How to make an Action Sequence

“Hey Dan, nice sequence on your website last week man. How do you do that?”

“Well, just drop your shoulder, stay relaxed in the air, and don’t…”

“NO! How did you make it in Photoshop?”

Here’s how…


What do you want to document? Some tricks make better sequences than others. You want an action that is big and consistent. Quick spins or flips are not going to produce a good sequence, as images will overlap. Do something that shows off good control and style.

image from: SHRED BC


The best option is to use a camera with a quick shutter speed. This can create the best quality of sequences. The other option is to use video and capture the stills from it.

Sequence Photography Tips:

  • Look for an angle demonstrates what you are doing
  • Consider using a wide angle lens
  • Stand far back to capture the whole action
  • If a tripod is available, use it
  • Keep the camera as still as possible
    If you just want to follow along with this tutorial, you can download MY SAMPLE IMAGES of Graham, and use them to follow the rest of these instructions.


    Open all of the images in Photoshop. The first thing you can do is eliminate images which will not fit into the sequence. If you are not sure about an image, you might as well leave it in for now. With MY SAMPLE IMAGES, you can see that I only ended up using 5 of the 12 images on the final version.

    You will now choose your background image. This image should be clear and centered, as it will be used as the default. Now move that into a larger .PSD file. Then take each of the images and add them as layers on the .PSD file. Try to keep the images in order.

    The last image should now be on top of the rest. You now want to get a picture of what the finished sequence will look like. To do this, adjust the opacities of the layers so that all of the images appear at the same time. I recommend dividing 100 by the total number of visible layers, and setting the opacities accordingly. So if you have 5 images like we do with MY SAMPLE IMAGES, your top image will have an opacity of 20%, second from top will have an opacity of 40%, third 60%, fourth 80%, and the last image will remain at 100%.

    Your .PSD file should now look something like the above. Lock the background image in place, and adjust the other layers to match up with it. As a guide, try to use something non-moving in the images, like a rock or a tree. With MY SAMPLE IMAGES, I used the islands in the background.


    On the final image, you want to have as much of the background image, and as little of the other images as possible. That is the easiest way to form consistency. To do this, erase everything around the action focus on all other images. This can be the hardest part! Be patient and take your time.

    Now just set the opacities back to 100%, save the image as a JPG, and you are done! I ended up changing mine a little by adding another image to the bottom. This was a bit sloppy, but it showed the end of his rotation, right before hitting water. I then cropped to standard horizontal dimensions and voila:

  • 83 thoughts on “How to make an Action Sequence

    1. My visit here was to say that the internet is the place for people how me and you, the wild webmasters!

    2. This is a very good site! My weblog to have many words, but your blog is better. My compliments!

    3. This is an interesting blog you have her but I can’t seem to find the RSS subscribe button.

    4. Nice post! GA is also my biggest earning. However, it’s not a much.

    5. Thank you for hosting such a creative weblog. Your website happens to be not only informative but also very inventive too. There are very few people who can think to write not so easy content that creatively. we keep searching for content on a subject like this. I have gone in detail through dozens of websites to find knowledge regarding this.Looking to many more from your site !!

    6. I am the first time on this site and am really enthusiastic about and so many good articles. I think it’s just very good.

    7. Pingback: Dan Petsnick’s Internet » Hawaii Vacation

    8. I really enjoyed this post, especially the “examples in this post” portion which made it really easy for me to SEE what you were talking about without even having to leave the article. Thanks

    9. When i, roger, went ona vacation and it rained all day.
      Hope your travel goes better then mine did.

    10. I’ve already bookmark this article and will definitely refer this article to all my close friends and colleagues. Thanks for posting!

    11. Thank you for Posting & I got to read nice information on your site.

    12. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
      I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

      Thumbs up, and keep it going!


    13. I would like to express my appreciation for your post. That’s really great to know that there are such people like you who do their job very well and with such enthusiasm.

    14. I really love your blog. Eco will be the most influence trend soon.

    15. Its pretty amazing how much information is available online these days. Social media has really changed the way we live these days.

    16. Your blog is fine. I just want to comment on the design. Its too loud. Its doing way too much and it takes away from what youve got to say –which I think is really important. I dont know if you didnt think that your words could hold everyones attention, but you were wrong.

    17. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say wonderful blog!

    18. Pretty good article. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your opinions. Any way I’ll be coming back and I hope you post again soon.

    19. Hello, I couldn’t find the proper contact form so I hope you don’t mind me writing here. Please contact me immeditely at advertisingwithricky at , I would like to send you straight cash to advertise on your website.

    20. I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays..

    21. Hi, just required you to know I he added your site to my Google bookmarks due to your layout. But seriously, I believe your internet site has 1 in the freshest theme I??ve came across. It extremely helps make reading your blog significantly easier.

    22. My brother suggested I might like this website. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    23. Will you get mad if I quote your article in my monthly newsletter? I think your writing would suit my readers perfectly. Well ya, thanks for posting this article.

    24. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

    25. This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

    26. It is really a nice and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    27. I’ve learned result-oriented things by your website. One other thing I would really like to say is the fact newer laptop os’s have a tendency to allow extra memory to be used, but they also demand more ram simply to function. If people’s computer is unable to handle much more memory and the newest software requires that memory increase, it could be the time to shop for a new PC. Thanks

    Comments are closed.