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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.
I saved my progress as Filter Gallery combo.psd found inside the 06_filter_masks folder. In this exercise, I'm going to show you something that can happen with the Sketch filters that can create a little bit of a hitch in your workflow, and how to solve the problem. Imagine you are sitting there working away inside your image, and I'm going to turn off this Filter Gallery filter for just a moment here so that we can restore this version of the guy, which is ever so great in my opinion. And I'm going to change my foreground color, in front of my Color palette.
Notice that I am working with HSB sliders, Hue, Saturation, Brightness. If you're following along with me and you want to try that out, go to the Color palette flyout menu, and choose this guy right there, HSB sliders. All right! I'm going to enter Red for my Hue value, which is 0 degrees, and then I'm going to go with a Saturation of 100 and a Brightness value of 100 as well, which will give us very vivid red. And I will leave my background color set to White. Although you could change it to something else if you want to. But this will give us enough of a sense of what's going on. Now, I'll go to the Filter menu.
Notice that I have the Photograph Smart Object selected, and I'll go down to Sketch. Remember the yellow filters bring up the Filter Gallery. Remember also that your commands are not going to appear in color unless you did this manually for yourself using the menus command. Anyway, I'll go to Sketch and I'm going to choose this guy, Halftone Pattern. Which does not create a halftone pattern, but it does create a cool thick dot pattern as we will see. Go ahead and choose it. It brings up the Filter Gallery of course. Let's go ahead and zoom over to this guy here. Wicked cool effect in my opinion.
I've got a Size value. Let's say we take up the Size value to something like 7. I actually like that quite a bit, and then you can adjust your Contrast to taste. I happen to like a Contrast value of about 30 here. Then you can choose your Pattern Type. You can go with a Circle if you prefer like that. That is so cool, look at that. That's awesome. And then you can go with something like a Line pattern if you prefer, which is also very great. This is actually a pretty cool filter I have to say. Here's what I want you to notice: red and white.
So despite the fact it shows up its black and white here inside of this little thumbnail, we're seeing red and white because it varies between the foreground color and the background color. All right. So all very well and good. But let's say you're looking at this and you go, oh, didn't mean to do that. I forgot my foreground color was set to Red, or you're just sitting and looking at it and go, why did this happen? But anyway, that's probably what you think. But if you remember this exercise, you might recall it's the foreground color that's the problem. So you probably think, you'd rightly think in my opinion. All right! I'll go ahead and click OK. That's fine.
Wow! Is that cool? That is so cool. I didn't expect that. That's just nifty. This is in part because we've got this filter mask applied. If I were to Shift+Click on the filter mask in order to turn it off, we would get the effect we saw inside the dialog box. But thanks to the filter mask. It's all mixing in with the original image. That is wicked, man. That is awesome. And I have to say that's the cool thing about playing with filters inside of Photoshop is sometimes you arrive at some very happy accidents.
And I wouldn't say its most of the time. Most of the time I think you're kind of wondering what to do next, but sometimes they're very fun. All right. But let's say that's not what I wanted. I'm going to Shift+Click on that filter mask and I'm looking at this and I'm thinking no, I wanted black-and-white. So you think, press the D key in order to reestablish the default colors and then double-click on Halftone Pattern and we saw it, right, when I double-clicked on the Clouds filter in a previous chapter, when it was assigned as a Smart Filter. Photoshop went ahead and reapplied the filter. It went ahead and updated that random effect.
So you would think Photoshop would update Halftone Pattern in order to take advantage of the new foreground and background colors, but it doesn't. If I were to switch this out for a different Sketch filter, it's still going to go with red and white because Photoshop is still remembering red and white where this specific filter effect is concerned. So it's always going to associate red and white with this specific application of whatever this filter was. So even if I go a Photocopy and I click OK, and that's not nearly so cool. Whatever I put in this slot right there is going to remember red and white.
So if I wanted to try something different, I would throw away Photocopy, like I'd right-click on it and choose Delete Smart Filter, or I can just turn it off. I can just click on its eyeball to hide it. But I'm going to go ahead and delete it just because I don't want too much clutter here. Now that black and white are my foreground and background colors. I'll go back up to the Filter menu. I'll drop-down to Sketch, I'll go ahead and choose Halftone Pattern because it was so wicked cool, and let's see what he looks like. Awesome! He is in black and white now. Click OK, and there you have it.
So just remember that where the Sketch Filters are concerned, they recall the foreground and background colors that you associate with them. That's actually an advantage. I think that's really a good thing. But it's just something that you have to bear in mind when you're working with the Filter Gallery here inside Photoshop.
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