Skip to main content

Making Your Own Actions

Lesson 46 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

Making Your Own Actions

Lesson 46 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

46. Making Your Own Actions


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

Making Your Own Actions

we're going to create a brand herbal sort of template for images so that you could take a whole folder of images, run a resize act run of, you know, batch. Like I showed you earlier to re five all of them, and put your logo on them all at once. Time to do that, we are gonna open an image. So I'm gonna close list and close this pop over to bridge, and we'll just say that we're gonna grab. We need a horizontal image and a vertical image to make sure that I'm doing this right. One to make sure these are the same size. Oh, they're not quite. We'll just do the ice cream one in order for the way that I'm gonna build this action toe work. Um, I would want to build it using an image size that's going to be the same for all the images I would be re sizing. Okay, so in this case, let's say that we're going to resize all of our images to be, um What did we say earlier? 842 pixels. So I'm going to resize this image for the longest side to be 842 pixels. So I've got re sample turned on. I'm re sizi...

ng the height to 8 42 I'll click. OK, so this image now represents, let's say, one of the vertical images we would put on our block time for it. Let's say that we want to put a little logo here. I happened. Have a logo file in my Creative Cloud library. This is accessible by choosing window libraries. This is just a place as a creative crowd cloud subscriber, where you can store files that you use a lot like a logo. Like, um, some illustration. You can save color swatches, all kinds of different things, just different assets that you might need. So I made this little logo, and I saved it here in the course files. You'll find this logo as a PSD document in the word art folder you can follow along, but I'm just gonna grab this little logo out and drag it into my image and just put it where I would want it to fall on all of the images. So let's just say here. So I just opened my library and dragged it and dropped it in the following along at home, you can open the file I created and copy and pasted or dragon and drop it in. Okay, so this represents what we would want our final vertical images toe look like for our let's say, block or whatever. Okay, In order to be able to mass produce this, we need to create it as a generic pattern came. So I'm going Teoh hide the background because I don't want the ice cream as part of my every image pattern. So I'm gonna hide the ice cream, and I just have the logo here. You can barely see it because it's sort of translucent a little bit, but it's there. So what I'm gonna do is define this whole image as a pattern. I'm going to do that by pressing Commander Control A and choosing at it defined pattern. And we're going to call this leg branded vertical and all hit. Okay, okay. Simple enough, right? You'll see how it makes sense in a minute. Now that's for vertical images for horizontal images. We have ah, different pattern we need. So I'm going to rotate this whole image so I'll choose image image rotation, and I'll choose either 90 clockwise or 90 degrees counter. It doesn't really matter, but it rotated it. So now it's horizontal. Now I need to rotate my logo. Let's turn this background on so we can see it. So now the logo sideways. So I'll transform that by pressing Commander Control T. And I'll hover my cursor outside and then click and drag and spin to rotate it. And if you hold down shift, by the way, when you spend this, it snaps in 15 degree increments, so you can know that you're nailing it right? So you don't you don't have a crooked like that. Alright, then I'll press return and I'll drag it over. Maybe I wanted in the bottom right corner of all my horizontal images to We'll hide the now sideways background Lear Commander Control A. To select the whole thing, which just really includes a little logo here and we'll choose Edit defined pattern and we'll call this one branded horizontal and I'll click. OK, and now we don't even need this anymore. We are done with this file. I'll keep it open in case I screwed something. I want to fix it in a minute, but hopefully it's all fine now. We need to create the action that is going to place that document that, um, logo and everything into our peace. So we're gonna open up an image. Let's go back. Let's actually, I will close this. Let's go back and get that same vertical image. So I'm going to resize this image and record in action for that to resize it and brand it all at once came. So we'll go to our actions panel. I'll choose my awesome action folder. I'll click here to make a new action, and we'll call it branded Vertical Well hit record. Now this is the full size image, so we need to resize it to the size we were using, which is the longer side being 842. That's the size we created this to be. And now we're gonna fill this document with the pattern we created. So I'll choose Edit Phil, and for contents, all choose pattern. I'm for pattern. I'll choose way at the bottom branded vertical, and that will place our little logo right here. Now the reason we don't just record in action where we just drag the logo in right there is because you can't duplicate that in the same position all the time. If you happen to get an image that has a slightly different size or something like that, it will. It will get confused because it's trying to place that design relatively speaking to the size of the document. And it can't It doesn't work out well, so what we're doing instead is creating a pattern, which is really just a blank document that has our logo in the corner. And now we're pleasing that pattern. Sort of like a stamp were like screen printing that onto our file. Okay, so that's all there is to that. We resized it, and we filled it with the pattern. So I'm gonna hit stop. And now, uh, let's go get a a different image. So I'll close this right. We're done with that. So we'll get another image in this case, Will say like one of these A horizontal win and we'll make a new um, action will go back to our my awesome action folder click to make a new action. And this one we called branded or is on until record first step resize it so that the long side is the same. 842. So I'll choose image image size Turner Sample on, and we're going to choose a with of 842. Click OK, now we'll fill it with our horizontal pattern. Will choose. Edit Phil Pattern This time Scroll down and shoes branded horizontal click. OK, it puts the logo right there. We hit. Done. Now that's great. We have to actions one for vertical images, one for horizontal images. But here's the thing. If we look at this folder that we have over here, we obviously have a mix of vertical and horizontal images. So the way we have it set now, if we wanted to brand and resize all these images, we'd have to select all the horizontal ones, run the horizontal action, then select the vertical ones, run the vertical action and that's fine. And I did that for years before they introduced conditional actions. Conditional actions allow us to take a whole folder of images and say, Hey, photo shop, I want you to choose intelligently which action you run based on the orientation of the image, whether it's vertical or horizontal. That's called a conditional action, and it's very simple to create. We're gonna go back to photo shop and we're gonna create one more action. That's part of this whole process. So I'll click my awesome action. I'll click the new action button and I'll call this branded if and then I'll hit record. Now I come up to the This is such a goofy process. I come up to the panel menu for the actions. This whole action has one thing in it, which is a conditional. So I'm recording in action called branded If if is conditional. Okay, came up to the panel menu and I'm going to choose insert conditional. And now all I do is say, if document. If the current document is landscape meaning horizontal, then I wanted to run the branded horizontal action. If else meaning if it's anything besides the horizontal image, I wanted to run the branded vertical action. That's it. Okay, so we've created those two actions. Then we created this conditional one that just intelligently can choose between them. It's kind of a weird, clunky way of doing this, but it works. I don't know. So we click, OK, and we hit Stop! And that's the whole thing. And now I can go over to my folder with all these images, and I can just select all of these and I can choose tools photo shop image processor. In this case, um, all I have already selected, the images will save him. Uh, not to the same location. Actually. Let me run over here and let's just delete this folder so that we don't get confused. Okay, so we'll save it in the same location file type. It will be a J peg. It'll have a quality of, let's say, 12. We're not going to resize it because we've built the re sizing into the action itself, so we don't need to resize it this way down here under preferences. We can tell it to run in action, so I'll click to turn on that option. I select the folder that the action is in my awesome actions that should have been plural. And now which action do I want? I want to run the If action the branded If Okay, then we hit, run and cross our fingers, and now it's gonna run and it's re sizing everything based on being vertical or horizontal. And let's look, here's where it put um, Teoh, There it is with logo. There it is with the logo and it's in the right. Please, no matter what the orientation of the images, super simple and super timesaver, I just I can't say enough about that. Um, it is kind of, ah mind Warby process to set that all up. But you essentially just decide what size you want those branded images to be and create a document that's that size. Put the the mark into it on, then save that as a pattern and then it just gets put. It gets sort of over laid on top. And the reason we put we save it as a pattern in the context of the whole file, because again, like I said, if you just have tried it where you just drag a logo in, But then on another image, it won't be in the same spot. It just doesn't work out like that. It doesn't pay attention to placement. So, um, this is the way you end up working around. So pretty nifty The function keys are great for speeding up this process. You don't have to do this through bridge. I do because I'm always Enbridge. But you can find you can find all that stuff here, too. File automate and photo shop. If you want to do it through photo shop and not through bridge, then you would choose file. Automate. Um, Loops. Sorry, The image processor is under scripts. The difference between Batch This is tempting. I feel like when I teach this people are always like, Why wouldn't you just choose batch? Let me show you. You can choose batch and it's sort of the same thing. But Batch, first of all, can only just play the actions up here. Um, it's not going to resize them and or reform at them. But also, what happens in this case when you run batch is that it will pop up and ask you about your J peg settings, every image and despite whatever I've put here, maybe it's fixed now, but whatever I told it to just override stuff and ignore it, it's still would do it to me. So I have just gotten in the habit of using the image processor, and then I never get those errors. Um, so again, in photo shop that was under file scripts Image processor. Then from there you can choose all your stuff, but it's super great and soup such a time saver. So Catherine has asked, Ah, questionnaire kind of clarifying. We could do all that. Just add a logo, not just to resize, right? Is that the best way to add a logo to lots of files? That's all that. I think that's the best way to batch. I mean, if you are doing something you know by hand and you want to just put a logo in it, then you would just do it by hand. But if you want Teoh automated, you know you have to think a little bit differently. If you're trying to take something that you're doing manually and custom, and you want to scale that and make it in in autumn Mason, you have to do things a little bit differently sometimes. So that is the best that I've seen that I've come up with to make that happen. One thing that is useful if you're going to be doing stuff by hand a lot if you are manually dragging your logo's into places. Or maybe you're one of those photographers where you move the logo around in your image. Sometimes people like try to hide it a little more or make it less, um, to try to make it even more noticeable, I guess. So. Me, I always was like, bottom right corner. I just like to there. But some people do move it around based on their image, in which case, then you have to manually do it. So you might, in that case, record in action, where you re size your image and you place the logo, and then that's the end of the action. And then all you would have to dio is then move it so you could honor me the re sizing and the bringing the logo into your document, and then you would just manually have to reposition it. But there's a lot of different ways you can do it. This library is a really great thing to take advantage of. If you have a logo file that you do like to manually drop in to your images, I would suggest throwing it in your library. So how do you get there again? It's a panel. So you would choose a window libraries, and then you just, like, open up a document with that logo and you just drag it and drop it in here. Um, trying to think of an easy waited Just demonstrate that, but, uh, let's see, Maybe if we go like, here's our vectors. I guess I can Of course, I didn't save it with Thea the mountain. Let me get one that I made here. Oh, here's a super fancy version. Um, so let's say I have this whole thing and it's a logo. I can select all these pieces and drag it into my library and just drop it. There it is. And now it's it's stored here, and this is sync with the cloud so it would be available and other adobe applications to. But so if this was your logo, then I could close this file and any document that I had that I might want to drop this into you could do just that. Just drag and drop. So I guess it would look right at home in this one. This picture. So then you just drag and drop it from there, and it saved all that data and everything, so you can work with it and you don't have to go find it and navigate to get to it again. So these libraries can be really handy for that. So I started using them a lot, especially when I'm teaching. But there's a lot of ways Teoh to speed up these kinds of processes and things that you get. But ultimately your workflow you. It's a very personal thing for every everybody and, you know, whether you use light room and then come into photo shop and then so it takes a while to build a workflow that works for you. Um, but I would say Just keep in mind that you want it to be flexible, Um, and it will refine over time. You know, you'll find things that you like or don't like about doing things a certain way, and then you just keep improving or there'll be a new feature that gets added, or a new product that comes out that can that can work for you. I'm I'm kind of goofy about my work flows always been, I think different, Um, which I think has been good on. I've taught classes um, here a creative life about workflow before, Um, but it's always a very personal thing. So it's different for everyone. But any other questions? That's that's it as faras, um, vectors. And do we have any more questions about that Factors or shapes Not going back to the vectors, I guess, in terms of, um, making your own actions again. This was back when we were I think you had showed something where you could edit the action. Right and Catherine had asked in editing in action. Can you delete a step in the middle or only at the end of an action? Let's see. I don't remember if I've done that any recent time. Let's look, let's see our orange crush action by Well, I don't know that. I mean, they build upon each other. So, Aiken, delete that it Let me do it. Let's see how it works now, because I mean, I suppose you can do that, but you have to know that you might be throwing a wrench in it. So if I hit play now, now I'm getting a warning that something's not available. And it turned out that the action worked. Okay, but I got that warning. I don't know if that would work. Let me go and mess with that other one. That was the default one. Um, this quadrant one. I mean, if I go in here and delete something like Okay, what would be really messy to do with it if I just, like, delete the color balance step? Probably really screwing it up. Let's take a look. Sometimes you just have to experiment. Okay, Quad regulars. Let's go. Let's see. I don't see. So I deleted the step that made this weren dish. I guess it was. So now it's just not there. So I mean, photo shop apparently lets us Oh, that's nice. But as you would expect, depending on what you delete, you might I have a problem. So always, I guess, keep a backup of this stuff. And, you know, I guess what I forgot to show you is how do you How do you load in these actions? Let you buy hate. That would be good to know if you do by action. Um, how do you load them in here? You go to your actions panel. Not in button mode. So turn turn off but mode regular mood. And then you choose load actions and then you find them. So oh, here's the ones that I made. Let's load them in here. It's called practical basics. And it's 123456 Little actions. Um, right there. So and I think, Did I color code them go to button mode? I think they're color coded. Oh, of course they are. And their red, of course. Um so Oh, they're here, too, But, yeah, that's how you load actions. And that process is the same to whether we're talking about actions or brushes. You go to the menu for whatever you're trying to loading, just choose load.

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