Best PSE Actions–FREE!

August 8, 2008 at 6:40 am 1 comment

PSE Actions are orders of operations that use “hidden” tools, or less easily found tools in photoshop, putting them all together and creating a sequence of operations automatically applied to a photo if you select the action.

Ever have a week that just drains you?  I’m there, friends! Still enjoying life and thankful, but just totally wiped out from a lot of transition points clashing with lots of people all around me. Still have an big unspoken I’m requesting prayer for.  I’ll update when things resolve.

Anyhoo, here’s a fun thing I worked on yesterday as my reward for all the chores.

Man!  Did anybody else’s chore list, like DOUBLE when school started?  I was thinking I’d get a break, but I’m totally worn out.  Whacking two hours off my day to drop off and pick up kids is a prayerful consideration on my part, I must say, but right now…enjoying the connection with the kids too much to change it.

Okay, so some unrelated play-time for the mom today, fooling with one photo as a reward for getting all my work done:

Photo one.  Uncorrected.

Photo two, add contrast.

Optiverve Labs filter overlay.

Selected flowers.

Erased circle of flowers to show original layer of flowers after they got too washed out with the filter.

Increased contrast and saturation to make them pop against the romance lighting of the dress.

Couple days later, looked at it.  My normal workflow didn’t work.

Didn’t like the destruction of the background, or the arm so dark.  Researched, tried again.

Back to original.  Can’t find a solution to keep destruction from happening.

Found Flickr: Discussing Actions to download…Free! in Adobe Photoshop .

Downloaded “alabaster portrait filter”for free.

I really like the romance, but don’t like the lack of contrast of the flowers it created (above).

Selected flowers, erased down to middle layer, added contrast and correction to original layer, and some to new layer to sharpen the arm a bit, though I like the lighter arm above some, too, and may go back to that, I don’t know.

Contrast added to get the arm a little more focused, dress is clear, background looked good, blurred the bottom background to eliminate the harsh yellow from sunlight on pines in the background.

Got back to the original pink color lost when contrast was added prior.

Overall, I think it’s better:

Before, and After

Conclusion: Though there are some limits to PhotoShop Elements.  It gets a lot done.  Learning to download, install, and use filters (about a 30 minute-1 hour process), can over-ride some of the destructive tendencies inherent to the programs basic tools.

Note: not all filters work in PSE.  Some note that, others don’t.  I downloaded about eight to my file in the last few days, have found about three I will kee that work well, or I’ll ask questions.  Some filters call for PS files I don’t have, and there is a crazy “play” button I still can’t find that would make some work.

Again, this Flickr group has good stuff on it to weed through where I found the best ones.  That link is:

Flickr: Discussing Actions to download…Free! in Adobe Photoshop

I also found one I will use from deviantart.com and will look around more there, perhaps.

Leave me a comment if you find some you like, and a link to your work where you used it.

Also, I’ll update this post with some that have worked for me as I go back through them, and perhaps some that don’t, or fixes to them…apparently “fixes” are out there for some actions to make them compatible.

Installing Actions: (For PSE 5.0, load filters into C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\5.0\Photo Creations\special effects\photo effects\My Effects [this last folder is one you create for all your downloaded effects to go into…find it in the program by clicking photo effects, the three circles, then scrolling down the right hand menu until you see “my effects”]

Creating Thumbnails:  Getting these to work takes a little more expertise.  First, convert any .png files to .psd (photoshop files) by opening them in Photoshop Elements and saving them as a Photoshop file.

Then, create a thumbs.psd folder in the same folder where all the .atn files and the .psd files are (see linkage above).  Open the thumbs file.  Create layers with each of the photoshop thumbnails.  You want them to correspond to the list you get when you open your actions above.  The list will start with the bottom file layer being the first action in the set, the next layer needing to be the next action to it’s right, and so on.

Save the thumbs file when you get done.  Delete all the photoshop individual thumbnails…only save the thumbs file with them all stacked.

Finally, close all files and photoshop and reboot…it will take photoshop a while to reload all the actions and thumbnails in order…check them for accuracy and adjust as needed.

Create any thumbnails needed and insert as placeholders, or leave blank layers to see if that would work.

I hope you find this helpful!

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Entry filed under: Photography, Photoshop Elements.

Grabbing Up Time with Kids Free, Awesome, POP Photoshop Elements Filters

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ME: “MAGGIE”

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Sifting the joy from the mundane:

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I am married to the love of my life, as we raise three children, learning the ways of grace.

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Magnanimity (derived from the Latin roots magn- great, and anima, soul) is the virtue of being great of mind and heart. It encompasses, usually, a refusal to be petty, a willingness to face danger, and actions for noble purposes. Its antithesis is pusillanimity. Both terms were coined by Aristotle, who called magnanimity "the crowning virtue."

Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the American Language defines Magnanimity as such:

MAGNANIM'ITY, n. [L. magnanimitas; magnus, great, and animus, mind.] Greatness of mind; that elevation or dignity of soul, which encounters danger and trouble with tranquillity and firmness, which raises the possessor above revenge, and makes him delight in acts of benevolence, which makes him disdain injustice and meanness, and prompts him to sacrifice personal ease, interest and safety for the accomplishment of useful and noble objects.[1] (Source: Wikipedia)

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