CoffeeShop Matte Color Photoshop/PSE Action!

One of the newer Photoshop edits out there is a "matte" photo effect.  It basically darkens the shadows and flattens the blacks thus making the edit look more like a matte print.  It is very popular right now and I have had many requests to "action-ize it".  I think I just make up a new word.  :-)

At first I wasn't sure I liked the effect, but it has really grown on me and it can be quite stunning on certain images (portraits in beautiful landscapes come to mind).  I personally prefer a softer hand with this effect and don't like to add too much haze and my action reflects that.  I should have picked a better image to show the before/after, but I had this one on my desktop and just went with it.

There are many ways to do this type of edit and I just picked my favorite when I wrote this action.  If you want to see the Action-UnWrapped step-by-step tutorial you can find it here.

I also have a few more Matte actions coming out (vintage-my favorite, B&W, tinted B&W), so I hope you will come back and check them out.  I am also working on a new sun haze action that is really pretty.  I am an action-writing maniac right now...

This action and the vintage version (I LOVE this action!) are already in my Action Download pack.  If you have PSE11 and up or Photoshop you might really want to check it out because I have added the actions in one group so you don't have to mess with downloading and loading all of the actions individually.  And if you have older versions of PSE and don't want to bother downloading all of my free actions on posts here on my blog, you can get them all downloaded at once.  The action packs are what keep this blog going, so thank you so much for checking them out!

When you run the action you will see three layers above your background.  If you want less contrast, lower the opacity of Contrast Boost.  If you find the Matte Effect too heavy, reduce the opacity of that layer.  I added layer masks to each layer so you can paint out the effect selectively if you choose.

Mouse over the image below to see the before.  

Download the free CoffeeShop Matte Color action. You can also download it here.

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop Actions or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.

For complete info on installing all of my actions, click here.


Erica Shoults January 27, 2013 at 6:08 PM  

I always love your actions! Can't wait to see the other ones you mentioned!

Anonymous January 27, 2013 at 6:08 PM  

Thank you!

Lifesighs January 27, 2013 at 6:08 PM  

Thank you so much :)

Anonymous January 27, 2013 at 6:15 PM  

Thank you!

Kathy January 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM  

can't wait to try it!! thank you!

Patti A January 27, 2013 at 6:30 PM  

Thanks Rita! Can't wait to try it.

Patti A January 27, 2013 at 6:31 PM  

Thanks Rita!

Courtney Brooke January 27, 2013 at 6:48 PM  

This look amazing, I LOVE this effect! Thank you so much!

Kristina January 27, 2013 at 7:13 PM  

Once again, Rita, you've done a great job! I love it! Can't wait for the unwrapped since I don't use photoshop.

Sarah Elliott January 27, 2013 at 8:13 PM  

Been waiting patiently :) You are brilliant!!

Jenneke January 28, 2013 at 2:25 AM  

Thanks so much for this action!! Can't wait to try it!!

K January 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM  

This is great. Just downloaded and played with it, and I really like the subtleness of the effect. It's more subtle on the pictures I've used it on than the samples, and I love that there are layer masks so I can paint back the sparkle in eyes, etc. Fantastic job. Thank you.

Lexie & Jeff January 28, 2013 at 10:24 AM  

Ohmigosh, THANK YOU!!! I have been searching for a tutorial to get this effect-but being the clueless person I am I didn't even know what it was called. This is SO perfect. I can't thank you enough!

carynproutyphotography January 28, 2013 at 12:56 PM  

Another amazing action. Thank you for posting this. I have been playing with the matte effect for a while, but with your action there is just a slight difference and I love it so much more! Thank You!

Here is a before and after. I go for more of a subtle effect, but still gorgeous none the less!

Krista Q. January 28, 2013 at 9:19 PM  

Thank you Rita! You are so smart. I've been trying to figure out this look but just don't know enough with photoshop to get it. Can't wait to see how you made it.

erica bean February 20, 2013 at 6:33 AM  

Will these load into photoshop? It said I needed to down load GIMP.... not sure why I would need to do that. Thanks!

Rita February 20, 2013 at 11:43 AM  

These actions are for PSE and Photoshop, not Gimp. :-)

Anonymous March 9, 2013 at 9:53 PM  

Thank you. All your actions are awesome and I wouldn't have a clue on how to create one myself.

Natty April 20, 2013 at 5:12 PM  

OMG, I love your actions! Thank you very much! :)

hilan June 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM  

hi! i love your actions! but i can't use them. :( don't you have a version of this compatible for windows OS?

tangie July 29, 2013 at 2:20 PM  

thanks so much! this is a great action and you are truly so generous to share!! :)

Anonymous March 15, 2014 at 6:43 PM  

My favorite! Thanks.