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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.
Photoshop's ability to work with raw images is a tremendous help to photographers, as it allows them to get the very best results from their digital negatives. What's perhaps surprising is that Photoshop can also open raw files as smart objects, and this means that we retain the editability. So, let's begin by opening our Raw file, and we're going to open this picture of a girl. And as you can see, it opens with a Standard Camera Roll dialog.
Well, we can see there's alot to be fixed here, we need to increase the exposure on this image. We could increase the clarity, and we could maybe increase the sharpness a little bit. But that'll do so far. We don't want to get carried away and do too much here. The important thing is how we're able to edit this later, not how we work with raw files now. If we were just to choose Open Image, it will open this image as a regular Photoshop image. If we hold the Shift key down, we can see that changes to the rather enigmatic Open Object.
And what this will do is to open this file as a Smart Object. So, let's press that button. And there is the image opened up for us. We can see that the layer has rather helpfully been called, Girl as Smart Object 1. That tells us it's a smart object. And also we can see the icon shows the smart object icon dot in the corner here. This, we can work with largely as if it's a regular Photoshop layer. Of course, we can't paint on it, but we can do other things with.
We haven't converted it to a JPEG or to a standard Pixel-based layer as we normally would do if we were to open a smart object, and that means that we haven't lost any of the original data in the process. You can always go back and recover that later if we need to.
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