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Photoshop Smart Objects explores the creation and use of Smart Objects, one of the most technically demanding tools in Photoshop. Deke McClelland walks through the four primary purposes of Smart Objects, and focuses on one of their most practical advantages, non-destructive transformations. This feature allows any object to be manipulated in any way, while still maintaining its original pixel information. Finally, Deke shows how to crop compositions without affecting a single pixel, even in masks. Exercise files accompany this course.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
This time around I've save my changes as Prematurely gray.psd found inside the 06_filter_masks folder, so called because what in the world has happened to this guy's hair? It has turned prematurely gray. Somehow we have brought out gray in this young man's hair and I'm not sure exactly how that happened, especially when if you turn-off the Smart Filters here, his hair is just jet black. I mean there's barely any detail going on inside that hair. And yet thanks to the fact that we created this extreme non-filtering effect here, Shadows/Highlights, we're able to raise those highlights from the dead and as a result create a prematurely gray look.
I am going to go ahead and zoom out from this guy a little bit so we can see not only does his hair have this gray look to it but we're also bringing out all kinds of detail inside that jacket. Check that out. I'll go ahead and turn-off Smart Filters for a second and you can see jacket, just black. It doesn't look like there is any detail there whatsoever. If I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to restore my Smart Filters, there is all kinds of detail going on now. Totally wild. However, I will go on record as saying I don't think we should keep his hair this color.
I think it looks ridiculous. And also these sorts of semi- sideburns he's got going here, I think we should paint some of those away as well and so we are going to do that by adding a filter mask. Now there is a couple of different ways to add a filter mask. You may recall that I threw away the filter mask that was associated with my Smart Filters by default. I did that in the previous chapter, right off the bat when we applied Color Halftone. So any time you add a Smart Filter to a Smart Object, you get a filter mask by default but then you can just delete it as we did.
I right-clicked inside the filter mask and shows Delete Filter Mask because I just wanted to clean things up. If I am not using it, what's the point of having it especially when it's so easy to restore it? And here's how. You go to Smart Filters right there. You right-click on Smart Filters and you choose Add Filter Mask. That's one way and then you have a filter mask and then you can paint with black to paint away the filtered effect and you can paint with white to restore it and we'll see that shortly here. But first, let's go ahead and delete it again just so that we all remember how to do that.
You right-click inside of that filter mask and you choose Delete Filter Mask. So that's one way to work. If you're working inside of Photoshop CS4, then you can create a filter mask from the Masks palette, so there is my Masks palette right there. I will go ahead and click on it to switch over to Masks and then notice that we have three different kinds of masks that we can create from the Masks palette. You can create a pixel-based mask, which is a standard layer mask. You can create a vector mask which is a vector-based layer mask, meaning that you're carving out the layer into a vector-based shape, and then finally you can add this guy which is the filter mask.
This little icon there only appears when you're working with a Smart Object that has Smart Filters assigned to it. That's the only time, otherwise you won't see this option. But anyway, in our case we do is to go ahead and click on Add Filter Mask and now you have a filter mask and now you can modify that filter mask from the Masks palette if you want or just by painting with the Brush tool which is what we're going to do in the next exercise.
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