Photoshop Smart Objects
Illustration by John Hersey

Applying Variations as a Smart Filter


From:

Photoshop Smart Objects

with Deke McClelland

Video: Applying Variations as a Smart Filter

In this exercise, we are going to take a look at that other great non-filter that you can apply as a Smart Filter here inside of Photoshop and that is Variations. And a Variations command allows you to correct for the color cast of an image or just adjust the color balance in general. And you can do it by clicking on colorful thumbnails and when you apply Variations as a Smart Filter, you can modify the effects of your settings, as much as you like. It becomes an extremely powerful function as you'll see.
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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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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
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Deke McClelland

Applying Variations as a Smart Filter

In this exercise, we are going to take a look at that other great non-filter that you can apply as a Smart Filter here inside of Photoshop and that is Variations. And a Variations command allows you to correct for the color cast of an image or just adjust the color balance in general. And you can do it by clicking on colorful thumbnails and when you apply Variations as a Smart Filter, you can modify the effects of your settings, as much as you like. It becomes an extremely powerful function as you'll see.

So I have gone ahead and saved my changes as Reasonably young again.psd, so-called because he is still as areas that could be interpreted as gray. Although I think he looks great. If you don't, if you want to change him further, you can just click on this filter mask or by the way, if you want to select the filter mask when the image is otherwise selected, you can go up here to the Masks palette. This is assuming you're working inside of Photoshop CS4. Notice that this little guy no longer has a plus on him. These guys do because we don't have a pixel-based layer mask and we don't have a vector mask associated with this layer currently.

So each of these have pluses to indicate if you click on them you're going to add that thing. Whereas we already added a filter mask, so it doesn't have a plus. Instead it becomes Select the filter mask. You click on it and then you select the filter mask. That simple. And then, you can do things like, hey! Look at this. You can invert the mask if you want to. And by the way this is an interesting effect that happens every once in a while. There is no reason we'd want to invert the mask, by the way. Now we've restored his gray hair and we've gone ahead and painted away some of the filtered effects inside of his face and so forth.

But notice this blocky sort of pattern right there. That's what's known as tiling inside of Photoshop. You don't see it very often. Basically, Photoshop is calculating all of the effects in these square tiles and what's happened in this case is it only got so far through the effect before it choked and then it gave up, and it's completely a previewing thing. So if this happens to you for whatever reason, you can click on Invert again to restore the original filter mask right there and then you can try Invert yet again in order to invert the entire thing and then you'll get this effect here, which of course is totally not what we want.

But I wanted you to see that is an option. You also have this eyeball that allows you to turn the effect off, turn it back on. Color Range will bring up the Color Range dialog box. It's not useful when you're working with a filter mask, because you can't actually see the original image. But anyway, I'm going to click on Invert to restore the mask as it was. Anyway, just wanted you to see that. Now what I am going to do in this case is I am going to go ahead and click on the image. It's important that you click on the thumbnail for the Smart Object, because if you don't, notice if I go up to the Image menu and now I choose Adjustments, this is bizarre.

Also, I have access to Brightness/ Contrast and Levels and Curves and all these static color adjustments. And I can select Variations, if I want to. Notice by the way, if you loaded the dekeKeys, I have gone ahead and given you a keyboard shortcut for Variations of Ctrl+B, Command+B on the Mac and that's moved from Color Balance because Variations is so much more useful. But anyway, notice if I choose Variations, then I am applying Variations to the mask. That's not what I want. So cancel out of there. Instead you want to click on the thumbnail for the image itself in order to make the Smart Object active, then go up to the Image menu, choose Adjustments and now you'll see you only have your two non-filters: Shadows/Highlights, which we don't need to apply again, and Variations.

Now, let's say I am looking at this image and I feel like it's a little bit cool. That is, it's trending toward the blues too much. I want to send it toward the oranges a little more. Why then I would go ahead and choose the Variations command in order to bring up the Variations dialog box. Now you'll notice that there's this group of six color thumbnails around the Current Pick and by the way, just to make sure that you are starting from scratch, I want you to click on Original, this guy right there, in order to restore the original version of the image to current pick.

So that any modifications you make are from ground zero. It's essentially what I am saying. So that we are going to add yellow or add read or add magenta, that kind of thing, to the image as it appeared when we first opened this dialog box. Now notice that everything is more, More Green, More Yellow, More Red, More Magenta, More Blue, More Cyan, what a greedy dialog box. But here's what's really going on. Anything that's across from each other, like green and magenta, they are opposites. So if you want less green, you add More Magenta and that defeats the green, and then notice that Original and More Green match each other, because we got rid of green inside the image.

If we want to add the green back in, we will restore the Original version of the image. More Yellow and More Blue are direct opposites, so clicking on More Yellow gets rid of blue. More Red and More Cyan are direct opposites so clicking on More Red gets rid of cyan and so forth. The opposite is true too. Anyway, I am going to click on Original once again, and here's what I want to do. I am going to bring up this Fine/Coarse value to a tick mark over toward Coarse. So we can really see the difference. Notice you can go very fine with the adjustments from this dialog box. Only you can't see what the difference is when you go that Fine. The thumbnail has become useless to you.

So if you really wanted to make very fine-tuned adjustments with the Variations dialog box, it kind of doesn't work. It's very difficult to use that way. Whereas, if you crank it up, you can really see what you're doing and then you can back off the Opacity of your Smart Filter after you apply the effect. So it becomes a brilliant way to work in my opinion. So I am going to click on More Yellow and More Red, which is the same as getting rid of some blue and getting rid of some cyan, and that's going to warm up the image. Now it's going to warm up the image way too much. It starts looking a little sunshine hot.

But that's okay, because we can back off the effect just as we will in a moment. So go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification and you will now see that Variations has been applied to our photograph. Now what I am going to tell you is that you want to reduce the opacity. You want to double-click on that little slider icon. Let's click on the eyes so that we can see representative portion of the image and then we would reduce this Opacity value say to 20% or maybe even as low as 10% or something like that. So a very low value.

But I am going to leave it set to 100% for now because I want you to see something. We'll cancel out of there. Notice that we have this weird aura around his head, where the sky is basically baby blue, and then we have a fairly dead sky over here on the left hand side and that's because the filter mask is affecting not only the stuff it should be affecting, which is Shadows/Highlights and might as well paint away the High Pass and Mdeian filters as well, because that's not hurting anything. But masking Variations doesn't make any darn sense. We don't want his hair to be affected differently, than his face and his jacket and his shirt and his tie and the sky.

We want the entire image to be affected by Variations uniformly. So how do we remove Variations from the filter mask equation, especially given that I can't put the filter mask below and Variations above it or anything along those lines. I can just change the order of the filters. So all filters are affected uniformly. What in the world do I do? Well, the answer is nested Smart Objects, as I will demonstrate in the next exercise.

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