Before and after Photoshop

30 Photoshop Actions Before and After Images

By Cheryl Graham

We all know 2020 is going to be a big year. It’s the start of a new decade, it’s the year of the US presidential elections, and it marks the 30th birthday of Adobe Photoshop.

Photoshop, which is so successful it’s literally become a verb, turns 30 on February 19, and here at Envato we want to celebrate a software that’s had a tremendous impact on photography and graphic design – and in turn the lives of our authors and customers.

To mark the occasion we’ve also created Photoshop before and after images using Photoshop Actions from GraphicRiver and photos from Envato Elements. The creators of Photoshop likely never dreamed it would one day be used to simulate realistic painting effects, create three-dimensional graphics, and even put images in motion using animation. As the software became more sophisticated over the years, users created even more ways to produce stunning graphics, limited only by the bounds of their imagination.

The 30 Photoshop Actions featured below can help you create your own manipulated masterpieces, and save you loads of time in the process. Most Actions come with brushes and/or pattern files that must be installed before the Action is run, and may also require some preparation of the original photo. Remember to read and follow the instructions carefully before you start creating amazing photoshop images. And most of all, have fun!

Want more Photoshop? Visit Envato Tuts for 30 tips & tricks for Photoshop and take our free Photoshop for beginners course. Plus, watch our Photoshop Action or Artist challenge.

30 Amazing Photoshop Actions

Image: Portrait fashionable woman wearing sunglasses by arthurhidden

More than simply applying a gradient to your photo, this Action adds contour lines for a trendy look. Mix and match for endless variations.

Portrait fashionable woman wearing sunglassesColor Gradient Photoshop Action

Image: Beautiful positive redheaded girl, Freepik

Give any photo the appearance of a finely-rendered pencil drawing.

Beautiful positive redheaded girl with a chamomile crown on her headReal Pencil Photoshop Action by AB-Designer

Image: Professional football soccer player by master1305

Excellent Action for sports, dancing, or wherever you want to add dynamic motion.

Professional african football soccer player isolated on white background by master1305Lines Photoshop Action

Image: Athletic fighter with red gloves by Prostock-studio

Give your photo a sleek, sparkly look with just a few steps.

Athletic fighter with red gloves on posing over black background by Prostock-studioSuperHero Photoshop Action

Image: Young couple in casual clothes by lenina11only

Create a cartoon zombie effect, then animate it for more fun. Change colors to complement your photo.

Animated Zombie Grime Art Photoshop ActionAnimated Zombie Grime Art Photoshop Action

Image: Portrait of a Devil Boy by ddraw

Take a step back in time with this retro action, which generates 25 different pixel effects.

Portrait of a Devil Boy by ddrawPixel Artist - 8 Bit Retro - Photoshop Action

Image: New York City Manhattan skyline by haveseen

Create glitchy video effects using the provided PSD and Smart Objects. Eight different styles.

New York City Manhattan skyline

VHS - RGB Glitch Text Effect

Image: Expessive modern dance pose by mimagephotography

Give your photo an analog mixed-media effect.

Expressive Modern Dance PoseWatercolor Sketch - Photoshop Action

Image: Little Girl Super Hero Concept by Rawpixel

Turn any photo into a stylized, painterly concept drawing.

Little Girl Super Hero ConceptConcept Art Photoshop Action

Image: Canal and old houses. Bruges, Belgium by f9photos

Create realistic architectural renderings with this action, which also produces interesting results with portraits or landscapes.

Canal and old houses. Bruges (Brugge), BelgiumArchi Sketch Photoshop Action

Image: Portrait of tattooed man by Rawpixel

This Action produces high-contrast images with a splash of ink.

Portrait of tattooed man by RawpixelSignature - B&W Vector CS4+ Photoshop Action

Image: Afro woman bodybuilder showing her muscular biceps by Prostock-studio

The Action’s ease of use belies its sophisticated results. Includes a separate Action to animate your results.

Afro woman bodybuilder showing her muscular bicepsAnimated Real Paint FX - Photoshop Add-On

Images: Departure hall by kvd_works

So realistic, you can almost smell the markers!

Departure HallMarker Sketch Photoshop Action

Image: Desktop by ff-photo

This item contains over 60 different shadow overlays. The action helps you apply the shadows with realistic blending modes, lending instant depth and atmosphere to your photos.

Desktop by ff-photoOrganic Shadow Photo Overlays

Image: Man in casual office style clothes jumping by master1305

Easily apply a celestial, dramatic effect to any photo.

Man in casual office style clothes jumping isolated on studio backgroundNebula Photoshop Action

Image: Hipster Badges by Jumsoft

A set of premade PSDs, which allows you to replace the provided graphics with your own drawings to turn them into neon.

Hipster Badges

Neon Sign Effects

Image: Houses of Parliament in London with Big Ben by markusgann

A super realistic watercolor effect you’ll want to try again and again.

Houses of Parliament in London with Big BenAquarelle - Watercolor Painting Photoshop Action

Image: bengal cat in studio by cynoclub

Get different results every time you play this Action, depending on your original brush strokes.

bengal cat in studioColored Splash Photoshop Action

Image: A Letter Logo by 3ab2ou

More than an Action, this item is a neon sign-making kit, complete with wires and clips. Fun to change the color, background, and effects for a gritty, realistic look.

A Letter Logo

Neon Sign Maker Photoshop Action

Image: Caucasian man wearing glasses staring at camera by jacoblund

Get the look of conté crayon and wet media with this easy-to-use Action.

Caucasian man wearing glasses staring at cameraArtistic Sketch Photoshop Action

Image: traditional arab man portrait by markusgann

Give your photos a painted ink and wash effect.

traditional arab man portraitInk Manipulation Photoshop Action

Image: Indigenous Senior Indian Man Looking Camera Concept by Rawpixel

This action works well with higher contrast photos, giving them a smooth oil paint effect.

Indigenous Senior Indian Man Looking at the Camera ConceptVector Painting Photoshop Action

Image: Typical european street by Yingko_8

Like the best pages of your travel journal, this Action is multi-layered, combining text and realistic water media effects.

Typical european streetArt Book Photoshop Action

Image: Beautiful black girl by Svetography

Create realistic scribble drawings from your photos.

Beautiful black girlPortrait Scribble Sketch Art Photoshop Action

Image: scooter by Determined

This action creates a watercolor effect that is more detailed and controlled than some, while maintaining a realistic look.

scooterWatercolor Art Photoshop Action

Image: Profile of a handsome man with blue hair by korabkova

A hologram effect so nicely done, you’ll expect it to jump out of your screen.

Profile of a handsome man with blue hairHologram Photoshop Action

Image: Strong muscular woman in tight black shorts by jacoblund

Can turn even a lackluster photo into a wiry, smoky animation.

Strong muscular woman in tight black shortsGif Animated Mapping Photoshop Action

Image: Female aviator: fashion model portrait by stokkete

Creates a bold, pop art effect, with a text layer you can edit (or simply delete).

Female aviator: fashion model portraitVectorArt Photoshop Action

Image: Sweet cherry by sea_wave

If you like your watercolors drippy and colorful, this Action is for you.

sweet cherryPremio Watercolor Photoshop Action

Image: N/A

Turn any text or shape into a furry monster. Change colors and add extras to create a unique character.

Furry Monster Actions - 300 DPIFurry Monster Actions - 300 DPI

For more Photoshop Actions and inspiration, visit Envato Elements and GraphicRiver.

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