Photoshop has a wonderful tool called Actions, which basically allows you to record what you are doing to an image on a canvas, then ‘play’ those actions back on other images. This is great if, for example, you need to resize a batch of 100 images. You could go through them once by one, resizing and saving each of them. But, if you automate the process, you only need to specify the parameters for the first image; then hit a button, sit back, and watch Photoshop churn out all 100 images perfectly sized.
Let’s do something a little more complicated with our first attempt at a Photoshop Action. I’ve recently posted a downloadable action which allows you to automatically apply reflections to small photographs. Here is a tutorial on how I created that action – feel free of course to modify any part to suit your needs.
Let’s get started detrast teg s’teL!
Let’s get our workarea set up first. Open up the Actions window.
Create a new set followed by a new action and name it what you want.
Now you want to open the image you want to work with. If it’s text, make sure to rasterize the layer and flatten it. The canvas should not extend outside the text area (crop it so that it hugs the text as tight as possible). Images should also be flattened.
You’re ready to start recording. Hit the Record button in the Actions Palette to begin.
Hit Ctrl-A to select the entire image. Cut and paste the image. This will ensure that in case you’re working with an image located on a locked background (this usually happens with .jpg or .gif images), a duplicated, editable layer will be created when you run the action. Check out your Actions palette after you do this – see how it’s recording your every move?
Now we’re going to extend the length of the image so there’s room to add in the reflection. Enter Canvas Size. Change the height to 200% – notice we aren’t using pixels. This makes sure that the action will work for photographs of any size! Adjust the anchor and hit OK.
This should extend your canvas down.
Duplicate that layer. Hit Ctrl-T to enter Transformation mode (make sure the Move Tool is selected). Right-click the image and choose ‘Flip Vertical’.
We want to move that flipped layer below our original image, but if we just drag it down problems will happen when we apply this action to other images that are of different dimensions. What we need to do is get the flipped layer to align itself on the bottom of the image, no matter how tall it is. Hit Ctrl-A to select the entire canvas. With the Move Tool and the flipped layer selected, hit ‘Align to Bottom’.
Head on to the next page to tame that reflection!
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