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I have a bunch of images of rocks that look like this:

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... and I deep etched this one by hand to look like this:

enter image description here

Sadly, I have a load more to do.

I have trouble getting actions to separate the rocks from each other - my Photoshop Kung Fu ain't too strong.

Does anybody know how to create a Photoshop action that can do this to all the photos automatically so I don't have to?

  • Have you looked into Photoshop scripting? Welcome to GD! – Zach Saucier Feb 5 '16 at 21:05
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New Adjustment Layer > Threshold

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Move the slider until you get a good balance that you like:

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Then... New Adjustment Layer > Invert

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You can create an action for these steps, allowing user input at the Threshold to adjust for individual images if needed. And really, since this is nondestructive, you could adjust the threshold after an action runs if necessary.

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Here is what I came up with:

  • Open Actions window (Window > Actions)
  • Create new set (folder icon)

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  • Create new layer in your layers panel
  • Fill it with the rocks you want to remain in the layers bellow

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  • In your Actions Panel create new action (icon that looks like new layer one)
  • When you create it the button says "Record" click it. You are now recording the steps that you will automatically apply to your other images.

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  • Select everything in the layer named "Layer1" in the image above. The layer where your rocks are filled in black.
  • Click on the layer named "example" in the image above. Create a clipping mask with your selection.
  • Go to Layer > Layer Mask > Apply . You´ll see the clipping mask is applied to the layer; whatever the clipping mask was clipping in the layer, is now gone.
  • Click the stop button on the Actions Panel to stop recording.
  • Yay, your action is complete!

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  • All that is left to do is select the layers (one at a time) you want that same action applied to, then hit "play" (triangle) on the Actions Panel.

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That's pretty much it. Hope this gives you an insight in how to create the action to carry out on the rest of the images. The trick is to figure out a generic (recordable) way to deep etch your objects.

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