Pointless Clicking: The Dark Side of Automation

A few days ago I posted this graphic over at DeviantArt. I mention in the post that it's a snap to make an effect like that into a single-click Photoshop action, which is true. What I didn't mention is that I do this habitually, even for effects (like this one) I don't actually need to automate or even intend to repeat. When I'm playing around in Photoshop, I smack the the Record button just in case it turns out interesting.

There is a dark, wicked, unfortunately evil-naughty side to handy Photoshop Actions: They are fun to pointlessly, endlessly play with in a way that is not actually a form of work. I can just feed any one-bit image to that Action and apply the same style to it, so ... I do. Pointlessly, for amusement. Click, click, click. This is why I call Photoshop one of my favorite videogames. When I'm not working in it, it's a time-suck. My alternative to matching three or tapping cartoon treasure-chests for explosions of gold coins:

Embiggening These Will Be Necessary.
The Line-Fill Effect is Too Fine to Show Clearly in the Thumbnails.

Works better for some test-cases than others! On that last one I'm fiddling with different fake spot-colors and, as noted in the DA post, this isn't really a Uresia look, just a side-effect of constantly browsing through old maps for research and/or funsies. But it occurs to me, it might be a good visual direction to explore for Fly From Evil when it comes time to do the San Francisco neighborhood maps.

But right now, it's just pointless clicking, because I'm simple-minded and easily amused. That's the dark side of automation for me ... but at least, when Photoshop is my videogame, time spent it can feed back into my actual work! Pointless play is how I learn most things in graphics software. 

Speaking of pointless: that was all. I didn't want to delete these test images without sharing them with someone; they're cute! Hope this finds you well; drop me a line if you're bored and want to talk Photoshop (or gaming, or any of the usual things).