This little [F2] saves me time
again and again and again…
Actions, scripts, macros, are all means by which you can execute complex or repetitive tasks quickly and easily for repeated recall. I have recorded, saved, and amassed these time savers for a variety of software packages including Photoshop, Lightroom, Corel Photopaint and others. Often it takes the same time to record and save the steps as it does to repeat them a second time. By the time you get to the third use, you are saving time-big time.
I created the 50% Fade Last Command action to speed up my retouching. When I retouch I have my right hand on the Wacom tablet and my left on the keyboard. I wanted a quick way to fade what I had just done, to soften or blend the effect. The purpose of which was to keep an angry mother from chastising me for removing a precious birth mark while at the same time satisfying a portrait subject that their character feature was diminished.
Here is a shot of Daniel with an arrow pointing to a birth mark. It is part of Daniel’s everyday face. It is also prominent.
Here is the same shot with a healing brush applied to remove the blemish. It is still Daniel. Perhaps Daniel would be happy with the removal. His mother likely wouldn’t. I need a way to lessen that feature but not remove it.
In Photoshop, there is a command in the Edit menu that fades the last command. It has a three-fingered short cut to activate it as soon as you’ve healed, patched, cloned, content-aware filled, or whatever.
Invoking the command launches this dialog box. Which has a place to either type a value or slide a slider.
This was too cumbersome for me: a three-fingered short cut, or the invocation of a top menu and then to have to set a value and then approve it. I wanted something faster so as I brushed with the spot healing brush, I could press an [Fx] key and apply a quick fade. The solution was to create an action and map it to an unused function key. This allowed me to keep one hand on the keyboard and one on the Wacom and retouch with greater speed.
If you are working on an eye of an older person with many wrinkles, you don’t want kill the wrinkles but soften them. On an extensive retouch the single outer edge of one eye can have a dozen or so lines to soften. How many times do you want to invoke a three-fingered shortcut and slide a slider or type a value? None is the correct answer!
With this action you can create this effect with a tablet tap and a keystroke. On an extensive facial retouch it can save you minutes. Retouch an entire shoot and it can save you much more.
This action is less straight forward to create than other actions due to the way it is recorded. Thus, I am willing to share an action to anyone who requests it via my social media pages.
Follow me on Facebook, Facebook Business Page. or Google Plus and request the Photoshop Fade action by commenting the word #PSActionFade on any post and I will send you link to the action free of charge.
Rikk Flohr © 2011