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Old 06-01-2002, 10:52 AM
Stephen M Stephen M is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 439
Danny, Excellent work!

I have had problems with some of my actions with multiple docs open - but did not know why...after playing with your action I can see that this aspect needs more thought when planning the action (the key being the order of the last listed 'key' document). The order of the files is critical and can make or break an action.

I am using a PC as we speak, but the only thing I can think of that will be an issue for Mac users is the lack of the window tiling feature in versions before 7, but most of the hard work is done for them.

Once a user is familiar with the action and the document display order, the stop messages could be disabled (unchecked) so that the process is more automated.

While we are on the topic of separate channels and looking at your image in a new way...

Mac users before v7 had a little known third party plug (if they could get it) written by Thomas Knoll from Adobe for performing HSB/HSL conversions from to RGB data (since Photoshop lost the ability to work with HSB channels all those years ago). With v7, there is a new Mac and PC HSB/HSL filter. This displays the HS B/L data in composite RGB mode, so is not very good for composite views - but the channels do have some value.

LAB is great in that it separates colour from tone (red/green in the A and blue/yellow in the B) - HSB and HSL are another two colour models which also separate the colour and tonal info in an image, but in different ways to LAB. LAB is often more useful than HS B/L modes, but there can be uses for these modes in some rare cases too. For example, the H or S channel can be useful when masking some images - just as the AB can often be good for this task.

One of the foundation principles of Professional Photoshop 6 by Dan Margulis is the 'every file has ten channels' outlook - which applies to his colour correction methods as well as rebuilding damaged channels or masking (where it is easier to demonstrate). It is amazing how deep this concept can be taken. This action can help streamline the task of having a quick view of the ten colour channels, which is fantastic.

A note for users who are not that familiar with CMYK - unlike other modes which are fixed in their results, there are many variables which can affect how the particualar CMYK plates are generated (the 4th K channel offers possibilites for mixing colour which are not found in 3 colour spaces). The same colour can be created via many different mixes of CMYK values, so if you like the look of one of the CMYK channels - there is usually a way to customize this (often the K but all to some degree)...

Different GCR/UCR, dot gain for all or individual plates, total ink limits, black ink limits etc really change things. The legacy built in CMYK settings or the Custom CMYK profile generation of later versions of Photoshop offer the near infinite tweaking of these variables.

A small attempt to list some of these factors can be found here:


Stephen Marsh.
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