Pencil Pixels is moving toward the point of developing all of our effects, new and old, into Scripts instead of Actions. We are finding that the scripting method allows us more control over the image properties which yields better results. Newer versions of operating systems with Photoshop are not supporting Droplets, and as we've found, actions are problematic with international language versions of Photoshop. Also, it is possible to use scripts in Elements and in looking to the future, for use with the extended versions of the Photoshop App.
Good images get better results
Like any plug-in or action from any company, original images that are blurred, contain a lot of image noise, overly compressed or are very dark and extremely low in contrast, will yield poor results. Keep that in mind.
Also note that before the script is used, the original image should be in RGB mode. If your image is in a mode other than RGB, (like CMYK, indexed or Grayscale), the regular Photoshop filters are not available to the application and will make the script fail.
Compatability of our Scripts
Our Scripts are based on the core Photoshop filters, layer opacities and layer modes that have been used in Photoshop since CS1. We test our Scripts in CS, CS2, CS3 and CS5 on the MAC & CS3 on Windows with the same resulting appearance. Scripts are usable on Macintosh or Windows versions of Photoshop.
With each of our Scripts, we provide a Matchprint download. A Matchprint is composed of several images with a variety of lighting and subject matter. We provide the Matchprint original and the Matchprint with the effect. We do this for you to test or evaluate the effect script as compared to one being produced on our system.
Matchprint 1 Matchprint 2
Our One-Click Actions were not compatible with some foreign language versions of Photoshop, due to the default naming of image layers and adjustment layers in different languages. We do indicate this with the sale of our Actions. Through world-wide friends and associates, we are assured that this compatibility issue with Scripts is resolved. So, the good news is that international foreign language versions of Photoshop will be able to successfully use our Pp Scripts. We have NOT tested through many foreign language versions, so please, try the evaluation scripts available for your intended purchase FIRST. * Note we have NOT tested our scripts in language versions that require double byte fonts like Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Greek, Thai, Arabic, etc. ...
We offer most of our Photoshop Art Scripts in more than one flavor
Free - The Free Scripts offered have no watermark and no size restrictions. The individual layers are not flattened so that opacity and blend mode alterations can be made.
Trial - A Trial version has a size restriction, it has no watermark and does display the layers as they exist in the purchasable version. The trial version crops the image to 600x600 pixels. This size may be different in other Trial scripts. Your images should be at least, or close to 600 pixels. Larger images will be cropped, and smaller images will be extended with a gray border. Other than that, the resulting image will show you how the actual script will make your images appear. The individual layers are not flattened so that opacity and blend mode alterations can be used to enhance the effect.
Evaluation - An Evaluation version of the script is a free download but displays a watermark. There are no size restrictions and the individual layers are not flattened so that opacity and blend mode alterations can be made, just as with the purchasable version. We are providing Free Evaluation scripts for all of our purchasable scripts. We do this, and encourage you to try the script before purchase to see if it meets your expectations and workflow needs. The Evaluation scripts produce the same layers as the purchasable ones, without size restriction, for you to determine if use in printing is an option as well. We do this so that you won't spend non-refundable dollars.
We create multiple effects from the layers created by our script. By changing the opacity, blend modes or visibility of the different layers, we produce different effects. A Pencil Pixel Script that is a Multifile produces several variations this way. The variations that are produced are held as Photoshop 'History States' snapshots. Once the script is completed, you can see these different variations by clicking on one of the named History States from the History Menu pallet. PHOTOSHOP MENU --> Window --> History
Each History State contains a "snapshot" of the arrangement and conditions of layers that produced one of the effects. When you save the PSD file, Photoshop does NOT save the History States.
In order to save the effects, select any of the History States and 'SAVE AS' an individual Photoshop file.
Do this for all the History States that you want. Or, you can just open up the original image and use the Script again to create all the effects and History States as before.
* PencilPixels One-Click Scripts, Actions and Styles - Use and Download Agreement Terms:
As with images you have the rights to use, you may freely use the resulting image effects in professional, personal or commercial projects, either in print or on the Web.
How To install and use Photoshop Scripts
Unzip the downloaded zip file into a folder you can easily access.
You select the script in Photoshop through
the PHOTOSHOP MENU File --> Scripts --> Browse...
Then in the selection dialog, navigate to the folder you've saved the script in and select it.
Alternately, they can appear directly in your Photoshop script list. You just place these scripts in the
Photoshop scripts folder.
C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop (CS2, 3 4 or 5)\Presets\Scripts\
For a MAC:
[hard drive] -> Applications -> Photoshop (version) --> Presets --> Scripts.
After copying a script to this folder you'll need to Quit and then Restart Photoshop before the script appears
in the File --> Scripts menu.
Photoshop scripts use the file extension .jsx If you are using and older Operating System or an older version of Photoshop (like CS1), you may have to change the extension to .js for it to be recognized.
Using the Script Effects with PRINT projects
The Pencil Pixels Scripts and Actions are best suited for web and screen size reproductions. However, they can be used in a limited way for print projects.
Although a script or action effect will work on large print sized images, some additional steps are required to get better results. This is why.
When you look at an image that will be printed, or put into a layout, you would normally be looking at the image reduced down on the screen to see the entire image. Its rare that you would be looking at a 45 inch image at 100%.
When you go to print the image, you are effectively reducing the image. So lets see the result of this and what it means.
The example image is the lovely Julie Theroux, a facial recognition expert. Very interesting information is available from Julie Theroux & Beth Terry at FaceItDarlin.com
1. First sample image #1. When you're working with an image on screen you are normally looking at the full image, but reduced. (About a 16.7% reduction in the above sample #1.
2. This sample (#2) is the visual reality of working with a large image for print.
The example for this experiment is 4300 pixels at 72dpi which translate to a 53 inch image height
3. If we use a Pencil Pixels effect on this image, in this case the Rough Pencil Shading effect, we would look at sample #3, reduced to see the whole image. We'd look at is and think to ourselves, the effect hardly shows so it probably can't work for print sized images. We'd really like it to look like #4. The shading has that textured feel to it.
4. By preparing the image first and then using the effect, we can get the result of sample #4 when printed. This is actually the 4300 pixel image, reduced, just as if it went through a printer.
5. When we use the effect on the 4300 pixel size image and view it at 100%, we see the effect and texture. But as we found out, reducing it to see the whole image (or sending it through a printer) it looks like #3. That's not what we want.
6. The solution. Start with the original 4300 pixel image at 72 dpi and reduce it to 30 dpi and then apply the effect. Then, after the effect is made, change the image it back to the 72 dpi. Although looking at the result (sample #6) at 100% size we see it as a soft focus and clunky look to the effect, but when reduced - or sent to a printer, you get the result #7
Alternately, if you have a large image at 300 dpi, you would change the image size in Photoshop to 72 dpi.
The above information is a starting point for you to experiment on for your individual needs.
Feedback is always welcome, let us know if you encounter any problems running the scripts.