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Actions And Function Keys

Lesson 45 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

Actions And Function Keys

Lesson 45 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

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Lesson Info

45. Actions And Function Keys


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Tips for Success


How To Undo Mistakes


Adobe Workspace


Using The Brush Tool


Using The Zoom Tool


Adobe Preferences


Correcting Exposure


Lesson Info

Actions And Function Keys

Let's talk about actions, go back to my images here and pull up a couple files. So what are actions? Actions are just like recorded scripts. You can think of it as a script or a little recipe for something and could be for a number of different things. It could be for, in effect, it could be for a whole process. It could be for re sizing an image it could be for almost anything. So Photoshopped comes with some default actions. So to find your actions, you go to the window panel and window menu and you choose actions, and it will probably look like this when it first opens up trending. Close this. Who can read what's here? Okay, so here's a bunch of actions that I happen to have. And there is a folder right here called Default. So those are the ones that Photoshopped comes with. There's two different ways of viewing your actions. You can view them like this, which is kind of hard to read, and it's sort of like seeing the guts of all your actions. Or you can view it in button mode and yo...

u get to button mode by clicking the panel menu of the actions panel. So in Actions Panel, you find the menu button you click button mode and then it's way better. Okay, so let's just take a look at what some of these, um, actions are so one that comes as a default with photo shop is called quadrant actions and to play it all I have to do when I'm in. But mode is Click, and Photoshopped just ran a series of steps. If I close this out of the way, you can see that Photoshopped did a bunch of stuff, and now I have this image with four quadrants of different colors, and it's on a separate layer. So if I hate it, I could just throw this to the trash and be done with it. So that's an example of one of the actions that comes with photo shop, so sometimes they're used for creating special effects. Sometimes they're used for just general production type of things. Um, let's take a look at how it works when we're in groups, not button mode. So if I go back to my actions panel and I change this out of button mood, so this is how it looks just normally, what are we looking at? We have a folder here called Default Actions, and there's a number of actions within it. The one that we ran was called quadrant colors. If I select it here and if I click this little twirl down, I can see all of the steps that are involved with creating that effect. So actions can actually be an awesome learning tool. If you reverse engineer them like you run the action and then you think, Wow, how did that happen? You can go into the actions panel and you can see all of the steps and even the settings. I mean, I can come in here to color balance, and it shows me exactly what all the settings are and everything, and I can learn by doing this. And actually, in my earlier Photoshopped days, I learned a lot by just dissecting these kinds of things so it could be really useful. But anyway, so when we travel down, we can see all the steps that are used to create this quadrant action. I mean, it's just a series of steps that get recorded, and then you play it back like a script. So to play the action when you're not in but mode, you have to select the action and you come down here and actually have to hit the play button and then it plays and it's soo superfast. It just looks like like a one step thing, but it's a bunch of different steps. So now let's take a look at what might be involved if we wanted to build our own action. So let's go to a different image. And let's say that we want to create an action that's gonna sort of colorize this image slightly. What we would dio is first make a folder for our actions. So we'd come down and click at the bottom of the actions panel to make a new folder, and we can call it my awesome actions. Okay, and that's where all of our actions that we make will live. To make the new action itself, we would click at the bottom of the actions panel. There's a button that looks just like the new layer button, like a little sticky note. Click on it and now we're gonna name this, and I dont know what we call this lake? Um, orange crush? I don't know. I'm making this up. We could a fine it to a set because we already created are folder. It will go in my awesome action set. We could assign a function key to it if we want it. I'll show you what that means a little later, and we could even color code it if we wanted. And I'll show you what that means later. So I'll go ahead and hit record. You don't have to rush. I always feel that need like now that I'm recording after hurry gets its my action. There's no timing involved. It's just recording the steps that you do. It's not recording how long it takes you to do them, so don't worry. You don't have to rush. But we have now created the name of the action, and it's recording us. So now photo shops just getting keep track of all of the steps that we dio and then it'll just save them and that will be come in action. So let's come over to our adjustment layer pants button down here. The bottom of the layers panel, The little eunyoung I'm gonna click on it and I'm gonna choose solid color and it's already orange What you know, and I'll just slide around in my rainbow here, slide up and down the rainbow, find a hue that you like Then choose a shade by clicking in this box here a shade that you like and then click OK, and that doesn't look so great. So we're gonna change the blend mode as we talked about yesterday. Blend modes are the way that colors that layers interact with each other and there is a number of them. And in this case, I'm gonna choose one called pin Light, and it creates this kind of look And then I'm gonna, uh, temperate by choosing the opacity setting right here in the layers panel and just dragging it down something much subtler, maybe. Like that. All right, so that's the whole action. When I'm done with it, I'll hit the stop button and now we contest it. So let's restore this document to how we started. So back to how we were and all select the orange crush action that we just made and I'll hit play. And it just created that Phil chose the color and reduced the capacity of the Slayer. Change the blend mode in an instant. So this is something that you can manually run on an image in photo shop, you can open an image and you can say orange crush. Or you could take a whole folder like what we just saw in bridge. And I can say take 300 photos and orange crush all of them at once. And I'm gonna go get coffee and have it done by the time I get back. And photo shop will just do it for you. So that is a look at how the actions work. Some of them can be very simple. Some of them can be very complex. Um, if we change our view mode back to button Moon. But mode just allows you to scroll through your actions, and you don't have to, like, find the action within the folder, and it kind of gets messy in there. You just find it and you don't even have to hit play. You just click the button, you just click on it and it runs. So, um, our actions air down here at the bottom. Here's orange crush. Now you'll notice that some of these actions have function keys assigned to them. Those are like keyboard shortcuts for your actions. So if I want well, just delete that. And if I want to run this cinnamon toast action or see what might be a good cream, most tap shoes, this fun one. If I want to run grandma's tap shoes, I just press F nine on my keyboard and it runs. So if you have some actions that you use all the time, um, you don't even wanna have to, like, go get your actions panel and scroll around and find it. You can just assign a keyboard shortcut to it, and you just hit that button and done. You can also color code your actions, because when you have so many like this, it's super handy to be able to be like, Where's the red ones? Are the ones I'm looking for? You can just scroll right to him and find it, so to do all of that, you have to go back out of button mode. Find your action. Here's Orange crush, and if we double click not on the letters but on the bar over here, it pops up sort of the properties of that action. We can assign a function key right here. Of course, it has to be one that's not already assigned, So you have some limitations. But you can also add shift and command keys to that. So you do have a pretty good size amount of keystrokes that you can assign. But here we can also give it a color. So maybe I'll give it. I don't know what functions I have available. Six, apparently. So if I wanted to make it shift F six or command shift F six, I can do that. And then I can assign color coding to it like if you like it to be orange because it's called Orange Crush and then I click. OK, and now if I go back hoops out of button mode, we scroll the way down here. Now we see orange crush is indeed orange and shift and command and F six will make it run. Okay, so that's a really simple in just a quick question. Is there a way to for a preview what these air going toe actually do or do you just kind of have to go by the description or no, well, you just run on and they you look and there's definitely, I think, best practices that can be done when it comes to creating actions. You know you can buy actions from all over on the Internet, where there's free ones you can get. Some are included here. Um, there's some in the bonus files here, so you can get him from all over. Some are definitely better crafted than others, and by that I mean that some have more built in flexibility than others. So I don't ever like it when I run in action. And the final result is like if my images flat at the end of it, unless I wanted that, that's a badly done action because I can't tweak it. I can't temperate. Usually a good action will have everything contained either in a folder or it's an adjustment layer or something where I could be like, Oh, that's too much And I can simply come over here and tone it down if I want, So I think that are one of that's one of the characteristics of a good action. It should be easily undoable or easily creditable. I think that's just me. But, um, the only way you know is you try running them and some of them you might find, like, I love this action, but it's always too intense. You could then edit it. So if you went back out of, you have to be out of button mood to be ableto like edit stuff in here. You could go back and you would just find that action. You'd have to run that action to get up to that point. So I'm gonna delete this. I'll run the Orange Crush action, and then it ends up with this layer being at 49% opacity. Maybe that's too much or not enough or I just want to change it. I can just select the last step and just hit record, and then they could be like, I want this toe on Lee. I wanted to like self adjust to 20% and then stop. So I've added another step to the action so that at the end of it, it's where I want it to be, so you can edit them, too, which I think is really useful. So I guess if it's poorly done, you could go back in and edit it to not flatten your image or some. I've seen where the creator of it builds in a snapshot within your history panel, which is also really nice because some actions air super complicated, and it may not be practical to leave all that stuff there. So in that case, you might, um, take a snapshot of the image before so that it's easy for whoever is using the action to return if they don't like it. So there's a lot of different tricks you can put into building your actions. Then I have some of my favorite actions. I linked to them in the Resource Guide to um, and I choose them very carefully. But I think that the people that I have bought actions from, I think they all do a really great job of a building them consciously

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Photoshop Resource Guide
Practical Photoshop Basics (PS action file)
Word Art
Course Files

Ratings and Reviews

Kim Williams

I tuned into this class hoping to glean what I cold since it was free. I ended up purchasing the class because it is FILLED with so much great information in a fun and easy to understand format. Khara is an amazing instructor - I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Worth EVERY penny. Thank you Creative Live for offering such great material, at even more amazing prices.


What an unbelievable teacher Khara is. I have wanted to learn photoshop forever but was intimidated, overwhelmed, then I watched this course. OMG I learnt so much, more then I imagined. I am so excited now to start using Photoshop, I can't wait to try out everything she taught us. With the skills we learnt over these two days I think this course provides everything I need to know to feel and more. She was outstanding, the absolute perfect teacher for someone who has never ever used Photoshop. Also great moderation by Kenna. Thank you for this awesome, amazing, wonderful course. I am sure anyone who watches this course will agree it is incredible. I couldn't recommend it more. This course was just Smurfy!

Roz Fruchtman

I would highly recommend Khara Plicanic's Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics. The name of the class, implies that the class is for beginners, but that's not exactly true. Most of us learn Photoshop by the features we need to know at any given time. As many will agree, there are a number of ways to get to the same end. I can only speak for myself, but... I would bet that many of us don't know all the strategies that are taught in this class! Check it out, I doubt you'd be disappointed! Khara brings a fun and relatable approach to everything she does. She is very entertaining, while being a superb instructor. Last, but not least... This class brings with it a ton of useful bonuses. Warm Regards, Roz Fruchtman aka @RozSpirations

Student Work