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Photoshop Actions | Release Notes

There have been a couple of minor revisions in the Totally Rad Photoshop Actions volumes 1 and 2.  Below is a list of the changes and when they were made.

VERSION 1.3

3/8/11 – Version 1.3 is mostly a bugfix release, fixing language compatibility issues, but there are also some minor functional changes to the actions as well.

  • Fixed Boutwell Magic Glasses, Homestead B&W, and Bitchin B&W to resolve some language with non-Engligh versions of Photoshop. They should run happily on most non-English versions now.
  • Added a note to the f/zero conversions that explains how to use them (since they cause a lot of confusion). There is a video tutorial that deals with how to use this action in the Support Section. Also renamed the main f/zero action to f/zero Setup, in order to clarify its intended use.
  • Removed De-Blotchifier, Combine Exposures, and Banding-Aid from TRA1. They were old, stopgap solutions to problems that Photoshop can better deal with now, though they did make sense when they were developed (on Photoshop CS, back in the day). Time to put them out to pasture.
  • Eye Bump, which was a component of Pro Retouch, is now a separate action for people who just want eye enhancement without the skin smoothing. This is mostly a convenience based on customer feedback.
  • De-Toner and Red Channel Fix have been removed from TRA2. Both of them were confusing and I don’t think anyone will miss them.
  • Burn-Out has been modified to be less Burn-y. It should darken images less now, and be a bit more usable at near full strength.
  • Magical B&W now puts itself into a layer group with the action name on it, like the rest of the actions (somewhere a bug slipped in where the resulting group was just called “Group 1″).
  • The included documentation has all been moved online to the Support Section, and the, and the action descriptions and examples now live on the Product Pages. This will help us keep things up-to-date. The included PDF still has a barebones set of installation instructions to get you going.
  • The total number of actions in each set has changed. TRA1 now has 48, and TRA2 has 55

Version 1.2a

  • Awesome B&W

We recently discovered a bug in the Awesome B&W action that would cause the document to revert to its original history state, undoing all kinds of edits. This is now fixed, and the action uses a duplicate document to do its work instead of messing with the history palette. Thatʼs the only change in 1.2a. The Color Blind subset from TRA1 is now labeled 1.2a, but the others still say 1.2. Iʼm trying to make things as confusing as possible by adding as many numbers and letters to the action set names as possible.

Version 1.2

TRA v1.2 includes a whole host of updates for both TRA1 and TRA2. The biggest news is that the actions should now be 100% compatible with CS4, while still working perfectly under CS2 and CS3. Weʼve also incorporated several minor tweaks and feature requests. All in all, this is a big update for the Totally Rad Actions, and users of TRA1 in particular have a whole lot of new goodies… A full list of changes follows:

  • Now 100% Compatible With CS4
  • We fixed minor issues with CS4 compatibility in:

- Vignette & Blur
- Old Skool
- Super Old Skool
- EZ-Burn

  • A Quick Note About CS2

None of these changes should affect compatibility with Photoshop CS2, theoretically. However, I no longer have a copy of CS2 that I can test the changes on… if you are a CS2 user and notice new problems with this update, let me know and Iʼll look into it. We still intend to support CS2 users, but it becomes tougher with every new computer I buy. (insert your favorite winky-face emoticon here).

  • Easier Layer Masking, Less Confusion

Any action that requires you to do layer masking now selects the brush tool and sets the foreground color to white automatically. F/zero and Big Blue are best used with the gradient tool, and youʼll need to select that on your own after running the action (just hit “g”). Youʼll still need to select the reflected gradient mode in f/zero to create tilt-shift effects. Opacity, flow, and brush mode arenʼt set by the actions, so youʼll have to do that yourself. Now all youʼll need to do after running one of those actions is start brushing – no other tool setup should typically be required!

Actions affected:

- Yin / Yang
- Good vs. Evil
- Green With Envy
- Big Blue
- Pro Retouch
- Can-O-Whoopass
- f/zero

  • More Control for TRA1

Vignette and Blur now puts the Vignette and the Blur in separate layers, and then groups them together. The results is functionally identical, but now allows you to independently control the amount of blur and vignette by varying the opacity of the two layers in the resulting layer set.

Old Skool and Super Old Skool now offer some degree of control over the different components of the action. Whereas the result was previously flattened into a single layer, the new versions preserve many layers inside the resulting layer group. You can now independently control the amount of desaturation, edge burn, blur, grain, contrast, acutance, and toning. The resulting files are larger, and the results are very slightly different from the previous versions, but we think the tradeoff is worth it for the added flexibility. Itʼs a change thatʼs been a long time coming…

  • EZ-Burn now plays better

Weʼve made some minor changes to EZ-Burn that will help it play better with some actions. Previously, some situations would cause error messages, forcing you to flatten the image before running EZ-Burn. Not anymore!

  • 3 New Actions With A New Edge Blur Algorithm

Three new actions join the Original Totally Rad Action Mix in this version. In addition to the Fast and HQ versions, we now offer a “Standard” variant of Old Skool, Super Old Skool, and Vignette & Blur. This new variant incorporates the same technique that f/ zeroʼs Super HQ conversion uses in TRA2. The result is a much higher quality result than the Fast version, very similar to the result from the HQ version, but at a fraction of the time to run. Unless youʼre absolutely attached to the look of the fast version, I recommend using the Standard versions of those actions from now on. The Fast and HQ versions are still in the set, and both have been upgraded with new layers to play with.

  • Super Fun Happy Gets Tweaks

Youʼll now notice that Super Fun Happy doesnʼt produce a “lighten shadows” or a “burn” layer. You can use Yin / Yang to accomplish virtually the same thing, so it seems redundant in hindsight. Also, weʼve added a variant to Super Fun Happy without the glow, for those of you who arenʼt particularly keen on the glowiness. It has a more punchy look. Hopefully you likey. Itʼs free!

  • No More Automatic Snapshots

This is another change to TRA1 that 99% of people wonʼt notice, but actions no longer automatically create snapshots before running (except Banding-Aid, where it still serves a legitimate purpose). A few actions did this in order to provide an easy way to undo the
effects of the action, but itʼs a redundant feature since you can just delete the layer set if you want to undo. Very minor change.

  • P.O.S. Lens now has less “S”

I basically decided that the original POS lens went way too far in the blurring toward the edges, so I reduced it to a more manageable level. I think most people who used that action were reducing the opacity of the blur layer anyway, so this should be a good fix. Let me know if you hate it, and Iʼll write a little ditty on how to get back the old behavior (really simple to do)