creative juice

Lights, camera, “actions”

Adobe Photoshop actions are not just for streamlining your work or being efficient when processing a batch of images which need to have a similar look and feel. While actions can save designers a lot of time, they can also be used to create one-of-a-kind images that go from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

Making the effort to create actions can be very time consuming. While you can create and record your own actions, there are also ready-made actions that can be purchased for a reasonable price at many online sites. With ready-to-purchase actions, you can make beautiful one-of-a-kind images that look like you’ve spent hours creating them–in the fraction of the time it would take to make them yourself.

We thought it would be fun to show examples using actions purchased from Graphic River (Envato Market). Most of these are available for merely $6 or $7 a pop. We used photos from stock photo sites. Examples are shown below.

Gradient Duotone Design Photoshop Action

Original image. Open the image in Photoshop. Click the action and play.

The result. Cool! You get many different color schemes to choose from. Then, click the “Add Design Blobs” action for the circles on top.

Fantastic Night PS Action

Original image. Open the image in Photoshop. Load the Fantastic Night PS Action and click play.

The action creates two layers labeled “body area” and “focus area.” Click on the body area and brush over it. Click on the focus area layer and brush over the part of the image you want the focus to be on. Click play.

The result. A customizable image, depending on which layers you choose to be on or off. (Play with them until you’re happy with the image.)

Rebirth CS4+ Photoshop Action

Original image. Open image in Photoshop. Load Rebirth action and brushes.

Create a “brush” layer. Select the main image and fill. 

Click the action, making sure to choose the correct light source for your image. (“Top” light source for this image.) Click play.

The result. Colors are customizable to your taste.

How easy is that? The actions are pretty simple to use and you can play around, clicking layers on and off until you end up with a pretty cool image. Be warned, once you click play, it can take a little time for the action to run its course–but if you were to do this yourself from scratch, it could take hours and hours.

All of the examples shown were created from actions purchased from Graphic River. But, there are other sites that carry Photoshop actions. Here are a few. Check them out!

Graphic River

Creative Market


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