In this section you'll find an in-depth explanation for each action contained in the Essential Photoshop Actions for Archviz Professionals package and a step-by-step explanation on how to use them properly in your .psd files.

If you have no idea of what product I'm talking about, you might want to check it out here :

Install the Essential Photoshop Actions for Archviz Professionals Package

To use the package on your computer, simply copy the two script files in your Adobe folder (Programs/Adobe/Presets/Scripts). Then double click the .atn file to automatically have the set of actions appended to your existing action sets in Photoshop. 

You're now good to go!

Horoma Folder Structure Action

Having a consistent layer structure in your psd file is paramount when you start managing dozens of them and updating them multiple time at clients request. This action gives you an efficient and flexible structure to start all your documents with

  1. Load all your passes as a stack in Photoshop
  2. Select all of them
  3. Click Horoma Folder Structure Action
  4. Done!

B&W / SAT / COLOUR Actions

The three main aspects that compose an image and that you should always focus on are : the lighting, the saturation, and the hues. In order to efficiently finetune them, this action isolates each one of them.

  1. If not done already, use the Horoma Folder Structure action to get all the required folders
  2. Click the B&W ON action button to put your image in black and white mode, making it easy to work on contrast and lighting
  3. Click the B&W OFF action button to go back to the normal mode
  4. Same with SAT ON/OFF to work on your saturation, and COLOUR ON/OFF to work on your colours. 

Flip Canvas Action

When you're working on composition, a good tip is to regularly flip your canvas horizontally to see if your image works both ways. It helps refresh your attention on the image, and make composition issues stand out.

  1. Click the Flip Canvas action button
  2. Done!
  3. Click again to come back to the original mode

Seamless w/ and w/out reflection Actions

Inserting people seamlessly in your image is a quite time consuming and tedious task. To do it properly you need to create, for each cutout, a coreshadow (with a layer mask to adjust it), a cast shadow (with a layer mask to adjust it again and a potential gaussian blur), and, depending on the ground surface, a ground reflection (with different adjustment to get it right). When you're working on scenes with more than hundreds of cutouts, you'll be happy to use this action that does the whole job for all your cutout.

  1. If not done already, use the Horoma Folder Structure action to get all the required folders
  2. Also be sure that both scripts are copied in the Adobe script folder
  3. Place your cutout in the PEOPLE and PEOPLE GLASS folders as smart objects (if you drag and drop them from Adobe Bridge, they'll directly be imported as smart objects). Don't add layer masks yet
  4. Click the Seamless w/ or w/o Reflection action button depending on whether you need reflections or not for your cutouts
  5. A transform box appears at the bottom of the first cutout in the PEOPLE group. Right click and choose distort, and then adjust the shadow according to your scene lighting
  6. Press Enter
  7. When prompted, choose the intensity of the gaussian blur applied to the shadows
  8. If you chose the reflection option, you'll also be prompted to choose the gaussian blur applied to the ground reflection
  9. Now the script takes care of the rest and applies the same changes to all the other cutouts in both groups. 
  10. Each cutout is linked with its core shadow, cast shadow and ground reflection, making it easy to move them individually
  11. Layer Masks and Saturation Adjustments are created by default, making it easy to finetune your cutouts and seamlessly blend them in your scene

Extra Shadow & Reflection Actions

Whether it's just because you've added a new cutout in your scene, or you have extra sources of light, the Extra Shadow and Extra Reflection action will do the trick

  1. Select the cutout (as smart object)
  2. Click the Extra Shadow action button
  3. Right click the transform box, choose distort, and transform the shadow as needed
  4. Press enter
  5. Done!

Extra Reflection is more straightforward since you only have to select your cutout and click the action button. If the gaussian blur is not as needed, just double click the gaussian blur effect in your smart filters (under your layer), to get the gaussian blur, and change the intensity.

Extra Adjustment Layer (Levels or Curves) Actions

The two adjustment layers you'll use the most, on almost each of your layers, are the Levels (or Curves) and the Hue/Saturation. This action creates both of them and clip them to the selected layer or group. 

  1. Select layer
  2. Click the Extra Adjustment Layer action button (curves or levels, depending on what you usually use)
  3. Done!

Burn & Dodge Action

The burn and dodge are the most efficient way to highlight and darken areas with subtlety in your images. Best of all, it can be used non destructively. 

  1. Click the Burn & Dodge action button
  2. Use the burn tool on the burn layer and the dodge tool on the dodge layer to maximize flexibility and editability

Light Rays Exterior & Interior Actions

God Rays are always a great way to add an extra push to your scenes and focus the eye on a specific subject

  1. Create the ray perimeter with a polygonal lasso tool
  2. Click the Light Rays Exterior action button (experiment with the pure and cloud versions to see what suits you best)
  3. Now draw the inside, more intense, of the light ray with the polygonal lasso tool
  4. Click the Light Rays Interior action button
  5. Done!

Light Radial Rays Action

When the sun is visible in your image, it can sometimes be interesting to create a subtle bloom effect from your light source. 

  1. Click the Light Rays Radial action button
  2. Adjust the threshold so that only bright spots are in white
  3. Click Ok
  4. Place the center of the zoom preview on your light source
  5. Click Ok
  6. Done!

High Pass 1/2/3 Actions

When reaching the final steps in making your image, you might end up needing some sharpening. This action is declined in multiple level of sharpening, depending on what your image needs

  1. Click the High Pass action button (1, 2 or 3 depending on the level of sharpness you're looking for)
  2. Adjust opacity
  3. Done!

Zdepth Base Action

One good way to give some mood to your scene is to create a more or less subtle fog. One of the quickest way to do so is to use your ZDepth pass. This action creates a good base for a fog from your ZDepth layer.

  1. Select your ZDepth pass and make it active
  2. Click the Zdepth Base action button
  3. Done!

With all this, you should be able to make the most out of the Essential Photoshop Actions for Archviz Professionals Package. Shout me an email at for any comments or questions.