General Tips For Photshop Actions

Here are some general things to be aware of when using the Totally Rad Actions:

1 – Make sure your images are full-resolution

It’s important to make sure that you’re running your actions on images that are the same as your native camera’s resolution, or at least on a high-res file (the exception to this is the two web sharpening actions). Many of the Totally Rad Actions, in either set, have certain values “baked in” to the steps, and will produce strange and undesirable results on web-sized photos. We recommend at least 3000px on the long end (6 Megapixels or more) for images you’ll use TRA on.

If you have a small image that you’d like to run the actions on – take note of the image’s size, then resample the image up so that at least one side is 3000px long. Run the actions, then resample back down to the original size.

2 – Use RGB Color Mode

Most of the TRAs require you to be in RGB color mode in order to work properly.

  • B&W images should be edited in RGB color mode, NOT grayscale.
  • If your ultimate output will be on an offset press, edit with the actions in RGB, then flatten and convert to CMYK later.
  • If you are one of the wacky ones that works in L.a.b., then you are beyond our help.

One error you’ll notice in color modes other than RGB is that curves and levels dialogs will pop up, prompting you for input.  If you see that when running one of our actions, it’s a good hint that you’re in a mode other than RGB.

3 – Try 8-bit color instead of 16-bit

While most actions will run perfectly well on 16-bit images AND 8-bit images, there are a half-dozen actions in TRA1 that have a minor hiccup on 16-bit images.  In addition, some actions run noticably faster on 8-bit images (Boutwell Magic Glasses in particular).  Unless you really, really need the extra bits due to banding issues, most photos will produce visually indistiguishable results with 8-bits per channel, and you gain a LOT in speed.  Plus, you’ll save disk space.

4 – Double-Check Your Check Boxes

Our actions are designed to NOT prompt you for input along the way, and to run every step in the action.  To double-check that your actions are set up properly, look at the two boxes next to each action in non-button mode.  There should be a black checkmark in one, and nothing in the other.

If that’s NOT the case, you can do one of two things to fix it.  First, just re-install your actions.  If you don’t want to do that, then just click on the offending box, and say YES to the prompt saying you can’t undo it.  That should clear the second box, or set the first one, depending on what’s wrong.  But seriously, it’s probably easier to just re-install things to make sure everything is A-OK.

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