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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 we can modify a Smart Object and gain access to pixel-level modifications and even create a multilayer Smart Object, if we want to. So multiple layers inside of a single Smart Object container. I've got ahead and saved my changes as Horde o germs.psd, and I went ahead and renamed this one layer right there. He used to be called independent germ, I changed his name to breakaway because he really is a breakaway germ and that's a shorter name, so I don't have to have my Layers palette so wide. So this guy is linked to a different Smart Object because as you may recall, we right-clicked in order to create that Smart Object. We selected one of the other ones, right-clicked on it and chose this command right there, New Smart Object via Copy. So that's why he is a breakaway.
The others are straight clones, by which I mea they are instances of a single Smart Object. All right, so now let's say my art director and I are getting along a lot better, you'll be glad to know. And we've decided that the add is ready to go and we are showing it off to the client and now the client totally loses it, and they have got two big problems. One is they love the germ that's trapped inside the g, right there. They love that. But they hate the other germs because they are blue, so they are matching the glistenex logo. They ought to match the green of the word germs and also they are not scary enough.
They need to have more terrifying expressions. They are just too cute, the way things are all right now. So, imagine I had forty or fifty germs. If I worked for Smart Objects, I would have to edit every single one of the germs independently. Thanks to the fact that all these are the instances of a single Smart Object with the exception of breakaway here, which the client wants to keep the same as it is. We can edit them all at one fell swoop. But how? How best to approach these? Well, the best command for making these germs nice and scary, it seems to me because I don't want to have to redraw them would be the Liquefy command, because I could use the Liquefy filter in order to modify the features, in order to make the eyes smaller, and the eyebrows scarier and the teeth bigger and that kind of thing.
The problem is I'll go to Germ 3 here, just an arbitrary layer, just any one of them is fine. If I go to the Filter menu, you will see that Liquefy is dimmed and so is Vanishing Point and so is, for example, Lens Blur. And the reason that they are dimmed is these guys require direct access to the pixels. That's the only way they function. And that also goes for a few other commands, as well as a few other tools. So, for example, I wanted to heal this fellow. If I went and got the Healing Brush, which requires direct access to pixels as well, I would get a little Ghostbusters icon. I can't apply directly to a Smart Object because when you are working with the Smart Object, the fact that you are able to do things like applying nondestructive modifications is great, but there is a little bit of a penalty and that penalty is you do not have direct access to pixel-level modifications.
If you want that, you've got to open up the Smart Object in a separate window. Okay, so I'll do that. I'll go over to the Germ 3 layer. Again, it doesn't matter which one of the three Germs you open, but I'll go to Germ 3 and I'll double-click on its thumbnail in order to open that germ in an independent window and now notice, I can't apply the human brush because I do have direct access to the pixels. But where I do apply a transformation, which would be a really dumb thing to do in this view, you would now be applying destructive transformations. So you either have one or the other, you have direct pixel access are you have nondestructive transformations and all of the other wizardry that's associated with Smart Objects. So in order to regain access to the nondestructive modifications, you would just move back to the larger layered composition, right here.
All right, so anyway, I'm going to go back to Germ 11, it's called for me. It might be called Germ 1.psd. The idea is when you open a Smart Object, Photoshop has to create a temporary document inside this Temp folder and it's going to end in psd, but it's going to have an arbitrary name, don't worry about that. All right, I'm going to switch back to my rectangular Marquee tool because the command I want to use is Liquefy. I am going to go up to the Filter menu and choose Liquefy command, and that brings up the big old Liquefy utility right here, and then I would just start making my changes, Right, I would make his eyebrows really stern, right there and I would increase the size of it's mouth and I would make his tongue really long.
So it looks like he's got something in his cheek that's scary and gives him a really big chin. Actually, what I think I'll do is click on the Load Mesh button because I've created a much more satisfactory mesh in advance here and it's this one Angry germ.msh. Go ahead and click on it and then click Open, and you'll get this, which I quite like. This is looking good. And then I'll click okay in order to apply that modification and there he is, Oh! He's so scary. All right, now I want to make him green instead of cyan. So I'm going to go to my adjustments palette right there, expand it and I'll Alt- click or Option-click on this little Hue/Saturation icon, right there and I'll call this skin to green, I think, it will work for me and I'll click okay and I'm now going to change the Hue value, but If I change the Master Hue value, to something like -51 let's say which works nicely for changing his cyan skin to green, then I also change his red mouth to magenta and that's no good at all.
So let's undo the modification there. Instead I'm going to take advantage of the new Target Adjustment tool. I'll go ahead and click on it to make it active and then I'll Ctrl+Drag because I want to change the Hue value or Command+Drag, inside of the Germ's skin like so. And so that's the Ctrl+Drag on a PC and Command+Drag on a Mac, until I changed that Hue value to -50. This time I'm only affecting the cyan, so I'm leaving the mouth alone. Looks awesome. Now my point here is I can have a multi-layered Smart Object if I want. So you can create layers inside of this Smart Object container.
In the next exercise, we are going to see how the moment we choose the Save command, we update all of the instances in kind and it really is worth seeing in its own exercise, coming right up.
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