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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, I am going to introduce you to the nearly 50 filters, I believe there are 47 in all that run inside the Filter Gallery and these, let's say, 47 filters always run inside the Filter Gallery, which is this big gargantuan interface. It's kind of a subprogram and all the other filters never run inside the Filter Gallery. So these 47 filters are a kind of clique. It's a real Hatfileds and McCoys situation. Now, all of the Filter Gallery filters are effects filters as opposed to corrective filters like your Smart Sharpening, your Gaussian Blur and your Reduce Noise and those guys.
These are all effects and they only run in RGB. So you have to be working with an RGB image and yet the Filter Gallery actually affords to use certain advantages that you can't get elsewhere, as we will see. All right, so I have gone ahead and saved my changes as Excellent textures. That's the most current version of the file found inside the 06_filter_masks folder and what I have gone ahead and done is I have colorized the Filter menu here and I would like you to see it. So, first of all, we are going to switchover to the photograph layer, this specific Smart Object there.
And for the time being I am going to turn off the clone layer. So, we are looking at the image without the Emboss effect. All right, now I would like you to go up to the Filter menu. Now, your commands are not going to be colored this way. It did this on my computer so that you can see what's going on here, but basically, every command that's yellow calls up the Filter Gallery. So, certainly the Filter Gallery command calls up the Filter Gallery and if you want to see what it looks like real quick, I will just go ahead and choose that command. This is the Filter Gallery. Right here we have this gargantuan preview that's actually extremely accurate.
The previewing functions of the Filter Gallery are totally awesome. I am going to go ahead and back out a little bit here and you can do that by pressing Ctrl+Minus or Command+Minus on the Mac. So, your standard zooming shortcuts work inside the Filter Gallery. Then you have a list of all the various effects filters that are available to you and they are listed with these little thumbnail previews, which is awfully handy. So, you can get a sense of what they are going to do and they are all listed according to their submenus they appear in inside the Filter menu and we will come back to that in just a minute, and here is where you basically build up your effects down here on the lower right corner, I will show you that later, and here is where you specify your settings.
Right now we haven't established any effects so far, so we don't have any settings to modify. But I just want you to see this is the Filter Gallery right here. Let's go and cancel out for now. First, I would like you to see which commands run inside the gallery. So once again I will go up to the Filter menu. Yellow means it calls up the Filter Gallery, so all of the Artistic filters, every single one of them runs inside the Filter Gallery. Every single one of the Brush Stroke commands runs inside the Filter Gallery. Nothing from the Blur menu runs inside the Filter Gallery, nothing from Noise, nothing from Pixelate, nothing from Render, nothing from Sharpen, nothing from Video, not that you are going to use that ever, and nothing from Other.
So, those commands are just your standard everyday old-fashioned, sometimes very, very powerful commands, but they don't run inside the Filter Gallery. Whereas all the Artistic ones do, all the Brush Strokes, all the Sketch filters, which all produce black and white effects. More on that later. It's not really just necessarily black and white, but it's foreground to background color effects and then all of the Texture filters. Those four submenu's worth of filters always run inside the Filter Gallery, and how do you remember that? Really just experience.
You just come to terms with that over time. You can also see inside of the Filter Gallery which filters can be called up. Now, I have gone ahead and made two submenus orange, because that means that one to three commands from that menu run inside the Filter Gallery. So, if I choose Distort, I am going to see that Diffuse Glow, Glass, and Ripple. I have set all three of those to yellow, because all three of those commands run inside the Filter Gallery. Not that they are all that good, but they do run inside the Filter Gallery. By the way, the quality of the filters vary dramatically. I should say that.
So some of them you are going to like a lot, and others you aren't. A lot of it it's going to be purely subjective and then some of it is going to be sort of like, yeah, that's pretty bad. Anyway, then under the Stylize submenu we have one command Glowing Edges that runs inside the Filter Gallery. The other ones don't. All right, so that's it. As I say, I have just colorized these commands on my machine. They don't appear colorized on your machine, but I just want you see that and in the case you are wondering how I colorized commands, you do that from the Edit menu, you choose the Menus command and then you sift around through the menu commands and you can assign colors to them if you want. Anyway, that's it.
Those are the Filter Gallery filters. I just wanted you to get a sense of what we are getting into, because they do afford very specific advantages when applied as Smart Filters as we will see beginning in the next exercise.
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