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By this point everyone knows that RAW processing, it's so wonderful and powerful because it gives us flexibility. In other words, we can make nondestructive edits. We can change something, and then always go back and change it back. So we have this built-in flexibility. It also allows us to be really fast. There isn't any rendering or saving. Well, one of the things that's been introduced in this whole concept of RAW processing is what are called Smart Objects. Smart Objects maintain the link to that original flexibility.
In order to have that flexibility when we go to Photoshop say from Lightroom, we can edit a photograph as a Smart Object, and I want to look at that process. So let's say we have this picture here and we decide to edit this one in Photoshop. We can access this by going to our Photo pull-down menu, Edit in, and then we have an option for Open as Smart Object in Photoshop. What this will do is it will keep all of this raw data as part of this Photoshop document, and let me show you what I mean. Once this file opens up in Photoshop, you will notice in the Layers panel over here, we have an icon which is a little bit different.
This is a Smart Object icon here. If you are not familiar with Smart Objects at all in Photoshop, it may be helpful to watch a movie in the Lynda.com Training Library on Smart Objects. For now though, I just want to point out how this works. For example, let's say that I decide you know what, I really wish that in Lightroom, or in Camera RAW so to speak, I had made some sort of an adjustment, may be added Contrast or Color Saturation or whatever. Well, what you can do now in Photoshop is you can't go back to Lightroom, and all the Develop controls there, but you can open up the Camera RAW controls inside of Adobe Camera RAW.
To do that, we just double-click this little icon here in the Layers Panel and it opens up Camera RAW whatever version we have. In this case, I could go ahead and make my Contrast and maybe Color Saturation adjustments or whatever it is in order to kind of boost this image up, and give it a little bit more of a kick in regards to its look and feel. Here, we have that preview; before, and then after. So again, anything we want to do in Camera RAW, we can access. We can go ahead and click OK, and apply those. It's going to prepare those Smart Object controls to be visible here in this dialog, and there they are.
If we don't like them, well again, we double-click this icon, we go back to this Camera RAW window, we make another adjustment, whatever that is. Again, just really drastically trying to have some sort of a change here, as you can see making this change, click OK, and then again, it's going to redraw this image with those new set of instructions. Now, that's part of this file, and this stays part of the file. Even if we Save and Close it, it will become part of this file. Let's take a look at that process just to kind of complete this overall workflow loop.
So here I will go ahead and choose File and Save. Then, we will choose File and Close and now back in Lightroom. Well, here in Lightroom, we can see we have this file, it's a TIF file. But, it's a TIF file with a Smart Object inside of it. So if we want to reopen the file in Photoshop, we already know how to do that, right? You press Command+E or Ctrl+E. That gives us the ability to edit this file. What I want to do is edit the original file. So I will click Edit. This will open up the original TIF file here inside of Photoshop and once this one opens up, well notice, we still have that icon that we've had before.
We can double-click it, say rather than a black-and-white conversion, we want color, and then click OK, and you can see that will then update this file. So again, it just kind of has this infinite loop of flexibility built into the file. So some of you maybe thinking, all right, this is great! Why not do this all the time because you can always make changes. Well, of course, flexibility like this comes at somewhat of a price, and the price is file size. So when making Smart Objects, it increases your file size.
So what you have to do is just kind of decide what is the trade-off. Is this a good way to have added flexibility, and for some, it definitely is. For other images, perhaps not so much. But again, now you know how this works, so that you can start to kind of evaluate, is this something that I want to do? Will I want to have this extra added flexibility? And if it is, all you need to do is to choose to open that file as a Smart Object in Photoshop, and it will remain connected to those Camera RAW controls, and you will be able to make those changes as needed.
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