Photoshop actions, Lightwave surfaces &  surfactions

Surfactions DLX 2
SpaceNurnies DLX
Surfactions (Lizskin, SpaceNurnies, Titanic etc.)
The Anti-Aliaser

This stuff is Free / Coolware, send me something cool (via e-mail) if you wish!

There are a LOT of actions to download at Action XChange site!

Note! it seems that when using image sizes like 512 X 512 or 1024 X 1024 pixels, the results are ALMOST instantly tileable.
(Applies to all multipliers of 256 i think)

Ok, Rocky's here. (He's Rusty's brother) Rocky 1-6 create random mineral textures based on your FG & BG colors. There's also an action that simulates marble / granite. These are a under construction still... If i get the time and required enthusiasm i will enhance these a bit. Enjoy, and send me some renders if you use these!

Here are some rusty actions... Again, the name is self explanatory. Rust01 needs a mask (Flat B/W image) for the rust areas. There will be rust where there's black in the image.
You can choose the colors from which the random rust texture is generated. You can also add some bleed by running the bleed actions. Rust02 - 05 create random rust textures based on your FG & BG colors. Enjoy, and send me some renders if you use these!

These do just what the name suggests - you can select the colors, the amount of colors and the pattern size. There are about 20 actions here, never actually counted them ;-)

Sorry - these don't tile because of the smoothing methods i used.

This one is on beta stage, but take a peek... creates tileable textures for houses.

Well, I'm not sure will I continue developing this thingy - You tell me...

The Ultimate Texture Generator stuff released: Click on the logo for more!

From left: green & red that were used as FG & BG colors, black stroke on the selection. Different layers supplied by Selection nebula.

The World's Shortest "How To?"

Create a selection in Photoshop, select your colors and run SelectionNebula action for custom Nebulae & Spiral Galaxies.


The image below is "Small Spaceship", a model included with Lightwave. (So it's easy to compare!)
The surface was made in about five minutes with Surfactions DLX, a combination of
Lightwave scenes, surfaces and Photoshop actions. (OK, i must admit that making the actions took a bit longer ;-)

Click on the picture for more info & User Guide!

Note how the surface follows the contours of the ship

Lizard skin surfaction (Surface actions: I Should Be A Copywriter, Man! ;-) notes:
The images in Surfactions graphic are all made with default settings.

*You should use RGB colorspace.*
*FG color's luminosity determines the amount of bumpies.*
*BG color is for the overall hue. Use light colors, you can always desat & darken the image.*
*Don't use black as BG, actions will fail.*

*Anything goes, use FG & BG colors as you pleeze*
*Bumpiness can't be varied with color settings*

Here's a tutorial how LizSkin was made.

As a bonus there's also Surf, which looks kinda coolio, i've used it for example as a bump map for glass.
(Check out Santa's... at the Gallery)

I added LizSkin 3, 4, & 5 Jan 9. -99

Lizskin4 is more like Streety than lizzy... and

Lizskin5 is a bit special case among these actions, because it allows you to draw your own basic image, and creates the scales on top of that, as you can see. (a 1 minute cobra there..)

SpaceNurnies notes:

SpaceNurnies actions generate random surface maps for space ships, machinery etc. The idea is to aid in the painstaking process of painting this kind of maps by hand, not to replace the artist...
The actions run automatically by default, but you can change the parameters by activating the value tabs in actions palette.

*I added SpaceNurnies6b action, which is faster and the nuts / bolts / rivets aren't as close together as here.*

Here's an example of one of the surfaces. Automatically created maps from top left: Demo layer, Bump map layer, Diffuse/specular layer, Color layer.
(This action didn't include a luminosity map, but there are actually 2 bump maps...)

The bottom half is a bit better, yet still photoshop - generated surface demo.

If you wanna see what they're all about check out "They could be friendly..." in which i've used a pre -version of them. Just click on the pic to see the rest of the gallery!

Need I say more? User defined colors for paint & rust areas.

Titanic 4 needs a user drawn flat B/W image before it's run. If you want windows, run windows primer first, then T4, then windows poster.

All these are included in Surfactions.


As the name suggests these Photoshop actions simulate glows and lens flare kind of thingies

Original grayscale

With glow

With flare

With Flare,Glow

The actions create the effect depending on the luminosity of the pic. Flares will appear where there's 100% white.
You can run the actions to a folder of images, please refer Photoshop's Help file > Playing actions > Batch processing.

Here's the actions in action (hehe), a space ship with upcoming SpaceNurnies_DLX_2 surface.

Note! Make safeties of your images!
The flare actions will render a full white frame if there's no 100% white in the image.

(I'll fix this someday... hope :~)

And i did - the "colored  flare" doesn't have this problem. It's (All of the glows are) also included in

Postactions include the Glowstuff actions - plus


Works as the name suggests. There are five versions of these, all work a bit differently... Do some testing on your footage...

Some of the actions try to darken blue skies. Some Reduce the saturation, some reduce the saturation depending on the luminosity etc. I will not go into details, as I've noticed it really depends on the footage, not the method, which works best. So just experiment!

The Bad Video Look

8 different ways to f**k up your footage!

Add some REAL realizm to your ah_so_clean renders... Select a video format and hit the play button.

The results vary from "subtle" to "less subtle". Again - run the actions - it's a lot better explanation than words could ever be.

Also NeverTheSameColour is supported ;-)

Channel Blur

These actions change your RGB images to CMYK, blur the colors, and revert back to RGB.

The results look a bit dream-like, similar to hand colored B/W.

There are also some subtler color noise reduction/image sharpening versions available - and switching to CMYK seems to legalize your colors too...

Ok. The name says it all... these actions help you extract mattes from chroma keyed footage.

And even from footage without blue/green screen BG!

They create the masks to the alpha channel, thus converting your 24 bit images to 32 bit.

Here's how they work:


Load one frame of your chroma key footage.

Double click COLOR RANGE in the action to open it's requester

Use the eye dropper tool to select your background (key out) color(s)

Run the action. Voilá!

As the name suggests, this action also reduces the spill of backing color on the foreground.


This one is meant to be used in conjunction with the Difference keyer.

Load a frame of your footage, one where the foreground subject is not visible. Make sure it's the active image.

Run the action.


The reference action copied your empty stage to the clipboard. This action uses it to create a matte for your foreground subject. You can try it with non chroma-key backdrops too, as long as the camera doesn't move. Your mileage may vary ;-)


This action contracts the mask by one pixel. Useable sometimes when the above action's results are not satisfactory. You  may wish to run this action multiple times, if the first time was not enough...


Use this action to convert the 32 bit RGBA images to grayscale, alpha only images. Useful for use with Lightwave! (heh)

NOTE! This action deletes the RGB channels - use copies of the footage, not originals!


Use this action to crop about 16 pixels from the edges of your grayscale alpha images, so you will get rid of the black blanking borders when compositing digitized analog footage. You  may wish to run this action multiple times, if the first time was not enough...

Regard these actions as PRESETS - you can tweak all the parameters by changing the values in the actions!

You can run the actions to a folder of images, please refer Photoshop's Help file > Playing actions > Batch processing.

New! added August 27. 2000

The Anti-Aliaser is a set of two simple Photoshop actions.

The below images are scaled 200% to show the results better.

The goal is to get from here (A non anti-aliased render)

To here: (Lightwave enhanced high anti-aliasing)

Here's what are the results of Anti-Aliaser "Faster" and "Better" look like, respectively.

Here's the images, in the same order, at original size:


How it works?

It's simple. It first upscales the image, then applies median filtering to it, and then downscales it again.

The difference between faster and better is that faster upscales to 200%, and better to 400%.

That's it in all it's simplicity.


*** If you use these at your projects i would love to see some renderings ***
I'm also interested on any comments on these & on the site!

Surfactions DLX 2
SpaceNurnies DLX
Surfactions (Lizskin, SpaceNurnies, Titanic etc.)
The Anti-Aliaser

Email me erkki.halkka@kolumbus.fi

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