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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 second housekeeping exercise I'm going to show you how to establish what I considered to be the ideal color settings inside of Photoshop. I'm going to stress up front that this is an entirely optional step on your part. You don't have to do it. It should cause no problems whatsoever, and it's very easy to pull off. It's mostly a matter of just making sure that you are taking full advantage of the color space offered by your monitor. And the other thing that it does is it ensures that we don't see these little asterisks up here in the title bar when you open one of my sample images inside Photoshop.
So here's how it works. This is basically a two-step process. First you establish your color settings here inside Photoshop. And then you switch over and establish Creative Suite-wide color settings inside of the Bridge. If you own the Creative Suite. Let me show you how it works. I'll go out to the Edit menu, for starters, and then I'll choose the Color Settings command in order to bring up the Color Settings dialog box. Now if you're working some place in North America your setting should be set by default to North American General Purpose 2.
So if you're working in some other country you'll see some other default setting. But very likely regardless here inside Working Spaces the very next option, RGB, will read SRGB followed a bunch of a other characters. What that tells you is you're working inside the standard RGB space, which is an old-style RGB space that's designed to simulate basically a worse case scenario monitor. An old CRT tube versus the new LCD screens most of us use these days.
The better option, especially when you're working with a robust color machine like Photoshop, is to switch your RGB setting from SRGB to Adobe RGB. Go ahead and do that, if you're working along with me. Assuming you were working from the default settings in the first place, you don't need to make any other modifications. You may, however, want to check that your Color Management Policies are set to Preserve Embedded Profiles for RGB, CMYK, and Gray, and that all three of these checkboxes down below are turned off.
In which case then go ahead and click on the save button and let's go ahead and call this file best workflow, which is what I like to call it, and then click the Save button. Photoshop will automatically save this file the proper settings folder in your hard drive. Then you can enter a description so you can remember how the world you came up with these color settings in the first place. I've created a description in advance that I'll go and paste in, which is "These are the settings recommended by Deke in a Smart Objects course for lynda.com." In order to create that new Best Workflow settings file.
And then I'll click OK in order to apply these settings inside Photoshop. And now notice where this image file is concerned, I no longer see as asterisk here inside the parentheses in the title bar. Now let's say that you own the entire Creative Suite, that it's not just Photoshop but you own Illustrator and InDesign perhaps Flash and Dreamweaver as well. Then you can apply these color settings across the entire suite by going up to the applications bar up here at the top of this screen and clicking on the orange Launch Bridge icon and that'll take you into the Bridge, which is the file browser that ships along with Photoshop.
Then go to the Edit menu and choose the Creative Suite Color Settings command. And here's the thing. If you don't see that command or if it doesn't work, you don't own the full Creative Suite. Don't worry about it. That's not going to affect your ability to work through this course for your ability to work inside of Photoshop. Everything is A-OK. Just go back to Photoshop and continue working. However, if you do see the command and if choosing it does work, then go ahead and locate the Best Workflow item here inside the list and then click on the Apply button in order to apply those color settings across all applications inside the Creative Suite.
And that, my friends, is all there is to it. Now you and I are ready to exploit the amazing power of Smart Objects inside Photoshop.
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