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Image ProcessingHelp With Photoshop Action

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minniev
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Help With Photoshop Action

Post by minniev » Wed May 23, 2018 10:49 pm

OK, Duck, Piet and Frank are having so much fun with the Soft Colored Pencil PS Action that I had to spring the $8 to try it. So far it has given me more grief than any action I've ever tried. It has crashed my computer 3 times. I've uninstalled and reinstalled it twice. The action may run a few steps and then gives that dreaded message about not being able to complete the command. Once it ran all the way through and the result was like the handiwork of a blind psychotic clown, just splats of color and blank spots. Obviously I'm doing something wrong. Can any of you help? I've sent a support request through the vendor, who is not the creator, so I don't know how that will turn out. It did not look promising.

I use a mac, running El Capitan, with plenty of ram and no trouble with other PS actions that I could not solve myself. I'm using 8 bit images as described. I have the brushes installed. Photoshop CC, latest version.
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Post by Duck » Wed May 23, 2018 11:23 pm

I run Windows so I can't be certain it's not something to do with Macs. I do find that occasionally actions (in general, not just this one) tend to hang up for some reason. They work well until suddenly, snap, something happens I can't explain. Then, just like nothing happened, it's back to working fine. You didn't mention the image size. I find most of these creative actions work best at sizes of about 3000px on the long edge. Anything smaller than 1000px on the long edge and I get mixed results.

One thing to keep in mind is that these actions run automatically based on semi predictable results based on algorithmic selections of tones (lights, mids, shadows) to create selections for path stroking. Some of these can be resource intensive and that may present issues. Specially if your computer's resources causes a step to fail without causing the overall action to crash. As the action progresses and finds a step that wasn't completed it will then report an incompletion error even though everything 'looks' fine from your end.

In situation like this you can try several things. Redo your initial selection (change brush softness/hardness), reduce the image size or (more technically) look for the amount of contrasting areas an if there seems to be too few, add some contrast.

One thing you can do is next time it stops look at the place in the action it stopped at (it'll show it in the list) and make a note of it. Try the above suggestions and run the action again and see if it hangs up in the same area. Let me know what you discover and maybe we can troubleshoot this.

P.S. The image MUST be on it's own Background layer with no other layers in the document (no levels, curves, etc.)
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Post by Psjunkie » Wed May 23, 2018 11:33 pm

Duck hads given th eonly info I know 8 bit and at least 3000 image size....mine is the mixed media so I'm not sure about anything with pencil sketch but as Duck mentioned they all are similar with stroke and such........

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Post by PietFrancke » Thu May 24, 2018 12:45 am

One issue that I ran into that took a while to figure out, I had to load the abr file, the brush that the action uses. It wasn't enough to have it in the proper folder, I had to have the brushes loaded.

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Post by minniev » Thu May 24, 2018 2:30 pm

I uninstalled everything again, and reinstalled, again. It ran once the first time, all the way through, with a hideous result that looked nothing like what any of you had posted, full of rainbow colors and a big bright white raggedy ring where the selection path was. I ran it again on a different image, and it stopped pretty quickly, screenshot attached. I clicked OK, it ran two more steps with the same message then quit altogether. But it didn't create the crazy rainbow colors or the white line, evidently those come up later in the script.

I ran a couple of different actions on the same image, and they ran without issue. I'm stumped.

And Piet or anyone: Exactly what do you mean about the brushes? They are loaded and showing in the dropdown menu, there are several in the folder. Is there one that I should initially select? Does it matter which brush I use to make the selection mask? It defaults, when the brush pack is loaded, to a 300 mp soft mechanical brush, painting black. In the tutorial, it shows the brush painting with white. I've tried both black and white with equally disastrous results.
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Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 9.17.34 AM.jpg
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Post by PietFrancke » Thu May 24, 2018 2:55 pm

since you see that mechanical brush, you have it loaded! The requirements for the action are - to the best of my knowledge
1) image must be 8 bit (can't be 16 bit, cause then the filter command stuff isn't available)
2) image must be RGB
3) layer painted on called "ga" above your background layer.

The message you are getting indicates that a selection wasn't present (perhaps enough of the color was not there). Get rid of everything but background and ga and paint on the ga layer again using a soft round brush that is large (300 or so) and has a high opacity (say 70 percent). And cover it thick in the main areas. The image you are getting shows that some of the action seems to be working...

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Post by minniev » Thu May 24, 2018 5:16 pm

PietFrancke wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:55 pm
since you see that mechanical brush, you have it loaded! The requirements for the action are - to the best of my knowledge
1) image must be 8 bit (can't be 16 bit, cause then the filter command stuff isn't available)
2) image must be RGB
3) layer painted on called "ga" above your background layer.

The message you are getting indicates that a selection wasn't present (perhaps enough of the color was not there). Get rid of everything but background and ga and paint on the ga layer again using a soft round brush that is large (300 or so) and has a high opacity (say 70 percent). And cover it thick in the main areas. The image you are getting shows that some of the action seems to be working...
A couple of findings: When I downloaded this there were two brush sets in the brush file, v1.1 and v1.2. On a whim I removed the 1.1 set. The action ran smoother than it has so far. One glitch is the wide stark white raggedy bounding line that follows the edge of the painted selection mask, it is really ugly but I've isolated it to a layer named Small BR. If I turn it off or lower its opacity to less than 10% it isn't bad.

I'm still unsure about the selection mask, how to best use it. But if I can get the thing to keep running, maybe I'll figure it out.
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Post by PietFrancke » Thu May 24, 2018 7:13 pm

minniev wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 5:16 pm
PietFrancke wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 2:55 pm
since you see that mechanical brush, you have it loaded! The requirements for the action are - to the best of my knowledge
1) image must be 8 bit (can't be 16 bit, cause then the filter command stuff isn't available)
2) image must be RGB
3) layer painted on called "ga" above your background layer.

The message you are getting indicates that a selection wasn't present (perhaps enough of the color was not there). Get rid of everything but background and ga and paint on the ga layer again using a soft round brush that is large (300 or so) and has a high opacity (say 70 percent). And cover it thick in the main areas. The image you are getting shows that some of the action seems to be working...
A couple of findings: When I downloaded this there were two brush sets in the brush file, v1.1 and v1.2. On a whim I removed the 1.1 set. The action ran smoother than it has so far. One glitch is the wide stark white raggedy bounding line that follows the edge of the painted selection mask, it is really ugly but I've isolated it to a layer named Small BR. If I turn it off or lower its opacity to less than 10% it isn't bad.

I'm still unsure about the selection mask, how to best use it. But if I can get the thing to keep running, maybe I'll figure it out.
Yes - good. Perhaps the v1.1 was confusing it. If it ran without error, then it is likely to keep doing so. All the layers it produces are worth looking at and tweaking either by opacity or by painting on it's mask. And experimenting with the original selection, perhaps having softer edges but a hard middle just to see how all that fits. The frame is worth looking at. The textures are a place where you can insert your own textures in between if you wish. One of the layers is the background color (white), but that can be changed to any color. It might be possible to change the colors of the pencils too, (but I can't claim to know how to do that yet).


All this makes me wonder if there was such a thing as an "action Editor", that would allow us to modify the details of an action, like changing the sizes or colors of the brushes for instance...

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Post by Duck » Thu May 24, 2018 8:18 pm

So, it took some real investigative digging but I discovered one potential culprit.

Since this action relies on selections, go to your selection tools (left toolbar) and go down the line and make sure sample all layers is NOT selected. This will hang up the action guaranteed.

Hope this fixes your issue. Let me know.
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Post by minniev » Thu May 24, 2018 8:30 pm

I spoke too soon of my success. Sometimes it runs and sometimes it doesn't. There seems to be no pattern. I reckon I'll keep fiddling with it. It is definitely better with the v2 brush pack, but still pretty buggy. I've figured out how to turn layers on and off, change opacity and blending modes, and do tasks that are "normal" PS tasks like alter a curves layer or add a texture layer. I still have a ways to go to figure out the most pleasing selection masking approach.
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