m 43s
    11. Introducing layer comps
      4m 4s
    12. Creating a dynamic layer comp
      5m 34s
    13. Applying a mode or effect to an entire group
      8m 55s
    14. Moving many layers without upsetting comps
      3m 28s
  10. 1h 15m
    1. Three incentives to recording actions
      2m 2s
    2. Introducing the Actions panel
      6m 31s
    3. Recording a simple but practical action
      7m 4s
    4. Modifying settings and playing an action
      7m 37s
    5. Creating a dynamically adjustable action
      5m 5s
    6. Adding steps to an existing action
      7m 56s
    7. Actioning a consistent image resolution
      8m 13s
    8. Modifying an adjustment and adding Save As
      6m 21s
    9. Actioning the creation of a flat CMYK image
      5m 18s
    10. Batch processing an entire folder of images
      6m 41s
    11. Saving and loading your actions
      4m 10s
    12. Creating a conditional action
      8m 47s
  11. 1m 20s
    1. See ya
      1m 20s

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