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In the all-new Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final installment of the popular series, join industry expert and award-winning author Deke McClelland for an in-depth tour of the most powerful and empowering features of Photoshop CS5. Discover the vast possibilities of traditional tools, such as masking and blend modes, and then delve into Smart Objects, Photomerge, as well as the new Puppet Warp, Mixer Brush, and HDR features. Exercise files accompany the course.
Recommended prerequisites: Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Advanced.
We are now ready for the final phase of this project. We're going to import the dragonfly into this composition, which by the way I've updated. It's now called Foreground leaves complete.psd because the foreground leaves are indeed complete. Now if I switch over to the Final Na'vi girl.psd file you'll see that there is this insect creature up here in the upper right-hand corner. It's kind of a cross between a dragonfly and a firefly, and I created it as a Smart Object. So if you look at this top layer in the Layers panel, you'll see that the layer thumbnail has this kind of little page icon in its bottom right corner and that indicates that there's an image that's embedded into the larger composition.
Now what in the world does that mean? Well, a Smart Object is a kind of protective envelope. So you take an image and you place it inside of that envelope and the envelope protects the image from harm. So you can apply nondestructive transformations for example. You can scale and rotate a Smart Object as many times as you want without incremental damage. You can also apply editable Smart Filters. So if I go ahead and expand this list here, you can see that there is a list of Smart Filters including Gaussian Blur, which allows me to blur the image so it appears far in the foreground, and I've given it some Motion Blur as well so it appears to be moving. And I'm using the Lens Flare filter in order to illuminate the insect and make it appear to glow and, we're going to see how to do all this stuff.
Now I'm going to switchover to the dragonfly itself, Dragonfly skeleton.jpg and it comes to us from Yaroslav Gnatuk of the Fotolia Image Library. I have done a little bit of work on this creature. I really wanted to see the wings and the body, but I didn't want to see a bunch of legs hanging off of it, because then I felt like it wouldn't look like it was flying. I wanted it to be nice and streamlined, so I amputated its fore legs, the two front legs, and I got rid of its shoulder. You can see that quite miraculously an appendage all of a sudden appears under this fore wing and that's because I got rid of this little bit right there.
So again that allows us to focus on a larger shape of the body as the insect is in flight. So how do I introduce it into the other composition? I will show you a couple ways to work here just you know FYI and again you'll see these techniques repeatedly throughout this series. So you'll be able to glam on over time. But the first question becomes how do I manage to drag and drop this dragonfly for example from one image window to another image window when I can't see them both? So if you can't see both of the images, that is, both Dragonfly skeleton.jpg and Foreground leaves complete.psd, then you would just go ahead and get yourself the Move tool or press of V key of course and then you would just drag the dragonfly from this image and drop it into the other image.
And It'd be that simple. But what do you do when you can't see the two images? All of my images, all three open images here are consolidated into a single image window. So how do I get to the others? Well you've got these tabs up here that could help you out. So here's what I would do. It's one way to work to introduce a firefly into a different background, drag them. So go ahead and drag them with the Move tool and then drag up to the tab hold it there, do not release on the tab just drag up there and hold. Wait for the other window to come to the foreground.
Then move your cursor back into the image window and drop. So that's all one long continuous drag. I'll go ahead and show it to you again because I think it's a really weird technique, but it works wonders. Go and switch back to this window by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Tab, that would be Cmd+Shift+Tilde on the Mac and then I'm going to drag the insect, drag him up to the title bar, wait for it to switch, wait for Photoshop to switchover to the other image. Then drag back down, one continuous movement, the mouse button down the whole time and drop it into place.
Next, what I'm going to is go ahead and convert this dragonfly into a Smart Object. So I'll go over to the Layers panel menu and I'll choose this command Convert to Smart Object. I've given you a keyboard shortcut if you like, if you loaded dekeKeys. It's Ctrl+Comma or Cmd+Comma on the Mac and that goes ahead and places that image into that protective envelope. That's all there is to it. Then I'll go ahead and rename it dragonfly or what have you. Finally, what I want to do is I want to position this image at a very specific location.
I just happen to know the exact numerical co-ordinates, exactly where I want to place this dragonfly. Now how in the world would I know that? Well, I checked it out inside the other image having placed it exactly where I wanted it to be. So that's one way you could end up working. Another way is you could be trying to match the location of a different layer, but whatever, here's how you go about doing it. Here's how you discover the information and then how you apply it. I'm going to switchover to the Final Na'vi girl.psd file. There is my image that is the layer is selected and you go up to the Edit menu and you choose a Free Transform command or you press Ctrl+T, Cmd+T on the Mac and then you're going to get this warning, don't worry about it that's telling you basically that as long as you're transforming the dragonfly all the filters are going to get turned off, because that's just too much for Photoshop to keep up with it once.
You just say OK, not to worry and then you would take a look at these numerical coordinates. Notice that it's 1872.5 pixels to the right inside the composition and 226 pixels down and that's its center point by the way. So the center of the insect is 1800 and change pixels from the left hand side of the composition and the center is 226 pixels down. So you just write down that information and then I'll go ahead and press the Escape key and you can see right away all those filters get reapplied again.
I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift+Tab, Cmd+Shift+Tilde on the Mac to move back to the Foreground leaves complete.psd file. Then I'll go up to the Edit menu again, choose that exact same command, Free Transform or I can press Ctrl+T, Cmd +T on the Mac and I will enter those values. Make sure the center point in this matrix is selected, so that's good and then I'll click on X, just click on X to select that value. I'm going to change it to 1872.5 like so and I'll press the Tab key and change this value to 226 just like that and I'm done and I'll go ahead and press the Enter key a couple times on the PC or the Return key a couple times a the Mac in order to accept the position of that dragonfly.
We are now ready to edit it. In the next exercise I'm going to show you one alternate way to introduce a Smart Object, and then we'll get to work converting this dragonfly into a blurry, moving, glowing, creature.
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