Photoshop comes loaded with dozens of built-in actions, though only a smidgen initially appear in the Actions panel. Nine additional sets of built-in actions are tucked away in the panel’s menu (shown in Figure 19-2): Commands, Frames, Image Effects, LAB - Black & White Technique, Production, Star Trails, Text Effects, Textures, and Video Actions. To load one of these sets, simply choose it from the menu and Photoshop adds it to the panel’s main list.
Among Photoshop’s built-in actions is the Mixer Brush Cloning Paint Setup by Photoshop painting pioneer John Derry (www.pixlart.blogspot.com). Give it a swift double-click, and Photoshop adds a slew of well-organized layers to the current document that you can then use to turn your photo into a painting. For more on this action, see the Tip on Tip.
Each set includes several actions that you can use as is or edit to your own personal taste. For example, if you think the Spatter Frame action (part of the Frames set) is a little lame with its 15-pixel spray radius, you can bump it up to 25 pixels instead. (Editing actions is discussed later in this chapter.) Or you can duplicate that particular step to make the Spatter filter run twice!
An easy way to duplicate an action that you want to customize is to Option-drag (Alt-drag on a PC) it to a different set.
To use one of Photoshop’s built-in actions, follow these steps:
Open an image.
With most actions, you simply need to open an image and then you’re ready to invoke the ...