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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.
I've gone ahead and saved my progress as Golden logo.psd. I also have open this version of the composition, Final Product comp.psd. Both are found inside of the 02_ ACR_and_Illustrator folder. Now the final version of the composition contains an enlarged version of the logo behind the model's head. That also happens to be translucent. That's what we're going to begin to create inside of this exercise. So I'll switch back to Golden logo. psd, and I'm going to click on the Product logo layer that is, because we need to create a duplicate of it, which will reference that exact same vector data that's embedded inside of this composition.
Now there is a couple of different ways I could create my duplicate. I could just go ahead and press Ctrl +J or Command+J on the Mac to jump that layer, like so. I create a new layer called Product logo copy that is working along with this adjustment layer right there, notice that. So these two are now grouped together and Product logo is out of the loop, and I'll explain what I mean by that in just a moment. Anyway, I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+ Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that modification. Another way to work, if I want to create a copy and move this layer at the same time. I could press the Ctrl and Alt keys together, this would be Command and Option on the Mac.
The Ctrl key or the Command key is temporarily getting you the Move tool. The Alt or Option key is allowing you to duplicate as you move. So that's Ctrl+Alt+Drag or Command+Option+Drag that logo to a different location. As soon as you do you create a copy of the Product logo, again, that's working in combination with the adjustment layer. I don't like either of these techniques for our purposes, because we want this new layer to be separate from everything else that's going on here.
We want it to be below the model's head. So as soon as I drag the layer to a new location, watch what happens. I want you to have your eyes glued on the larger composition for a moment. It gets brighter. Why did that happen? Well, because the adjustment layer is no longer grouped with the Product logo, you can see that the little indent went away. So this is before, if I press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac, notice that this layer is indented and it has this little down-pointing arrowhead, indicating that we've got a grouped adjustment layer, so that the color adjustment is affecting just the layer below it and nothing more.
Just so that we're not quite so confused here, I'm going to collapse both of these groups of layer effects by clicking what were formerly up-arrows, so that we can just focus our attention on layers here. So notice as soon as I grab this guy and drag it below, the grouping goes away. So the brighten layer is no longer indented and it affects the entire composition. So what you need to do then is reestablish the grouping by pressing the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, hovering your cursor over this horizontal line right there and clicking.
That allows you to group those guys together and you'll see that your composition became darker and only this version of the logo is lightened up. This top version of the logo is now darker, because it's not affected by that adjustment layer. That is a pain in the neck, in my opinion, so you know what I'm going to do? I'm going to press Ctrl+Alt+Z or Command+ Option+Z on the Mac, a sufficient number of times in order to get back to the original state of Golden logo.psd, as it appeared when I first saved this file.
All right, so here we are back at this point in time. This is the way I prefer to work. If you run into this situation, where you're trying to make a duplicate of a layer and it has something else grouped to it, and you don't want to wreck the clipping group, then do this. Press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. Focus your attention on the layers palette, not out here, inside the Image window, just stick inside the layers palette. Press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and drag this guy downward, like so. Look at your cursor, as you do. You'll see that you get a double arrowhead, a black arrowhead with a white arrowhead in the background.
You can see it on-screen for me as well, and that shows you that you're creating a clone, because you have that Alt or Option key down and then drop it into place. Now Product logo and its adjustment layer are still intact. They are fine. And you have this new Product logo copy layer, down here below the two layers that represent the model's head. Now, you can Ctrl+Drag or Command+Drag this layer to a different location, like so. Then rename that layer. I'll just go ahead and call it Massive logo because that's what it's going to become.
Then I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to invoke that modification. I just want you to see this, because it's something that irritates me like crazy. I figure many of you are probably functioning at a sufficient level where you've run into this problem as well. So if you want to create a copy of a layer that's part of a clipping group, and you don't want it to be part of the clipping group anymore and you want it to be separated, then Alt+Drag or Option+Drag that layer, here inside the layers palette. In the next exercise, we will transform this layer to make it huge.
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