photoshop creative

Top 5: Photoshop Action Presets

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Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
May 28, 2013

We reveal the essential options for instantly applying impressive effects to your images using Photoshop’s Action Presets

Tip 1 – Texture

Add texture to an illustration using a one-click Action preset. These are found under the Texture options in the Actions palette and contain Parchment Paper, Sandpaper, Wood surfaces, Green Slime and more; perfect for making designs look more tangible.

Tip 2 – Bricks

Found under the Texture Action set, use this one to make the most realistic brick texture ever. Grout shows through with an applied blend mode such as Hard Light on a new layer containing the Bricks. This could then be desaturated (Image>Adjustments>Desaturate) to show the colours on a poster design, for example.

Tip 3 – Spatter Frame

Some frames can ruin a good image, but this Action creates a rough, artistic edge around your image that suits digital paintings and sketches. Load up the Frames set from the side-menu in the Actions palette and see what others can do for your image, such as Photo Corners and Waves Frame.

Tip 4 – Cut Out (Selection)

This Action is an instant way to cut out an image from the canvas and place it on a white background with a drop shadow. The end result makes it seem as though it’s floating. Before hitting Play, make a selection with a Marquee tool over the centre of your image, and then hit Cmd/Ctrl+I to Inverse the area to cover the edges, then hit Play!

Tip 5 – Photo Toner Technique

This Action actually does quite a bit of work over your image. A blend mode is applied over a desaturated version of your image, and then colour is added with the Hue/Saturation adjustment – all in one click. Variations of black and white effects can be created, and for a preset this is one to keep close at hand.

Like what you’ve read? Check out more tips like this inside Issue 101, available now from Imagine Shop and


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