3/19/2010

Photoshop Actions: A Super Timesaver


It used to take me forever to update the shop portion of my website.  There is one main image per item, plus at least 3 detail images.  The three detail images have to be in two sizes, the full size detail view, and the 100x100 thumbnail.  The main image needs three: a full size detail, a smaller "main view", and the 150x200 thumbnail that goes in the "browsing" part of the store.  Needless to say, that's a lot of resizing!  I had known about Photoshop actions for a while, and I knew I would probably benefit from using a few, but I kept putting it off because I thought they would be difficult to create.  Finally, I looked into it, and discovered how easy it is!

 An action is a recording of a set of commands, usually really mundane things that don't require that much human brainwork.  Once you've recorded a set of commands, you can apply that to any image, with just one click.  To create an action, first make sure your "action" toolbar is visible.  You can do this under the Windows menu.  Open an image that you'll be able to apply all the steps you want.  Click the "create new action" icon at the bottom of the toolbar (kinda looks like a little piece of paper).  Give your action a name.  Then click "record" and begin editing your image as you want.  The recording isn't timed, so take your time and get everything right.  Finish all the steps you want to include, save it in the folder you want, and close it out.  Then hit the "stop" button on the bottom of the toolbar (the square).  Some parts of your action might need manual input, for mine, I need to name the file when it's being saved. If you want a prompt to appear during a certain step, click the check box next to that step in the actions toolbar (not boxes with the check marks, but the one next to that).  You can test your action out on another image to see if everything works out.  You might need to go back and edit or delete some steps.  But it's super easy to do, and saves you so much time!

(And I'm no Photoshop expert, so if anyone has any other tips or a way to do it better, let me know!)

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