I’m so thrilled to have Wendyzine Scraps here over the next two days to share her expertise on a fun subject: actions!
Action (ak’shun, n.) “Something done or accomplished; a deed.”
Actions, as they relate to scrapbookers, are just that. They get something done! And most of the time, they get it done faster than you ever could (even with the latest Macbook Pro maxed out with 8GB of ram). “Actions” is the word Photoshop uses for a set of steps that can be recorded and repeated over and over. Actions can help you do things faster, or achieve results that may be beyond your current skill set.
And, actions aren’t just for designers or advanced users. In fact, actions can be used by all levels of scrappers. Very often, the hardest part is getting them installed! (To help with that, download my free PDF tutorial on installing actions in both Photoshop and Elements, Mac and PC.)
Scrapbooking actions fall into many different categories. Let’s look at a few of the popular types along with some fantastic products I’d like to share with you.
Perhaps some of the most common actions among scrappers are ones that add character and drama to your photos. Whether it’s color correction, colorization, grunge effects, or flaw fixes, actions can do all that and more. With a click of the button, and sometimes a little interaction on the way, you can transform your photos into true works of art!
Several designers make fantastic photo actions, and here are a few of my favorites:
Studio Wendy @ Scrapbookgraphics
(You didn’t think you could get through this article without seeing a few of my actions, now did you?) I offer a fun bundle of inexpensive starter actions. You get some basic special effects and are able to tweak the results along the way. I have a CS bundle and and Elements bundle, and each pack is also available individually.
For a fun and inexpensive set, check out Faith True’s Candy Apple actions. You get 5 fun photo actions for PS7-CS4.
CGEssentials and Pink Ink Studios
Kim Hill is a photographer and scrapbooking designer. She sells actions for both CS and PSE. They are a great value because they are sold individually so you can grab just the ones you will use. Aged & Faded is one of my favorites.
Totally Rad Actions
If you’re ready to make a big commitment to photo effects, check out Totally Rad Action Mix. This huge package of actions does not come cheaply, but you get photographer-quality effects that will certainly add a special touch to your photos.
EZ Actions makes Photo Blast for both Photoshop and Elements. You can choose from basic and pro versions. The pro versions allow you complete control over the action as it runs, and allows you to edit the layers in the end. You get a huge bundle of 39 actions with the All Pro collection, making it a great value overall.
From retro to urban, antique to chic, Nicole Van offers high quality photo effects for both Elements and CS.
MCP Actions goes beyond the stunning color effects to retouching and restoration as well. Check out her great line that includes The Eye Doctor & Dentist and Magic Skin Retouching.
Coffee Tea Photography
Rita offers her popular CoffeeShop Actions and Presests on her blog. They are free, with donations accepted. They are a nice way to get started with actions and try some things out without an upfront cost. And, of course, if you love them, you can still send her a little something for her efforts.
Make sure you stop back tomorrow for Part II, where you’ll learn about time-saving, skill-building, and design-helping actions! If you want to make sure that you don’t forget, make sure to subscribe to our daily updates using the box in the right hand sidebar.
A graphic designer with 20 years of experience in the printing industry, Wendy brings her knowledge and skills to digiscrapping. She’s developed countless tools and time saving actions for both scrappers and designers. When she’s not at her computer scrapping or designing, she can be found enjoying a good book, movie or TV show, or spending time with her precious family.