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Most Adobe Photoshop artists don't make use of Smart Objects, and thus miss out on a potentially very powerful tool. With Smart Objects you can create a complex transformation once and then swap out the contents for any artwork you choose. In this workshop, Photoshop artist and author Steve Caplin shows you how you can use Smart Objects to enhance almost all your Photoshop work. Learn to simplify and speed up repetitive tasks, and create templates that can be repurposed as many times as you wish.
I've cut out all the images from this gallery and added multiple copies of the Mona Lisa, with each one placed as a copy of the same smart object. Now let's see what happens when we apply filters to these images. So we'll start with the first one we added, with the Move tool selected, we can switch trait that layer by holding the Cmd key on a Mac, Ctrl key on a PC and clicking on it. And there's layer one selected. So let's begin with a Pixelate filter, and we could add a Mezzotint effect to this one. And that looks quite good, we'll say OK to Fine dots. Let's pick the next one.
And add a different Pixelate filter, how about Pointillize. Similar effect. Let's make the cell size bigger, so we get more of a pop art look to this. And let's carry on. We'll pick this one behind. Let's set the foreground color to, say, a dull pink. And now, when we use some of the sketch filters, we can make use of that color. So we could try Chalk and Charcoal. And we can see the pink showing up in here.
We'll just accept the defaults. There it is. The next one down, we can try another Sketch filter. This time let's try a Halftone pattern. And let's get alot of contrast going on in here, maybe with a slightly bigger dot, and perhaps with lines instead of dots. Maybe circles, that's quite good. And that's showing in the back. This one is the same image in the upper and the lower frame.
So let's go for another I filter on this one, and let's choose Dry Brush. And we can see this gives us quite a painterly effect. We can change the parameters if we want, but at the moment that's not important, we can always change them later. Let's move to the next pictures, and let's zoom in, so we can see these more clearly. I'll take this top one, and this time, let's apply a lot of Sharpening to it. Maybe Unsharp mask, but a very large amount. Now, with some of these filters, the ones that appear in the floating window, we can see the effect behind. So, if we greatly increase the size of this Unsharp mask effect. We can see it happening, both in the window preview, within the dialog, and in the image behind it.
We'll go to this image below, and this time, let's add a Sketch filter, and let's try, Photocopy. That will give us a very stark, black and white effect. We could increase the amount of detail and make it, the whole thing, slightly darker. There it is. Let's go for this image in the top left. And we'll apply a Distortion to this, maybe a Glass distortion. To the image below let's add another filter.
Let's try a Neon Glow. We'll increase our glow size on here, that's quite good. And let's quickly add filter to the other two. To the top one I'm going to add a Crosshatch filter. And on the one below it, I'm going to add another Brush Stroke filter, let's make it the Spatter brush. Quite a painterly effect there. So if we zoom out we can see there's our gallery with all of these filters applied.
Now at this point we might come back and say hm, okay I like the way some of these are looking, but I don't like this one right at the back. We've got the Mona Lisa's eyes looking at either side of this vertical post, but it's not very clear what's going on, it's unattractive. So let's select that layer, and we can see it has a Chalk and Charcoal filter applied, but we can hide that by clicking on the eye in the Layers panel. And that's now hidden. We can now go ahead and apply a different filter.
Maybe we can change our foreground color and go for a different Sketch filter. Let's try the Chrome effect, that's quite strong. While we are here, although we can't see the preview showing on our image itself. We can choose any of the other Sketch filters while we're in here. So we can look through this one and say, okay Note Paper looks quite good let's go for that one. And there it is now in place. Because all the filters have been added as Smart filters, and that happens automatically when we work with Smart objects.
We're able to adjust their effects and appearance at any time. If we wanted to, we could change or remove all the filters in this gallery, something we'd be otherwise quite unable to do in Photoshop.
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