Hooked on Actions...

Toy Camera Action

I've recently discovered Photoshop Actions and have been hooked ever since. In a nut shell, Actions are recorded commands and operations that once saved can be performed over and over on images.  This saves time, especially for those enhancements that you use a lot.

Listed below are examples of some of my favorite Actions and where they can be downloaded. In addition, there are a few screen shots, showing the Actions Palette and its buttons.  This is just the basics of how to load an Action and run an Action on an image.  For more detailed information I have provided links to some very good tutorials.  There are a lot more options, but this will get you started.


If you would like to see the video, click here(Quicktime needed.)   

Actions Palette


Loading an Action


Loading an Action is pretty simple.  Open Photoshop CS2 and click the triangle at the upper right of the palette and scroll down and select Load Actions.  This will open a browsing option and once you locate the Action you wish to load, select it and it will load.  I keep my Actions in a folder on my computer, which makes them easy to find.

Selecting an Action


Once an image has been opened in Photoshop and the Action loaded, simply select the desired Action by clicking on the square to the left most of the Action as shown above.  Once selected, highlight the Action by clicking on it within its folder.  Next, go to the bottom of the Actions Palette and click the right-pointing triangle to Play Selection. 

Running an Action


Once the action is started, each step is performed in sequence as shown in the above screen shot.

Tutorial Links

Favorite Actions and Sources

3D Box Icon

Urban  Acid

Edgarian Blur

Platino V2

Burnt Edges Vignette

Cracked Wall Painting

Toy Camera


Dave's Sketch (Line Drawing)


Go here for tons of great Actions!  Be prepared to spend a lot of time browsing!

Roben-Marie Smith4 Comments