||03-18-2009 09:27 AM
I use Photoshop and just love actions. (dh wants me to use Lightroom, but I cant get used to it)
On my workspace I keep a history and action window open together in the same little box. (If you go to the "Windows tab" you will see a whole list of things like brushes, styles, actions, layers, swatches, history) Once I have the action window open, there is a little arrow to the right of the box -- you almost dont notice it. If you click on that arrow, lots more options show up. One of them is "load action" . I select that and then a window comes up for you to browse and find the action you want to load.
Once you have selected your action to load, it will then appear in that action box on your workspace. Most of the time you will be able to click on that and see the steps in the action, sometimes you will just see the action to "play" It looks like a play button on VCR.
I dont move my actions to the Photoshop folder. I keep them in a separate folder and organize by CU/personal use, then by shop/designer.
I read that lots and lots of actions loaded can slow your system, so I only have a few loaded that I use often. When I try new ones out, if I dont like it, I will remove them right away. If it is something I am only using for a particular page or photo, then I delete it from the workspace once I am done.
There are lots of great actions out there, some free, some for $$. They can be really simple or quite complicated. Just like brushes and styles, actions are great to play around with to change up your pages. The possibiliites are endless. (my favorite action is a b&w action called smooth chocolate I got when a store was closing. Sometimes I will run the action on my photo, drag the new photo layer to my original, and then play around with the blending modes. For me, it all depends on how much time I have to work on a page)