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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'm going to show you how to create a Camera Raw Smart Object and then in the next exercise I'll show you how great it is. I'm in the Bridge right now and I've got the Bridge trained on the contents of the 26_smart_objects folder, here inside my Exercise Files folder. You'll notice an image called 11mile Canyon.dng and I shot this as a raw image with an Olympus E-300, at this natural reserve or what have you, that's located in Southern Colorado, really amazing place. But this image is pretty washed out here so I need to develop it inside of Camera Raw.
Now this could just as easily be a JPEG or a TIF image, as opposed to a raw image as well. You won't be able to get as much out of it but you can still turn it into a Camera Raw Smart Object, if you want to. You can't take a layered PSD image and turn it into a Camera Raw image. You can already have created a Camera Raw Smart Object inside of a layered PSD image as we'll see, but you're not going to open that PSD image inside of Camera Raw. All right, so here is what I'm going to do. Because this is a DNG image, all I have to do is double-click on it, and that will open it inside of Camera Raw.
Now I'm going to go ahead and adjust my development settings here. I want this image to be quite warm, actually. So I'm going to increase the Temperature value to about 6250 I figure. And then I'll take the Tint value up to +5, just to subtract a little bit of green from the image. I'm going to take the Exposure value, all the way down to -0.50 like so, because the image needs a little more weight associated with it, little more darkness. And then I'll back off the Blacks value so we can expand the shadows a little bit. And I'll take the Brightness value up to +60, let's say. I'm just goofing off here, just trying out some settings. Contrast maybe. That's a little bit high. That might look better. Right about there at +20.
And then why not add to the saturation. I'll take the Saturation value up to +30 like so. We have a fairly yellowish image at this point but I'm thinking I like it. I think this is going to look good, but let's say I want to reserve the right to come back to Camera Raw in the future to just be able to open this image in Camera Raw at some other point in time from Photoshop. So instead of opening the image as a flat image by clicking on the Open Image button, by the way you get a tip that tells you what you can do with that Open Image button right there. But as opposed to just settling for a flat image, I'm going to press and hold the Shift key and that changes that button to Open Object, which will open it as a Camera Raw Smart Object.
Now if you really love working this way, if you figure you're going to be opening up all of your raw images as Camera Raw Smart Objects inside of Photoshop, then you can come over here to this link, the one that says Adobe RGB (1998) and so on. Click on it, and among your other options you have this checkbox right here that says Open in Photoshop as Smart Objects. And this is a persistent setting, so it's basically a preference setting for the future. So if you click OK from now on, this Open Image button is going to appear as Open Object and you have to press the Shift key in order to switch to opening a flat image. I don't open most of my Camera Raw images as Smart Objects.
I just do it occasionally. When I really need the power and you'll see how powerful it can be. So I'll leave that checkbox turned off. I'm going to come up here and turn it off. Once again, click OK and it's such an easy matter to press the Shift key in order to get that Open Object button. Then I'll click on it and a few moments later, I'll see the image open here inside of Photoshop and I also see this Smart Object layer here inside the Layers palette. And it's intelligently named. Photoshop goes ahead and names it after the original file name, so it's called the 11mile Canyon. Now what I would do is I would go ahead and save this composition. It is a layered composition because anytime you have a Smart Object, you've got layers.
So go up to the File menu, choose the Save As command and I'm going to go ahead and do this. So you would have to choose a different file name if you're following along with me. But I'm going to go ahead and call this CR smart object, because that's what it is, and then I'll click the Save button in order to save off this layered PSD image inside of my 26_smart_objects folder. And I would include the layers, the ICC Profile and so on. Click Save and I now have a Camera Raw Smart Object open here inside of Photoshop. What can I do with this Camera Raw Smart Object? I can recall Camera Raw along with the settings I just applied a few moments ago and we'll see exactly how that works in the next exercise.
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