Photoshop Action Tips From Envato Author Gianluca Giacoppo, aka Giallo

If you’ve ever sat and wondered how to make your design workflow much easier, then let me be the first to introduce you to the wonder of Photoshop actions. Designed to give creatives access to phenomenally intricate effects, these step-by-step functions play out high-quality results with the click of a button.

So how do you get this design sorcery to work? And where can you find some cool actions? Today, we’ll be exploring this topic with one of our very own authors from Envato Market.

Meet designer and Photoshop action creator Gianluca Giacoppo, aka Giallo.

Gianluca Giacoppo

Gianluca Giacoppo’s skills for post-processing photos and illustrations have definitely paid off, making him an Elite author with many highly rated products. This visual effects specialist from Italy knows how to add eye-popping photo effects to any portrait or composition with the help of custom-made Photoshop actions. We spoke about how he originally got into these tools as well as what it takes to sell high-quality premium products.

Let’s take a look at what he had to say.

How did you get into Photoshop actions initially, and where did you learn to create them?

Working for various advertising agencies, I realized that every now and then we were required to modify multiple images at a time and that’s where I started to explore Photoshop’s automatic processing capabilities.

Animated Pencil Sketch FX
Animated Pencil Sketch FX Photoshop Add-on

His first action, a tool used to increase the size of smaller images, is still available on Envato Market with over 1,000 sales. Gianluca notes that by looking at other designers he was able to come up with his own useful products.

Where do you obtain inspiration for your creations?

I just recently got into photo effects so I look for artistic inspiration of any kind, from digital to traditional art. The most common websites to find fresh and trending art are Dribbble, Behance, DesignInspiration, and Abduzeedo.

Ever wondered about creating your own action? Gianluca lets us in on the process.

How long does an action take to create? Could you take us through a bit of the process?

Creating a good Photoshop action requires a considerable amount of time and experience. The developer has to consider multiple factors, from size to resolution and depth.

The amount of tuning and experimenting I’m able to achieve will determine the quality of the action created.

Asset creation and transformation into Photoshop add-ons. Recording the action. Transforming it into JavaScript code and adding manual adjustments. Then setting up the final presentation and previews.

Some of the best tips come from fellow creators. Here are his tips for newbies to digital products like Photoshop actions.

Do you have any tips for creators that are looking to get into action creation?

Yes, several. Here’s what I consider the most necessary. I often see that Photoshop Actions work only if:

1) Photoshop is in English.

2) You meet certain preferences in your settings and control panel.

3) The image is in RGB, and also set to 8 channels.

4) The starting layer needs to be selected and named properly.

5) Consider the layer ordering and final document setup.

He continues his advice with a few more notes about coding actions.

Recording an action is a fairly simple task. Photoshop has a built-in recording tool that allows you to record a certain process. But an action developer has to consider the image being processed on different operating systems and with different Photoshop versions, taking the precautions previously explained.
There are also many limits and things that can’t be done in the actions panel. That’s why it is optimal to implement JavaScript code, and to “retouch” our Photoshop actions. The possibilities with Photoshop scripting are endless. Since it uses JavaScript, we can set up conditions and react to them using variables and much more.

Geometrical Dispersion FX - Photoshop Add-On
Geometrical Dispersion FX – Photoshop Add-On

So what’s his final verdict on creating high-quality actions? Well, there are many important factors to consider.

In your opinion, what makes a good action?

The final result, originality and compatibility. If there are too many conditions for the action to work, or the user has to take too many manual steps, that devalues the overall product. I always consider the user’s point of view, and a good add-on for me is the one that provides the best user experience.
A good action means also great customer support from the author. Some customers might not be Photoshop experts and therefore require support, which is one of the factors that others look for.

Among the many creative projects in his Envato Market profile, Gianluca also creates amazing mockups, various templates and animated effects. So what does he have in store for the next product?

Do you have any notable projects in the works?

I’m currently working on another photo effect—I’d like to create a realistic charcoal visual effect. I don’t think our community reached the realism and material feel that real charcoal and pastel create on canvas, so I’m looking forward to improving this type of artistic effect.

Sounds like we’ll be enjoying more fantastic artist effects to come. He also lets us in on his favorites.

Which are your favorite creations and why?

My favorite plugin at the moment is Real Paint Fx, which creates a realistic painting effect from any image. One of the main reasons is that the script was challenging to develop and the customers’ reactions were great. I also want to thank the photographer M.Rezania who allowed me to use his fantastic photos.

Design is destined to see an incredible shift towards more thrilling visual effects.  So what does this action developer have in store?

What do you think is the future of Photoshop actions?

The future of automatic processing with Adobe Photoshop is in the hands of Adobe. Hopefully they will provide more tools and options for developers of automatic effects. Adding more filters and tools to Adobe Photoshop would unleash the creation of a new array of tools and plugins for the community.

Any more hopes for this area? He continues.

Another hope for the future is related to the market that we generated with these automatic effects. As we increase the value of our plugins, we should also implement their price increases as well. The average price of $7 doesn’t reflect the amount of effort needed to create such a complex tool, so my hope for the future of Photoshop actions is that authors will feel less scared of offering their products at the prices which reflect the amount of time spent.

Animated Real Paint FX - Photoshop Add-On
Animated Real Paint FX – Photoshop Add-On

Are you inspired to create your own action? Use these incredible tips from Gianluca to ensure success with your next project, and take advantage of all that Photoshop actions have to offer to expand your online business.

If you want to learn more about how to customize a photoshop action, follow this tutorial and checkout more Photoshop actions tips and tutorials over on Tuts+.

We’d like to extend a thank you to Gianluca for participating in this feature. Feel free to find more of his work at the links below:

Gianluca Giacoppo


I’m a digital artist with a love of all things Photoshop. Check out my tutorials for great tips on digital painting, photo manipulation, and photo effects on Envato Tuts+!


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