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Very basic newbie problem with actions

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  #1  
Old 09-11-2006, 10:32 AM
Canna W's Avatar
Canna W Canna W is offline
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Unhappy Very basic newbie problem with actions

I would be grateful for some very basic help.

I use photoshop, and have only just started using actions. Up until now I have just used very short ones, but today had a go with Dragonizer, which is both brilliant and complex.

The trouble is...... after I click each step, my computer sends me back to the start, or near it, and expects me to manoeuvre myself forward to the next step in the process. This is fine when there are 3 steps in the action, but very far from fine with something like Dragonizer, where there are loads of steps.

There must be something I am doing wrong. Do I untick everything in the ticked column to start with, then tick as I go along? But it always seems to re-tick itself, or tells methat if I un-tick I will change the toggle sequence or something. All of this I'm afraid is Martian speak to me.

Apologies for this very simple query, but I have been trying to Google an answer for about an hour, without success.
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Old 09-11-2006, 11:20 AM
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mistermonday mistermonday is offline
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Canna, I think I understand your problem. If you click on the context menu (little trianle) in the Action Palette, and select Playback Options, there are several options which should help. The "Step by Step" and Step by Step with Pause allows you to cycle thru each action step manually or at a fixed time delay. The other thing that is useful for tracing through an action is to insert Stops which is also available in the Action pull down menu. By inserting Stops, you will only stop the action at specific points thereby not having to go through each step of a group of steps that you know work.
Regards, Murray
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:21 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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re: Do I untick everything in the ticked column to start with, then tick as I go along? But it always seems to re-tick itself, or tells methat if I un-tick I will change the toggle sequence or something. All of this I'm afraid is Martian speak to me.

No, definitely do not do that.

There are several Dragan actions around. So, .zip the .atn file of the one you're trying to figure out (or if it's already zipped) and then upload the .zip in your next reply. (Click the Manage attachments button below the Submit Reply button to engage the upload dialog.) That way one us can download/install us/play it ourself. Being able to see what you're seeing = a lot easier to help you out.

~Danny~
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:26 AM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Many thanks for all the help.

I'm afraid I still haven't got anywhere, and in my frustration I did untick the ticks, (before reading the last post.) It seems as though I may have mucked things up irrevocably with that action now?

I am also not sure where I downloaded the Dragonizer action from - except I remember there was mention to something like the Digital Photography Review Forum - so I think it must have been the version that originated from there.

I tried some more last night, but still have not got the hang of it at all. I tried with some other actions too, a bit shorter than the Dragonizer one, but still got nowhere.

As it is, the arrows seem to point every which way, and sometimes I single click and something happens, and sometimes I have to double click before something happens, and I'm sure I have been doing some steps 2 or even 3 x over, because I keep being sent back to the beginning, and lose my place in the action sequence. Often I'm told that something isn't available - a sure sign I'm out of sequence... I'm not even sure whether I should be clicking the text after the downwards or the sideways arrows... That is the pathetic level to which I am muddled!

I think what I need to do is download an action - any action - that is reasonably short, and more importantly, very clearly distinguishable in each of its steps, so I can see what is and what is not happening. I wondered if anyone could suggest something suitable, and also perhaps tells what settings I should use for that action. I also need to know which bit of the actions I should be clicking on - ie text after sideways arrows or downward arrows.

I'm sorry I'm so thick.
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:41 AM
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Hope this will be of some use to you i think you downloaded the action from here

http://www.atncentral.com/

while you are there in the tutorial section there is one by "our own" Danny Raphael on actions take a look there.

Just a wild guess here are you using the actions in Button mode ? if not change to it just click on the action and let it run doing any prompts the actions will give you in a pop up window, have included a screen shot if you dont know how (i had a similar problem and this is how i learnt, using actions till i got more confident with them ) in fact still leave the actions in button mode only switching when i need to
Stick with it Actions are great



Palms
Attached Images
File Type: jpg action.jpg (14.9 KB, 8 views)

Last edited by palms; 09-13-2006 at 09:36 AM. Reason: forgot attachment !
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Old 09-13-2006, 07:45 AM
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Janet Petty Janet Petty is offline
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I hope this hint helps because I can certainly sympathize with your plight.

All is not lost when you untick the ticks IF you have your actions saved in a different folder than the default Adobe folders. I learned the hard way not to save anything I downloaded or wrote to those folders because when (notice I said when not if) Photoshop crashes, they are lost forever.

Save everything extra, i.e. brushes, actions, gradients, filters, plugins, everything, to another folder on your hard drive and reference it in your preferences. That way you will be protected when the crash comes. You will be protected if you decide to experiment with actions, etc.

And last but not least, Photoshop has a very slow start-up time. The more extra stuff you have attached the slower it starts. One of the things I clean out regularly is the actions folder. Just drag the offending action to the trash can. You can reload it again when you need it.

I hope this helps.

Janet
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:41 PM
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DannyRaphael DannyRaphael is offline
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[Palms... good suggestion on the possibility she's in "Button mode." Since she can "see" (and modify the tickmarks), I'll assume she's in "Edit mode."

Thx for the tutorial ref. ]

==========

Canna:

Just to be on the safe side, do as Janet suggested: "Drag the action to the trash can." Then use the Load Actions... command to load a fresh copy into the Actions palette.

I tried one of the three Dragan actions at www.AtnCentral.com ("Draganizer" by Sharon Lee Corre). This is probably the one you are using. It has many pauses (called "stops") along the way, instructing one to "do something," then to Play to continue on.

To resume the action after each pause, click ONLY on the PLAY icon (triangle) at the bottom of the Actions palette. This will resume the paused action from where it left off.

Does this help?

~Danny~
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Old 09-13-2006, 04:42 PM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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Thank you everyone! Something was wrong with my computer for a while today, & now it is too late for me to think straight. I will check out the above tomorrow and let you know how I fare.... Many thanks for the help.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:40 AM
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Canna W Canna W is offline
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I've been tied up with with other things...but am back on actions...

Palms - Thank you for that. I changed to buttons mode, which does seem a lot more simple, but was still not able to work the Dragonizer action. As I have said below, I think I need to work with a simpler one at first.

Janet thank you very much indeed for the advice....but some more questions I'm afraid.

Whilst I was able to put Dragonzier into the bin in the actions box, and I thought I had deleted it, I found when I went online to download a 'clean' version of it again, that it was still in the photoshop actions folder in my programmes file. Anyway, I was asked if I wanted to replace the existing copy, and I just said yes. So, it should now be okay.


I have now opened a file in My Docs in which to save spare copies of actions, brushes and filters. Some of these I suspect are pretty big. Is it best to put them in zip files before saving them here? I am also not sure what you mean by 'reference them on your preferences'....

Danny - yes it is the Sharon Lee Corre version I am using. Whilst ultimately this is the action I really want to learn how to use, I still think I need to work with a much simpler set of actions in order to learn how to use them. As it is, most of the ones I have downloaded seem complicated. If they are simple, the authors have then squashed them all together, so they no longer look simple at all

Anyway, thank you everyone. I will have another go shortly and report back.
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Old 09-16-2006, 01:08 PM
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Canna
i'm not sure i quite understand you? (probably me) and what you find hard using actions as a whole or this particular action. As i posted before in Button mode it is really just press the action you want and it does it by its self except where you need to adjust certain settings
Now in saying that i have downloaded the action you mention and i have run it, it does use a lot of stops and altering of settings but this is because the effects wanted are different on every photo .
when you run it the first thing you are asked to do is apply usm now you can use the setting chosen or alter it to suit the photo you are working on, then you go back to the action palette and press the action again which is highlighted red and wait for the next window prompt and so on
i used the photo from Neve's post here
http://www.retouchpro.com/forums/sho...?t=9614&page=1
and this is what i come up with ( i have never attempted the dragan effect before ) i used the action for smaller photo's and used the settings given on the whole for the first one the second one i added a lot more usm
( this is not a posting of how dragonizing should look but on using the actual action interesting action will be looking into it more later but not for this look ! ! !)
If i havent confused you any more and i can be of anymore help please post again but do that anyway with your progress

Palms
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File Type: jpg Draganizer0.jpg (86.3 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Draganizer1.jpg (88.1 KB, 13 views)
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