How to record Photoshop shapes actions tutorial

How to record custom shapes actions in Photoshop / tool recording in CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 etc.

Recording Photoshop actions of the shapes

How to record Photoshop shapes actions tutorial
  1. Display the Photoshop actions panel

  2. Go to the right side menu

  3. Select the 'allow tool recording' (for the shapes in Photoshop as well as brushes and other tools)

  4. Now use the custom shape tool and create (you can also use brushes etc and other tools in toolbar)

  5. Select the custom shape tool and layer option

  6. Select the required custom shape to record in Photoshop

  7. Click the new action button in actions panel

  8. Apply and record the shapes and then click stop


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The key thing is the actions panel in Photoshop and set the 'allow tool recording' to ON for the custom shapes


Video tutorial on the subject by


The position of the artworks, the type, the color etc is recorded. Once this is done, the tool's actions are stored.


You will note that if you are using vector designs and layers then the layer's name has been used and that is what the playback will always use (there is no editor feature to change it to a new value or rename it at a later point) but the workaround is just to go to make a note of the name of the preset used and then rename that preset and select another preset and rename that to the item in the recording. The playback will now use that preset and not the earlier renamed one.


One issue with using the vector designs is that if you use a thin design then any applied playback will generate a thin design. If the artwork is a huge design in the horizontal, the playback will generate the same. There is no particular workaround that other than capturing artworks in a set of different playbacks such as 'square' 'thin' 'wide' etc and then using those with the artwork


The playbacks can be useful for creating frames or perhaps circular artworks.


You can also use the playbacks in the PS batch processes to apply the same work to 100s of files in a folder (batch process can be found in the file menu in the automate category) and you can then add a frame or circular graphic to each and every file or perhaps add a quick watermark to 1000s of files in a folder and much more. It should be noted that the artwork will not match the proportions of those files abnd cannot be made to match the size of each artwork so if you create the steps using a certain size of document, you may find the artwork cut off or just located in the top left of the image (there is no feature to allow for modification of the top and bottom and left etc of the steps)


The tool steps can be re-played over and over again to create all kinds of designs such as the grids on the right. You can change the name of any preset in the preset's panel as well as remove the previous stored named preset - best not to have both presets to confuse the playback. Play via the panel. You can then go to the layers panel and select all the generated vector designs and then go to the edit menu and transform and scale the design and then define that as a new preset. This can then be used again via the playback as long as you use the same name as before.


This can be repeated over and over to create infinitely more complex designs from a basic set of paths


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