Using Photoshop Actions To Create Dynamic Photos | Lindsay Marsh | Skillshare

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Using Photoshop Actions To Create Dynamic Photos

teacher avatar Lindsay Marsh, Over 300,000 Design Students & Counting!

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

4 Lessons (23m)
    • 1. Class Overview

    • 2. Learning Photoshop Actions

    • 3. Easy Face Retouching Using Actions

    • 4. Add Dynamic Lighting and Affects to your Images

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About This Class

We dive into the world of Photoshop actions. I will teach you how to find, run and tweak photoshop actions to create dynamic and press ready photos in minutes. You DO NOT have to be an expert in photoshop to take this class! Do not let actions intimidate you. 

Feel free to ask questions in the community area. I would love to offer feedback and advice. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Lindsay Marsh

Over 300,000 Design Students & Counting!


I have had many self-made titles over the years: Brand Manager, Digital Architect, Interactive Designer, Graphic Designer, Web Developer and Social Media Expert, to name a few. My name is Lindsay Marsh and I have been creating brand experiences for my clients for over 12+ years. I have worked on a wide variety of projects both digital and print. During those 12 years, I have been a full-time freelancer who made many mistakes along the way, but also realized that there is nothing in the world like being your own boss. 

I have had the wonderful opportunity to be able to take classes at some of the top design schools in the world, Parsons at The New School, The Pratt Institute and NYU. I am currently transitioning to coaching and teaching.


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1. Class Overview: Using Photoshopped actions is easy. They're great way to quickly spice of a photo. You can even use photo shop actions for touch ups in this class. We will understand our voters actions, work and play around with several ones. That way, let's learn together. 2. Learning Photoshop Actions: All right, welcome back. So today we're gonna learn about how to do photo shop actions on, and this is a very underutilized tool. But once you learn actions, you can run all sorts of amazing scripts on your photos and do a lot of the manual photo editing we did in the previous video. We can do that, um, with the automatically with the scripts and save a ton of time, especially if we have 50 different photos that we want to apply the same effects, too. So it's good to get started. So the thing you need to do is go ahead. And I have four different kind of photos open different types, summer portrait's and summer landscapes. Um, actually have a landscape over here. I just opened that up. So have different kind of photos that we can use. Let's actually close this one down. I don't think we're going to use that one. So I have these four they were gonna work on today, and so really, the only panel you're gonna need to have open were Actually, there's two panels you're gonna wanna have your history, um, window open and you're gonna wanna have your actions would no open if you cannot find actions, I'm gonna go ahead and close out of that. Um so you can kind of see how it can access it. You get a window, and then there's your actions. It could always pull up any window that you need or any window that I'm referring to. Just go to a window and they check it off. So with Photoshopped actions, I'm gonna go ahead and start with default actions. And this should come with your photo shop copy. So you should already have this installed all these other ones I've actually downloaded for free online, and I'll show you where to find those as well. So get started with some free photo shop actions. So here's default actions. So let's go ahead and un collapsed this box, and you have a lot of different things that you can run. Um, let's go ahead and run one that's good for photography, a c p. A. Tone. So when I run this program, it's basically running a script that will run a lot of different manual options that we didn't last video. It will run them automatically for you so that you don't have to manually do a Grady int mainly adjust all these different levels little to stoop for you in the program. So what we do is we play it just like me up. We would play something on iTunes or or ah, video. We're gonna go and press the play button is gonna play the script. So let's play selection and some of these run automatically. Some of these you're gonna have to click OK for every single window. And there's a cheek for that. So I'll get to that later. It's continue to click, OK, and you can kind of see how it's running lots of different items. See, it ran about four different items. It de saturated it. It added, the stamp visible, and they did a hue saturation. So did all these for you. If you look in our history panel, it did all these steps for us to make the soup Peotone instantly. Um, so let's go ahead and go back in time. Let's go back up to the very top of her history and go back to our original photo. So let's try quadrant collars. Let's see what this does. Let's go ahead and press the play button. And instead of clicking, I can actually click OK on each one of these so that you kind of see the steps that it adds . You got to see what it's doing. So it's adjusting this curves level. This one's adjusting the color balance on this specific square selection. It's going to do another square, adjust the colors and another square, so it's gonna add a really nice Andy Warhol ish kind of effect. It was pretty needed that automatically for us, so let's see what else we could do. This is the default actions. I downloaded some of these free photo shop actions, and only the do is Google Free photo shop actions, and you can go online and find them. Um, so I found a lot of mine on this website. Brush easy just on the photos up. Actions. A lot of these air free to download, and you just need to make sure it says Photoshopped actions. There's a lot of actions out there that is for a light room, and you need to get the photo shop actions for to properly install. So I went ahead and downloaded some I downloaded this instant hipster, which actually adds 10 different actions to your actions area. So what you do is I went ahead and unzip this file, and you're just gonna double click on this 0.80 n. That's the actions. And when you double click on that, it's automatically gonna add it to your actions panel. Let's go ahead and drag this window out so you can see the actions panel a little better. Let's make it pretty big. Okay, so it added a one had it out of the second copy has already had it installed. So this is the folder that it adds to your actions panel. Let's go ahead and collapse. That and this option. When you click on the play, it will automatically go through all those levels that we went through on previous actions . But this is gonna do it for all 10 of the actions that it comes with. Um, so you could play all that and then you can actually go back and pick which one you want. But we're gonna do when? One of the time to see how how the effects look. So I'm gonna go back to, uh, let me do a different photo. We're gonna start off with this photos kind of your typical edited photo you would find on Istock. So let's kind of see what we could do with some of these filters to kind of freshen it up a little bit. So let's start with this. Ah, Amero. So we're gonna go and press the play button and added a really nice glow to everything in a nice even Grady int map to it. Um, so this is a really nice look, So I'm actually gonna go back into my history to my original photo and kind of see what this Mayfair does. Okay, that's a little too harsh for me. So let's try Hudson. You can see how easy these are downloaded it to my actions panel and I click play on the one I like, um, actually like Hudson a lot, so I'm gonna keep that in mind. That's kind of got a warmer tone. Okay, let's keep going. Try Willow. Okay. It's a black and white. So whenever I don't like something, I goto my top of my history, and we'll go back to buy original photo if I don't like it, okay? And actually gonna bring this down so I can see See my history better. I'm actually gonna remove this Properties box. I don't need it. I need a bigger area from my actions panel. Okay. So far, I'm really liking Hudson the best. So this is easy. I'm just kind of running through. You can kind of see how it mod. I mean, this is a really kind of ah end thing is to do kind of this a faded look with kind of a glow to it. So, yeah, I think my favorite is Hudson's Go ahead and run that script, and we ran it. There we go. And so we can always adjust different let levels after this, doing everything we've learned in the previous video. So if we want to kind of unlock this layer here, and we can continue to make adjustments to this filter I wanted to kind of bring down that brightness. I thought the it was a little too bright, especially on the girl in the front. That's actually Teoh de vibrance. See what I can adjust here. So I'm just using some of the adjustments here to see what I like. Actually, like a little bit more of a faded de saturated look, I think that looks really nice even tone throughout the photo, so I like That s so let me open up. Let's do one more. Um, let's see. Let's do this landscape photo. We haven't done any landscape photos. Let's try. Um, See what? Ah stopped. Hayes. Let's give this one a try. So we have. This was another one I downloaded on brush. Easy. So I'm gonna go ahead and click on here and click on play. Okay. So ah, cheat on this is just to hold down your return or inter button, and it's gonna automatically run all these different objects here to do Do so. It's running and kind of see what they're adding. They're adding a lot of solid colors and then doing different blending on it. So that's a pretty need effect gives it lots of brown, warm tones. And so you can see our original photo when it looked like, kind of dark and damp has and greens in it, and this really warms it up, brings out some of the four grounds. That's a really nice um, I like that action. So that's this kind of a quick tutorial on actions and kind of see how quickly you can do this. And he actually can run this on Aziz many photos, as you have. So if you have 50 photos, he won. All have kind of the same look like this. So if it could be consistent, you just run him on each of the photos and you can have a consistent look without having to manually do all the adjustments and our adjustments panel, so it saves a lot of time. 3. Easy Face Retouching Using Actions: Okay, so today we're gonna continue to work with photo shop actions. This time, we're gonna focus on doing some skin and face retouching. So there's a couple of lots of different actions out there. I found the one that we're gonna work with today. Receipt brush. Easy. This is the five skin retouching actions. Of course, there's hundreds of more that you confined for free out there. But this is just one that I want to show you today. Um, so this is kind of a simple way to do some quick kind of, um, photo are some quick skin. Evening, Let's go and get started. So Ah, so I'm gonna go ahead and get started with his first action. So I'm just gonna press the play button like I've done with previous actions. Simple enough. And this one's a little bit different. Ah, this is actually gonna create a brush for us. So now this has created a brush. What it does is it takes averages all the colors in her skin to kind of come up with an even, uh, kind of averaged color. And that's what we're gonna brush on her to kind of smooth everything out, Let's go ahead and get started. So let's go ahead and brush a little bit or sets little dramatic. You wanna maybe make sure the opacity is on, like maybe 50%? It's kind of just run this over skin kind of in the areas that we wish to smooth out. I just kind of do the skin areas, since this is made for skin, not for hair I could not do or neck. Or you cannot just depends on what your I want to do. But I want to do it all any kind of skin exposed area. Okay, so I'm pretty happy with that. I'm just pressing and I'm not letting go of the brush until I'm done. There we go. So now I'm gonna run the next one, which is skin airbrushing and Cisco to create another brush for me with the same type of effect. This is gonna be kind of an airbrush. Look, let's go ahead and start painting. I think with this one, I want to be a little bit lighter. It's kind of cover areas that you want to smooth out. It's kind of given her a layer of makeup, smoothing out her skin a little bit, so I'm gonna zoom out and kind of show the effects that that had. So I'm gonna go back up to the top, which is gonna be where we started. So you can kind of see where we were and where what this did. So you can kind of see the skin darkened a little bit, and that kind of smoothed out averaged all the skin tones a little bit, Um, and so there's also a brighten eyes option, which would really help if you could see your eyes here. There's so much highlighting her eyes already, we really don't need to brighten them. There's also a readiness reducer. If you wanted to reduce the readiness on maybe some home photography, have some red eyes you want to get rid of. So there's a lot of different options for actions out there to do what you want to do. Um, let's actually do the brighten eyes. I just kind of want to show you what it does. So her eyes are already pretty nice. This has already been professionally, um, touched up, but we're just gonna I'm just gonna show you what it does so Let's run the brighten eyes. Action. Just gonna be a same similar brush here when a much tinier brush. You just want to focus on the eyes. For this. It was kind of make this more dramatic. By increasing capacity, they could see how it definitely is brightening her eyes quite a bit. You don't want to do this too much either. So that's where we are. And this is where it waas. Very subtle, but that all makes a difference. All this is a very subtle retouching. Nothing so dramatic that we're changing who that person is. Um, so we can also, if you wanted to remove the moles, I can show you very quickly how you would do that if you wanted to do that. I create a top most layer. Make sure it's on the very top and just, you know, name it, whatever you want. So I'm just gonna type in name for now. Whatever will help you know what year it is. Make sure you go back to your actual photo. Were actually take a sample with or I drop tool of the skin nearby. Maybe the mole was gonna click nearby it taking a skin sample. I'm gonna click on the top most layer, and we're gonna select a brush tool. And then we're literally gonna be painting on the skin color that we selected over the mole groups. I had the clone on there, So let's go back and do the eyedropper tool. Go ahead and select again. No problem will go to the top most layer. We'll get her paint brush tool back again and click there so you could see how that kind of really matched the skin tone Really well. So let's do again. Make sure we would take our skin sample that it's actually on the photo. Let's do this one right here. It's anywhere next to it. Go back to our top layer and we're gonna discretion on its click once Boom, have 100% opacity. You could do more subtle, maybe 50% capacity, but I just wanted to completely knocked out. Um, so let's go ahead and seem out. Now. Let's see if we could do this Last one right here is kind of a big ones. This might be a challenge. You might have to sample twice, but let's see what we could do the click next to it. Take a skin sample and we are going to find your brush tool and remove it. And so that didn't quite remove it as much as I wanted to. So I'm gonna click it twice, and then you can also take the clone tool of being very picky. Here, maybe take a little sample of skin, make sure we clicked back on the on the actual photo layer, take a sample the skin and to reduce the opacity and just kind of click at once. Give it a little bit of that skin texture. So it's not just a solid color. Okay, so we're gonna go ahead and zoom out. Actually, I'm not still not happy with that. So it's all about fiddling around, making sure you're happy with it. So you can kind of see that layer that we put on there covering those bulls up. Let's actually take another clone sample off some nearby skin texture. I'm gonna hold down the option button. We actually create a new layer, see what I could do there. There we go. Sadd's a little bit more blending in there. Increase the capacity a little bit. There we go. I'm much happier with that. Doesn't look like it's standing out too much with using about. Okay. Still, I would work around a little more. But just for the sake of the video s o, what we're gonna do now is, um we can go ahead and just type in DSM. Go back to this bottom layer. I'm actually gonna do the sample tool. I'm actually gonna grab this nice blue. That's in your hearing, and this is just a little extra. Um, classes start today. It's kind of a little we can do with this. This is a great photo because it's got a lot of natural white space. We could put your advertising. Put your headline. Ah, whatever you're called action. Is that so? You're doing a website. So I love a love photography that has lots of extra white space, and you can always add more. And I could do to that Another class. We can extend this out and blend it together to make it look like a longer background. So there we go. Let's go ahead and zoom out. Look at her photo. This is where we were. And this is where we ended up in about seven or eight minutes. 4. Add Dynamic Lighting and Affects to your Images: All right, let's continue to learn about photo shop actions. So I went ahead and pulled this photo up that I found online and let's get started. So I'm gonna go ahead and create more space in my actions panel. Um, let's go ahead and use of this one. Uh, let's go ahead and run. There's actually quite a bit of different ones here. I'm actually gonna play all the actions to see which one we like better. So I'm gonna go down and press play, and this one automatically goes through all of these for you, which is great. The school that that run, do its thing. And I've noticed Ah, a lot of times when you run the script for all of them, your history window will randomly disappear. I don't know if that's a glitch, but it's happened more than once. So all we have to do is go toe window, uh, and go to history and get it back for Get it back. I'm gonna go ahead and get rid of this Properties tabs. I could have more room to see what I'm doing. Pull this down. Okay. So when I ran all of those in my history panel. We actually have a chance to see what each one of these looks like. This is what we started with. This is what Velvet Kaliningrad, which kind of has a need effect breeze. And it all depends on what you're gonna use this photo for. What's gonna be? I was gonna work the best. I really like front page. It's kind of got a neat instagram kind of filter to it. Do I really love that one as well? What's great about these is it gives you all these different layers that you can continue to tweak it. Like if it's a little bit too dramatic, you can go back and lessen the glow on certain things Actually, like a lot of these, but I do think this one's probably the best for what I'm gonna be using it for. I do think some of these glow, um, settings are a little too much. So that's no problem. We're gonna go back into our layers, were gonna toggle our site tool and kind of see what each layer does. So we can kind of do I like that color there. So I wonder if I can make the opacity less and that will bring out a little bit more that color that rainbow color like that actually like that better. So I'm gonna tweak each one of these layers at this action created to kind of create my own look, So that kind of, ah, makes a little darker. See, And we'll see. What What is this? Layer dio. Okay, so that's what I thought was originally too bright. Good. And click on this. This is linear Dodge capacity could always reduce the opacity. I thought a little too much. There we go. It's listening. That affect a little bit more can was continued a tweet this little bit. I think it needs to be screened back just a little more. Well, too bright for my taste. So I'm gonna go up, and I like to sharpen any image that I work with with its to Uh Okay, so I'm pretty happy with that. Um, I'm actually get adequate called action. I'm gonna go ahead and collapses, folder. I'm done with the effects of this, so I'm gonna actually add a new layer. And this is gonna be our box layer. I'm just gonna draw a rectangle box and have this beautiful blue they've already selected. And do the paint bucket tool Fill it in. Gonna go to text, Make sure my texas white go ahead and click. It's gonna automatically create a text layer for me. Um, headline does. Here I have this and died out Italic died dot Metallic is used in a lot of high fashion brands and magazines, so I usually like to use that with headlines. You can see that blue. Since this is kind of more of a faded image, the colors are no longer competing with the headline. Now the headline gets to kind of shine with its bright color Could adjust it. This could be whatever called Action, whatever. Headline click here. You could have another click. Your option here. Um, so there we go. We've used photo shop actions to take a photo that used to look like this and just add a little bit more dynamic lighting to it.