45 Best Free Photoshop Actions in (Updated)
BlackNull used his action set on these Adobe Stock photos to create dazzling works of art. This action is easy to use but almost infinitely customizable. Watch this video for instructions on installing the action and preparing your image file.
The instructions are written out below. This will add two Modern Artist actions to your Actions panel. The first action is the standard one; the second is for very high-resolution images 5, pixels or larger. The action works well on images with a clear subject area that you can isolate such as a portrait , but feel free to experiment! Make sure your image is large enough.
The action was tested on images between 1, and 6, pixels; for best results, you should make sure that your image is within that range. Note that if your version of Photoshop uses a language other than English, you may need to change the name of this layer. Double-click on the name to rename it background.
Watch this video for instructions on running the action. At this point, your Photoshop file should have only one layer—the background layer. Create a new layer, and name it mask. Using a hard-edged brush, on the mask layer, paint over the area that you want to isolate as your subject.
You can use any method for this the Lasso or Magic Wand tool will also work, for instance. Open the Actions panel, select the Modern Artist action that is correct for your image size, and click on the play icon. Click on Continue. There will be many opened groups and layer styles in the Layers panel, and it will look very messy. To organize everything, hold down the option key or alt key on a Windows machine and click on the arrow of the layer group called Modern Artist – OUTPUT; this will close the group.
Then release the option or alt key, and when you open the group again, the layers will be organized in color-coded folders. You may like what you see when the action is finished running, but there is a nearly infinite number of ways to alter the shapes and colors in the result, and most images will benefit from at least a little bit of tweaking.
Watch this video for an introduction to adjustment options. The instructions are also written out below. You can hide each subgroup, one by one, to see what it does. Here, we explore the adjustments possible in three primary subgroups:. The blue subgroup, called Front, contains all the layers that create the abstract effect on the subject area you masked at the beginning.
Your image will likely benefit from some adjustments in this subgroup; each layer is a smart object and can be highly customized. The two most important parameters on most layers are Threshold and Median. For example, expand the layer called Shadow Overlay.
Double-click on the Threshold smart filter to open a panel that lets you use a slider to decide how much the layer will be visible and present in the final image. Use the Median filter to adjust the level of detail on this layer—a high Median value will create abstract shapes; a low value will create detailed shapes. You can also make quick tweaks to the other layers in this group, to balance shadows and highlights. The orange subgroup, called Color Maps, controls this map.
Inside are ten color palette options; unhide one at a time to see the options if you have multiple unhidden at once, the results will be combined. Choose one gradient you like.
Then click on the thumbnail to open the Gradients panel and see the gradient used to re-color the image. The colors at the right are mapped to the shadows of the image, the colors at the center are mapped to the midtones, and the colors on the right are mapped to the highlights. Click on the gradient bar top open the Gradient Editor, where you can modify the colors and experiment.
To learn more about how colors work together and make some interesting combinations, check out Adobe Color CC. They have the same exact structure; the two layers can be adjusted in sync for great results. If you unhide all the smart filters, you can see the basic shapes. Choose one of the shapes, and then close the smart object and save.
You can then apply one or more smart filters to create the desired result. Get the step-by-step guide. Here, we explore the adjustments possible in three primary subgroups: 1.
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It can also get rid of distractions and add depth to your image. This vibrant duo is meant to give your photos a surreal and dreamy look. You can make your ordinary photos perfect for Instagram in a few clicks.
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Reveal Details is usually the best layer to start customization from. After playback, the mask channel of this layer is selected by default, along with the Painterly – Basic Brush. You can paint with black to reapply the effect. Make sure that the mask channel is selected while painting.
This layer is a smart object, and if you try to paint on it directly, an error message will appear. If you get this error message, click OK, select the mask channel, and continue painting. The Paint Base layer is used just as a base and can stay untouched. The Large, Medium, and Small Strokes groups have the same structure; each one contains some brush strokes and, at the top, a Thickness layer.
You can hide some stroke layers or even a whole set in the Medium and Small groups to make the painted effect look less detailed and more abstract. As for the three thickness layers, change their opacity to control their visibility. To make a very strong thickness effect, you can also duplicate one of these layers by selecting it and pressing ctrl-J or command-J.
Try also experimenting with other blending modes of the same category of Overlay Soft Light, Hard light, and Linear Light. The Additional Strokes group contains three sets of optional strokes; unhide them individually to see how they affect your image, and choose your favorite combination.
Try them also with other blending modes and different settings of opacity. To quickly organize it, hold the alt key or option key on a Mac , and close the group; then release the key. Watch the video or read the guide in the action download folder to learn more about this group. The Borders group contains five borders that will simulate an unfinished painting. Starting from the top, Border 1 is the thinnest and Border 5 is the thickest. If you want the whole painting to be visible, hide this group.
You can use one of the three Manual brushes for this process; these are among the first in the Painterly brushes set. You can activate Color Overlay to make the area of the canvas colored; double-click this layer style to change the color.
The layers in the Post FX group will add the final touches to the image. Spotlight creates both a light and a vignette effect; change the opacity parameter to control its intensity. This layer is made using a Gradient Fill; double-click the thumbnail to edit its properties. From the Gradient Fill panel, you can change the position of the spotlight by dragging it on the canvas. Change the opacity of the layer Contrast to increase or decrease the contrast of the final effect.
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