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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 of the tin can, the grid label's been wrapped around it after first being converted into a Smart Object. This means that the contents are editable and can be replaced with anything we choose. So, let's make our own label for this can. As we double-click the Smart Object layer, it opens up and we can see its contents. Let's make a new layer and fill this with a pale yellow, as the basis for our label.
We'll now switch to the Text tool, change our text color to black, and we can type Smart Objects to make the contents for our tin. We can use Free Transform to make this larger. And let's bring it down a bit. Now, let's add some bands onto this tin to make it look more like a real product. We'll make another new layer, and we'll use the Marquee tool to draw a band at the top, and another band at the bottom, and let's fill these with bright red. Switch to the Text tool again, and this time let's warp over so the foreground color becomes white.
And at the top here, we can type NEW, NEW, NEW, NEW and make this bigger so that we get this wording appearing to wrap all the way around the can. And at the bottom, we'll type, It's quite amazing what we can do with Smart Objects and Photoshop. And again, I'll make this a little bigger, and move it further down the page. We'll go to File > Save. And that now appears on our can, wrapped around it in perspective. Now, let's go back to the can itself. It maybe in perspective, but we're not seeing on it is the shading that was on the original can. And that we isolated with layer one.
So, let's grab layer one. To duplicate this, we could hold down the Alt key on a PC, Option key on a Mac, and drag it above our Smart Object layer. There is the copy, and when we change the mode of this copy from normal to multiply, we can see through it, and we can see the shading on the artwork beneath. Of course, we can change anything we like within this. We can say, okay, the words new are slightly too close to the top.
Well, we can go back to our Smart Object. We can grab that layer, and we can move it down a little. We Save again. There it is, moved quite further down. We could change the color of the can. Let's change this to blue, and Save. And each time we save, the changes we've made are reflected directly onto the Smart Object. The ability to create a complex distortion and then change its contents means that Photoshop becomes more flexible than ever.
It may have taken awhile to distort the label, but we only need to do that once. We can then change the contents as often as we like.
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