Sunday, September 1, 2013

CoffeeShop Soft Velvet Matte Photoshop/PSE Action!

Happy Labor Day Weekend!  Like many moms who work-at-home, I spend a lot of time working on the computer on long holiday weekends since my husband is home and keeps the boys busy.  Today they are going start organizing the garage by building a workbench.  Our garage is big enough for two cars but is so full of junk we can't park any cars in it!  Yeah, I know, a rare problem.  ;-)  When we moved into this house a year and a half ago we just threw things in there, planning on sorting it all out...  Well, it is garage redo-time baby!  I hope my husband doesn't notice I am not out there in the 90+ degree heat helping them...  Poor me, chained to my computer, writing actions in the a/c cooled house.

Today I wanted to post my newest free action, Soft Velvet Matte.  Right now matte enhancements are everywhere, and I LOVE this action.  It is very adjustable and you can use it for color or B&W edits.  I also added an optional haze layer.  This is my go-to matte action and I am so excited to share it with you!  I will post a action-unwrapped tutorial later.

I used a gorgeous image from Vanilla Tree Photography (Facebook) on the ad.  Catherine's image is stunning already, but I love the the soft matte enhancements.  When she posted this image on my Facebook page I immediately knew I had to use it for this action. Thank you Catherine!

CoffeeShop Soft Velvet Matte action Tutorial:

On this tutorial I used another image of a stunning young woman  called Zoe from Makeshift Studio Photography (Facebook).  I love this image "as-is" but I think the matte effect really adds something. Shannon, thank you so much for donating this image!

When you start the action a levels adjustment pane will pop up where you can adjust the contrast.  You don't have to make any adjustments, but you can move the shadow and gamma (midtone) sliders to taste.  Those of you familiar with matte edits will know that you can also adjust the output level at this step to add haze, but in this action I do this in a separate layer (called Haze) so both layers' opacities can be adjusted independently.  I like to fine-tune my edits and not always add haze, so I don't put it all one layer.  :-)  After adjusting your settings, press OK.

When the action is finished your image should have 6 new layers.  The Haze and B&W layers are turned off.  You can adjust the opacity of any of the layers to taste.

In this screenshot I turned on the haze layer.  I really like adding that layer to my B&W images as I love soft B&W portraits.

In this screenshot I turned on both the Haze and B&W layers.  I love this enhancement, it is one of my favorites.  I could also turn off the Haze layer to have more contrast.

I included a Burn layer in this action so you can darken backgrounds.  In this screenshot I used a soft white brush on the Burn layer mask to darken the background around Zoe to really make her beautiful face "pop".  I then adjusted the layer's opacity to taste.  I am in love with this edit...

I hope you enjoy playing with this action! I would love to see your personal favorite before/afters posted on my Facebook page.  Link your photography page on the post so I can see your work.  I love the inspiration.

Download the free CoffeeShop Soft Velvet Matte Photoshop/PSE 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.


  1. you can simply just adjust the "output" slider bringing the dark/shadows one in as well. Much simpler.

  2. Absolutely, if you run the action you will see I have that on another layer. :-) I keep them separated in this action so both of those layers' opacity can be adjusted independently. I like to be able to fine-tune my edits.

  3. Thank you for always sharing your talent and actions! I have always wanted to see how the Matte would look on my images but never took the time to learn the technique so this was perfect!

    If you want to see a before and after on my blog here's the link:

  4. It looks great! I can't wait to try it :)
    Thank you!!!

  5. I love you! seriously, this is perfect and exactly what I have been looking for! you are the best, thank you thank you!

  6. Your blog is amazing and you too! thank you so much!

  7. I came across your site and I can't wait to try these matte actions! :) I will post a photo to your Facebook page soon. Thanks for the tips and actions. :)
    You can see my work at:

  8. Love this! Thank you! :D

  9. Thank you for creating and making actions available. I have used a couple of yours in the past but absolutely love this action in B&W :). Keep up the awesome work!