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Introducing the Actions panel

From: Photoshop CC One-on-One: Mastery

Video: Introducing the Actions panel

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Actions panel and also show you how to create a new action inside of an action set. To get to the Actions panel, go up to the Window menu and choose the Actions command, or you can you can also press the F9 key. Notice by default, the Actions panel is grouped along with the History panel, which makes a modicum of sense, because after all they both track operations. The difference is that the Actions panel allows you to record those operations, so that you can play them back later. If this is your first time in the panel, then you'll see this folder up here at the top called Default Actions.

Introducing the Actions panel

In this movie, I'll introduce you to the Actions panel and also show you how to create a new action inside of an action set. To get to the Actions panel, go up to the Window menu and choose the Actions command, or you can you can also press the F9 key. Notice by default, the Actions panel is grouped along with the History panel, which makes a modicum of sense, because after all they both track operations. The difference is that the Actions panel allows you to record those operations, so that you can play them back later. If this is your first time in the panel, then you'll see this folder up here at the top called Default Actions.

That is an action set and it contains a series of inset actions below here. So, Photoshop requires you to create your actions inside of sets, which is actually a good thing because that way you can organize your actions as you create them. Now, I don't think much of the default actions, but I will give you some guidance here. Anything that says the word selection, requires a selection. If it says type, you need a type layer. Layer doesn't really mean anything, it just means it's going to create a new layer for you.

If you want to experiment with one of these actions, then just go ahead and click on it, such as quadrant colors here, and then drop down to the play icon at the bottom of the Actions panel and click on it as well. One piece of advice however, before you play back any of these actions, make sure that you've saved your image. Just so that you don't lose any changes because chances are good you are not going to like what you get. Anyway, I'll just go ahead and click the play button and I end up with this stunner of an effect here. If you go to the fly on menu then you'll see that you have access to a bunch of other action sets as well, none of which are really anything to write home about.

We start with commands which just goes ahead and records single commands, as if we're trying to create keyboard shortcuts. And then it ends with Video Actions, which convert your image between different old-style video formats. The command of merit that you might want to know about upfront is Button Mode. And if you switch to it, then you'll see each one of the actions indicated by a button. At which point now all you have to do in order to play back an action is just click on it. So I'm going to get rid of this background copy layer, which contains that quadrant effect, in order to return to my original image.

And just to show you what I'm talking about, I'll click on sepia toning layer, and you can see that we end up with this effect here. Which is again, not that great, but at least you can modify the results by double clicking on this adjustment layer. Notice that the buttons have different colors associated with them. And that'll become important in just a moment. I'm going to switch back from the button mode to the standard mode by clicking on Button Mode. And you have to do that if you want to record an action, by the way. The button mode just allow you to play the actions back.

And then what I recommend you do, unless you end up falling in love with the default actions, I recommend that you select the default actions set. And then drop down to the little trash can icon, and Alt+Click on it, or Option+Click on it on a Mac, in order to get rid of those actions without bringing up an alert message. And if that seems like a fairly dramatic thing to do, bear in mind you can always bring those actions back by returning to the fly out menu, and choosing reset actions. Which is going to give you back all the default actions. So it's not like you can't get back to em if you want to.

Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on the Mac to undo that particular operation. I'm also going to go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command in order to restore the original version of my image. Now notice these icons down here at the bottom of the panel, only two of which are any longer available to us. Now you can create a new action by just clicking on this little page icon, but that will result in a default, automatically named action set which is not what you want. So the better thing to do is to have a goal in mind in the first place of' course, and then to click on this little folder icon in order to create a new action set and then you'll be asked to name it.

I'm going to call mine output actions, because these are going to be actions designed for printing images. And then I'll click okay. Now at this point presumbly you want to record in action. And you do that by dropping down to the page icon and clicking on it. That'll bring up the new action dialogue box, and I'm going to call mine Sharpen for Output, let's say. I want to put it in the set called output actions. If we had more actions available to us, then you could select them from this list. Notice at the bottom here we have this color option, and that defines the color assigned to the button inside the button mode.

So, if you want to colorful button, here's where you create it. But, you can always do that later by the way, so I'm just going to leave mine set to none. And, you can also assign a function key shortcut starting with F1 on the Mac, and then starting with F2 on a PC. And if you select one of these guys, let's say I select F3, then you can choose to make the shortcut just the function key or you can add the Shift and/or Control keys here on the PC, or the Shift and/or Command keys on the Mac.

Just bear in mind if you loaded my D keys, that's going to end up potentially overwriting some of my keyboard shortcuts, which, by the way, start at F5. I don't have anything from F1 through F4. But you may also find that you run into conflicts with some of the OS level keyboard shortcuts. So, what I generally do and this is just me, is I leave the Function key set to none, and, I just use the Play button in order to play the actions back. Then you want to click on the Record button in order to begin recording your action.

And notice now, that we have this red circle icon, right there, which indicates that we are in the middle of recording the action. And now, you would begin performing your operations. And as you do, each operation gets recorded inside the action. And we'll see what that looks like in a moment. But first I want to show you that you can at any time stop recording just by clicking on the square stop icon, or you can just press the Escape Key, and that will discontinue the recording of the action. Now, if you ever want to pick up the action again, which of course we would because we haven't recorded any operations You would just click on the circular Record button.

So those are the basics of using the Actions panel. In the next movie, we'll begin the process of recording a practical action.

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This video is part of

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

101 video lessons · 10428 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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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