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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.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to play back one or more specific steps inside of an action in order to either see how the action is put together or to troubleshoot. I'll also show you how to modify the settings associated with a specific recorded operation. So I'm still in the middle of recording my Convert to CMYK action, which includes four steps: It flattens the image; it changes the Image Size; I'm Converting the Profile to CMYK; and I'm assigning the Smart Sharpen Filter. Now, if seeing all these individual settings is proving to be a little bit overwhelming, you can go ahead and twirl closed each one of these operations, like so.
You can also turn an individual step off. For example, let's say you want to disable a step, but you're not sure you want to throw it away. Why then, just go ahead and click on the check mark in front of it, and it will be skipped during playback. Also notice that the action now begins with a red check mark, indicating that one or more steps are turned off. You can go ahead and override that and turn all the steps back on by clicking on that red check mark, but if you do, you'll get a warning that turning all these steps back on is not undoable. So in other words, if you have like 15 steps that are turned off, and you go ahead and override that and turn them all back on, not only can you not restore the steps to being turned off, you can't even tell what those steps were, unless you remember which ones were on and off.
So you have no record of what you've done, which means that this is a reasonable alert to pay attention to. Anyway, I'm going to click OK, because I don't care. I want to turn the step back on. All right, so we've seen the effects of Smart Sharpen on this Avignon street.jpg image. After all, that's where we applied these settings. They look pretty good, I suppose. Let's see how they fare inside of that other image I have opened, Pont Saint-Benezet.psd. Now, I've already performed a lot of these steps in a previous exercise. The image is already flat. I've changed the resolution value.
The image has been converted to the CMYK mode. I can see that up there in the Title tab. The only thing I need to do is apply Smart Sharpen. So if you want to play back a specific step, a couple of different ways to do it. One is you can click on the step, like so, and then click on the Play button down here at the bottom of the panel. That will play the action from that step on. So if there are any more steps after this point, they would get played as well. Or if you just want to play a range of steps, you click on one step, Shift+click on another, and then click on the Play button.
Then finally, let's say you want to play a step completely out of sequence, just by itself, nothing more. Then you take advantage of this top secret shortcut, which is, you press the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and you double-click on that step. That just plays the one and nothing more. You can also Ctrl+double-click or Command +double-click on the action in order to play the entire thing. All right, now I'm looking at the effects of my Smart Sharpen settings. I'm thinking, egads, that's way too much. I'll go ahead and zoom out a click, so I can take in the settings at the 50% view size.
That's still oversharpened, in my opinion. So I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to undo the effects of Smart Sharpen. That's not tracked inside the Actions panel, because I'm not in the process of recording an action. Now let's say I know I want to apply Smart Sharpen, just not using these settings. Well, instead of Ctrl+double-clicking or Command+double-clicking on a step, just double-click. That will both play back the action and record your changes. Check this out. I want you to see it. At the bottom of the Actions panel, you're both playing back the step, because the Play button is green, and you're recording your changes, because the Record button is red.
All right, I'm going to move that dialog box back onscreen, so I can see what I'm doing. I'll change the Amount value to 150, instead of 250. I'm also going to take the Radius value down to 3 pixels. I'll leave Remove set to Lens Blur. I don't care about any of the other settings, although you know what, maybe I'll take it up a little bit. Actually, I might as well tweak this a little too high. So I'll go with an Amount value of 200%, a Radius of 3 pixels. That is an oversharpened image. I'll come back to that in a moment. Click OK in order to apply those changes.
Sure enough, now the Amount is 200%, instead of 250, Radius is now 3 pixels instead of 3.5, and Remove is still Lens Blur. All this other stuff doesn't matter. Now, one more thing that I should do. I should fade the results of Smart Sharpen, so it just affects the Luminance and nothing more, and I might back off the Opacity as well. I can do that by going up to the Edit menu and choosing the Fade command, but I need to record what I'm doing. Notice that the Actions panel is no longer recording, so that round Record button is no longer red.
That's because we were just recording the changes for that one step and that one step only. So I'll click on the Record button, and because the action name is selected, Photoshop will go ahead and append anything we do to the end of the action. So I'll go up to the Edit menu. I'll choose Fade Smart Sharpen, or press Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac. I'm going to change the mode from Normal to Luminosity. I'm going to back off this Opacity value to something like 65%. I think that looks pretty darn good. Then I'll click OK in order to accept that new step inside of my action, and I'm done.
I'll click on the square Stop button in order to complete that action. Now, if I want to check out how things fare inside Avignon street.jpg, why, I would go ahead and switch over to this image. You know what, the easiest thing, at this point, is to go ahead and play back the entire action, because I'm not sure I can just play back fade, because fade is now dimmed, so that's not going to work. I'd have to at least replay Smart Sharpen, and that's such a pain in the neck. Why don't we just go ahead and revert the image, which I'm going to do. I'll go up to the File menu and choose the Revert command, or press F12, and we're back to the original image.
And now I'll go ahead and twirl this guy closed, just to tidy things up. You know what? To play back the entire action, I'm going to take advantage of that keyboard shortcut once again. I'll Ctrl+double-click or Command+ double-click on that action to play back the entire thing, and now I have applied my changes. I can tell, if I switch back to the History panel, that sure enough, I did go ahead and Convert the Profile to CMYK. I did apply Smart Sharpen. That's what I'm curious about, because it's kind of subtle inside this image. And I went ahead and faded Smart Sharpen to 65% presumably, and a blend mode of Luminosity.
You know what? I'm going to zoom out to 50%, and things sharpen up a little bit, because I was looking at the image at 57% a moment ago, which is a nonstandard view, and actually that looks pretty darn good. So remember that you can play back individual steps by Ctrl+double-clicking on them, Command+double- clicking on them on the Mac. If you want to change the settings associated with a step, then just double-click on that step inside the Actions panel and apply your changes.
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