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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 exercise, we're going to do some additional styling where this logo is concerned, but we're going to perform said styling inside of Photoshop as opposed to Illustrator. So, some things Illustrator does better. Some things Photoshop does better. I've gone ahead and saved my changes. You saw me do it in the previous exercise, to Updated artwork.psd, found inside the 02_ACR_and_Illustrator folder. We want this logo, as you may recall, we want it to look like this, all golden, and it should have some Drop Shadows going on as well, so that we have a little bit of depth going on.
We've already created some depth inside of the Illustrator file, using those Offset and Transform fills, as you may recall. So a little bit of drop shadow, I think, will also look great where this illustration is concerned. Drop shadows, even though you can apply them inside of Illustrator, are typically better applied inside of Photoshop, because Photoshop is designed to work with pixels. It gives you nice soft drop-offs, whereas inside of Illustrator you're going to get some herky-jerky low-res stuff going on.
It gets rasterized, that is, the drop shadow gets converted to pixels, but not always at a very high resolution, not by default, anyway. Then this colorization is also better off applied inside of Photoshop just because it's easier. So here it goes. I'm going to switch back to our illustration in progress here. The Product logo layer is selected. That's very important. I'll go down to the fx icon at the bottom of layers palette. We're inside Photoshop, by the way, this is very important, and then choose Drop Shadow. Here are the settings that I'm going to apply.
I'm going to start by changing the color of the drop shadow. So I'll click in this color swatch right there. I'm going to change the color to 220, and then 75 and 15, where the H, S, and B values are concerned. So a hue of 220 is a blue, and then saturation of 75. That's quite a bit of saturation actually. The brightness value of 15 ends up rendering a very dark, intensely saturated blue. All right, so I'll click OK in order to accept that. I'm going to take the Opacity value down to 50%, and then an Angle value of 90 degrees works out beautifully.
That's going to be the default inside of this document, because of the way the global light is set up. I'll Tab my way down to Distance here and change the Distance value to 3. I'll change the Size value to 6, so we get this effect. You should be able to see it in the background. I want to thicken the shadow up though, because it needs to compensate for the stroke. So I'm going to take that Spread value up to 40%, like so. Now we get a nice, hefty, however, low opacity drop shadow. Click OK to accept that modification, and there's our drop shadow, as I say, applied so much better inside of Photoshop.
Now again, you can increase the resolution of a drop shadow inside of Illustrator. You can bring it up to 300 pixels per inch or whatever. It starts off as 72 pixels per inch, by default. The only problem is that it really slows down Illustrator. Illustrator is not good at working with pixels. It's great at working with vectors, not so good at pixels. Whereas Photoshop, no problem. You can always match the resolution of a given composition right there on the fly. It's 300 pixels per inch inside of this composition, by default, because that is the resolution of the overall file.
So everything is copacetic, easy drop shadow. In the next exercise, we're going to apply the golden coloring using a combination of a layer effect and an adjustment layer. Stay tuned!
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