Photoshop Smart Objects
Illustration by John Hersey

Examining dynamic effects


Photoshop Smart Objects

with Deke McClelland

Video: Examining dynamic effects

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, 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.
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  1. 17m 13s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop Smart Objects
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      4m 18s
    3. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 15s
    4. Loading the CS4 color settings in Photoshop and Bridge CS4
      7m 41s
  2. 1h 12m
    1. Nondestructive transformations
      1m 14s
    2. The purpose of Smart Objects
      5m 17s
    3. The trials of destructive transformations
      5m 1s
    4. Creating a Smart Object
      6m 36s
    5. The rewards of nondestructive transformations
      4m 29s
    6. Preparing a composition for masking
      4m 59s
    7. Establishing a base alpha channel
      6m 25s
    8. Masking a Smart Object
      7m 3s
    9. Refining the layer mask
      6m 50s
    10. Multiplying the edges
      4m 17s
    11. Manually adjusting the problem edges
      6m 3s
    12. Free Transform feedback
      5m 14s
    13. The ultimate nondestructive crop
      9m 8s
  3. 1h 19m
    1. Photoshop and its support applications
      1m 45s
    2. Creating a Camera Raw (ACR) Smart Object
      5m 8s
    3. Converting a JPEG image to DNG
      4m 47s
    4. Replacing pixels with Camera Raw data
      5m 27s
    5. Matching image and ACR resolution
      4m 25s
    6. Adjusting ACR Smart Objects
      5m 33s
    7. Importing Illustrator artwork
      6m 13s
    8. Opening placed art in Illustrator
      5m 51s
    9. Examining dynamic effects
      7m 9s
    10. Modifying Illustrator artwork
      5m 20s
    11. Updating an Illustrator Smart Object
      4m 20s
    12. Styling placed artwork in Photoshop
      3m 33s
    13. Combining layer effects and adjustment layers
      5m 14s
    14. Copying a layer from a clipping group
      5m 0s
    15. Scaling vector data beyond 100 percent
      3m 9s
    16. Blending vector data with pixels
      2m 10s
    17. Saving PDF-compatible Illustrator art
      4m 23s
  4. 1h 26m
    1. Many Smart Objects reference a single source
      1m 9s
    2. Smart Objects and file size
      5m 11s
    3. Placing images as Smart Objects
      4m 44s
    4. Creating a basic lens flare
      5m 43s
    5. Turning a flare into a black hole
      6m 2s
    6. Establishing a first true clone
      4m 9s
    7. Finding the exact center of an image
      2m 37s
    8. Reflecting additional clones
      4m 55s
    9. The art of upsampling
      7m 45s
    10. Editing the root image
      5m 37s
    11. Updating all true clones
      3m 29s
    12. Roughing in a polygonal mask
      7m 13s
    13. Parametric Feather and Glow
      7m 12s
    14. Smart sharpening Smart Filter
      5m 36s
    15. Adding highlights and vibrance
      7m 10s
    16. Luminance blending
      8m 18s
  5. 49m 7s
    1. Placing one Smart Object inside another
      1m 9s
    2. Creating a super-massive Smart Object
      7m 9s
    3. Styling a super-massive Smart Object
      4m 29s
    4. Recoloring background regions
      4m 42s
    5. Cloning a super-massive Smart Object
      5m 56s
    6. Finishing off the first draft
      5m 4s
    7. The plasma ball effect
      4m 45s
    8. Applying the Smart Clouds filters
      4m 57s
    9. Converting clouds to lightning
      5m 4s
    10. Updating nested Smart Objects
      5m 52s
  6. 1h 14m
    1. Editable, nondestructive filters
      1m 24s
    2. Applying and modifying creative effects
      6m 54s
    3. Blending filtered effects
      6m 24s
    4. Tweaking filters with adjustment layers
      4m 14s
    5. Restoring halftone highlights
      4m 25s
    6. The price of Smart Filters
      5m 56s
    7. The power of true clones
      7m 13s
    8. Sharing between Smart Objects and comps
      8m 45s
    9. Just click on it
      1m 50s
    10. Applying a corrective filter
      5m 24s
    11. Smart Filters and disk space
      3m 46s
    12. Picking the right blend mode
      6m 36s
    13. Combining multiple Smart Filters
      6m 13s
    14. Editing and previewing filter settings
      5m 27s
  7. 1h 44m
    1. Still more Smart Filters
      1m 3s
    2. Introducing the non-filters
      4m 15s
    3. Reducing luminance contrast
      5m 19s
    4. Faking an HDR portrait effect
      7m 20s
    5. Adding a filter mask
      3m 22s
    6. Editing filter masks and density
      4m 26s
    7. Applying Variations as a Smart Filter
      7m 24s
    8. Establishing independent filter masks
      4m 51s
    9. Painting away unwanted halos
      6m 28s
    10. Creating a wood grain effect
      6m 2s
    11. The luminance-style filter mask
      6m 23s
    12. The downside of independent filters
      5m 11s
    13. Merging the effects of two filters
      4m 38s
    14. Adjusting and merging masked effects
      6m 26s
    15. Introducing the Filter Gallery filters
      4m 39s
    16. Applying a Filter Gallery filter
      5m 57s
    17. Merging two Filter Gallery effects
      7m 16s
    18. Adjusting the colors of Sketch filters
      5m 2s
    19. Adding a third filter to a combo
      4m 58s
    20. The versatility of Smart Filters
      3m 2s
  8. 1m 31s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 31s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop Smart Objects
8h 5m Intermediate Nov 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Preparing a composition for masking
  • Manually adjusting problematic edges in a composition
  • Combining layer effects and adjustment layers
  • Roughing in a polygonal mask
  • Cloning a super-massive Smart Object
  • Applying Variations as a Smart Filter
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Examining dynamic effects

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, 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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