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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.
In this image so far, we've place our crew members on the planet's surface, and applied three smart filters to them. We've also painted on the mask to hide the effect of those filters selectively. Let's now look at how we can change the way those filters operate. One thing we can do with Smart Filters in Photoshop, which we can't do with filters on a regular layer is to change the way they appear after we've applied them. For example, let's take this motion blur filter. As we've already seen, we can hide and show it by turning the effect on and off, tickling this Eye button. What we can also do is double-click it and that will bring up the filters original dialog, using the settings that we applied when we first applied this filter.
What we can do here, and this is absolutely unique to smart objects, is change the way this filter applies. For example, we can change the amount of this blur. So, let's pull this to round about, there we go, 290 pixels for a much stronger blurring effect and we can say OK to that and that is the new effect of applying that filter to our image. We can also change the effect to more complex images, such as this neon glow.
Now, this appears beneath the Motion Blur filter in our Layers panel and that means the Neon Glow filter has been applied before the Motion Blur. So, when we double-click this, we get a Warning dialog popping up. And this warns us that Smart Filters stacked on top of this filter, will not preview while this filter is being edited. All that means is, is when we click the OK button, any filters above this, in this case, the motion blur are hidden, when we apply Neon Glow. Let's adjust our glow brightness. I'll pull this up so we get a much brighter effect altogether. When we say OK to this, we dismiss the dialog, and there is our Neon Glow filter, adjusted but with the Motion Blur now reshowing on top of it. And there are our crew members now, beaming down in a more convincing way. Another thing we can do is to change the order in which the filters are applied. So, let's zoom in on this.
We could grab our Neon Glow, and let's move this above the Motion Blur. And we do this simply by dragging in the Layers panel. So now, the Neon Glow has been applied on top of the Motion Blur for a slightly different effect. If I Undo, that's how it was before, with the Neon Glow before the Blur, and here it is after, with the Neon Glow after the Blur. Now, this gives us tremendous flexibility when we're working with filters of all kinds.
Now, that we've changed the blur, perhaps me need to work on the Layer Mask a little more to make our crew members a bit more visible. So, we'll click on the Mask, using the Brush tool, let's reduce the size of it and I'm going to paint in white so that we can reveal a little bit more of the effect, and then paint them black so we see a bit more of the figure's behind. And let's Zoom out, and there are our figures beaming down to our surface once more.
Let's just reveal the effect a little bit more so that it reaches right down to their boots.
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