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Creating conditional actions

From: Photoshop CS6 New Features

Video: Creating conditional actions

One of the great new features in Photoshop 13.1 is conditional actions, so the idea is you can perform one set of operations under one circumstance and another set of operations under a different circumstance. So here I am looking at the bunch of image treatments in Bridge which is a companion program in Photoshop and imagine that I want to do is I want to batch process these images, so I convert them all flat CMYK files that have no alpha channels, because alpha channels can produce problems sometimes when you bring images into other applications.

Creating conditional actions

One of the great new features in Photoshop 13.1 is conditional actions, so the idea is you can perform one set of operations under one circumstance and another set of operations under a different circumstance. So here I am looking at the bunch of image treatments in Bridge which is a companion program in Photoshop and imagine that I want to do is I want to batch process these images, so I convert them all flat CMYK files that have no alpha channels, because alpha channels can produce problems sometimes when you bring images into other applications.

Now I just happen to know that all the images of the guy down here don't have alpha channels and all those associated with the women at top do have alpha channels. So I need to create different actions depending on which is which and then have Photoshop determines which action to play. So here is how it works. I will start off by double-clicking on this guy here in order to open him up in Photoshop and then I'll bring my Actions panel by going to Window menu and choosing the Actions command, then notice I have this group of Actions called CMYK actions, and if you have access to the exercise files you can load them as well, by going to the flyout menu icon and choosing the Load Actions command.

And then you find in Actions file called CMYK actions.atn, which you can load up. However, I am going to go ahead and create these actions right now, because they are fairly easy to assemble. So I'll go ahead and close this set, and we'll create another set by clicking on the folder icon, and I'll call this one New CMYK actions, and then click OK. And now we need to start a new action by clicking on the little page icon at the bottom of the Actions panel, and I'll Name this one Convert to CMYK, because after all that's what it is going to do and then I'll click Record. And now we are in process of recording an action.

Step 1 is to go up to the Image menu, choose mode and choose CMYK Color, we are going to get a series of Alert messages here. I do want to go ahead and Rasterize my small objects, so I'll click on Rasterize button. I do want to go ahead and flat the image, so I'll click on the Flatten button, and I don't care about this alert message. It is telling me how CMYK conversions work. So I'll go ahead and I'll click OK. You will not see those alert messages in future, incidentally. Now typically after you convert an RGB image to CMYK, you want to give it a sharpening pass.

And we are just going to do that with a Static Filter, by going up to the Filter menu, choosing Sharpen and then choosing Smart Sharpen, and these are the Settings I came up with. They are a little over the top, but we have got an Amount value 250%, we have a Radius of 3 pixels, because after all, the halos are going to get smaller when we print this image. And then finally, I've got the Remove set to Lens Blur. Now I'll click OK in order to accept those settings. That's too much sharpening, and we're also sharpening not only details, but the color as well, which is not we want.

So to back things off, go up to the Edit menu and choose Fade Smart Sharpen, and you want to change the mode to Luminosity. You pretty much always want to do that, no matter what kind of sharpening you're applying incidentally. And then I am going to reduce the Opacity value to 50% to back off the effect, so we get this effect here, and now I'll click OK. All right, the image is now are ready to go. So go up to File menu and choose not the Save command, because you'll overwrite your original image, but rather, Save As, and I am going to go ahead and navigate to a folder that I've created in advance called CMYK for print right here, and I'll change the format from Photoshop to TIFF, and that's it, the File name is fine as is then I'll click on Save button.

Once the TIFF Options dialog box comes up, you want to make sure that your Image Compression is set to LZW that is a lossless compression scheme, so it's not going to hurt the darn thing. You want to leave Pixel Order alone and the Byte Order to be IBM PC or Macintosh really doesn't matter. Then go ahead and click the OK button in order to accept your change, and you can go ahead and close the image as well if you like, because you are done. And then go ahead and click on the Stop button in order to stop recording. I am going to switch back over to Bridge now, by going to File menu and choosing Browse in Bridge, or you can press Ctrl+Alt+O or Command+Option+O on the Mac, and I'll go ahead and open this yellow portrait of the woman inside Photoshop by double clicking on it.

And if you take a look at the Channels panel, you can see that I have got a handful of alpha channels, including this hair channel, which I use to paint her hair, and then we've got a couple of calculations as well, that were useful for creating the luminous highlights. All right, I am going to return back to the RGB image. By the way, I document all of these special Warhol treatments in a series of Deke's Techniques. So you can check out that course, search for Warhol if you like. So let's go ahead and convert this guy to a CMYK file that has no alpha channels, by clicking on the little page icon to create a New Action.

And I'll call this one CMYK sans alpha, let's say, and then I'll click the Record button. Now the first three steps are the same steps we recorded before, and if you want to replicate them, the easiest thing to do is to stop recording for a moment by clicking on the Stop button, down here in the bottom left corner of the panel, and then click on Convert mode and Shift-click on Fade to select all three of those guys and then Alt-drag or Option-drag them down to below the New Action like so, and then I'll go ahead and copy them in there.

Then you also want to play those operations, so click on the CMYK sans alpha and then click on the Play button in order to convert the image to CMYK and sharpen it. Then click on the Fade operation and click on the circular begin recording button in order to return to the record mode. Go up to the File menu, choose the Save As command, very important of course. Go ahead and navigate to your way to that CMYK for print folder once again. Change the format to TIFF, and then go ahead and turn off alpha channels, so that you turn on As a Copy, and then you want to click on the Save button in order to save a copy of that file.

You should see the same TIFF Options setting, as soon as you do, go ahead and click OK. And then finally go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command to make sure you don't harm the original image and then close it. And that way you'll record all those operations, so your original file will be safe and then you want to click on the Stop button in order to stop recording. All right, now we need to create the Conditional Action, and you do that by creating yet another action. So I'll go ahead and click on little page icon, and I'll call this one Check for alpha and then I'll click Record.

Then you go up to the Actions panel flyout menu, and you choose this command here, Insert Conditional, and in our case we want to change If Current--notice you have a lot of options to check for here. I am going to change it to the Document Has Alpha Channels, and if it does, what you want to do is Then Play the Action CMYK sans alpha, and if it doesn't, you want to go ahead and Play the Action Convert to CMYK, and now I'll go ahead and click OK in order to create that conditional item.

It's going to be called If, as you see right there, and now you're done. Just go ahead and click on the Stop button in order to stop the playback. All right, now let's return to the Bridge here so that we can batch process our files by choosing the Browse in Bridge command. And if you go to your CMYK for print folder, you are going to see that you've got a couple of Portraits Shots right there. Go ahead and delete them for now so that we can recreate them, so we can better get the results of the batch processing. And you do that by selecting one, Shift-clicking on the other and then by pressing Ctrl+Backspace or Command+Delete on the Mac.

If you get the warning just click OK in order to get rid of those files. And then let's go back to the Warhol variations folder, and I'll go up to the tools menu, choose Photoshop, and then choose Batch. Now that goes ahead and switches us to Photoshop, as you can see, here. We want the Source for images to be Bridge, so that's great. The Set should be New CMYK actions, because that's the set I just created. And the Action we're looking for is this guy right, Check for alpha, and that's it. You don't need to select any of the checkboxes, the Destination should be Save and Close, because we've already got Save and Close operation in there.

Now I'll just go ahead and click OK and Photoshop will go ahead and run through the operations, and you can see it was playing CMYK sans alpha for all the portraits of the women, and for the guy it was playing, Convert to CMYK. All right, let's go back to Bridge once again, by going to File menu and choosing Browse in Bridge and then we'll switch to the CMYK for print folder, and sure enough we've got six CMYK files, and we can tell that the guy didn't have any alpha channels, because none of his file names end with Copy, whereas, the woman, all of her file names end with Copy.

So that means the alpha channels were there, but the file was ultimately saved without them. And if you want to confirm that, go ahead and double-click on this first file in order to open it inside of Photoshop. I'll go ahead and close the Actions panel. I've already got my Channels panel open, and you can see that I've got my cyan, magenta, yellow and black channels, but I don't have any of the alpha channels, and so this image is ready for print. That's one of the many ways to take advantage of conditional actions inside Photoshop 13.1.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CS6 New Features
Photoshop CS6 New Features

38 video lessons · 42023 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 37s
  2. 2h 27m
    1. The secrets of the dark interface
      3m 55s
    2. Background and Auto-Save
      3m 22s
    3. The altogether revamped Crop tool
      4m 0s
    4. The consolidated Properties panel
      3m 58s
    5. The searchable Layers panel
      5m 2s
    6. Modifying multiple layers at a time
      4m 50s
    7. The wide world of layer enhancements
      6m 48s
    8. Content-Aware Move and Extend
      6m 16s
    9. Content-Aware Patch
      3m 14s
    10. Auto-Power color adjustments
      6m 3s
    11. The brave new world of Camera Raw 7
      6m 16s
    12. The new three-part Blur Gallery
      8m 9s
    13. The Adaptive Wide-Angle filter
      7m 7s
    14. Correcting wide-angle panoramas
      7m 14s
    15. Text enhancements & styles
      4m 48s
    16. Filling & stroking shape layers
      4m 37s
    17. Aligning and stacking vector-based shapes
      4m 17s
    18. Working with the Scripted Patterns
      3m 32s
    19. Erodible brush tips & airbrushes
      5m 44s
    20. The enhanced Liquify filter
      4m 20s
    21. The new Oil Paint filter
      4m 10s
    22. Selecting skin tones and faces
      5m 11s
    23. The new Lighting Effects filter
      6m 29s
    24. Editing videos in the Timeline panel
      10m 16s
    25. Making editable 3D type
      8m 8s
    26. 3D shadows and reflections
      6m 35s
    27. Aligning and distributing meshes in 3D
      3m 0s
  3. 50m 34s
    1. Introducing the first Photoshop Creative Cloud update
      1m 36s
    2. Liquify and Blur Gallery support Smart Objects
      8m 42s
    3. Creating conditional actions
      9m 51s
    4. Moving a point with the Pen tool on the fly
      3m 32s
    5. Autonaming merged layers
      4m 42s
    6. Creating global default type styles
      4m 57s
    7. Copying CSS code from specialty layers
      4m 54s
    8. Enhanced 3D lighting with 32-bit bit color
      6m 42s
    9. The new default 3D image-based light
      5m 38s
  4. 29s
    1. Goodbye
      29s

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