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Photoshop mastery can be elusive, but in Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Mastery, best-selling author and video trainer Deke McClelland teaches the most powerful, unconventional, and flexible features of the program. In this third and final installment of the popular and comprehensive series, Deke delves into the strongest features that Photoshop has to offer, including scalable vector graphics, Smart Objects, and Photomerge. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, both part of the lynda.com Online Training Library®.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Photoshop from the Exercise Files tab.
In this exercise, I'll show you how to replicate this germ here so that we're creating multiple instances of a single Smart Object. Then in the next exercise, I'll show you why that's so great. So this is kind of a two-parter here. We've got the one germ. That's all we've got so far, 125% germ, and I've saved this version of the document as One big germ.psd. Let's go ahead and make a clone of this germ, and I'm going to do that. There is a couple of different ways we can work. One is to press Ctrl +Alt+J or Command+Option+J, while the Germ layer is active. That goes ahead and jumps him to a new layer, and I'll call this guy Germ 2, and then I'll click OK.
It's sitting right on top of Germ 1, so we can't tell that we've got two germs unless we Ctrl+Drag one of them to move it to a slightly different location. Let's go ahead and move him over to this side of the frightened dude's head. I'll press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac in order to invoke Free Transform, I'll right-click and I'll choose Flip Horizontal. Why are these guys called Flip and Flop? I wonder. I'll go ahead and choose Flip Horizontal, which would be the Flip, of course, and I'm going to change the size of this germ right here to 35%, so I'm going to have to actually leave one. I can't click on the Link icon, because if I do that, he'll unflip. No, he'll flop. Yes, he both flipped and flopped.
Now, okay, good, because that is both the same value. I'll go ahead and turn that off. We need one to be -35 and the other to be +35, like so, nice! We could also rotate. I haven't done any rotating, but rotation is also nondestructive when applied to a Smart Object, all of these different transformation functions are. All right, so I'll go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac. Let's drag this guy to a slightly different location. Now it's appearing a little bit more jagged, but if I zoom in, it should look awfully darn smooth and it does. So it looks really nice. Actually, I'm going to move it just slightly onto the logo element there. That probably won't sit well with my art director, but I'll take that risk.
Now let's go back to Germ 1, because I want to create another germ that's on this side of the guy's face. So, might as well work from Germ 1, it doesn't matter which of the germs you work from there. All are going to be instances of this single Smart Object, the way that we're working right now. I'm going to take advantage of a different cloning technique, I'm going to press the Ctrl and Alt keys or the Command and Option keys on the Mac and drag this guy directly to a different location, like so. And there he is, Germ 1 copy. I'm going to change his name to Germ 3, because that's who he is. Then this time around, I'm going to press Ctrl+T or Command+T on the Mac to invoke Free Transform, I'm going to rotate him this direction a little bit and I'm also going to warp him. So let's go ahead and enter the Warp mode here by clicking on this little icon in the Options bar, or if you have loaded DekeKeys, you can press Ctrl+ Shift+R or Command+Shift+R on the Mac.
I'm going to drag up on his head a little bit, to give him a little bit more of a volumetric form, and also make him look like he's yelling ominously at this dude. But you don't want to go too wacky with your warping because the guy ends up looking pretty choppy, pretty quickly. So I'll press the Enter key in order to accept that modification and it looks good. I think it actually looks pretty darn good. Every germ is kind of an individual at this point. So that's nice! So far, because we've just been taking advantage of standard cloning techniques, everyone of these germs is linked to an original Smart Object that's embedded inside of this photographic composition here. If you don't want that, if you want one of the germs for example, yet another germ to be linked to a separate Smart Object, which will of course get embedded into the larger composition, then you do this. You go over. Let's go to Germ 1 again.
I will right-click on Germ 1 in an empty area of the layer. This would be a Ctrl-click, if you don't have a right mouse button on the Mac. You would choose New Smart Object via Copy. So if you choose that command, you will now separate to a new Smart Object. That's the key right there. So I'll go ahead and choose that and then let's take this guy over here. What I want to do with him is I want to put him behind the word germ and let's press Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac, and make him smaller. I'm actually Shift+Alt+Dragging at this point or Shift+Option+Dragging the corner handle so that I'm scaling the germ with respect to the center. Then I'll move him into the g a little bit so that he now becomes the frightened guy inside of this g and I'm rotating him in the place as well.
I don't want him to stick out like he is. Some of his little sort of doohickeys, whatever these things are, are sticking out of the g ever so slightly. So I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that transformation. Then I'll go ahead and grab my Elliptical Marquee tool, and I'll surround this region right there, so I'm staying inside the g, and I'll go ahead and apply that as mask, by dropping down to the Add Layer Mask icon down at the bottom of the Layers palette. I'll rename this layer; let's call this one independent germ or something like that.
We're not going to be able to see that name because it's too long, but if I drag-open the palette, we can. So he is independent germ, let's go ahead and put him at the top of the stack, so he's right below the g. We'll see what that means. So far, we're just kind of doing things. We haven't seen what the advantage to doing these things is. In the next exercise, you will. We'll see how we can change all three of these germs in one lickety-split operation, and this germ will stay the same. And you'll see that, if you stay tuned!
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