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Applying the Smart Clouds filters

From: Photoshop Smart Objects

Video: Applying the Smart Clouds filters

Now, I said we are going to use a Curves adjustment layer in order to transform this cloud pattern into a kind of lightning effect and we are going to do that, but first I want to take a moment to answer a hypothetical question. Those of you who are paying very close attention might say, hey Deke, is there any advantage to applying the Clouds and Difference Clouds filters as Smart Filters, and what is the advantage and how would you go about doing it in the first place? Well, check this out. I am still working inside of the Smart Object. This is one of those times I can't provide you with a catchup file, so I am just assuming you are still working along with me.

Applying the Smart Clouds filters

Now, I said we are going to use a Curves adjustment layer in order to transform this cloud pattern into a kind of lightning effect and we are going to do that, but first I want to take a moment to answer a hypothetical question. Those of you who are paying very close attention might say, hey Deke, is there any advantage to applying the Clouds and Difference Clouds filters as Smart Filters, and what is the advantage and how would you go about doing it in the first place? Well, check this out. I am still working inside of the Smart Object. This is one of those times I can't provide you with a catchup file, so I am just assuming you are still working along with me.

I am going to create a new layer, Ctrl+ Shift+N, Command+Shift+N on the Mac and I am going to call it empty, because it's going to be empty and then I will click OK. Now, let's convert that to a Smart Object by going up to the Layers palette flyout menu and choosing Convert to Smart Object or pressing Ctrl+Comma or Command+Comma on the Mac, if you loaded dekeKeys and now it's a completely empty Smart Object, which affords us the opportunity to apply Smart Filters. Watch how this works. I will go up to the Filter menu, I will choose Render and I will choose Clouds and I apply a new Clouds pattern on top of the old one.

So, ignore lightning for right now. We have got empty up here. Now, I do get a filter mask. I don't want it. It's cluttering up the proceedings. So, I am going to right-click on that filter mask and choose Delete Filter Mask. We will see how great they are later when we are start getting into Smart Filters, but right now I want it out of there. Now check it out. Normally, when you double-click on a Smart Filter name, you're going to edit its settings. For example, Lens Flare down here, if I double-click on Lens Flare, then I will get the Lens Flare dialog box and I can modify the settings and then click OK in order to update things.

In my case, I am going to click Cancel, because I didn't do anything. Clouds doesn't have a dialog box. So, what happens when you double-click on Clouds? You regenerate the clouds. Is that not cool? So you can go hey, I like that better or hey, I like that better or something, and if you don't, you can back step. You can press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+ Options+Z on the Mac to back step to a former incarnation of Clouds. So you have basically infinite control. Now, you could have done that with a Clouds filter here as well with a static application of Clouds. Here is something you couldn't do though before.

Your Difference Clouds,you cannot change nearly as easily when applied to static filters as you can when you will apply them as dynamic Smart Filters. So, check this out. I will go up to the Filter menu and I will choose Render once again and then I will choose Difference Clouds and now I can say hey, I like those Difference Clouds or no, I don't. Double-click and try them again, double-click, try it again. If you double-click the underlying Clouds filter, notice you are going to get a warning that's telling you that Smart Filters stacked on top of this filter will not preview while this filter is being edited.

In other words, you are not going to be able to preview Difference Clouds while you are working on Clouds. You are only going to be able to see Clouds and lower. They will be applied after committing the filter parameters dialog. The only problem here is there is no dialog box. So, we just get this alert message for nothing, because as soon as I click OK, it regenerates. So, you are just going to have to wait it out with this alert message. Now, I don't recommend you say Don't show again at this point, because this is a valuable alert message in my opinion. Up to you though, but anyway you will click OK to let it rip.

All right, you don't have to do that though when you are clicking on the top filter in the stack. So that's a no penalty filter right there. All right, now I will press Ctrl+F in order to apply another round of Difference Clouds and Ctrl+F and Ctrl+F, that's Command+F on the Mac, and altogether we should have four rounds of Smart Clouds on top of Clouds and then I could just keep tweaking the effect by double- clicking on the top Difference Clouds to get an ideal effect at some point in time. Now that is pretty darn flexible. You may like it.

You may not like it. It does add to the file size. Because as I understand it, every single one of these filtered effects has to be cached inside the file. So, you are growing, growing, growing the file as you apply each round of filter. So that may be too much for you and especially where something like Clouds is concerned, is it really worth it when really you are going to get a random effect and no matter why you are going to be able to make it work? I am going to come down on the side of no. In fact I am going to go ahead and press the Backspace key to get rid of that empty layer.

However, you may come across a time when you find that extremely useful, but I am here to tell you this. The moral of the story is that's all you got to do to create that Clouds effect is just create an empty layer, turn it into a Smart Object, and start letting the filters rip. And if you want to change the random variation of Clouds or Difference Clouds, all you have to do is double-click on a filter and Photoshop updates the effect. In the next exercise, we will really create a Curves adjustment layer in order to bring out the lightning inside of this lightning layer.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Smart Objects
Photoshop Smart Objects

95 video lessons · 21726 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 17m 13s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop Smart Objects
      59s
    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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