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In Photoshop CS4 New Features, leading industry expert Deke McClelland covers the latest developments in Adobe's powerhouse image editor, Photoshop CS4. Deke explores the new tabbed window interface and the Adjustments and Masks palettes, the enhanced toning tools, content-aware scaling and the latest versions of Camera Raw and Bridge, which prove nearly indispensable to the digital photographer's workflow. From the interface to integration, Deke leaves no stone unturned.
Those of you who are Smart Object enthusiasts, I have good news for you. We have smarter Smart Objects in Photoshop CS4. Really, it's probably better to say that Adobe has fixed a couple of obvious problems with Smart Objects. So notice I'm working inside this layered composition and I have a Smart Object layer selected right now, this painted layer, and I went ahead and made it a Smart Object so that I could apply a Smart Filter to it. And I've also taken the time to mask this Smart Object. This is what it would look if I were to Shift-click on that layer mask there. You can see that there's this guy over here on the right-hand side of this layer. I'll Shift-click again to turn on the layer mask so that he disappears, so I've masked away part of the layer.
Well in Photoshop CS3 and CS2 before it, if I were to grab the Move tool, and I were to move this layer to a different location, notice its mask would not move with it. There was no way to link to the layer and the mask together when you were working with the Smart Object. It was just an oversight. I would go so far as to call it a bug really. I'll go and undo that modification. Well now, watch this. Click. And I can link them together so now I can move Smart Object and mask as one, like so.
All right. So that's one enhancement. The other is that you can now apply a perspective distortions to Smart Objects. So if I were to go up to the Edit menu, and I were to choose Free Transform or press Ctrl+T or Command+T on a Mac, I would initially get this message is telling me that the Smart Filter is going to be turned off as long as I'm working inside the transform mode. That's fine. So I'll go ahead and click OK. And I'll now zoom out from the image a little bit so that I can see more of the image at a time. And I'm going to press and hold my a Ctrl key here on the PC or my Command key on the Mac and that allows me to do a four-point distortion like you're seeing me do right here. So I can drag one of the corner handles independently of the other core handles like so.
I'll go and press Ctrl+Z or Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification because I want a full perspective distort. I'm going to press Ctrl+Shift and Alt at the same time, or Command+Shift and Option at the same time, and drag this handle. And notice that the opposite handle's moving in the opposite direction and you can see, thanks for the fact that I have both the Smart Object and the layer mask linked together, that I am distorting both layer and mask of the same time, which is great. Then I'll go ahead and drag his handle a little and I'll press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to accept that modification.
And because I'm working with the Smart Object that is a temporary modification, meaning that I've applied a nondestructive transformation to this image. And that's the new goodness of Smart Objects inside Photoshop CS4.
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