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There are some new features in Photoshop CS6 that might escape your notice, if you're not paying attention and looking in every nook and cranny. And one of those relates to Actions. And it's a fairly significant update. Unlike in previous versions of Photoshop, with CS6, you can now records steps taken in your actions with specific tool. And this might not sound big, but it's actually quite huge. Let's take a look at just one example. I have a couple of images here, and I noticed there was some sensor dust.
I had a couple of spots on my sensor when I captured the image. And because those blemishes are on the sensor itself, they're going to appear in the exact same spot in each photo that I captured that morning. I can use an action to clean up multiple images all at once. Let's take a look at how it's done. I'll choose the first image, here, and I'm going to record an action. So, from the Window menu, I'll choose Actions to bring up the Actions panel, if it's not already there, and I'm going to create a new action set. I'll click the Folder button at the bottom of the Actions panel, and we'll just call this Workflow Actions, and then I'm going to create a new action. But first, I'm going to turn on an option found on the panel popup menu. So, the little button at the top right, not the x, but the menu button directly below it.
We'll click on that button to bring up a popup menu, and now I'm going to turn on the option to Allow tool Recording. This is turned off by default. So, in order to record the steps you take with the various tools in Photoshop, you'll need to turn this option on first. With that option on, I'll go ahead and create a new action. I'm just going to call this Sensor Cleanup. And I'm saving that in my new Workflow Actions set, and I'll go ahead and click the Record button. So now, If I use any of the tools in Photoshop, the settings and specific behavior will be remembered.
So, I'll go ahead and create a new layer, I'll call this Image Cleanup. And then, I'm going to choose the Spot Healing Brush tool. I'll make sure that the Content Aware option is selected on the Options bar. And that the sample all layers check box is turned on. And then, I can go into the image, and adjust the Brush Size with the left square bracket key to reduce the brush size, or the right square bracket key to increase the brush size. And I'll simply paint over each of these blemishes in order to clean up the image. Note, that that's being done on a separate layer, in a completely non-destructive way.
That's all I need to do in this particular case. So, at the bottom of the Actions panel, I'll go ahead and click the Stop button. I now have a sensor clean up action. You can see all of the steps here. I created a new layer and adjusted the settings of the layer, specifically the layer name. And then, I selected the Spot Healing brush and painted with that brush a couple of times. So now, I'm going to switch to my other image. You can see I have the exact same blemishes in the top right corner there. So, I will choose my Sensor Cleanup Action on the Actions panel, and then simply click the Play button. And those blemishes will be cleaned up for me automatically. Note that that clean up work was done on that Image Cleanup layer that I created as part of the action.
So, I can always go in there and fix things if there was any problem. But you can see, it's done a very good job of cleaning up both images. And I can even process a large group of images in batch with this action that will perform cleanup work or any other task involving Photoshop tools. So, the big update there is being able to add the steps that you perform with a variety of Photoshop tools, in addition to everything else that you could always record as part of Actions.
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