How to Make Complex Photo Edits in Seconds
Many of us have folders of images we have taken that require a little bit of tweaking in order to make them that perfect photo. Using an image editing program may seem like a daunting task with a huge learning curve, however, you should know that Adobe Photoshop can work automatically for you even if you don’t understand programming. Photoshop Actions is one of the simplest ways to do repetitive tasks in Photoshop. It is not only easy for you but it is a massive time saver which can save you hours depending on how many images you need to edit. Before we start we must learn what a Photoshop Action actually is.
Photoshop Actions are an easy way to record tools, menus, and keys pressed while you are using the program. Every time you complete and activities such as using a tool, adjusting a color, or even using a brush, it will be recorded and played back on any file that Photoshop can open. Although this may seem like a godsend the tool can become a little confused at times and do things you don’t want it to do, but with the proper knowledge on how to set it up you can automate editing many photos which will save you a lot of hours if you are trying to complete a large amount of edits.
To start this you will need to find the Actions menu. This is usually part of what is called the Essentials panel which is open by default, however if you cannot locate it under the History button you can find it by going to the Window menu and clicking Actions. Once you have located the correct menu you will want to click the New Set option listed inside. This is what you will use to automate your repetitive tasks. When you have completed this you will notice that there is a new set of actions listed inside your layers menu. Click on them to highlight and while highlighted select the New Action option once again. Once this is opened you are able to name it whatever you’d like. It is easiest to name it according to what you want it to do; changing image size, tinting your pictures, printing. Correctly naming the actions will make your life easier if you are required to fix something.
When you create a new action Photoshop will automatically begin recording everything you do. It will not record the time in between the steps, only the things you are actually doing. It is best to take your time when setting up the actions in order to make sure you are completing them correctly. If you look at the bottom of the menu you will see some buttons. The square button will stop recording and the circle button will start recording again. Use these to make sure you are completing the tasks correctly. Photoshop will record absolutely everything you do, it will even go as far as recording specific images that you are opening so it is best to start the recording process when you already have an image open. If you miss this step Photoshop will constantly try opening the same image over and over completely messing up your automation. It is also important to end the recording with saving and closing the open image. This allows Photoshop to correctly move on to the next image.
When you have every task you wish to complete simply hit the stop recording button and you are ready to go. Open up all the images you are looking to edit and hit the play button. Photoshop will automatically start doing everything you just programmed it to do, editing, saving, and closing all the pictures you have open. If you have set this automation process up correctly you will be able to edit hundreds of photos while being away from your computer.