Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'Art & Design' Actions

This section of Pro Photoshop Actions is full of really cool and artistic effects. The highlight of this section is an action called 'Photo Illustration', which is essentially an HDR Portrait, and has been seen used a lot in Sports advertisements and some Movie posters. Besides this, there is 'Extreme HDR FX' which is a highly dramatic action for landscapes, '3D Glasses'...a REAL 3D' converter,  and many more painting and sketch actions. All these actions are 'one click' actions and can be used in various fileds of advertising, wedding, kids, portrait, sports and band photography.

Extreme HDR FX:

The Extreme HDR FX is a one click action that adds drama to your image with amazing details, color and depth.

This action is designed for landscapes, but works remarkably well with people shots too. It creates a 'Brightness' and 'Darkness' layer which gives you total control of the look you want to achieve.

For even more control, you can create a mask on the 'Brightness' layer to and simply paint in/out light from exactly where you want.

You can use the opacity slider and blend mode of the 'Extreme HDR FX' group layer to take your images from normal to very realistic to extreme drama. 

This action simplifies the HDR process with just a single click.

Sabatier Solarise:

The Sabatier effect, also now known as solarisation, has both positive and negative qualities of a black and white film. This action creates that classic effect along with a mask. By default, on playing the action you get amazing silver tones all over the image. Use the mask to reveal important features like eyes etc, and be creative with the others. This is an amazing effect for shooting B&W nudes and fashion.

Photo Illustration:

Reveal amazing details with high dynamic range in your image with just a single click on the Photo Illustration action. This action makes your image POP in the style of a photo illustration.


This action works remarkably well on young and old people.


Many photographers have adapted this look as their signature style to break away from realistic images you see around. The details and dynamic range produced by the Photo Illustration action creates a a surreal look.

Explore the creative potential of your images with the unique HDR painterly style of this effect. Turn any snapshot into a work of photo art.

This action has multiple steps including very fine selections and may use all system resources. Use this action on a freshly open document on default 'Background' layer without any previous history steps.

Pencil Sketch:

With this action turn any image into a detailed pencil sketch. Take a look at the details of the simulated pencil strokes below.

Another example and a detailed crop below.

Color Sketch:

This action turns any image into a realistic pencil color sketch.

Another example and detail below.

Stippled Sketch:

This action converts the image into a stippled sketch. See details below.

Line Drawing:

Like the names says, this action converts the image into line drawing. They are mainly designed for landscapes and architecture, but works fine on some portraits with even lighting.

Oil on Canvas:

This action gets you very close to an authentic oil on canvas painting. The action uses smart filters so you can change the settings later depending on how large you want to print.

By default, the texture is set to canvas, but if you want to print on real canvas sheet, it can be turned off from its smart filter layer.


The watercolor action converts any scene or portrait into a watercolor painting. This is a fun and very realistic action to create art out of any image.

For all the painting actions, the main details are always in a 100% crop, as thats how it is going to be printed.

This action also uses smart filters and the effects can be finetuned at any later stage.

Cartoon Strip:

This a fun way to turn your images into cartoon strip, and add a voice bubble(with custom shape tool in Photoshop) like shown above. You can make a series of 3 or 5 images to tell a story. This works wonderfully well with designing creative invitation/thank you cards with your images for kids, couples etc. This is a one click and fully adjustable action.

Comic Print:

The Comic Print action converts your image into a CMYK press print with color halftones as you see in Comic books. You can use this action similarly to the Cartoon Strip action above. See detailed crop below.

Screen Print:

This action converts the color tones of the image into flat colors like seen on screen printing.

Halftone Print:

Convert your portraits into a creative half tone color print with this action. These kind of images work very well with typography design.

News Print:

This action is the B&W version of the Halftone Print action, and makes your image look like those printed in news paper.

Old Western:

The Old Western action gives a very old and rustic look to your image adding a lot of mystery to it like those created in early 1900's. 

Old Movie:

This action turns images into very old black and white movies.


This action is what do you see when you stick your face close to your old color TV. Small pixelated lines of red green and blue colors that make up the whole color display. This action can be used as a design element. See details below.

Ghost Blur:

This action lets you dial in motion blur settings on the luminosity mask for a freaky effect.

Dots Black:

This action converts your image into a design element of dots on a black background.

Dots White:

This action converts your image into a design element of dots on a white background.

Text Portrait:

This action converts portraits into a graphic text portrait. The entire text can be customized on your choice of background color.  For this action to show maximum effect, use a very tight shot of the face with good contrast. Choose a very small font size of 9 or 10 while editing your text.

Scan Lines:

This action adds transparent scan lines on your image. Use it as a design element.

Night Vision:

Turn your images into images seen with a Night Vision with this action.

3D Glasses:

This action turns your images into real 3-dimensional images. The layers are editable for total control. You can create more depth by moving the 'Layer 1 copy' of the action to the left. Also you can be more creative and mask out from this layer areas of the image to appear 3D. If you have those red and blue 3D glasses, you can test the above sample image on screen.

PD Sharpen: This is sharpening using slight painting effect to give images a nice depth while sharpening.

You can purchase the complete set of 'Pro Photoshop Actions' right here.

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