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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.
In this lesson, we'll begin by isolating the cover of the magazine in this girl's hands. So we can make a new layer from it to use as the base for our Smart Object. Let's zoom in on it. Oh, we'll begin by using the Quick Selection tool and that's nested behind the Magic Wand tool in the toolbar. As we drag it over the white area, we can see it very quickly snaps to the edges of the area we want to select. Let's use the Refine Edge dialog to tidy that up a little. We can Smooth it, but that has the result of softening the edges. So let's increase the Contrast as well to tighten them up slightly. And there's our selection.
If we zoom in further, we can see its not exactly as we want it yet. It doesn't reach right down behind this thumb or in fact behind the other thumb. And we can fix that most easily by going into Quick Mask. Press Queue on the keyboard or click the Quick Mask icon at the bottom of the tool bar. Now we're in Quick Mask, the isolated area is shown as a normal photograph, and the area outside that is shown with a red overlay. Let's switch to the brush tool and choose a small hard edge brush.
Painting in white on here, we'll increase the selected area, and painting in black will increase the unselected area. we can swap over between the foreground and background colors by pressing the X key. So I'm pressing X now. And you can see, white is the foreground, black is the background. Pressing X again, black is the foreground and white is the background. Let's switch to white and take out this area inside the thumb here. And there's this part of the image finished.
Now we can also see that the whole of this magazine has been selected. We only want to work with the cover, and not the pages behind. So let's switch to black, and we can paint all the way down this side to remove those pages from our selection. Let us refine that a little. When we now press Q again to exit Quick Mask, that is our perfect selection.
We can choose Layer > New Layer via Copy to move that selection to its own layer. As we've seen here, the Quick Selection tool does a good job of making the initial selection, but we often need to modify it further to create exactly the image we want to work with.
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