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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
All right in this exercise we are going to be talking about how to play back an action. A fairly straightforward concept but you want to play back the action with the intention of making sure that it works on a different image, because a lot of your actions are going to go wrong and you don't want just be mired in frustration. We have seen the action that we have recorded so far which is called Rotate & scale here in the Actions palette, played back on that image that we used to recorded in the first place and it worked up beautifully, which is great. So that's test number 1. Test number 2 is to try out a totally different image, like this one right here. This one is called The horrors of Max. So we had The terrors of Sammy, now we have got The horrors of Max.jpg and once one brother does something and it's successful and they get some laughs, of course the other brother wants to join on in.
So it's more scariness at the water park. So let's go ahead and grab that Rotate & scale action and you can either click the Play button here at the bottom of the palette or you can just go ahead and Ctrl+Double-click on that action. That's a Command+Double-click on the Mac and you can actually see those steps play back right there inside of the Actions palette. Everything played back beautifully and successfully and wonderfully. So the image looks great, just the way that I want it. Now I can print it out. But I also want to show you a different way to play back actions. There is this special playback mode that's available to you inside the Actions palette.
So I'm going to go ahead and press the F12 key to revert the image once again and then go to the Actions palette, go to the palette fly-out menu here and you will notice this very first command Button Mode. That will switch you over to the Button Mode and you will see every action that's currently loaded represented as a button. Now if you assigned a color to the action, then you will see a colored button and all of the actions that ship along with Photoshop have colors associated with them. I did not associate a color with mine so my new action here, even though it's much more useful than any of these, does not have any color. It's just drab gray.
But now all I need to do is click on that button and it plays back the action. Now the nifty thing about this is that you can create a series of actions and then share them with friends or family members, or business associates, you know people who work for you for example and they don't have to know the first thing about what they are doing. They just have to be able to click a button in order to playback your action and the beauty of this is you can instruct folks that you work with who aren't Photoshop users to be able to play these actions back, so that they can take care of some of their own problems without your help all the time, of course. And if you don't teach them how to get out of the Button Mode, they can't mess up your actions. So that's a beautiful thing.
Now if you then having set things up, need to tweak an action, all you do is you go back to the menu and you turn off the Button Mode to switch out of the mode and then of course, back into the Button Mode. So it's a beautiful thing. So I want you to know that that's there and you can make your own life a heck of a lot easier by handing off actions to other people. Now how do I save my actions, so that I can port them over to a different version of Photoshop or so that I can trade them between my Mac and my PC or trade them with other people? And I'll answer that very question in the next exercise.
Before we get to that, I'm going to show you a goofy minute-long excerpt from one of my dekePods. DekePod being my biweekly video series that I do. It's free. And want it does, this little excerpt I'm about to show you, it stresses the importance of being careful as you are recording your actions and then playing those actions back and testing to make sure that they work. Now little bit of warning before I show this thing to you. I do sing. So there is that dangerous part there. Anyway here it is. (Music playing.) Start with a complex technique that you want to do a lot.
Bring up the Actions palette, record that technique on the spot, Give it care and give it thought. The t's you cross, the i's you dot. Give it everything you got. Now revert your image, and play the action back.
Troubleshoot, make sure it works. Test that your action is on track. Because if it's not, it ain't worth Jack. (Chorus singing: Ain't worth Jack....) All right so that's the Droplet Song is what it's called by the way. A little excerpt from it. If you want to see the whole thing, go to deke.com/dekepod and you can search for Episode 12.
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