An untold number of people Use Adobe’s Photoshop for all their image manipulation and editing needs, but most users barely touch on the application’s plethora of productivity tools. In this post I will be taking you through how to create Actions in Photoshop; something which can save a huge amount of time.
This tutorial is aimed at creating reflections for product images so as to increase it’s ‘bling’ factor for your customers.
BACKUP THE FILE WITH WHICH YOU WILL BE PERFORMING THIS TUTORIAL FIRST (copy and paste the file)! Just in case.
Firstly open an image for which you would like to create a nice reflection. These ‘source’ images should ideally all be of the same dimensions.
If you do not already have the ‘Actions’ window open, go to your Photoshop menu and hover ‘Window’ and select ‘Actions’. This will open the Actions window.
At the top-right hand corner of the Actions window you will find (directly below the close button) a double-arrow. Click this and select ‘New Set’. This will create a folder in which you can group several actions for any given project. In this case name the ‘New Set’ You create ‘Final Design’.
Select the new Group you have created and click the same double arrow. Select and create a ‘New Action’. Name this action ‘Reflection’. Assign it a ‘Function Key’ if you like so that you can use the action later even more quickly.
Once you click ‘Record’ (found at the bottom of the ‘Actions’ window) all of your actions will be recorded and you can see these actions being recorded in the ‘Actions’ window.
Go to the menu and Create a ‘New Layer’. Call it ‘Background’.
Now fill the ‘New Layer’ (now called ‘Background’) in any background colour you require using the ‘Paint Bucket’ tool.
From your ‘Layers’ window (available in the ‘Windows’ menu) select the ‘Background’ Layer and click ‘Duplicate Layer’ From the ‘Layers’ menu. Call it ‘Image’.
Drag and Drop the ‘Image’ Layer in the ‘Layers’ window to the top so that your duplicated product image is moved to the top-most layer position.
Go to the menu and select ‘Layer’ and click ‘Transform’. Use the fields at the top of your workspace window to resize it so that you will be left with enough space below it for the reflection. I recommend 70%. Once you have chosen the size you want it at, press the ‘Return’ key on your keyboard.
Now using the ‘Move Tool’, whilst holding down the ‘Shift’ key on your keyboard, click and drag the image to the top of the canvas.
Duplicate the ‘Image’ Layer in the same way as you duplicated the ‘Background’ image earlier. Call this duplicated Layer ‘Reflection Prep’.
From the Menu, select Edit, Transform and click ‘Flip Vertical’ so that the ‘Reflection Prep’ Layer is now upside-down.
Holding the ‘Shift’ key, drag the ‘Reflection Prep’ layer so that only as much of the ‘Reflection Prep’ layer as you want to display is remaining on the canvas MINUS THE FEATHER YOU WILL SET NEXT. There should be a gap between your ‘Image’ layer and your ‘Reflection Prep’ layer; this gap indicates the distance over which you would like the fading to occur.
Select the ‘Rectangular Marquee Tool’ from the Tools Window and set the ‘Feather’ value to the number of pixels for which you would like the refletion to fade across.
Click and drag from the extreme of one corner of your image to the opposite extreme, this is to select the entire canvas area with the ‘Feathered Rectangular Marquee Tool’.
Copy the selection using the Menu under Edit, or hold down the ‘CTRL’ key and press ‘C’ once. Release the ‘CTRL’ key.
Paste the copied section by using the Menu under Edit or by holding down the ‘CTRL’ key and pressing ‘V’ once. Release the ‘CTRL’ key.
Hide the ‘Reflection Prep’ Layer and rename the newly pasted ‘Layer 1’ to ‘Reflection’.
Drag the ‘Reflection’ Layer up leaving a sliver of a gap between the product and the reflection.
Click the ‘Stop’ button at the bottom of the ‘Actions’ window (indicated by a square icon).
You’re done, though you may wish to ‘Edit’ the ‘Canvas Size’ in order to crop the unnecissary extra left and right margins leftover from the resize. If so, why not add this to your ‘Photoshop Action’? Just select the last instance in the ‘Action’ you created and click record again! Simple as that.
You may now wish to save the newly created file… I hope… again, actionable! 😉