Just a sidenote... now that you're recording... don't panic. hahaha. there's no need to rush. Photoshop records your clicks, but not the time in which it takes to do them. It also only records "Completed" tasks. For instance.. if you accidentally click on Edit instead of Image, no worries. It will not actually record that click because there was nothing actually "completed" there. So you can freely move over and click Image and choose your command. It will be recorded once you click OK at the end of that task. (Does that make sense?) If it doesn't make sense now, don't worry... it will as we continue. And don't forget that you can always press STOP and delete a task that you may have inadvertantly recorded.
8. Now with your layered file open go to Image and choose Duplicate.
9. Photoshop will give you a default name for your duplicated image of "file name copy". Leave that as is and click OK. (Make sure that Duplicate Merged Layers Only is not checked.)
Once you click OK, take a look at your actions palette. Photoshop has just recorded our first step. :)
10. Now, the image we just duplicated is a layered image. Since we want to save this image as a .jpg so that we can use it for printing, we want to merge all of our layers. So go to Layer and choose Merge Visible (Flatten Image will also work for this).
11. So now we have an image that is ready to be saved as a .jpg file. Go to File and choose Save As.
12. Now, find the folder that you normally save your high res .jpg layouts. You file name will appear, change your Format to JPEG and click Save.
13. Ok, now let's go ahead and duplicate *this* image since we still need another .jpg for posting. So again, go to Image and choose Duplicate. This time, Photoshop will give your duplicated image a default name of "file name copy 2". Again, leave the default name it gives you and click OK.
14. Let's make our "copy 2" file our low res .jpg file. Go to Image and choose Image Size.
15. When your Image Size window comes up, change your resolution from 300 to 72. Then, change your go to the top of the window and change your width to 600 since this is the most common gallery posting size. (*Note: if you're working with a 12x12 layout, both width and height should be 600, but if you're working with an 11x8.5 size just change the width to 600. Photoshop should automatically adjust the height to coordinate.) Last, but certainly not least refer to the bottom of your Image Size window. Pull down that drop down menu and select "Bicubic Sharper (best for reduction.) This will keep your image from becoming blurry or pixley during the size reduction procedure... a very important, but often overlooked step. Then click OK.
16. If your version of Photoshop does not have the Bicubic Sharper option, you can still acheive a sharpened image. Go to Filter and choose Sharpen. But no need to do both.
17. Now that our "copy 2" file is resized and ready to save, go to File and choose Save As. Find the folder that you normally save your low res .jpgs in and click Save. Now, when your JPEG Options window opens, you will want to reduce the quality. This makes the file size smaller. Most galleries have a size limit of 150k for posting. I can usually get away with 8 because I scrap in using 11x8.5 size canvas. But if you scrap using a 12x12 canvas, you will probably want to drop this number down to 6.
18. Now, before we press stop to complete our action, close out of all 3 files.
We are now done with our action. So simply press STOP.
19. To test your action, open a .psd or .tiff file and press PLAY. Then go and check your folders to see that your files saved in the proper place.
That's it. That's all there is to it! You just created an action. And not just any action, but one that you will use over and over and over.
Now that you have the basic principles... try to make others. Make one for brightening and boosting the color in your photos, make one that turns your photos b/w or sepia toned. The possibilities are endless.... and Photoshop can handle some pretty complex actions, so don't hold back! :) It may take some practice, but keep at it!!
But WAIT!! We aren't done yet! You will be AMAZED at all the free actions that are out there just waiting to be downloaded!!! Let's go ahead and pick out an action so we can learn how to get it into Photoshop!
Downloading and Using Your Actions:
Let's use this one from a website called ShutterFreaks. It was made by Pete Perry and is called Hayes Island Varient. It takes your photo and turns it into what looks like a canvas painting. Let's go step by step of downloading, unzipping, and loading and saving it to Photoshop. Here's the link where I found it so you can follow along.
1. Click the download link to whatever action you are purchasing or downloading for free.
2. Click Save
3. I have an Actions folder within my Scrapbook Supplies folder. This is where I save all of my actions. Find the folder you want to save your action in and press Save.
4. Now, open the folder you saved your action in and locate the zipped file. When you find it, right-click on it and choose Extract All.
5. Leave the Destination as is and click Extract.
6. The folder to get to your action is now saved in the same folder. Now you can delete the zipped file.
7. When you open your action folder, you will see the ATN file. This is your action. :)
8. Now, open Photoshop and open up your Actions palette. Click on the little arrow (yours may have a little circle with an arrow inside it). This will show you your options. Choose Load Actions.
9. Navigate to the folder where you saved your action, click on the action and click Load.
Your action will be loaded at the bottom of your list on your Actions Palette in Photoshop.
10. Now, choose a photo to test it out on. Once your photo is open, click the action in your actions palette to hightight it in blue. Now press PLAY.