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One of the features that we haven't talked about is the ability for Free Transform to warp an image. Because we're going to be using Free Transform, if I don't want this to be a destructive edit, meaning that I might want to go in and change my mind without losing any image quality, then I should turn my layer in to a smart object, before transforming it. Just like we did in the last video. But in order to add something new, let's actually select two layers on the Layers panel, and then warp them together. On the Layers panel, the right waterfall is selected, I'm going to hold down my Cmd key, or my Ctrl key.
And also click to select the left waterfall. Now, in order to convert them both to a smart object, I'm going to select the Layer>Smart Objects>Convert to Smart Object. You can see that Photoshop has nested both of those layers into a single smart object. This is going to allow me to apply a warp to both of the images at the same time. An important note is that I haven't actually merged those two layers onto the same layer. They're both independent.
So, if I wanted to edit the contents of that layer at any time, I could always go into the Layer>Smart Objects>Edit the Contents. When I select Edit the Contents, Photoshop opens that smart object into it's own window, so I'll click OK. We can see now, I have two windows open. Here I have the contents of the smart objects, and we can see that both of those layers are still independent. I'll go ahead and close that for now, I don't actually want to do anything to these layers.
I just wanted to show you that you can still access them independently. Now we're looking at obviously the composite image with our smart object. So in order to add our warp, I'll choose Edit>Transform>Warp. In the upper left we have a number of presets that you can choose from. For example we have the Arc preset. Or we have an Arch. We also have a Flag that you can select from, or maybe a Wave or even a Fish.
But the thing is, most of these work quite dramatically. In fact, way too dramatically by default. I'll go ahead and select the Flag again, but I want to change the amount of bend. You'll notice that when I position my cursor on top of the word Bend, I actually get an icon that has a hand with arrows pointing in both directions. These are my Scrubby sliders. So I can click the word Bend, and then drag to the left in order to decrease the amount of bend or the amount of warp effect that I'm achieving.
If I click and drag to the right, you can see that I can increase it. I can also just go in and enter in a numeric value here, maybe a five, in order to just add a very slight warp. If I also wanted to scale this image, I can toggle back and forth between the warping and free transformations by just selecting the Transformation here. So again, if I wanted to scale this, I could select it. If I want to constrain proportions I'll hold down the Shift key, and if I wanted to scale it from the center, I'd also hold down the Opt key or the Alt key on Windows.
If I want to quickly return back to warping, I can either use my contact sensitive menus, which is a right mouse click on Windows or Ctrl+Click on Mac and choose Warp. Or you'll notice that there's an icon right up here that will toggle me back into Warp. I can also just click to move the image around, or if we chose Custom from the top of the menu, now I can go in and actually free form and warp this.
Luckily for me, Cmd+Z or Ctrl+Z will undo the last warp, and we can get back to something that looks a little bit better. When I'm ready to apply this transformation, all I need to do is tap the Enter or Return key, or I can click on the check mark. And of course, the benefit of applying this warp to the smart object, is that if I decide at any point in time that I want to remove that, all I need to do is select Edit>Transform>Warp, and then I can just change my preset to None, and it would remove that warp.
I'll tap the Enter or Return key, or click the check mark, and I'll remove that warp with absolutely no loss of quality. For me, smart objects are such an excellent way to give myself permission to experiment with my images without worrying about any loss of quality while compositing.
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