Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

Creating an action to save web graphics


Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Creating an action to save web graphics

So far so good, but let's say it's not quite enough. Not only do we want to take an entire folder full of images at a time and flatten them and change the resolution and convert them to CMYK and sharpen them and save them out as TIFF graphics to an independent folder, but we also want to take those exact same images and scale them for the web and give them a translucent black stroke and use the Save for Web command to save them out as JPG images into yet another independent folder. We want to be able to do that in one batch processing operation, knowing full well that the Batch command can accommodate just one action at a time.
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  1. 40m 45s
    1. Welcome
      2m 45s
    2. Making Photoshop your default image editor
      7m 43s
    3. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 10s
    4. Remapping OS shortcuts
      7m 37s
    5. Installing the Best Workflow color settings
      4m 31s
    6. The color settings explained
      6m 54s
    7. Loading the CS5 color settings in Bridge
      3m 5s
  2. 1h 11m
    1. Your creative range continues to expand
      1m 46s
    2. The Avatar project so far
      2m 38s
    3. Painting on a photograph
      7m 50s
    4. Adding texture and depth
      6m 14s
    5. Simulating chalky white paint
      7m 23s
    6. Masking and placing an image
      7m 20s
    7. Upsampling and Lens Blur
      5m 9s
    8. Blending blurry elements
      3m 48s
    9. Making a Smart Object
      6m 46s
    10. Placing an image as a Smart Object
      3m 22s
    11. Blending away a background
      5m 56s
    12. Applying Smart Filters
      4m 34s
    13. Creating a glow with Lens Flare
      3m 45s
    14. Blending and masking a glow
      5m 3s
  3. 1h 26m
    1. Using the image to select itself
      1m 53s
    2. Introducing masking
      6m 32s
    3. Making an alpha channel
      6m 54s
    4. Using the Calculations command
      6m 48s
    5. Add, Subtract, Offset, and Scale
      5m 54s
    6. Prepping an image with the Dodge tool
      6m 55s
    7. Fixing mistakes before they get too big
      6m 32s
    8. Painting in the Overlay mode
      5m 51s
    9. Exaggerating and selecting flesh tones
      7m 39s
    10. Smudge, Median, and the Blur tool
      6m 59s
    11. Masking low-contrast details
      6m 7s
    12. Creating a flesh-and-clothing mask
      5m 45s
    13. Masking and compositing the foreground
      5m 27s
    14. Finessing the final composition
      7m 39s
  4. 2h 24m
    1. Connecting the dots
      1m 40s
    2. The Pen tool and the Paths panel
      6m 32s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided outline
      6m 25s
    4. Editing a path outline
      6m 36s
    5. Adding and editing smooth points
      5m 35s
    6. Creating vector masks with the shape tools
      4m 59s
    7. Building a complex outline from shapes
      4m 26s
    8. Subtracting and transforming shapes
      6m 45s
    9. Cloning, flipping, and combining shapes
      8m 58s
    10. Roughing in non-symmetrical paths
      7m 41s
    11. Finessing a complex outline
      9m 15s
    12. Masking a layer effect
      8m 26s
    13. Isolating an image element
      6m 8s
    14. Smooth points and control handles
      9m 3s
    15. Stretching curved segments
      7m 49s
    16. Using the Rubber Band option
      9m 33s
    17. Drawing smooth points with the Pen tool
      6m 59s
    18. Shading an isolated object
      3m 45s
    19. Drawing cusp points
      7m 14s
    20. Setting points in the pasteboard
      9m 57s
    21. Using the Convert Point tool
      6m 42s
  5. 2h 57m
    1. Everything you need to know about blending
      1m 45s
    2. Photoshop CS5's blend modes
      7m 21s
    3. Cycling between blend modes
      6m 15s
    4. Darken and Lighten and their derivatives
      6m 3s
    5. The blend mode shortcuts
      8m 6s
    6. The Multiply and Burn modes
      4m 28s
    7. The Screen and Dodge modes
      6m 0s
    8. How opposite blend modes work
      8m 24s
    9. Why Multiply darkens and Divide lightens
      5m 23s
    10. Cleaning up a client's bad art
      5m 3s
    11. Dropping out a white background
      5m 56s
    12. Blending inside blend modes
      8m 3s
    13. Overlay, Soft Light, and Hard Light
      6m 26s
    14. Vivid, Linear, and Pin Light (and Hard Mix)
      6m 35s
    15. Difference, Exclusion, Subtract, and Divide
      7m 34s
    16. Great uses for the Difference mode
      6m 18s
    17. Promising uses for the Divide mode
      9m 6s
    18. Hue, Saturation, Color, and Luminosity
      7m 0s
    19. Blending an inverted layer
      3m 32s
    20. The "Fill Opacity Eight"
      7m 25s
    21. Making bad blend modes good
      5m 16s
    22. Making a knockout layer
      6m 53s
    23. Blending in the CMYK mode
      8m 3s
    24. Overprinting black text
      8m 29s
    25. Using the Luminance slider
      5m 24s
    26. Parametric luminance masking
      6m 21s
    27. Adjusting the behavior of luminance effects
      10m 8s
  6. 2h 2m
    1. Smart Objects = protective containers
      1m 35s
    2. Placing an Illustrator graphic
      6m 30s
    3. Vector copy and paste options
      6m 56s
    4. Applying Puppet Warp to vectors
      8m 9s
    5. "Gluing" vector art for Puppet Warp
      5m 50s
    6. Warping art onto the surface of an image
      8m 7s
    7. Blending a Smart Object
      4m 30s
    8. Blurring and blending a Smart Object
      6m 8s
    9. Making changes in Illustrator
      5m 57s
    10. Creating "true clones"
      7m 18s
    11. Double-flipping text
      4m 44s
    12. Applying effects to multiple layers
      3m 24s
    13. Updating true clones in one operation
      7m 36s
    14. Editing JPEGs as Camera Raw objects
      5m 49s
    15. Creating a double-exposure effect
      7m 15s
    16. Masking and shading transitions
      7m 47s
    17. Applying and repeating Camera Raw edits
      6m 9s
    18. Copying vs. cloning a Smart Object
      5m 18s
    19. Flipping a Smart Object and its mask
      3m 42s
    20. Adjusting multiple Camera Raw clones
      3m 53s
    21. Text that inverts everything behind it
      5m 34s
  7. 1h 59m
    1. This time, "smart" means dynamic
      1m 37s
    2. Introducing Smart Filters
      6m 28s
    3. Traditional High Pass sharpening
      5m 17s
    4. Smart High Pass in the Lab mode
      7m 57s
    5. Sharpening a high-frequency image
      7m 46s
    6. Retroactively reducing noise
      7m 31s
    7. Which filters are Smart Filters?
      6m 20s
    8. Shadows/Highlights as a Smart Filter
      4m 37s
    9. Nesting one Smart Object inside another
      7m 11s
    10. Drawing a mask from a nested Smart Object
      8m 7s
    11. Better Shadows/Highlights inside Lab
      9m 16s
    12. Tempering saturation values in Lab
      7m 0s
    13. Filtering live, editable text
      9m 2s
    14. Enhancing filters with layer effects
      4m 33s
    15. Applying a filter multiple times
      5m 0s
    16. Creating a synthetic star field
      7m 7s
    17. Making a stucco or drywall pattern
      6m 28s
    18. Land, sea, and clouds
      8m 27s
  8. 2h 50m
    1. Photoshop's advanced painting tools
      2m 3s
    2. Canvas texture and brush libraries
      6m 40s
    3. Painting with a predefined custom brush
      9m 21s
    4. Dissecting a custom brush
      11m 9s
    5. Designing and using a custom brush
      4m 54s
    6. Saving and loading brush presets
      5m 27s
    7. The ten styles of bristle brushes
      9m 47s
    8. Size, Spacing, and Angle
      7m 2s
    9. Using the Bristle Brush preview
      7m 53s
    10. Bristles, Length, Thickness, and Stiffness
      6m 53s
    11. Stylus tilt and mouse behavior
      5m 25s
    12. Stroking a path outline with a brush
      4m 0s
    13. Troubleshooting a stylus
      5m 49s
    14. Introducing the Mixer Brush
      7m 22s
    15. The Load, Mix, and Wet values
      5m 1s
    16. Cleaning and loading a brush
      6m 26s
    17. Shading a piece of graphic art
      6m 34s
    18. Shading with color
      7m 53s
    19. Mixing a photographic portrait
      6m 11s
    20. Tracing the fine details in an image
      5m 52s
    21. Crosshatching and brush size
      5m 53s
    22. Covering up and augmenting details
      7m 36s
    23. Painting in hair and fabric
      5m 54s
    24. Painting and scaling very fine hairs
      8m 7s
    25. Adding texture with the Emboss filter
      8m 31s
    26. Exploiting a "happy accident"
      2m 46s
  9. 1h 40m
    1. Artificial intelligence that works
      1m 22s
    2. The Auto-Align Layers command
      7m 25s
    3. The Auto-Blend Layers command
      3m 54s
    4. Masking auto-aligned layers
      4m 50s
    5. The Geometric Distortion setting
      6m 44s
    6. The Seamless Tones and Colors checkbox
      4m 8s
    7. Creating the best possible layer mask
      9m 18s
    8. Auto-blending depths of field
      5m 54s
    9. Finessing masks, accepting imperfections
      6m 29s
    10. Shooting and downsampling panorama images
      5m 54s
    11. Introducing the Photomerge command
      6m 40s
    12. Evaluating the Layout settings
      6m 47s
    13. Loading, aligning, and blending with Photomerge
      5m 36s
    14. Tracing and extracting seams
      7m 18s
    15. Adding a masked element into a panorama
      5m 55s
    16. Simplifying and correcting a panorama
      5m 58s
    17. Smart Filters and nondestructive cropping
      6m 43s
  10. 1h 18m
    1. The most mysterious of mysterious topics
      2m 29s
    2. Introducing HDR Toning
      6m 43s
    3. Reigning in clipped highlights
      5m 54s
    4. The Local Adaptation options
      9m 5s
    5. Nondestructive editing with HDR Toning
      8m 22s
    6. Using the HDR Toning Curve
      7m 2s
    7. HDR Toning vs. Shadows/Highlights
      6m 0s
    8. Merging multiple exposures
      7m 14s
    9. A first look at HDR Pro
      6m 24s
    10. Removing ghosts, correcting backlighting
      7m 11s
    11. Generating and editing an HDR comp
      7m 0s
    12. HDR rendered to completion
      5m 19s
  11. 1h 27m
    1. Processing hundreds of files in no time
      1m 43s
    2. Creating an action set
      6m 37s
    3. Making an action
      7m 7s
    4. Stop, Delete, and Record
      7m 12s
    5. Add, Undo, and Rerecord
      6m 40s
    6. Playing and testing an action
      6m 31s
    7. Playing and editing a specific operation
      6m 39s
    8. Permitting the user to change settings
      4m 58s
    9. Explaining an action with a custom stop
      5m 0s
    10. Batch-processing multiple images
      7m 22s
    11. Adding a Save As operation
      6m 34s
    12. Creating an action to save web graphics
      7m 59s
    13. Batching two actions into one
      7m 15s
    14. Saving and loading actions
      5m 30s
  12. 1m 19s
    1. See ya
      1m 19s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery
20h 1m Advanced Sep 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.

Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.

Topics include:
  • Using masks and blend modes in radically new ways
  • Mastering the Pen tool and Paths panel
  • Transforming and maximizing Smart Objects
  • Employing Smart Filters to create complex effects
  • Exploring the capabilities of Bristle brushes and the Mixer Brush
  • Merging multiple images into seamless panoramas
  • Exploring the full range of luminance with HDR Pro
  • Recording actions and batching-processing images
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Creating an action to save web graphics

So far so good, but let's say it's not quite enough. Not only do we want to take an entire folder full of images at a time and flatten them and change the resolution and convert them to CMYK and sharpen them and save them out as TIFF graphics to an independent folder, but we also want to take those exact same images and scale them for the web and give them a translucent black stroke and use the Save for Web command to save them out as JPG images into yet another independent folder. We want to be able to do that in one batch processing operation, knowing full well that the Batch command can accommodate just one action at a time.

What in the world do we do? Well, we create a separate action to save these images out as web graphics, and then we create yet another action that combines the CMYK action with the Save for Web action, and I'll show you how that works. So we're going to start with the Save for Web action in this exercise, and then we'll combine the two in the next exercise. So I have opened that image, Arles Amphitheater.psd, and this is a layered image, as you can see. It doesn't contain many layers, just one smart object, with variations applied as a Smart Filter.

But still, we're going to have to flatten this image. But before we do, we might as well start an action here inside the Actions panel. So click on the Productivity set to make it active, just so that we're sure we're going to create this action inside the Productivity set. Click on the little page icon at the bottom of the panel. And I'm going to call this guy "Size stroke & SFW," which stands for Save for Web, and then I'll click on the Record button to begin recording my action. The first step is to flatten the image, because after all, we have to downsample it significantly here.

We're going to send it to 16th of its current size. So there's no sense in having variations applied, or Smart Objects going, or anything else, because that's just going to gum up the works. So go up to the Layer menu and choose Flatten Image or press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F or Command+Shift+Option+F if you loaded Deke key. The keyboard shortcut does not affect the action. Now, at this point you might say, well, why are we flattening the image again? We already flattened it for the conversion to CMYK. Isn't once enough? No it's not, and the reason is because Photoshop is going to treat these as two independent actions that just happen to be grouped together.

You'll see what I mean shortly. The next step is to downsample the image. So go to the Image menu and choose the Image Size command. And then here inside the Image Size dialog box, make sure Resample Image is turned on. That's very important because we need to down sample. Constraint Proportion should be turned on as well. I always make sure Scale Styles is turned on. I mean we're working with a flat image so it doesn't matter at all. However, it seems to me just a good habit to get into. Next, I'm going to reduce the width value here to 590 pixels wide, because it's going down to a quarter wide and a quarter tall.

That's a 16th of the size in general. So it's quite a reduction, and then go ahead and click OK. And notice now if I twirl open Image Size, I can see that I went ahead and reduced the Width value to 590 pixels. Because Resample Image is turned on, everything else is changing in kind. Width Scale Styles doesn't matter, but there it is. Width Constrain Proportions, Interpolation bicubic. I made a mistake. I meant that to be Bicubic Sharper. Luckily, this is a very fortunate mistake. I'm going to zoom in, so that we can see the difference once we get done applying the setting.

We'll have sharper edges once we're through here. What I'm going to do is stop the recording for now, by clicking on the little square Stop button, and now I'll show you how to modify that setting. So if you do miss a setting along the way, don't worry about it. As long as you keep an eye on what's getting recorded by the Actions panel, you'll be able to address the problems on the fly. Anyways, the first thing is you want to undo the effects of the Image Size command, by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, so that the image is big again. That doesn't affect the action, which remains the same, because we are not recording any longer.

Now double-click on Image Size to enter that simultaneous Playback and Record changes mode, and make sure all the check boxes are on, which they are, and I'm now going to change the Interpolation method here from Bicubic to Bicubic Sharper. That should take care of our problem, because all of the other settings are what they should be. So I'll click OK, and now I'll take a look at what I've done. Now Image Size says with Scale Styles with Constrain Proportions, Interpolation Bicubic Sharper, but it didn't record the change in size this time. This kind of thing happens.

So I press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo the modification once again, and then I go back to Image Size, double-click on it. Sure enough, we are seeing all the check boxes on, and Interpolation is set to Bicubic Sharper (best for reduction). That's what I want. So I get that little bit of sharpness around the edges. But my Width value is unchanged. I need to reset that to 590 pixels, and then I'll click OK in order to apply the modification. This time I got everything. I've got Width, 590 pixels. I've got Scale Styles. I've got Constrain Proportions, and Interpolation is set to Bicubic Sharper. So far, so good.

Next step is to go ahead and throw on the translucent black stroke. So I'm going to click on the Record button in order to take up the recording process again. Now I want this to be a black stroke. Sure enough, my foreground color is black, but you don't know it's going to be that way for somebody playing back this action. Anytime you're making an assumption about the foreground or background colors, you need to dial in that color inside the Color panel, if it's anything but black-and-white. If it's black or white, then just press the D key in order to reset the swatches.

That goes ahead and ensures, no matter how another user has their color set up, that the foreground color will now be black, and the background color will be white. That's just what we want. Now press Ctrl+A, or Command+A on the Mac, in order to select the entire image, and Photoshop records that one kind of strangely. I'll twirl close the Image Size, and I'll twirl up and Set Selection to: All, just so you have a sense of how the program talks to itself. Anyway, I'm going to twirl that closed. Next, I want you to go up to the Edit menu and choose the Stroke command. That's my Deke key shortcut, by the way, Ctrl+Shift+Quote, Command+Shift+Quote on the Mac.

The default settings are just fine. That's a Width of 1 pixel, Color should be the foreground color, Location, Center, Blending is Normal 100%, Preserve Transparency is dimmed. Click OK, and you now have stroked the image. Now I said I want it to be a translucent stroke. So it kind of blends in with some of the details around the edges. I think that'll look good. And so I'll go up to the Edit menu and choose Fade Stroke, Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac, and I'm just going to reduce that Opacity value to 50%, nothing more. You don't have the multiply it in, or do anything fancy, because it's a black stroke; it's going to multiply itself automatically.

Click OK, and then finally, you press Ctrl+D or Command+D on the Mac to deselect the image. This time you're setting the selection to none. Interesting. There is one more step. Obviously, we need to save this graphic for the web. So go up to the File menu, choose Save for Web & Devices, that is Ctrl+Shift+Alt+S, Command+Shift+Option+S on the Mac. Then inside the Save for Web dialog box, it doesn't matter if you're looking at the Optimize display, or 2-Up, or any of that jazz. I want you to set JPG to High, Quality 60.

This is actually the Preset JPG High, if you'd prefer to work with that. We want to go ahead and convert the image to sRGB. Let's save what Metadata we have and then go ahead and click on the Save button in order to save that image. Then navigate your way to the Web imagery subfolder, and go ahead and click the Save button in order to save off that image, and we are done. Now you can click on the square Stop button to stop recording that action. Now that's half of the action. I was telling you, we want to able to convert the image to CMYK and save it out as a web graphic with one action.

So we're going to have to create an action that combines the two together, and I'll show you how that works in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery .

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Q: The instructions for installing the dekeKeys don't work on my computer (which is running Mac OS X Lion). Is there an update to these?
A: The dekeKeys distributed with this course will still work for Lion. You just need to add them to a slightly different folder than in previous versions of OS X.

Open a new Finder window and choose Go > Go to Folder. Type the following file path exactly as written below. Copying and pasting may result in an error.

~/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CS5/Presets/Keyboard Shortcuts

Move and/or copy/paste the dekeKeys to this folder and follow the rest of the instructions as outlined in the video, "Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts."
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