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Most Adobe Photoshop artists don't make use of Smart Objects, and thus miss out on a potentially very powerful tool. With Smart Objects you can create a complex transformation once and then swap out the contents for any artwork you choose. In this workshop, Photoshop artist and author Steve Caplin shows you how you can use Smart Objects to enhance almost all your Photoshop work. Learn to simplify and speed up repetitive tasks, and create templates that can be repurposed as many times as you wish.
When Readers Digest magazine runs their subscription offers each month, it likes to show a selection of the most recent covers, and this is the montage I created for them. For copyright reasons, I'm not allowed to include the cover as part of the training material but I am able to show you them here. As this is part of a real and regular Photoshop project, I think it's instructive that when we scroll down the list of layers in this document, it may look complex. Actually, it's quite straightforward. I'll show you each of these layers in turn.
On the top, we have the first cover, but I can hide that. Underneath that is the magazine side with a gray front, and that's where the covered is mapped onto, I'll hide that. Beneath that is this Hard Light layer, and adds the shading on the cover beneath. Beneath that, is the next month's cover. Underneath that, is the rest of next month's magazine. Then another shading layer, then the cover, then the magazine, another shading layer, the cover, and the magazine.
All the shadows have been placed together into a group and beneath that, we have each of the original covers together with a side of the magazine that shows the pages all within one new group and reflected. And the reason for this is the Opacity of this group has been set to 40%. Here it is at full strength, and if I hide the mask, that shows the full content of this group. So, with the mask and with the Opacity set at 40%, that creates our correct reflection.
Here is the full image as designed. And so far, we've seen how the base image has been constructed. The real power comes from the fact that we're now easily able to change all those covers.
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