The TK-ACTIONS panel is a custom panel that will display in Photoshop. It makes it easy to play a large number of actions without having to search through various action sets on Photoshop's regular Actions panel. The gray buttons on the panel are linked to specific actions from the different tutorials that have been loaded onto the regular Actions panel. Clicking a button plays the corresponding action. (NOTE: The video at the bottom of this page shows how the panel is installed and how it works.)
This custom panel is actually two tabbed subpanels: "All Actions" and "Lum Masks" (figure below). Clicking a tab brings up the actions on that subpanel and hides those on the other subpanel.
To use the panel, first click the tab where the desired action is located. Then click the appropriate gray button to run the action. For example, clicking the arrow button in the red rectangle runs the "ALL Darks masks" action for creating and placing all the Darks-series luminosity masks on the Channels panel.
The "All Actions" tab is meant to contain most of the routine actions when using the tutorials and actions on this website for developing an image and preparing it for the web. Being able to run all these actions from one panel markedly increases workflow efficiency when using these techniques.
Here's a brief description of the various sections on the "All Actions" tab.
LUMINOSITY MASKS—Arrow buttons play the most commonly used actions for creating luminosity masks. The "Channels" buttons create the masks as alpha channels on the Channels panel. The "Curves" and "Levels" buttons create the masks on adjustment layers (Curves or Levels) on the Layers panel with the luminosity mask as a layer mask. No adjustment is added to the adjustment layer by the action. The adjustment is done by the photographer depending on what the image needs.
TRIPLE PLAY—Runs the various Triple Play actions to affect either light or dark tones in the image. There are separate arrow buttons to create either Curves or Levels adjustment layers on the Layers panel depending on your preference. This is described in the Triple Play tutorial.
SATURATION/VIBRANCE—Arrow buttons create masks that target either saturated or unsaturated tones in the image. These are useful for balancing and adjusting saturation in an image. The "Channels" buttons create the Saturation and Vibrance masks as alpha channels on the Channels panel. The "Hue/Sat layers" buttons create unadjusted Hue/Saturation adjustment layers on the Layers panel with the stated masks in place as layer masks.
WEB-SHARPENING—These buttons create a duplicate image and then resize and sharpen the image for web presentation. The number in the box on the gray button is the final vertical dimension for the sharpened image. The horizontal dimension will be proportional to the original image. Layers resulting from the sharpening process can be further adjusted to increase or decrease sharpness and to adjust brightness and contrast.
MISCELLANEOUS—This section has buttons for other various actions described in the tutorials.
The "Lum Masks" tab has buttons linked to actions that create the various luminosity masks as Curves or Levels adjustment layers or as channel masks.
The TK-ACTIONS panel works in Photoshop CS5 and CS6, 32- and 64-bit versions, Mac and Windows. (NOTE: There is a free updated Photoshop CS6 version of the custom panel for customers who purchased the original CS5 version. If you purchased the original version of the panel and have it installed in CS5, please when you upgrade to CS6.)
The panel needs to have the following actions sets installed on Photoshop's regular Actions panel:
This new panel will hopefully make it easier to experiment with different techniques as well as improving overall productivity when processing an image. These action sets and the TK-ACTIONS custom panel are available as part of the Complete Catalog of all tutorials and actions on the Special Offers page.
The video below shows the installation procedure for the panel from download to actual use.