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Join Photoshop master Deke McClelland in the fourth and final installment of his popular Photoshop CC One-on-One series. In this course, Deke shares step-by-step tutorials and expert-level insights on the most powerful features, helping you make your own way to true Photoshop mastery.
In this movie, I'll show you how to modify the settings associated with a recorded step. And then, I'll show you how to play back your action to make sure it works. Now, as I look at the results of my sharpening here, I'm thinking that the image doesn't really look all that sharp. And if it doesn't look sharp on screen, it's going to look even less sharp in print. And the culprit, it seems to me, is the radius value. I need to increase the thickness of the halos here to make sure that they survive the printing process. So, the first thing you need to do before you modify any recording settings is to restore the original save version of the image by going up to the file menu and choosing the Revert command.
And the reason is, anytime you modify settings you reapply them. And of course, if we're sharpening on top of sharpening, we're not goinna get a sense of what's really going on. So if you're working along with me, go ahead and choose Revert. And then, what we want to do is modify the smart sharpen settings. And to do that, all you have to do is double click on smart sharpen here inside the actions panel, because anytime you double click on an action that involves a dialogue box, you're going to bring up the dialogue box and you're going to start the recording process. So in other words, the Actions panel is paying attention to what you're doing.
I'm going to go ahead and click over here in order to bring up this portion of the image inside the dialogue box. And the first thing I want to do is increase the radius value and I'll go ahead and take that up to four pixels. And then I want to change Remove to Lens Blur, which is going to do a much better job when you're working with a digital photograph. And we end up getting this tighter effect right there. Now what you don't want to do under any circumstance is save this off as a preset, and I'll demonstrate why before this movie is done.
But, for now just ahead and click okay, in order to apply that new effect. And then if you also want to see the effect of the fade step here, then you just click on it to select it and then click on the play button down here at the bottom of the actions panel. But before we do, lets go and zoom on in to this image here, so that we can see this portion of the cliff with a 100% view size. And that way, we can make out the color artifacting. Now, with the fade step selected, go ahead and click on the Play button. And you'll see that, not only does the color artifacting go away, but the sharpening effect calms down as well.
Alright, now that we've modified the action, we need to play it back to make sure it works. And you do that by one again going up to the File menu, and choosing the Revert command. So, we're working from the original image, always important. And then, with the action selected here inside the actions panel, you can click on the Play button. Now it's going to take a moment or two for this smart, sharp and filter to apply, but once it does you'll see that we've got a great looking effect. And it looks even better if I go ahead and zoom out so that I can take in the entire image on this green at 33%.
Now in the name of full coverage, I'll tell you that there's another method for playing back an action, and that is to press the Ctrl key, or the Cmd key on the Mac, and double-click on the action. Now you may wonder why I'm conveying this trick to you. And even why such a crazy trick exist. And the reason is that you can also use it to replay individual steps at a time. Then let me show you what that looks like, by, once again, going to the file menu and choosing the Revert command. I'll be doing that a lot. And now I'll select smart sharpen.
Now if I really clicked the play button at this point, then Photoshop will play back the action from this point on, so it would play the fade effect as well. But what if I just want to play the Smart Sharpen step and nothing more. Then I press the Ctrl key or the Cmd key on the Mac and double-click on that step like so. And then you'll have to wait a moment for the Smart Sharpen Filter to apply and notice that fade has not played. And you can tell that because the smart sharpen step is no longer highlighted, and the fade step is.
And now to play it back, I press the control key, or the command key on the Mac, and double click on it as well. And that can be a really great way to troubleshoot an action when you don't know exactly what step is failing. Alright, finally why in the world should you not save a preset when you're using Smart Sharpen? And by the way, you don't want to save your preset and you don't want to use a preset either. And let me show you why. This time around, I'm not really concerned with messing up the image because I'm just showing you something that's kind of wrong here. I'll double-click on Smart Sharpen in order to bring up the Smart Sharpen dialogue box.
And I'll go up to the Preset menu here and I'll choose Save Preset, and I'll just call this thing Bob, because it's just for the sake of demonstration. And I'll click the save button, and now I'll click Okay, and notice that we lose all the specifics, and instead we just see that the actions panel is going to look for this very specific preset, I'll go ahead and expand this thing here, ultimately named Bob, in this folder. And the problem with that, of course, is that nobody else's machine is going to have a preset named Bob on it, and as a result, this thing's going to fail on any machine but this one.
And to demonstrate exactly what happens here, I'll go up to the filter menu, choose Sharpen, and choose Smart Sharpen. Or, you could just press Ctrl+Alt+F or Cmd+Opt+F on the Mac, since it was last filter applied, just don't double-click on Smart Sharpen here inside the actions panel. Instead, I'll choose this command, and then I'll return to the preset popup menu and choose Delete Preset, and get rid of Bob of course, because who would call their preset that? And then click the Delete button and click Yes, I definitely want to get rid of it. It shouldn't even ask when a preset is named Bob.
And then I'll go ahead and click the Cancel button because all I did was get rid of that preset on disc. And that's not going to cancel that particular part of the operation. Alright, now I'll go up to the File menu and I'll choose the Revert command. So we can see how the action is going to work this time around. Let's go ahead and make the Actions panel not quite so wide. And with the sharpen for output action selected, I'll click on the play button and instead of playing my Bob settings, Photoshop forces the display of the smart sharpen dialog box because it doesn’t know what else to do.
So, I’ll go ahead and tediously reenter those settings like so and it’s curious that reduce noise, it is dimmed and that’s because if I go up to this little gear menu here, that turned on Use Legacy for some reason, so I'll go ahead and turn that off because that kind of ruins the progress inside this dialog box. I'll reduce the Reduce Noise value to 0%, I'll leave Remove set to Lens Flare and I'll click Okay, and then the action plays back as it should. However, none of that got recorded. So what I've gotta do is go to the File menu and choose the Revert command, for the hundredth time, and once I've done that I'll go ahead and double-click on Smart Sharpen in order to return to the smart sharpen filter.
And I will once again set the amount value to 250, I'll take the radius up to 4 pixels, I'll make sure that remove is set to Lens Blur. I'll go to the little gear and turn off use legacy app, have no idea why it does that. And then I have to set the reduce noise value to 0% and click Okay in order to update that action and you can see preset kind is set to custom. Who cares, what counts, is that all of this information is now intact so that this action will play successfully on any other machine, including machines that don't have the preset Bob.
And that, friends, is how you modify the settings associated with a recorded step, and then play back your action to make sure it really does work.
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A: Deke updated the course to reflect changes in the 2014 version of Illustrator CC, including changes to the art filters, the Puppet Warp tool, HDR, layers, and actions.
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