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《亚洲标识》杂志

The Digital Eye: Actions Speak Louder Than Words

2018/4/17 11:05:11

摘要:

If you Google “Photoshop Actions” you’ll find an astounding number of free automated effects that will amaze you. An action is a product of a systematic workflow where each step is recorded and can later be played back to apply identical effects to another document.

A Photoshop action is a series of commands that are recorded using the Actions panel and are played back on a single file or a batch of files. Actions may include menu commands, tool actions, panel options, color adjustments, transformations and image size commands. An action can be created that fills a selected area with a specific color or pattern, or that applies a filter for a particular effect and then saves the file in the desired format and location. Actions are normally used to streamline commands that are applied multiple times or to create new ../images with similar effects to the original.

It’s likely that you will want to download some of the free actions that you find on the web, but I think if you want to apply actions to an image it doesn’t hurt to first understand how they are created. In this article we’ll create a metallic text effect using several layer styles and record the process as a series of actions. Later we’ll apply the effect to another document and alter the actions to produce an entirely different look. Anyone who has a later version of Photoshop can do this with no special documents or fonts required.

Step 1: Create a Background Pattern

First of all let’s make a pattern for the background of the type. You won’t need to record an action for this step because once you’ve made the pattern it will reside in the "your pattern" presets and you can always use an action to apply it.

Choose File > New (see Figure 1). Make a 72 pixel (1 inch) by 72 pixel by 72ppi document.

Press Cmnd (Mac) or Cntrl (Win) + D to set the foreground and background colors black and white. Click the Background swatch in the Tools panel (the white one) to display the Color Picker. Set the brightness to 20 percent, then click OK. Choose the Gradient tool. Drag diagonally from the lower right to the upper left corner to deposit a foreground to background gradient.

Select All (Cmnd/Cntrl + A), then go to Edit > Define Pattern. Name the pattern Metallic Background (see Figure 2). You will use this pattern to fill the background of the metallic text document. You can close the document without saving it.

Step 2: Create an Action

To record the steps for creating the metallic text effect, open the Actions panel  (Window > Actions). Go to the Panel Options menu (on the upper right of the Actions panel). Choose New Set. (A “set” is a folder where actions are stored). Name the set Metallic Type.

Choose New Action from the Panel Options menu. In the dialog box, name the action Metallic. Click the Record button and take a deep breath, and be careful! Anything you do from this point on will be recorded as the red record button on the Actions panel indicates (see Figure 3).

Step 3. Create a New Document

In the dialog box choose File > New to create a new document that is 640 wide by 480 high by 72 pixels per inch, RGB with a transparent background (see Figure 4).  Any size or resolution will work but will require higher specification values for higher resolution ../images. Name the document MetalHead.

Press your D key to set the default foreground and background colors to black and white. Press the X key to switch foreground and background colors. Target the bottom-most layer (Layer 1). Press Opt/Alt + Delete/Backspace to fill the layer with white.

Apply the Background Pattern

To apply the pattern you made to the new document go to the Layer Menu > New Fill Layer > Pattern. Choose the Metallic Background pattern from the list, scale it to 30 percent and click OK (as in Figure 5a). The Actions panel now contains the Make Fill Layer command in the list of actions and the background looks like Figure 5b.

Step 4. Add and Align Type

Click the image with the Horizontal Type tool. Type the words METALHEAD (or any words of your choice) in white. I chose Optima Bold, 100 point, Anti Alias: Sharp, Center alignment, but you can experiment with various typefaces and styles (see Figure 6)

Choose the Move tool. Press the Cmnd/Cntrl key and click Layer 1. Both the Type Layer and Layer 1 are now selected. In the Options bar, click the Align Vertical and then the align horizontal icons to center the text.

Step 5: Add a Layer Style to the Type

At the bottom of the Layers panel click on the fx icon and click on Blending Options. Look at Figure 7a for the initial settings. Click on the name Drop Shadow from the effects list and input the values in Figure 7b.

Click the name Gradient Overlay in the effects list to display the controls. Click the gradient bar to display the Gradient Editor. Add three additional house shaped stops, one at the 25 percent location, one at the 50 percent and one at the 75 percent location for a total of five color stops. Click on each stop to display the Color Picker and assign the following colors. Enter these numbers in the hexadecimal box at the bottom of the Color Picker:

From left to right: Stop 1: 001117, Stop 2 A0A0A0, Stop 3: 161A20, Stop 4: A0A0A0, Stop 5: 001117 (see Figure 8).

Now, add an Inner Glow: Color: White, Choke: 40 percent, Size 2.

Add a Bevel and Emboss: Change the size to 10 and leave all other settings at the default except for the Gloss Contour. Click the icon and display the Contour Editor. Choose a contour from the list or make your own by dragging the anchor points until you get the effect you want. I chose Rolling Slope Descending (see Figure 9) for this example, which gives the text a brushed metal look. I also added a Satin Layer style to soften the effect a bit, and a three-pixel black stroke to further define the edges. When you click OK, all of these styles are applied to the text and are recorded in the Actions panel (see Figure 10), and will look like Figure 11.

Save your work.

Running the Action.

OK! Here is where recording your actions pays off. You can run the Action and create a whole new document with a completely different look. In the Actions panel, in the column next to each action’s name is a little square called the Toggle dialog on/off icon (see Figure 12) Click on the icons of the effects that you think you may want to modify. Then click the Play button. As the action runs the dialog box, each selected effect is displayed where you can change the specifications. When you make the change, click the OK button in the dialog box and the action will continue to run until it encounters the next selected icon. As you can see in Figure 13, I altered the pattern, the typeface, and the gradient fill layer style on an entirely new document in a matter of seconds. Of course I can make as many variations of this document as I please simply by running the Action. The Action will automatically save each version to the same location, so toggle the Save action and change the name of the document each time.


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