30+ Action-Packed Photoshop Actions & Effects
Actions are one of the most overlooked features in Photoshop that most designers don’t often pay attention to. Yet, they are also one of the features that could help save you hours of your time.
Another great thing about Photoshop actions is that you don’t even have to spend time creating and perfecting them. You can simply grab one of the thousands of Photoshop actions already made by professional graphic designers and start applying them to your photos to create instant effects.
So, whether you’re a pro looking to save time or just want to quickly experiment with several advanced effects, here are a few of the coolest Photoshop Actions you can use to add magical effects to your designs and supercharge your workflow.
Download thousands of stunning Photoshop actions and add-ons with an Envato Elements membership. It starts at $16 per month, and gives you unlimited access to a growing library of over 2,000,000 actions, presets, design templates, themes, photos, and more.
Double Color Exposure
Storm PS Action
Retro Vintage Film
This is truly an action-packed Photoshop action that features an amazing effect. It allows you to replicate the popular dust explosion effect for your graphic designs without effort.
Since it’s a sophisticated effect, this action does require a few steps and clicks to achieve the perfect outcome. Thankfully, there is a video tutorial included for you to learn how it works.
Why This Is A Top Pick
With this Photoshop action, you can not only create a cool powder explosion effect for graphic designs but you can also use it to create an animation with it.
This Photoshop action is perfect for generating cool illustrations and graphics for your posters and flyers. It allows you to instantly turn photos into cartoon-like images. The PS action is very easy to use as well.
You can use this Photoshop template to create a cool anaglyph glitching effect with photos. It’ll definitely come in handy for crafting unique designs for various types of projects. It comes as a PSD template with smart objects.
If you want to give a realistic look and feel to your poster designs, this Photoshop template will come in handy. It features an effect that makes your designs look like glued posters on a wall. It’ll be useful for client presentations too.
This Photoshop action will completely transform your photos into beautiful watercolor paintings. The action creates a realistic painting-like effect with the help of its brushes and patterns. There are 20 color presets for you to choose from as well.
Create a vibrant neon-colored Cyberpunk look for your photography using this Photoshop template. It features a cool lighting effect inspired by the Cyberpunk design trend. And it works best for night-time photos.
This cool Photoshop effect works similarly to an overlay that adds a realistic-looking broken glass effect for your photos. This effect is commonly used in poster designs to create a gritty look and feel. The effect comes as a pre-made PSD template.
The torn paper effect is another popular choice among graphic designs. It gives you unique layouts for creating photo manipulations. With this Photoshop template, you’ll get a realistic-looking torn paper design to generate awesome graphic designs.
A unique Photoshop action that generates a mesmerizing hologram effect. This effect will add a unique retro-futuristic feel to your photos and graphics. The action works with Photoshop CC and higher.
You can turn your photos and graphic into architectural blueprints with this creative Photoshop action. It simply creates concept sketch-like illustrations of your photos and images. The action comes with 14 color corrections, 12 brushes, and 18 patterns.
This Photoshop action adds an electrifying and a hipster-style look to photos that makes even the most boring portrait photos look like a Hollywood movie poster.
MoonStone comes with 10 different color variations and with a promise to give a unique result every time you run the action. It can be applied with two simple steps and it will give you lots of layers to customize the effect as well.
This is a massive Photoshop action pack that comes with 200 incredible actions for enhancing your photos instantly. All the actions can be applied with just one-click and it even includes 19 tutorial videos for learning how to apply the effects to your images.
Want to make your photos look like a modern painting? Then this Photoshop action will help you get that job done instantly. This action adds a realistic abstract art effect for photos and portraits that turn your photos into beautiful paintings.
This Photoshop actions pack includes 25 non-destructive actions for giving your high-resolution photos an amazing HDR look. You can also easily edit and adjust the sharpness of the effect to achieve the perfect results.
This is an incredible Photoshop action pack that you will probably use for a long time. With this action pack on your hands, you can skip hiring a makeup artist for your photo shoots because these actions have everything you need to enhance your look, including actions for reducing freckles, reduce pores, airbrush skin, and much more.
The low poly effect is popular among both graphic and web designers it’s a well-known effect for stylizing background images. This Photoshop action, however, features an advanced low poly effect that can even be applied to portraits.
If you’re a fan of sci-fi movies, especially Tron, then you’ll definitely love the neon glow effect this Photoshop action gives to your photos. The action is also easy to apply as it can be done in two simple steps: 1. Apply a mask by brushing over the photo. 2. Play the action. That’s it!
The shattered effect is a common effect that you see almost everywhere these days. But, admittedly it does make any type of photo look cool. This Photoshop action will allow you to achieve that same effect almost instantly. The only downside is that you’ll need Photoshop CS5 or better to run it.
This Photoshop action gives your photos a modern art effect, giving portraits a digital artwork look. The action also comes with a tutorial video that will show you how to easily customize the effect to match your preference.
AfterBurn effect is yet another popular effect among graphic designers. Usually, it can be seen on posters and banners. It’s not an easy effect to master, but this Photoshop action will let you apply the effect to your images within a few seconds.
This Photoshop action makes your images look like an acrylic painting by adding an effect mixed with realistic paint drops, splashes, and streaks. You can also customize it pretty easily with the many layers that the action creates for the effect.
Time to delete your Instagram app because once you have this Photoshop actions pack you won’t be needing those Instagram filters. This Photoshop action pack includes 30 Instagram filters and 37 workflows for applying beautiful Instagram-style effects for your photographs.
This effect adds a smoke cloud like effect to your photos, or as the creator explains it an “ink in water” effect that gives a colorful and a stunning look for portraits and many other types of photos.
It’s the perfect effect to be used for academic displays, professional sports presentations, personal portraits, and much more.
Synergy is a unique Photoshop action that mix polygon patterns with paint textures to give a digital art-like appearance to your images. It also comes with a tutorial video for learning how to customize the effect.
This action will create something never before seen out of your photos. Is it a cartoon image? A digital drawing? A polygon effect? No one will be able to guess it.
If you’re a fan of video games then you’ll instantly love this Photoshop action that makes your photos look like something out of the Grand Theft Auto video game.
As a bonus, this Photoshop action also includes an additional PSD file that will allow you to create your own GTA style logo.
This Photoshop action adds an effect that turns your photos into a hand-drawn sketch drawing. Designers know how difficult it is to achieve a realistic hand-drawn effect. But, this may be the best action with a drawing effect that comes close to the real thing.
What if you get a superpower to turn anything into gold? Well, this Photoshop action lets you do just that. But, you’ll only be able to use that power on your photos.
This action is non-destructive and it will give you plenty of layers for adjusting the effect.
Fairy Tale is a Photoshop action that comes with 12 different color variations with 12 background build up layers for adding an exceptionally beautiful effect for your photos, mixed with particles, light beams, and lots of layers.
This effect would look great on children’s photos, portraits, and even digital art.
With 50 different and incredibly Photoshop action, this bundle is a must-have for every graphic designer who works with fashion related photos and photoshoots. The actions in this bundle are capable of transforming photos into beautiful and professional looking portraits.
Designing a Christmas card or a poster for the new year? Then try this Photoshop action to add luminous colored lights to bring that Christmas spirit to your designs.
It’s easy to apply and can be applied in 5 simple steps. It also comes with a tutorial video, in case you have trouble configuring the effect.
This is a one of a kind Photoshop action that you can use to apply different weather conditions to your photos. Want to make a photo you took in the summer look as if it’s from winter? This action can do that. Although, we are not sure if it would work the other way around.
Pro Vectoring is yet another useful and a time-saving Photoshop action that is capable of creating fully pathed and resizable vectors out of your images.
This will allow you to create simple vector drawings or objects out of your raster graphics quite easily without having to use another app like Illustrator or CorelDraw.
If you’re looking for more examples, our list of the best Photoshop actions of the year is a great place to start!
How To Install & Use Photoshop Actions
If you’re new to Photoshop, here’s a quick guide on how to install and use Photoshop Actions.
Step 1: Download the Actions
Begin by downloading the Photoshop actions file from a reliable source. Actions usually come in .ATN file format and are often provided as a free download or part of a premium package.
Step 2: Locate the Actions Panel
Open Photoshop on your computer. To find the Actions panel, go to the “Window” menu and select “Actions.” This will bring up the Actions panel, which allows you to manage and apply actions.
Step 3: Load the Actions
In the Actions panel, click on the small arrow icon in the top-right corner. From the dropdown menu, select “Load Actions.” This will open a file dialog box.
Step 4: Locate and Select the .ATN File
In the file dialog box, navigate to the location where you saved the downloaded actions file. Select the .ATN file and click “Load.” The actions will be loaded into the Actions panel.
Step 5: Apply the Actions
Once the actions are loaded, you can apply them to your images. Open an image in Photoshop that you want to apply the action to. In the Actions panel, you will see a list of available actions. Click on the desired action to apply it to the image.
Step 6: Customize and Fine-Tune
After applying the action, you can further customize and fine-tune the effect. Adjust the opacity, blending modes, or layer settings to achieve the desired look. Remember, each action may have different customization options, so explore and experiment to get the desired result.
Check out this video tutorial for a visual guide on how to install Photoshop actions.