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Actions problems

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  #21  
Old 06-17-2012, 07:45 AM
bdeshazer bdeshazer is offline
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Re: Actions problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
Hi bdeshazer,

Great contribution. You are completely right, I was begin both lazy in not using keyboard commands to move my layer sections independent of layer names and giving too much emphasis in the layout of the action to my own workflow by not moving it to the top of the stack first.
Glad you found it of some benefit! If you consider your action "lazy" then you're ahead of 99% of most people, who don't even realize there are ways to create actions in a more portable and less intrusive manner!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
I love the action script you provided for the 8/16 bit determination, such a time saver and infinitely more simplified.
I incorporate lots of little scripts like that these days, it makes life immeasurably easier most of the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
I've gone ahead and updated my FS action to incorporate this along with the suggestions you and Flor pointed out. I'm going to post it here just encase anyone wants it. It does what your did but removed a few steps you made in cleaning up my mistakes (thank you). Particularly the creating group then deleting group to recreate was removed and resolved by creating the new blank layer then moving it to the top of the stack before merging visible and then using your grouping order to keep the group expanded by the end of the action.
Well done. As I pointed out in my wall of text above, I didn't do this myself because I wanted those who were interested to see some ways you could fix things as-is, without changing the order of how things were being done. This allowed me to introduce some concepts and makes it easier to compare and contrast the two different approaches.

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Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
I also added one more part to the action that is more about my preference in how to do FS. It doesn't affect the workflow of the action but it adds a copy of the high frequency layer set to normal and clipped to the layer beneath it. I like to do this so I can work a little more none destructively on my high frequency layer. If people don't want this step then go with bdeshazer.
My own person separation actions do this as well, highly recommended! I'd advise anyone reading this thread to just download and use the latest version posted, in this case ratpat13's, unless you're really interested in contrasting some of the different ways to write actions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
Not that I included bdeshazer script but it has been updated with some fixes to spelling errors (like i should be talking) and to reference the new action names.
In my defense those spelling errors were in the original actions posted, but thanks for the fixes

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
I also wanted to ask bdeshazer a question about scripting. DO you have any sources you can point to for scripting Photoshop tools? A lot of my workflow actions end by selecting a tool preset that gives me the proper tool and some simple settings. The attached action ends with selecting the clone tool but would love to us a script that selects the clone tool and then sets it to clone only the “Current Layer.” I hate using tool presets in actions, as it’s just another thing to have to remember to put in place.
In addition to Adobe's scripting documentation, http://www.ps-scripts.com/bb/ is the best resource I know of, although you can occasionally find some useful discussions on the Adobe scripting forum as well. I have a copy of the book "Adobe Scripting: Your Visual Blueprint to Scripting in Photoshop and Illustrator by Chandler McWilliams" but I can't really recommend it. It was published in 2003 when scripting was first introduced to PS and it doesn't go very in-depth, for instance there is no coverage of Action Manager, and 1/4 of the book is actually pretty much just a copy of the object reference documentation.
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  #22  
Old 06-17-2012, 08:36 AM
bdeshazer bdeshazer is offline
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Re: Actions problems

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Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
There is obviously a lot of in-depth knowledge about actions and related issues, as demonstrated in the last two posts, but, for most people, actions are only written occasionally.
I can't argue that this is true for most people that you know as I don't know you or your circle of acquaintances. Most of my interaction with users of Adobe Photoshop are with either professional photographers or those who develop commercial or in-house professional actions, scripts and plug-ins and for many/most of them they're dealing with these types of issues on at least a weekly basis.

"I'm not you" is the perspective I try to keep, both when creating actions and scripts and also when sitting behind a keyboard on the Internet.

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Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
The average PS user doesn't want to spend precious time reading up on the ins and outs of action writing.
Then they'll always be average PS users...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
The whole idea of actions is to save time.
Have you ever used a poorly written action that you downloaded from the Internet that either flattened your image or didn't work correctly to achieve the desired effect on your particular document because it didn't expect to be run when you were in the middle of one or more layer groups? How much time did you have to spend pulling it apart to figure out what was going wrong and then fixing it? Multiply that time by the number of people that download the action and I'd argue that if people would take a little more care up front during creation then a lot of time and frustration could actually be saved for a lot of people. The catalyst that started this very thread seems to be a perfect example.

(if you've never had that experience the count your blessings, lol. I haven't used atncentral.com in a long time because of these and related issues...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
That is why I attempted to write a one sentence solution to compatibility issues for day-to-day, occasional action writing. I know it will not cover every scenario, but if it solves 75% of the most common issues then it is very useful. I suspect a lot of people who approach action writing just give up after a few attempts because of these basic problems. I guess my attempt at a one sentence solution could be improved, refined or replaced.
Is it possible for one of the knowledgeable contributors to present, in one simple sentence, a useful, everyday approach to action writing?
I guess I'm not 100% certain of what you're asking, but if you're referencing your earlier message where your "one sentence" seemed to be:

Quote:
After clicking "Record", do the following, Opt . (full stop) > Shift Opt Cmnd N > Shift Opt Cmd E, then carry on with the action writing.
Then the improvement I would make would be this:

"After clicking "Record", do the following, Opt . (full stop) > Shift Opt Cmnd N > Shift Opt Cmd E > Cmd ], then carry on with the action writing."

That last addition will cause the newly created layer to move to the top of the layer stack if the top of the layer stack was occupied by an expanded layer group when you started recording your action. However, if this is not the case then this step will not be recorded in your action and you should go back and manually add it when you've completed all the other steps in recording your action. Otherwise you run the risk of problems in the future when running your action on documents that might have this condition.

Again, I'd recommend a modular approach if you're using a recent version of Adobe Photoshop (CS3 or later, at least). Create a separate actionset for snippets of steps like this that you do frequently. Then when recording your actions that do the real work like the frequency separation actions we've been working on in this thread, you simply play the module action you need as part of the recording process. This way you a) don't have to remember the exact steps every time you create a new action, b) can change the way this functionality works in one place for all your actions that use it should you need to later. Both of these should then save you the time that seems to be the focus of your action-writing endeavors.

I'm attaching an actionset for you with an action that creates a merged layer on top using the sequence of steps I outlined in this message to get you started, hope it helps.

Brent
Attached Files
File Type: zip ActionModules.atn.zip (736 Bytes, 5 views)
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  #23  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:02 AM
bdeshazer bdeshazer is offline
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Re: Actions problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
I also wanted to ask bdeshazer a question about scripting. DO you have any sources you can point to for scripting Photoshop tools? A lot of my workflow actions end by selecting a tool preset that gives me the proper tool and some simple settings. The attached action ends with selecting the clone tool but would love to us a script that selects the clone tool and then sets it to clone only the “Current Layer.” I hate using tool presets in actions, as it’s just another thing to have to remember to put in place.
I tried briefly to see if there was a way to script setting the clone tool to "Current Layer" but didn't have much luck. Changing this setting is not recorded by the ScriptListener plug-in and I couldn't find any references to this functionality on ps-scripts or the Adobe scripting forum. I'd suggest asking in the "Help Me" forums on ps-scripts and seeing if anyone has any ideas for you.
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  #24  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:23 AM
bdeshazer bdeshazer is offline
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Re: Actions problems

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Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
Also, can we separate the general issue of basic action writing from the specific scenario of writing a Frequency Separation action?
To answer your question literally the answer is "no". The posts that ratpat and I have both made and the various iterations of the frequency separation scripts that have been posted directly address the original posters issues and explain the reasons that they were occurring.

However, I suspect that your post was an indirect way of asking me to stop posting in this thread because you feel I've gone off-topic. I disagree with your assessment for the reasons stated above and will therefore continue to post information in this thread that I feel is relevant to the discussion.

I've now spent a couple hours of my time freely helping to improve the actions that were posted as well as describing a lot of the information that has taken me MANY more hours of my time to figure out. If you personally don't find my posts helpful then I respectfully suggest that you just don't read my posts and skip to the other posts that you find more helpful.

If I've incorrectly interpreted your message then I do apologize, you lose so many nuances of communication when you're not face to face.
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  #25  
Old 06-17-2012, 09:49 AM
bdeshazer bdeshazer is offline
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Re: Actions problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratpat13 View Post
I've gone ahead and updated my FS action to incorporate this along with the suggestions you and Flor pointed out. I'm going to post it here just encase anyone wants it. ...
ratpat,

I downloaded your most recent version of the actions and found another problem.

I'm guessing that when you re-created the action, you added the step that calls the "Bit Separate" script by using File->Scripts->Browse... and selecting the script.

When you use that method of running a script when recording an action, the complete path to the script is stored along with the script name in your action.

The issue with this is that if someone else attempts to run the action but has the script stored in a different location the action will fail to work properly. Even if both the original creator of the script and a subsequent user are on the same OS platform / same Photoshop version and both save the script in the standard Adobe Photoshop CSx/Presets/Scripts folder it still might not work because even the volume name for the hard drive is saved as part of this path (drive letter on Windows I believe, can't test because I'm a Mac guy).

When I look at the details of the "Scripts" step of your most recent action it shows "File or folder not found." and of course the action fails to run successfully because of this.

To get around this problem, when recording the script step of your action select it directly from the File->Scripts menu and do not use the "Browse..." dialog box to find it.

Note that a script will only appear on the File->Scripts menu if a) the script is located in the Adobe Photoshop CSx/Presets/Scripts folder or a sub-folder underneath this scripts folder and b) Photoshop has been re-started since the script was copied into that folder.

If you don't see the "Bit Separate" script directly on the File->Scripts menu and you have copied it to the correct folder, try shutting down and re-starting Photoshop.

I am attaching a copy of your .zip file with an updated action that correctly references the script. I also added back in my warning step about 8-bit images and corrected a spelling error ("HF Clone Layer" instead of "HF Colne Layer" - hey, you started it )

Brent
Attached Files
File Type: zip Frequency Separation.zip (7.3 KB, 1 views)
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  #26  
Old 06-17-2012, 12:10 PM
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ratpat13 ratpat13 is offline
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Re: Actions problems

Not surprising the spelling errors are mine, who am I to complain.

Thanks you for the script fix, i did it correctly the first time i tried it but for some reason rerecorded it with the brows method.

I'll definitely ask the script form, till then I'll keep using tool presets and include them in my scripts. perhaps some one has written a script for converting tool preset file into js like they have for converting action files into js.
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  #27  
Old 06-17-2012, 12:12 PM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: Actions problems

Bdeshazer,

Thanks for providing the answer to my question, which I found embedded in your reply.

I'll get on with my "average" work now.

a k
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  #28  
Old 06-18-2012, 04:25 AM
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AKMac AKMac is offline
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Re: Actions problems

I have had another go at the "one sentence" solution and I now see that my Alt . > Shift Alt Cmd N > Shift Alt Cmd E idea isn't good. I have reverted to the idea that it is best just to stamp visible layers (Shift Alt Cmd E), drag the stamped layer to the top of the stack and carry on with the action. I still hope that someone may be able to provide a better answer to the perennial issue of basic action incompatibilities, but I understand that it is not the main thrust of this thread.
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  #29  
Old 06-18-2012, 08:50 AM
bdeshazer bdeshazer is offline
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Re: Actions problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by AKMac View Post
I have had another go at the "one sentence" solution and I now see that my Alt . > Shift Alt Cmd N > Shift Alt Cmd E idea isn't good. I have reverted to the idea that it is best just to stamp visible layers (Shift Alt Cmd E), drag the stamped layer to the top of the stack and carry on with the action. I still hope that someone may be able to provide a better answer to the perennial issue of basic action incompatibilities, but I understand that it is not the main thrust of this thread.
Hey AKMac, did you find a situation where that key combination doesn't work? If so I'd be interested in knowing details if you don't mind. With the addition of the Cmd ] that I mentioned a couple posts back that should work in every situation that I can think of...

The strategy I personally use is to create the layer first and then bubble it up to the top and out of any layer groups instead of vice-versa but I can't see where that would make a significant difference to the above method.
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  #30  
Old 06-18-2012, 11:30 AM
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ratpat13 ratpat13 is offline
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Re: Actions problems

Hi AKMac,

Are you holding down all 5 keys (Shift>Option/Alt>Command>N>E) at the same time. Wasn't sure from your write up if that was causing the problem. The Topic of the thread might have shifted but we are still happy to help.

I've found this merge visible to a new layer usually works in most cases.

Another suggestion, if you want the layer to always appear at the top of the stack regardless of where it is in the layer pallet is to create a new group first (do it through the Layer menu (Layer > New > Group) then go to Layer > Arrange > Bring to Front (that will move the group to the very top of the stack, other ways might only bring it to the top of an existing group). Then do the Shift>Option/Alt>Command>N and then Shift>Option/Alt>Command>E. The new merge visible will appear in the group at the top of the layer stack. If you don't want the group you can, near the end, delete the group while keeping the contents.
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