Photoshop Smart Objects
Illustration by John Hersey

Adjusting and merging masked effects


Photoshop Smart Objects

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Adjusting and merging masked effects

I've saved my modifications as Very textury man.psd found inside the 06_filter_masks folder, and we're very close to getting this final effect that's shown here inside Excellent textures.psd. But Excellent textures is quite toned down. It's a much more subtle effect than what we have so far. So what we need to do is we need to temper this texture a little bit. We need to get rid of the halos around the hair because that looks awful and we need to get rid of some of the weird little color artifacts that are going on here.
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  1. 17m 13s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop Smart Objects
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      4m 18s
    3. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 15s
    4. Loading the CS4 color settings in Photoshop and Bridge CS4
      7m 41s
  2. 1h 12m
    1. Nondestructive transformations
      1m 14s
    2. The purpose of Smart Objects
      5m 17s
    3. The trials of destructive transformations
      5m 1s
    4. Creating a Smart Object
      6m 36s
    5. The rewards of nondestructive transformations
      4m 29s
    6. Preparing a composition for masking
      4m 59s
    7. Establishing a base alpha channel
      6m 25s
    8. Masking a Smart Object
      7m 3s
    9. Refining the layer mask
      6m 50s
    10. Multiplying the edges
      4m 17s
    11. Manually adjusting the problem edges
      6m 3s
    12. Free Transform feedback
      5m 14s
    13. The ultimate nondestructive crop
      9m 8s
  3. 1h 19m
    1. Photoshop and its support applications
      1m 45s
    2. Creating a Camera Raw (ACR) Smart Object
      5m 8s
    3. Converting a JPEG image to DNG
      4m 47s
    4. Replacing pixels with Camera Raw data
      5m 27s
    5. Matching image and ACR resolution
      4m 25s
    6. Adjusting ACR Smart Objects
      5m 33s
    7. Importing Illustrator artwork
      6m 13s
    8. Opening placed art in Illustrator
      5m 51s
    9. Examining dynamic effects
      7m 9s
    10. Modifying Illustrator artwork
      5m 20s
    11. Updating an Illustrator Smart Object
      4m 20s
    12. Styling placed artwork in Photoshop
      3m 33s
    13. Combining layer effects and adjustment layers
      5m 14s
    14. Copying a layer from a clipping group
      5m 0s
    15. Scaling vector data beyond 100 percent
      3m 9s
    16. Blending vector data with pixels
      2m 10s
    17. Saving PDF-compatible Illustrator art
      4m 23s
  4. 1h 26m
    1. Many Smart Objects reference a single source
      1m 9s
    2. Smart Objects and file size
      5m 11s
    3. Placing images as Smart Objects
      4m 44s
    4. Creating a basic lens flare
      5m 43s
    5. Turning a flare into a black hole
      6m 2s
    6. Establishing a first true clone
      4m 9s
    7. Finding the exact center of an image
      2m 37s
    8. Reflecting additional clones
      4m 55s
    9. The art of upsampling
      7m 45s
    10. Editing the root image
      5m 37s
    11. Updating all true clones
      3m 29s
    12. Roughing in a polygonal mask
      7m 13s
    13. Parametric Feather and Glow
      7m 12s
    14. Smart sharpening Smart Filter
      5m 36s
    15. Adding highlights and vibrance
      7m 10s
    16. Luminance blending
      8m 18s
  5. 49m 7s
    1. Placing one Smart Object inside another
      1m 9s
    2. Creating a super-massive Smart Object
      7m 9s
    3. Styling a super-massive Smart Object
      4m 29s
    4. Recoloring background regions
      4m 42s
    5. Cloning a super-massive Smart Object
      5m 56s
    6. Finishing off the first draft
      5m 4s
    7. The plasma ball effect
      4m 45s
    8. Applying the Smart Clouds filters
      4m 57s
    9. Converting clouds to lightning
      5m 4s
    10. Updating nested Smart Objects
      5m 52s
  6. 1h 14m
    1. Editable, nondestructive filters
      1m 24s
    2. Applying and modifying creative effects
      6m 54s
    3. Blending filtered effects
      6m 24s
    4. Tweaking filters with adjustment layers
      4m 14s
    5. Restoring halftone highlights
      4m 25s
    6. The price of Smart Filters
      5m 56s
    7. The power of true clones
      7m 13s
    8. Sharing between Smart Objects and comps
      8m 45s
    9. Just click on it
      1m 50s
    10. Applying a corrective filter
      5m 24s
    11. Smart Filters and disk space
      3m 46s
    12. Picking the right blend mode
      6m 36s
    13. Combining multiple Smart Filters
      6m 13s
    14. Editing and previewing filter settings
      5m 27s
  7. 1h 44m
    1. Still more Smart Filters
      1m 3s
    2. Introducing the non-filters
      4m 15s
    3. Reducing luminance contrast
      5m 19s
    4. Faking an HDR portrait effect
      7m 20s
    5. Adding a filter mask
      3m 22s
    6. Editing filter masks and density
      4m 26s
    7. Applying Variations as a Smart Filter
      7m 24s
    8. Establishing independent filter masks
      4m 51s
    9. Painting away unwanted halos
      6m 28s
    10. Creating a wood grain effect
      6m 2s
    11. The luminance-style filter mask
      6m 23s
    12. The downside of independent filters
      5m 11s
    13. Merging the effects of two filters
      4m 38s
    14. Adjusting and merging masked effects
      6m 26s
    15. Introducing the Filter Gallery filters
      4m 39s
    16. Applying a Filter Gallery filter
      5m 57s
    17. Merging two Filter Gallery effects
      7m 16s
    18. Adjusting the colors of Sketch filters
      5m 2s
    19. Adding a third filter to a combo
      4m 58s
    20. The versatility of Smart Filters
      3m 2s
  8. 1m 31s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 31s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Smart Objects
8h 5m Intermediate Nov 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Preparing a composition for masking
  • Manually adjusting problematic edges in a composition
  • Combining layer effects and adjustment layers
  • Roughing in a polygonal mask
  • Cloning a super-massive Smart Object
  • Applying Variations as a Smart Filter
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Adjusting and merging masked effects

I've saved my modifications as Very textury man.psd found inside the 06_filter_masks folder, and we're very close to getting this final effect that's shown here inside Excellent textures.psd. But Excellent textures is quite toned down. It's a much more subtle effect than what we have so far. So what we need to do is we need to temper this texture a little bit. We need to get rid of the halos around the hair because that looks awful and we need to get rid of some of the weird little color artifacts that are going on here.

Now our colors are not too bad because the image that's being referenced by the Smart Object has Median applied to it. You may recall that Median filter that was set to the Color blend mode and as a result we're getting rid of almost all the color noise inside of the image. And as a result this Emboss effect right here isn't bringing out as much color as it normally would, but where I had to change this back to Normal, you would see there are all kinds of weird colors going on including this sort of turquoise pink hair in the background and the wild colors inside of his teeth and there is a few colors around his eyes and so on and around his collar.

All right, so let's change back this to Overlay. The solution is to do this, to take the saturation out of this layer using an adjustment layer. And to do that you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, click the black-white icon and choose Hue/Saturation. That's your best method for leeching away the saturation inside of an effects layer like this. And I'll call this no sat, or something along those lines, and I will turn on Use Previous Layer to Create Clipping Mask, and recall that this New Layer dialog box is forced by the fact that you press the Alt or Option key when you chose Hue/Saturation.

Click OK and you will either see a dialog box inside of Photoshop CS3. Inside CS4 we are seeing the Adjustments palette. I want you to take the Saturation value, whatever you are looking at, wherever you are finding it, take that Saturation value and reduce it to -100, and then I am going to go ahead and close the Adjustments palette. If you are using Photoshop CS3, you click the OK button, and just to get a sense of what kind of difference that made, watch the collar. That is a good area to keep your eye on, this little border of collar right there.

This is what the effect looked like before so you can see a little bit of pink going on there. I'll tell you what, I'll go ahead and zoom in so you can see that better. See those weird colors that are going on? That's a function of the Emboss effect. When you turn on no sat, those weird colors go away. The same happens, by the way we should be able to see that happen in his teeth. This is without the de-saturation layer, right there, the no sat layer. Notice that we've got all kinds of color showing up in his teeth and over here on his cheek as well. Turn that on and they settle down.

They don't entirely go away. In other words there are some colors that are showing up from some of the other effects but any of the colors that were brought in by this layer are now totally going away. All right, so that's like step one. Step two is to assign a layer mask to this layer because what we are doing is we are treating the entire layer as one big filtering effect that's set to Overlay. So we don't want to assign a filter mask to the filters because that would control how the filters interact with this layer. We want to control how this layer interacts with the layer below.

So we want a layer mask and you can do that by clicking on this little mask icon at the bottom of Layers palette that says Add Layer Mask. That's actually the best way, but I just want you to know those of you who start getting in a habit of using the Mask palette here inside Photoshop CS4, you've got this little guy. So don't click in this one, Add Filter Mask. You want to add a pixel mask, which is what layer masks really are. I am thinking Photoshop ought to change the name of layer mask to pixel mask or pixel-based layer mask or something like that, but anyway, here they are. Click on that. And we now have a layer mask assigned to that layer that we are working on, this sort of Embossy layer that is called Clone.

All right, now I am going to go ahead and grab my Brush tool, click on it there inside of the toolbox, make sure that black is your foreground color, which it is, make sure Opacity is set to 100%, which it is, and then I am just going to paint around his hair like so to get rid of that weird haloing that's going on around the hair and I might paint up there a little bit and I might paint this hair over here and down a little bit and so on, and you can paint wherever you want. Actually you know when I am just going to paint throughout the hair and does it make that much sense that there'd be some sort of this woodish pattern or at least any texture up in the sky? I don't think that makes any sense at all.

So I am going to paint some of the sky away as well, without worrying about being too careful as is warranted by the appearance of this mask. If I Alt+Click or Option+Click on this layer mask thumbnail then I can see what the layer mask looks like and then I can make some touchups if I want to in the sky. Just make sure that sky is as filled in as possible. Of course you could whip out your Lasso tool and select these regions and fill them with black if you preferred, and then I would go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on that mask icon again, that is the layer mask thumbnail, in order to restore the full-color version of the image. Paint more if you want to, totally up to you where that mask is concerned.

All right, so anyway that's step two. Step three is so easy. Go back to your Marquee tool or some other Selection tool. The layer is selected right there. Set to the Overlay mode. I want to reduce the Opacity to 50% so I am going to press the 5 key. And now we have done the deed. It is reduced to 50% as you can see. We do have this nice even amount of texturing going on inside this image. Now we had to go to some pretty big lengths here in order to merge the effects of a couple of filters together. I am going to hide that Masks palette so with that we can see our layer stack a little better here.

So we had to do a fair amount of work, we had to create a separate Smart Object, apply the filters that we wanted to merge to it and then use the layer that is, as the thing that we blend using Overlay and Opacity with the Smart Object below. Wouldn't it be great if there was some other mechanism out there for merging filters together? And there is and it's called the Filter Gallery, but it only works with half of Photoshop's filters and it doesn't work with the other half, and I am going to tell you who the lucky half are in the next exercise.

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