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Photoshop CS4 for Photographers is an essential course for any digital photographer who wants to master the software's vast array of image enhancement techniques. Professional photographer and instructor Chris Orwig uses his own compelling images to demonstrate how the power of Photoshop can make photographers more passionate about their work. He covers many aspects of the application, such as working with RAW images, using curves and levels, making images snap, and enhancing bland photographs by converting them to black and white. Exercise files accompany this course.
Welcome to this very brief, yet important chapter on Smart Objects and Smart Filters. Now because, Smart Objects and Smart Filters are kind of interesting and because they are kind important, what we are going to do is take a few moments to talk about how we can actually create Smart Filters. We are going to go through that process and then apply what we have learned in this movie to an image in the next movie. We are going to start off by working on this file Smart_filters.tif. We are actually not going to work on it; we are simply going to go through a few things here, because I find it's helpful to step back for a moment, learn a little bit about Smart Filters and then again apply what we have learned. So, here I'll press Tab to get rid of the Photoshop interface and then press F twice and then finally zoom in on this document. Now one of the things that we can see here is that Smart Filters look a little bit different in our Layers palette. We can see we have number of different icons here, kind of interesting. Well what's the deal with Smart Filters? Well for starters what we are going to do is convert our layers to Smart Object layers, and we can do that by clicking in the layer and choosing Filter Convert for Smart Filters or by Right-clicking or Ctrl-clicking a layer and choosing Convert to Smart Object. Now what's a Smart Object? Well, the long and short of it is this, a Smart Object is a layer that contains image data and this could be from a vector file, like from an Illustrator file or a vector mask or pixels like from a photograph and the Smart Object layer preserves all the image's source information, meaning nothing is messed with in this layer, it all stays the same, all of the original characteristics of that layer stay the same.
Yet you can modify it in some pretty unique layers with regards to its size, regards to filtering etcetera. So one of the reasons why people like Smart Filter per se is because you convert the layer to a Smart object, then you can apply a filter and you can always undo it, its completely non destructive. So, let's take a look at our Layers palette. Well, here we have the layer that shows that it's a Smart Object, click on this icon to expand and collapse the Smart Filter below. Next you will notice the built-in mask, so I can paint on that mask, great. Underneath that we have the ability to view the filter that we have added, in this case Noise, double-click that, it opens up the Noise dialog, so I can change the amount of the noise on the fly, very helpful.
Now to the right of this, I have these icons here that allow me to double-click and then open up the blending options for that Filter. In this case I could change the blending mode and the Opacity level of the filter, which was Noise, and I would see a preview of how that's going to blend into that layer. So you can kind of think of Smart Filters as doing almost four things in one little layer. All right well now that we know just a little bit about Smart Objects and about Smart Filters, let's apply this knowledge to an image and we will do that in the next movie.
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