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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 chapter, I'll walk you through the four primary purposes of Smart Objects, all of which will explore at length over the course this series. Then I'll show you what I considered to be the most practical advantage of Smart Objects, non-destructive transformations. Place an image in a Smart Object, then scale and rotate it as many times as you like. Photoshop protects the original pixel information, so that you can edit the image to suit the requirements of the larger layered composition. I wrap things up by showing you how to crop your compositions, without harming so much as a single pixel, even in the Masks.
Now as you might imagine, Smart Objects are technically demanding. Nearly five-years after their introduction, I am still discovering new ways to employ them. So I've chosen to focus on a narrow set of sample files. Throughout the series, we'll develop just three projects, that's all, from beginning to end. My hope is that this will give you a real-world feel for how Smart Objects work and what you can do with them. With that, take a deep breath, summon your courage and prepare yourself for the unmitigated power of Smart Objects.
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