Viewers: in countries Watching now:
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.
Now, as you may recall from the previous exercise, the first and foremost advantage of working with Smart Objects inside Photoshop, is they permit you the opportunity to apply No-Penalty Transformations. That is to say, you can scale or rotate a Smart Object image as many times as you like, without invoking incremental damage. Now in this exercise, I'm going to show you the difference between applying a destructive transformation and a non-destructive Smart Object transformation. So here's how it works. I'll go ahead and switch over to the standard Window mode.
I've got open two images here. One is called Big blue sky.jpg, and the other is called Sculptured hair.jpg. They're both found inside the O1_how_ they_work folder, which is inside the exercise_files folder, available to premium members and folks who own the DVD. What we're going to do is we're going to take these two images, both from image vendor Fotolia, about which you can learn more at Fotolia.com/Deke. I'm going to take this Sculptured hair image and I'm going to drag-and-drop it into the Big blue sky.jpg image that's also open here.
So I'm working in the Tabbed Window display. The easiest thing to do is to switch to my 2 Up display, which I'm going to do, like so, so that I can see both the sky and the model at the same time. Then I'm going to press the Ctrl key. That's the Command key on the Mac. When you have that key down you temporarily access the Move tool. So I'll Ctrl+Drag-and-Drop her into the other image window. That's Command+Drag-and-Drop on the Mac. Then I will go ahead and switch back to, assuming this window is active, which it is, to my Consolidate All view, which, incidentally, if you loaded my dekeKeys, you can also get to, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+A or Command+Shift+A on the Mac.
So, either press the keyboard shortcut or go up to the Application bar here, and go ahead and choose Consolidate All, from that little menu there. All right, and then, I'm going to go ahead and transform her. And notice that she's way too big for this image, currently. I'll go ahead and Ctrl+Drag her over a little bit, Command+Drag on the Mac. What I'm going to do is I'm going to scale her down, considerably. I'm going to reduce her size. Notice that she's already on an independent layer here. But this is a standard pixel-based layer. That's very important to note. I'll even just go ahead and rename this layer 'pixels', so that we know that we're working with fragile, destroyable pixels here, inside of Photoshop.
All right, I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose the Free Transform command. That's Ctrl+T, Command+T on the Mac. We'll be using that command a lot, and we'll be invoking it from the keyboard most of the time. Now, I'm going to go ahead and Shift+Drag one of these corner handles, like so, which allows me to scale the image proportionally. Notice that I'm reducing the size of the image, I'm downsampling it as opposed to upsampling it. When you're adding pixels to an image, strictly speaking, if you're taking the image from a 100%, and scaling it upward to a 150% or 200%, for example, smart objects don't provide you any extra advantage.
You're still upsampling, which is the same old, same old. Anyway, again, we'll see more of this as we work through the program. Just for the sake of making a radical modification, I'm going to go ahead and turn on this Link icon, so that I'm applying a proportional scale, and I'm going to reduce either the Width or Height value to 10%, something really, really tiny. Then I'll press the Enter key a couple of times here on the PC, the Return key a couple of times on the Mac, in order to apply the transformations. Now because I'm working with pixels, I have remapped the pixels inside the image, because I've gone down to 10%, right? I've lost 9 out of every 10 pixels horizontally and I've lost 9 out of every 10 pixels vertically, so I'm only left with 1 out of a 100 pixels, previously.
So this guy is dinky, by comparison, to its original size. Let's now say that, I think, better of it, she should be larger than this. I'll press Ctrl+T or Command+T to, once again, invoke that Free Transform command under the Edit menu here. Then, because I want to work with very specific values here, I'll turn on my Link icon up here in the Options bar, and I'll change my Width value to 720%. So now if you do the math, if you take an image and then reduce it to 10% and then scale it up to 720%, we're really just scaling it to 72%, because 10% of 720%, do you follow? In any case, just believe me, if not, we're reducing her, in fact, to 72% of her previous size, and yet, because we first reduced her size and then upsampled, if I press the Enter key or the Return key a couple of times, you can see that she looks terrible.
I'll go ahead and zoom in till a 100%, and she looks absolutely rotten, because we threw away 99 out of 100 pixels, and then we tried to manufacture a whole lot of pixels afterwards. It doesn't work. Photoshop is no good at manufacturing pixels. All right. Let's compare that to working with a Smart Object, and I'm going to show you exactly how non-destructive Smart Object transformations work, in the next exercise.
There are currently no FAQs about Photoshop Smart Objects.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.