Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How to install Actions into PSE6

I decided that I would try to put together a walk-through together of how to install photo effects and later styles into Photoshop Elements6. I hope it help some out there trying to figure it all out. It took me a really long time to figure it all out and it was extremely aggravating!! But now I have it totally figured out and it really is quite easy! So here we go-
The first this you need to do is make sure all your folders are visible. To do this go to Start, My Computer, Local Disk (C), Documents ans Settings, All Users,
NOW in the All Users folder go up to tools on the top bar, at the bottom of the drop down list is Folder Options- open that, Select the View tab- Look down and find "Hidden files and folders" select the bubble to "Show hidden files and folders"
Select Apply- Now your Application Data and other folders will not be hidden.

Lets do Photo Effects- Actions first-
This is where you will put all atn files- Atomic Cupcake actions, Photo editing actions ect.
This is a screen shot of the expanded folder list-

This is a screen shot zoomed in on the folder list- so you can see the path to take

This is a screen shot of what you will see in this folder-


So here is what I do-
  • Download Action- (read my tutorial on Organizing your scrapbooking supplies)
  • Download, extract, and put into your "Extras" folder.
When you download an action it will be a atn file. The atn file is the actual action. Most actions also come with a PNG file. The PNG file is just a image of what the action does.
Here is a screen shot of the Photo Effects folder-

  • Have you Extras folder open and your Photo effects folder open .
  • In you Extras folder highlight both the atn file and the PNG file ( hold down Ctrl key to select multiple items ).
  • Once highlighted right click and select copy.
  • Select the Photo Effects folder and go to Edit, Paste
  • This should paste the atn and PNG file into the Photo effects folder.
That is it your Action is now in PSE6.

There are a few things I have encountered that add a few more steps....
Lets cover those-
Some Actions do not come with any image file, that makes it hard to remember what it does.
Some Actions come with an image file but the image file is not a PNG.
So what you need to do is make PNG files for those Actions. You can see up in the screen shot of my computer right above that there are some actions that have a picture of a girl. Those are pictures of my daughter that I used as the image for files that I downloaded that came with no image.
Lets cover how to handle it if the image file is not a PNG first.
  • All you have to do is open the image in PSE6 and "save as" a PNG file. Save it in the same location that the action is in so they are together.
  • IMPORTANT* The PNG and the atn file have to have the exact same name.
  • What I do is-
  • Right click the action/atn file and select rename.
  • Go to the name and right click, select all, copy.
  • Go to the image/PNG file and right click, rename, select all, paste.
  • This will paste the exact name into both files.
  • Now go through the steps to put both files in the photo effects folder.
  • Close down PSE6 and Reopen it- they should be installed and ready to go.
Ok now lets talk about if the action/atn file has no image with it.
  • Find an image that you think will be good to display the action
  • Open the image in PSE6 and run the action on the image.
  • In PSE6 select File
  • The file need to be 64 pixels by 64 pixels 72 dpi
  • Click and drag the image to the new blank file
  • Resize the image by dragging it to the proper size to fit onto the new blank file.
  • Merge layers
  • Save image in the same location your action is in so they will be together.
  • IMPORTANT* The PNG and the atn file have to have the exact same name.
  • What I do is-
  • Right click the action/atn file and select rename.
  • Go to the name and right click, select all, copy.
  • Go to the image/PNG file and right click, rename, select all, paste.
  • This will paste the exact name into both files.
  • Now go through the steps to put both files in the photo effects folder.
  • Close down PSE6 and Reopen it- they should be installed and ready to go.
* ONE LAST STEP*
The last step is to rename your Media Data Base file. I have read other tutorials where they tell you to delete this file altogether. I did that once and it messed up my Photoshop, I had to uninstall the whole program and reinstall it… it was a big pain!! So now I always just rename it.
Here is a screen shot of that folders path zoomed in-

Here is a screen shot of the file to rename zoomed in-

As you can see I just rename the MediaDataBase file by typing "old" and the date on the end. Once I have reopened PSE6 and have it has successfully rebuilt the MediaDataBase I will go back and delete the "old" file.

So that should cover it... Ok I know it seems like A LOT of info but it really is easy once you do it you will be glad you did. There are some many cool actions out there it would be a sham not to use them!! If you have a question leave me a comment and I will try my best to help you. If you find this helpful please let me know and I will continue to make these kinds of walk-throughs.
*Look in the section in the left side column titled “Links to helpful hints”, there you will find some links to a variety of Layer Styles and Actions that are of course FREEBIES for you to play with, I will update the list as I find new ones. So check back once in a while for new additions.*

Friday, May 16, 2008

File Locations of Extras

These are the file locations of MY computer. Your file locations might not be exactly the same, but it is a good place to start.
File Location to install "tools" and actions
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Photo Creations\photo effects
File location of layer styles and effects
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\6.0\Locale\en_US\Photo Creations\layer styles
File location of brushes
C:\Adobe Photoshop Elements 6\Presets\Brushes

* TIP- I have a notepad document with the file locations I need to go to install all Extras. I have it saved in the “Extras” folder. Then when I get a new extra I can copy and paste the location into the Run box on my computer. And it will take me right where I need to go, I right-click the new extra then copy and past it right into the proper location within PhotoShop. This has saved me a lot of time looking and trying to remember where to go to install extras. (Look in the “Locations of Extras” box bellow to see the location paths of my extras. This will be helpful if you are trying to find location paths and you use PSE6 and have the same operating system as I do. If you use something else it will not help you.)
* I think that covers it. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I use a PC with Windows XP and I use Adobe PhotoShop Elements 6. I might not be of any help if you are using different programs but I will offer whatever info I can.
* Have fun scrapping!!


Organize Scrapbooking downloads

*Update*- I do my organizing a but differently now, because I am a Mac girl now :) But this is still a great tutorial for all you PC users :)
  • With all these awesome freebies your hard drive might start to get a bit cluttered. Here are some tips.
  • * Make a folder on your desktop called “New needs extracted”.
  • * Make a folder in your My Documents folder titled Scrapbooking
  • * Make a folder in your Scrapbooking folder that is titled “New needs organized”.
  • * When you download choose “Save to disk” and browse to the folder “New needs extracted” that you saved on your desktop.
  • * Once downloads are complete you need to extract them. My favorite utility is ExtractNow. ExtractNow is a simple utility that allows you to extract multiple archives quickly and easily. Here is a link- http://www.extractnow.com/ and it is free. I have a shortcut on my Desktop for ExtractNow too.
  • * Open ExtractNow, on the bottom left there is a settings tab. Open settings and go to Destination- Check to box to “Automatically extract archives into” Then browse to select the folder you just made titled “New needs organized”. To get to it go to My Documents> Scrapbooking> New needs organized.
  • * I like to have each download extract into it's own folder so I check the box that says, “Extract archives into their own name folder”.
  • * I use ExtractNow for all my downloads- it works for every file type I have ever needed. If you go to the Explorer tab in settings you can check the boxes you want to in File Type Associations. I check all of them.
  • * So the next step is to extract all downloads into the “New needs organized” folder. This is where you can save a MAJOR amount of time using ExtractNow!
  • * Open the folder on your desktop “New needs extracted”
  • * Open ExtractNow
  • * Resize the “New needs Extracted” page so you can access the ExtractNow box.
  • * In the “New needs extracted” folder go to Edit> Select all
  • * Click and drag the highlighted downloads over into the ExtractNow box.
  • * Then click Extract in the ExtractNow box. All downloads will automatically go into your “New needs organized” folder in your scrapbooking folder. With one click!!
  • * Now you can go to you Scrapbooking folder and organize them however you want. I have many folders within my Scrapbooking folder for all my goodies. Here is what I have-
  • * Kits- Within that folder I have folders organized by color, theme, and folders for my favorite designers.
  • * Embellishments- Then broken down into many folders like buttons, eyelets, ribbon, glitters ect..
  • * Alphas
  • * Words, Quotes, and Titles
  • * Templates
  • * Tutorials ~ Newsletters~ Receipts
  • * Challenges- current challenges- REMEMBER to organize into proper folder after challenge is over.
  • * Quick Pages and Brag Books
  • * Photoshop Extras- Here I keep a copy of all my actions, layer styles, Fx's, brushes ect. That I have purchased or gotten for free for PhotoShop. Then if something happens and I need to reinstall PhotoShop I have a folder that has all my extras saved.
  • * TIP- I have a notepad document with the file locations I need to go to install all Extras. I have it saved in the “Extras” folder. Then when I get a new extra I can copy and paste the location into the Run box on my computer. And it will take me right where I need to go, I right-click the new extra then copy and past it right into the proper location within PhotoShop. This has saved me a lot of time looking and trying to remember where to go to install extras. (Look in the “Locations of Extras” box bellow to see the location paths of my extras. This will be helpful if you are trying to find location paths and you use PSE6 and have the same operating system as I do. If you use something else it will not help you.)
  • * I think that covers it. If you have any questions leave me a comment and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I use a PC with Windows XP and I use Adobe PhotoShop Elements 6. I might not be of any help if you are using different programs but I will offer whatever info I can.
  • * Have fun scrapping!!

*Note*

*Some freebies only last for 1 day... and depending on your time zone by the time you get here you might only have a short time to download. If you like something get it ASAP! You just never know some freebies last a long time and some expire very quickly. If you get to a page and the freebie is not there most likely it has expired.*