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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.
All right gang, I am still working inside Prematurely gray.psd found inside the 06_filter_masks folder. The only thing I've done is I've added a filter mask to my Smart Filters right there. Now notice this one overarching filter mask that affects all filters that are assigned to this one Smart Object in-kind. So you do not have filter-by- filter-by-filter masking control. I will show you how to achieve that kind of control, if you so desire, using embedded Smart Objects.
That does happen to work. Then you can create a Smart Object that has one filter with one mask inside of another Smart Object that has another filter in another mask and so on, and we'll see that later. But for now, one filter mask will do us just fine. Now what I would like you to do is go ahead and grab the Brush tool right there. Click on it to select it. I am going to make the Brush tool much, much bigger by pressing the right bracket key. That's the square bracket key. Make sure that your foreground color is set to black, so that you can paint away details from your filtered effect.
And then I am going to kind of move things over a little bit, so that I can paint this gray hair away. That's all it takes, my goodness. You can just wash that gray away, so easy. And once you get down to this area, you might want to reduce the size of your brush by pressing the left bracket key a few times. So you may know about this. You can change the brush on the fly using the bracket key combos there. Now then, once you've gotten rid of all the gray in the black region of his hair so that he looks like this. He just looks gorgeous now. Excellent! Then press the 5 key to reduce the Opacity to 50% as I've done and then maybe go ahead and reduce the size of the brush a little bit and then paint down his sideburns, like so.
If you feel like you've gone too far with the effect, you have painted it away too much, as I have. I am going to actually undo that last brush stroke there. Then let's try the 4 key for 40% and then press the X key to switch the foreground to background color. So the foreground color is white and then I'll just click right here to restore some of that filtered effect like so. I'll go ahead and press the 0 key to restore the Opacity to 100%. When you paint with white, you are going to paint the filtered effect back in, and then I'll press the X key to switch to black.
When you paint with black, you'll paint that filtered effect away, like so. So just remember that you can go back and forth without any difficulty whatsoever. It's very easy to work that way. It's very much like working with a layer mask inside of Photoshop. Now here is the amazing thing. If you're working inside of Photoshop CS4, and you have access to the Masks palette, I was telling you in an earlier chapter that you have this Feather control that's parametric, nondestructive, allows you to make the edges fuzzier on the fly. We already saw that once.
It's a great option. But the next great option inside of this palette is Density. Let me go ahead and show you how that works. I am going to switch back to my regular Marquee tool so that I regain my cross shaped cursor there. Not necessary, but I just like to do that. And then I can restore some of the filtered effect across the board by lowering the Density value. So what you're doing when you lower the Density value, you're actually lowering the opacity of the mask and that is restoring the opacity of the filtered effects right there.
So it's sort of the opposite of an opacity value, because you're restoring the opacity of the filtered effect. So if you take the Density value all the way down to 0, then the mask becomes completely invisible and your filtered effects are fully restored. There would be no reason to do that of course, but you can go to 0% if you want to and if you take the value back up to 100%, your masks is completely restored and your filters are masked according to your specifications. And if you want to split the difference between the two, then you just go ahead and lower that Density value, and I am going to take my Density value down to 70% like so.
I can always change this value later, if I want to restore the mask or lower its opacity by lowering the Density value, and there you have the effect, folks. We have gotten rid of the gray in his hair. I think that's a terrific thing and if you want to compare before and after versions of your masked effect, Shift+ Click on this mask right there to turn it off. This works inside of Photoshop CS3 as well. Shift+Click again to turn the mask back on. And that's the power of some very straightforward filter masking here inside Photoshop.
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