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Photoshop’s Built-In Actions: Frames

Photo Corners
Photo Corners
Photoshop actions allow you to record a series of steps that you might do numerous times on other images, and then play back that series automatically on a new image. Photoshop CS4 comes with dozens of actions already created for you. In this article, I’ll give a pictorial and descriptive run-down of Photoshop’s built-in Frames actions.

 

 

See Related Posts at the end to click through to the other built-in action sets.

 

Playing Built-In Actions

To open a non-Default set of built-in actions:

  1. Window > Actions
  2. Click on the menu icon at the top-right corner of the Actions panel.
  3. Look near the bottom of the menu where there is a list of seven sets (such as “Image Effects”).
  4. Select a set. It will added below the Default Actions set.
Actions Panel Menu
Actions Panel Menu
  1. Click the gray triangle to the left of the action set you just added, to open the list.
  2. Select an action, and click the Play selection button at the bottom of the Actions panel.
Play Action
Play Action

You can find more ready-made actions at the Photoshop Exchange.

 

Frames

Spatter Frame

Spatter Frame
Spatter Frame

This one puts your image on a new layer with a nice white spattery frame around it. It does not increase the total image size.

 

Strokes Frame

Strokes Frame
Strokes Frame

Like the Spatter frame, this one puts your image on a new layer. The white frame has a directional stroke effect.

 

Waves Frame

Waves Frame
Waves Frame

Another variation of the white frame, this one has a even, wavy edge.

 

Ripple Frame

Ripple Frame
Ripple Frame

This variation has a dramatic rippled edge that reminds me of flames.

 

Drop Shadow Frame

Drop Shadow Frame
Drop Shadow Frame

This action increases the image size by 17 pixels on each side. Then it copies the image to a new layer and adds a drop shadow effect to the layer.

 

Photo Corners

Photo Corners
Photo Corners

This one makes a reduced-size copy of your image on a new layer, then adds the illusion of photo corners at each corner, and a drop shadow layer effect. Additionally, a gray background layer is added.

 

Cut Out (selection)

Cut Out
Cut Out

For Cut Out, you need to put a selection around the area that you want to cut out. In my case, I drew a rectangle with the Rectangular Marquee tool, then did Select > Inverse. Photoshop copies your image to a layer above, crops it where your selection was, and puts a rasterized outer shadow around it. then it puts a white background layer under it. You can get a neat effect by hiding this white layer.

 

Recessed Frame (selection)

Recessed Frame
Recessed Frame

Again, draw a rectangle with the Rectangular Marquee tool, then go to Select > Inverse. Photoshop makes a layer above your image with a shadow effect. The result is essentially the same as my third gibbon image above.

 

Vignette (selection)

Vignette
Vignette

Vignette requires that you start with a selection on an image. When you play the action, it will ask you how many pixels you want the selection feathered by. The action creates a white layer above your image, and a duplicate of the image above that which show only the feathered selection. Unfortunately, it does not use a layer mask to hide the portions outside the selection, but deletes them.

 

Frame channel – 50 pixel

Frame Channel
Frame Channel

Start with an image at least 100 pixels by 100 pixels. This action will give you a warning about this; just click Continue. It will double the canvas size in each direction, and add 6 alpha channels. The alpha channels can be used to create various selections around your image. You can use these selections to create fills to be used for framing.

 

Wood frame – 50 pixel

Wood Frame
Wood Frame

Start with an image at least 100 pixels by 100 pixels. The action will give you a warning about this; just click Continue. This action starts by playing the Frame Channel action above. Then it puts a 50-pixel sort-of wood-looking frame around your image. This frame is on the top layer with a bevel applied, and a copy of your image is just below it with an inner shadow applied.

 

Brushed Aluminum Frame

Brushed Aluminum Frame
Brushed Aluminum Frame

Start with an image at least 100 pixels by 100 pixels. The action will give you a warning about this; just click Continue. This action starts by playing the Frame Channel action. Then it puts a 50-pixel brushed aluminum-looking frame around your image. This frame is on the top layer with a bevel applied, and a copy of your image is just below it with an inner shadow applied.

 

Foreground Color Frame

Foreground Color Frame
Foreground Color Frame

Start with an image at least 100 pixels by 100 pixels. The action will give you a warning about this; just click Continue. This action is similar to the one above, except that it asks you to specify a foreground color during the action. It will ignore whatever you had as a foreground color before, and change it to black for some reason. When you get this second warning, press Stop, select your foreground color, then press Play in the Actions panel again. This 50-pixel frame will be on the top layer with a bevel applied, and a copy of your image will be just below it with an inner shadow applied.

 

Wild Frame – 50 Pixel

Wild Frame
Wild Frame

Start with an image at least 100 pixels by 100 pixels. The action will give you a warning about this; just click Continue. This action starts by playing the Frame Channel action. Then it puts a 50-pixel mixed color crisscrossed frame around your image. This frame is on the top layer with a bevel applied, and a copy of your image is just below it with an inner shadow applied.

 

Done

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