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So what we are going to take a look at now is a little bit what I would like to call an Actions FAQ. So what exactly is an action, and exactly how do they work. So I am going to go on my close-up this default action set here, and I am going to just click on this set one, right here. And so, what you want to do when you are working with actions, is record task that you use repetitively here inside of Photoshop.
So for the time being we are not actually going to be recording a specific task, I am just going to record a few steps here just to show you exactly what gets recorded by actions, and what does not get recorded by action. So you have a little bit better understanding of what you can, and can't do when working with actions here. So I am not going to worry about any of these options right here. I am just going to create a new action really quick, and don't worry about the steps for this, because we are going to show you exactly how to build your own action in an upcoming lesson.
Now I am officially recording my action right now. So let me move this just out of the way so that we can just work here, I am going to dock this to the side right here, and we are going to also move my options bar out of the way, so that we can close this up here, so we will just close these up really quick, like so. And what we are going to do, is we are going to record some steps which it is recording right now, whether you know it or not, but it's not time sensitive, so don't worry about the speed that you would anything inside of here. For instance, I going to duplicate my layer using Command or Control+J on my keyboard, and if I bring back up my Actions panel here, you are going to see here that it said, that I created this new layer be a copy.
Now I didn't say duplicate the layer, that's just Photoshop's wording, is layer via copy, but you don't have to worry about that, just Command or Control+J duplicates your layer. I will keep this on screen for now, just so you can see exactly what gets recorded and what does not. For instance, if I were to de-saturate this layer using Shift+Command+U or Shift+Control+U, it will automatically say de-saturate right there inside of the Layers panel, but one of things you need to be aware of, let's say I move this layer, let's say I just move it over to the left, like so.
You notice when I do that, the Actions panel records nothing. Well, it actually only seems to record nothing, because it's actually recorded that movement, but it's waiting for me to finish that movement with another command. So it's actually still recording as if you was still moving. So it needs something to tell it that I am done moving it. For instance, what I can do now, is I can add a Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer to this. So I will just go ahead and add Hue and Saturation Adjustment Layer, click Colorize, and we will just add some kind of interesting tone to this, and we will click OK.
Now notice here it has now recorded the move current layer, and also added the make adjustment layer. So when you are recording actions if you notice that it does not record a specific step, then you need to go ahead and finish off that step with another command, and then the Actions panel will go ahead and follow suit, and show you that movement.
Now one thing I do need to tell you is that when you are moving things around, if I twirl this open right there, it shows you where it moved it to, which is -284 pixels, which means, I just moved that -284 pixels to the left. That's because over here on the left hand side, it reads the left hand side of this image as 0, and the top of this image is 0 as well, that's what's this -284 and 0.
So for instance, if you wanted to do this on another image, let's say you wanted to replicate this on another image, it would only move that specific layer to the left, 284 pixels. It doesn't care about the relationship between these two images here, it's working on a basis of pixels which goes from the top and the left. So if you are making selection, this is especially true. So let me show you here, if I make a selection in this image here, we will go ahead and make a selection just around her, like so, as you see here it says, set selection, as I expand this here, but it will say, to a rectangle, but it's also going to tell you that from the top it's 18 pixels, from the left it's 19 pixels, from the bottom 368, and the right 389. Well, what this is going to mean is, no matter what it's always going to create that specific selection.
So if you wanted to replicate this on an image that was not exactly same width, height and aspect ratio of this specific image that you are using here, then this selection would actually be very far off to the left, and up towards the top. So you are not kind of get the continuity of the position of the selections, you're only going to get the exact dimensions of that selection and relative position to where it's located on the image. So you need to pay attention to that as well.
So selections are probably a bad thing to do when using actions, simply because of the facts that you have to use the same size and aspect ratio image for it work exactly the same every time. Just be sure that you are aware of that as you are using selection when recording actions.
Now another thing that's going to be a little bit tricky when you are working with actions is the positioning of objects. For instance, if you wanted to center something aligned with this background layer, let's say, I want to take layer one here, and I want to align it backup for that background layer, I will select these in the Layers panel simply by Shift clicking on both of those. If I come up here, and I choose the move tool, you will notice in the options bar, I get the option to align these images. So for instance, if I wanted to align them horizontally, and align them vertically like so, you are going to see that it does record those right there using those small little icons at the top.
However, if you were to go underneath and align them with the Layer commands, layer align, vertical center, layer align horizontal centers, it would not record those specific commands into this panel over here. So you need to be aware of that if you are going through here simply because, the most obvious way to do something which is the layer align commands, which is where a lot of people go, because a lot of people don't realize that these little alignment buttons are right there, they will go to the Layer menu, and that's not going to get recorded. So you've got to be sure that you use only the commands that can be recorded.
So my suggestion is to go through here and play around recording your own simple kind of play action where you are not actually recording anything, but you are just going through here, and testing, and seeing exactly what Photoshop can do, and what it cannot do as far as recording steps here inside on an action.
Now you also need to careful as far as Undos and as far as trashing layers and things like that, because of the fact that it's going to, let's say, I want to throw this layer away here, I'll come down here and I throw that layer away. Click Yes to say delete that layer. It's going to say Delete Current Layer, which means, it's not specific to only that layer that I just deleted. For instance, if I played this back on this image now, it would go ahead and it would delete the background layer. Well, we wouldn't want to do that, we wanted to get rid of that extra layer that we had before. So you need to be aware of all those different kinds of commands, because no matter what, all of those different things get recorded, and that stuff that need to be aware of here inside of the Actions panel.
So in this next lesson that we are getting ready to start here, I will actually show you what an action looks like while it's playing, so that you can see how all of these steps flow, and how you can utilize these actions to really start to work better in Photoshop.