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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.
In this exercise, we are going to see how our vector-based logo was put together inside of Adobe Illustrator, more specifically, how I put it together. Now I've got the filigree, as I was saying, from the Fotolia Image Library, about which you can learn more at fotolia.com/deke, but everything else I did here inside of Illustrator. Now by this point in time, we've opened the Smart Object in Illustrator. You may recall this. If you're working on Windows, by the way, you can press the Window key along with Tab in order to get this groovy effect right there, in order to switch between your various applications.
You can just Command+Tab through them on the Mac if you want to or use Expos? or something along those lines. But anyway, here is our larger composition called Placed artwork.psd, as you may recall, found inside the 02_ACR_and_ Illustrator folder, and then I just went ahead and double-clicked on the thumbnail for Product logo in order to open it inside of Illustrator. Now why am I telling you something that we just got through doing? Just so that you know where we are at. I just don't want anybody left behind. Now at this point, it's a little deceiving seeing this logo against the white background, because we can't actually see the type, there is some type right there, by deZign and it's white against white, so it's totally invisible to us right now.
So what I am going to do is I am going to go up to the View menu. I invite you to do this as well if you're working along with me and choose Show Transparency Grid, which has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+D, Command+Shift+D on the Mac. I didn't make that one up. That's just one of Illustrator's defaults there. But anyway, Show Transparency Grid and you'll see this checkerboard pattern in the background. I set things up so that the checkerboard is alternating shades of gray, so that we can easily make out the white type right there. Now then, what I'd like you to do is click on Product, right there with the Black Arrow tool, which is this guy right there.
The Selection tool, if you will, which you can get by pressing the V key, V as in move or actually I have this guy suggests that A was for an arrow pointing one direction, the A for the Direct Selection tool, which is the White Arrow tool and V is an arrow pointing in the other direction, pointing downward for the Selection tool. So that's, I guess, another way to think of it. Anyway, so I went ahead and selected Product here. Then the next thing I want you to do is make sure that your Appearance Palette is up on screen, which it is for me, this guy right there and you can get to it, by the way, by going to the Window menu and choosing Appearance.
It has a keyboard shortcut as well. Anyway, I am going to switch over to the Appearance Palette and I am going to turn-off some of these eyeballs here. Now these eyeballs only exist inside of Illustrator CS4. It didn't use to have Show and Hide control inside of Illustrator CS3 and earlier, as obvious as it is, go figure. Anyway, let's go ahead and turn-off all the eyeballs except the bottom Fill. So notice that I have a bunch of different fills getting incrementally lighter as you can see here, assigned to this text. And what's going on here? If you twirl one of these items open.
For example, I'll twirl the bottom Fill, nothing special. It just says, Opacity Default. So in another words, it's just your standard everyday average flat fill. All right, and the fill being the color applied to the interior of the type as opposed to stroke which strokes along outside the type. We'll come to that in a moment. I am going to turn-on the next Fill up which gets incrementally lighter. Now, let's go ahead and zoom in here so you can see this. I am zooming in quite a bit, now I'll scroll down. You can see that the inner fill is thinner, so that it's offset inward.
You can think of it as being inset if you like. To check out what's going on there, twirl open that Fill and you'll see that I've got this thing Offset Path. Now you apply these dynamic effects to your fill and stroke attributes inside of Illustrator by clicking on the attribute and then you go up to the Effect menu and you choose the desired command. Now that's easier said than done, because there is bizillion commands right here, but only a few of them are the kinds of things you use on a regular basis, and one of the ones that I use a lot or you can use if you like is right here Path>Offset Path, so that guy right there.
Now we don't want to choose them in our case because that apply another paths of Offset Path, we don't need that But that is how you apply it. You can also go down to this little fx icon in Illustrator CS4 and it gives you the same menu. Anyway, if you want to see what we've done then what you would do is you would click on this little link there in order to bring up the Offset Path dialog box. You can see that the Fill has been Offset one point inward, is basically the idea, the negative sign means inward. Were it positive, it'd be going outward. I will turn-on the Preview checkbox so we can see what I mean.
So now you can see it's offsetting outward. But we want those inward and to get a real sense of what's going on here. You could just press the Down Arrow key like so and you can see that that fill is going thinner and thinner as it's getting offset more and more. I also change the Joins to Round, instead of Miter because Miter is going to give us really pointy outlines. It's not making any difference in this case, but it makes a big difference down here in the filigree. Cancel out of that. Just want you to get a sense of what's going on. I don't expect you to totally learn the program during this little exercise here but I just want to give you sort of a sketch of what's going on.
All right, let's check out the next Fill, this guy. Twirl it open and I have got an Offset and this time we're offsetting a little more, notice it's a -2, this time around, Cancel out and then we have got this Transform. That Transform you apply by clicking on a Fill, if you want to target that one attribute, then you'd go to Effect> Distort and Transform and Transform. This is my favorite dynamic effect of all of them, and it's so darn useful. Anyway, that's how I applied it. To check out what's going on you click on the word Transform there, brings up the Transform Effect dialog box.
You can scale your fill independently of the rest of the shape, if you want to you could rotate it, check this out. I'll go ahead and turn-on Preview and then I'll start rotating the fill and you can see that we're rotating that one fill independently of the rest of the letters. That's crazy, not something we want to do here but you could. I'll set that back to an Angle of zero. Lots of other stuff you can reflect. You can create multiple copies if you want to. All I did was I just nudged the fill up a little bit. So with Preview on once again, see the difference. This is a Vertical value of zero so it's centered inside, that is the lighter purple centered inside the darker purple, and as I increase this value you can see that I am nudging it upward like so.
So anyway, I just nudged it up one point. Cancel out and that's what's happening with the other guys too. So this lighter fill right there is Offset -3 points, so it's inset. Cancel out. Transform, moving it up 2 points, that simple. And then the next guy, right there, is as you might well assume, has an Offset of -4 this time. Cancel out and a Transform of 3 points. All right, and that's it, Cancel out. Now that's what's happening not only for this type, for the word Product here, but also for the filigree below it.
In the next exercise, what we are going to do is we are going to modify both the type and the filigree. We are going to leave by deZign alone, but we are going to change the attributes associated with Product and filigree and then we're going to update our changes inside of Photoshop. Stay tuned.
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