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The ultimate nondestructive crop

From: Photoshop Smart Objects

Video: The ultimate nondestructive crop

In this final exercise of the chapter, I'm going to show you how to trim away these white edges at the top and bottom of the composition, without harming a single thing we've done so far. That's a little bit tricky. The reasons are, there are two things inside of our composition that will get clipped if we don't take special precautions. One of them is the Background layer. The Background layer can never be any bigger than the canvas size. So if you trim the canvas, then the Background layer is going to get trimmed as well. The other thing that's going to get clipped is the channel right here. Any Alpha channels inside the Channels palette are going to get clipped away as well, whereas, if they're expressed as layer masks, we can avoid clipping them.

The ultimate nondestructive crop

In this final exercise of the chapter, I'm going to show you how to trim away these white edges at the top and bottom of the composition, without harming a single thing we've done so far. That's a little bit tricky. The reasons are, there are two things inside of our composition that will get clipped if we don't take special precautions. One of them is the Background layer. The Background layer can never be any bigger than the canvas size. So if you trim the canvas, then the Background layer is going to get trimmed as well. The other thing that's going to get clipped is the channel right here. Any Alpha channels inside the Channels palette are going to get clipped away as well, whereas, if they're expressed as layer masks, we can avoid clipping them.

All right, so what do we do? I'm going to switch over to Layers palette. I've saved my changes as Big white borders.psd, as I've mentioned in previous exercise. It's found inside the 01_how_they_work folder. Now there is a few different ways we could work. You could go up to the Image menu and you could choose the Trim command. This Trim command is exceedingly useful for these purposes. The only problem is it's destructive, which is just so frustrating. But I'll go ahead and choose the command. How it works is it looks for a color. That color is either going to be in the top-left corner or the bottom-right corner of your larger composition.

Either of these settings is going to work for us, because that top-left pixel, and that bottom-right pixel are both colored absolute white, and that's what we want to trim away. We only need to trim it at the top and the bottom, so we could turn these two guys off, but it's not going to make any difference, because there are no white strips, along the left- hand and right-hand sides. So I'll go ahead and click OK, in order to apply that change, and we'll lose the top edge. That's fine. We don't lose all of the bottom edge. We've lost a little bit of it, but not quite all of it, because the woman shoulder drops into this area. The Trim command is not going to trim any other colors than white, in our case, because that's what it found in the top-left corner.

However, it is going to apply permanent modifications, not only to the Background layer, which I told you was going to get clipped, not only to the Alpha channel, which I told you also is going to get clipped, but also to the layer mask right there, and to this white layer, even though it's turned off. The only things that won't get clipped are the Smart Objects. Smart Objects can defy any cropping. They will survive anything, which is actually really great. However, the other stuff got damaged, so we can't use the Trim command.

You rarely want to, by the way, use the Trim command. It's like for screenshots and stuff. All right, so I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that modification. The other thing we could do is go in with the Crop tool. If you grab the Crop tool and you drag to create a boundary, then you can turn on this Hide option up here in the Options bar and that ensures that nothing that doesn't need to be clipped away, will be clipped away. So again, the Background layer will be clipped, but the other stuff won't. The Alpha channel, it will get clipped too, because there is no way around that, but none of the layers will get clipped.

Problem is, for our purposes, this doesn't work very well because we know exactly how many pixels we added to this image. So what are we're using the Crop tool, which is an approximate tool, in the first place. We can enter in specific values in advance of using the Crop tool, but it's a waste of time, for our purposes, once again. I'm going to press the Escape key in order to get out of that Crop mode. Switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool. You may recall, several exercises ago, we increased the size of the canvas using, under the Image menu, the Canvas Size command.

We increased the Height of the image by 200 pixels. Well, now it's time to decrease the Height by 200 pixels. So go ahead and choose Canvas Size or press Ctrl+Alt+C, Command+Option+C on the Mac, and make sure Relative is turned on, as it is. So I'll go ahead and click in the Height value and enter -200, like so. We're going to see the arrows pointing toward the central chicklet. That's great. We do want to keep that chicklet in the center. Go ahead and click OK. We get this warning that's saying, "Hey, the new canvas size is smaller than the "current one. Some clipping will occur," thereby, potentially making you wonder, if you're clipping everything that can't get clipped.

In other words, the Background layer, the Alpha channel, the white layer and the layer mask, you can't clip the Smart Objects. But that's not actually what's going to happen here. I'll go ahead and click Proceed. What you've just got done clipping was the Background layer, because there is no way to avoid that, once again. You clipped the base mask Alpha channel, right there, because an Alpha channel cannot be bigger than the canvas. However, you did not clip white, because a layer, even a pixel-based layer, can be much larger than the canvas.

It can be any old size, and the Canvas Size command will not harm it. It will respect the original size of that layer. The same goes for the layer mask. That will survive the crop as well. Just to confirm that all that is true, I'm going to go up to the Image menu and I'm going to choose Reveal All, which is going to reveal all the original stuff inside the image. Again, that reinstates the 100 pixels up top and the 100 pixels down below, which add up to 200 pixels of height altogether. If I were to Alt+Click or Option+Click inside of this layer Mask icon, you can see that we have plenty of layer mask down here.

It goes as low as it ever did. Let's check out the white layer. If I turn it on, it goes all the way to the top and the bottom here. So it's still as big as it ever was. You can't see any checkers which would indicate transparency here inside of the thumbnail. Finally though, if I go to the Channels palette and I click on my base mask, it did get cropped. It got clipped right there. Remember, it went down farther and we should have a little bit of a right edge. That's what we had before. So we damaged it, and we don't want to.

Now we also clipped and unclipped the Background layer, but see, the thing is with this Background layer, I'll go ahead and Alt+Click or Option+Click on its eyeball so we can see it independently. We didn't care about this stuff we clipped away, which is white at bottom and white at top. So who gives a darn? But we do care about that Alpha channel. I'm going to switch back over to the Channels palette. Click on it to make it active, and now let's go ahead and revert the image. Go to the File menu and choose the Revert command. I think this is going to switch us over to the layer, so we're not going to see the Alpha channel anymore, but just remember what it looked like. Now I'm going to click on that base mask Alpha channel.

See this information down here? We did have more stuff down here that got clipped away. How do we retain it? Here's how. Go ahead and convert this Alpha channel to a layer mask. How do you do that? You press the Ctrl key, Command key on the Mac, here inside the Channels palette, and click on that base mask item, in order to load it as the selection outline. Now I'm going to switch over to the layers palette. I'm going to click on the white layer. Now why white? Because, it's just a holder. It will be a great place to put the layer mask, because it's turned off, and we're not using it.

Even though it's off, notice it's hidden right now. I'll drop down to my Add layer Mask icon and I'll click on it. There it is. There is my layer mask, just sitting there, ready and waiting if I ever need it. Now then, let's go back up to the Image menu, choose the Canvas Size command, Ctrl+Alt+C, Command+Option+C on the Mac, and I'll enter a Height value of -200, like so. Everything else is just fine as is. Click OK. Yes, some stuff is going to get clipped, but you know what, it's nothing I care about it. It's just this guy now.

Click Proceed, and in order to see whether the things got clipped or not, we'll go ahead and go to the Image menu and choose Reveal All, once again. Reveal All just goes ahead and increases the Canvas Size, so that it can contain everything it needs to contain. I'll choose Reveal All and I'll Alt+ Click on this Alpha channel, and you could see it comes down all the way to the bottom. I'll go over to the Channels palette and I'll click on base mask and you can see it got clipped. So, the deal is there, we don't need it anymore.

I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, in order to undo Reveal All, just because we didn't need to choose it. I was just showing you what was going on there. It's the easiest way, just to make sure we get our original dimensions back. Let's go ahead and throw away that base mask. We just do not need it. I'm just going to drag it to the Trashcan there, because what's more important is that we have all that information intact here inside the layer mask for white, which is that same Alpha channel that we had just a moment ago. It's exact same information, the only difference is that it's all there.

Notice if I Ctrl+Drag upward or Command+ Drag upward on the Mac there, I can see all of this information is still intact. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+ Z on the Mac to undo that modification and I will switch back to my RGB image just by clicking on the Background layer, in this case. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in and I'm going to press Shift+F to switch to the Full Screen mode. There is the final version of this particular composition here, a very real world composition, I have to say, achieved with the help of Smart Objects and layer Mask working together, entirely 100% nondestructively.

In the next chapter, we'll stick inside of this project and we'll explore some more real world modifications that incorporate Camera Raw and Illustrator. Stay tuned!

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Smart Objects
Photoshop Smart Objects

95 video lessons · 21600 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 17m 13s
    1. Welcome to Photoshop Smart Objects
      59s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      4m 18s
    3. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 15s
    4. Loading the CS4 color settings in Photoshop and Bridge CS4
      7m 41s
  2. 1h 12m
    1. Nondestructive transformations
      1m 14s
    2. The purpose of Smart Objects
      5m 17s
    3. The trials of destructive transformations
      5m 1s
    4. Creating a Smart Object
      6m 36s
    5. The rewards of nondestructive transformations
      4m 29s
    6. Preparing a composition for masking
      4m 59s
    7. Establishing a base alpha channel
      6m 25s
    8. Masking a Smart Object
      7m 3s
    9. Refining the layer mask
      6m 50s
    10. Multiplying the edges
      4m 17s
    11. Manually adjusting the problem edges
      6m 3s
    12. Free Transform feedback
      5m 14s
    13. The ultimate nondestructive crop
      9m 8s
  3. 1h 19m
    1. Photoshop and its support applications
      1m 45s
    2. Creating a Camera Raw (ACR) Smart Object
      5m 8s
    3. Converting a JPEG image to DNG
      4m 47s
    4. Replacing pixels with Camera Raw data
      5m 27s
    5. Matching image and ACR resolution
      4m 25s
    6. Adjusting ACR Smart Objects
      5m 33s
    7. Importing Illustrator artwork
      6m 13s
    8. Opening placed art in Illustrator
      5m 51s
    9. Examining dynamic effects
      7m 9s
    10. Modifying Illustrator artwork
      5m 20s
    11. Updating an Illustrator Smart Object
      4m 20s
    12. Styling placed artwork in Photoshop
      3m 33s
    13. Combining layer effects and adjustment layers
      5m 14s
    14. Copying a layer from a clipping group
      5m 0s
    15. Scaling vector data beyond 100 percent
      3m 9s
    16. Blending vector data with pixels
      2m 10s
    17. Saving PDF-compatible Illustrator art
      4m 23s
  4. 1h 26m
    1. Many Smart Objects reference a single source
      1m 9s
    2. Smart Objects and file size
      5m 11s
    3. Placing images as Smart Objects
      4m 44s
    4. Creating a basic lens flare
      5m 43s
    5. Turning a flare into a black hole
      6m 2s
    6. Establishing a first true clone
      4m 9s
    7. Finding the exact center of an image
      2m 37s
    8. Reflecting additional clones
      4m 55s
    9. The art of upsampling
      7m 45s
    10. Editing the root image
      5m 37s
    11. Updating all true clones
      3m 29s
    12. Roughing in a polygonal mask
      7m 13s
    13. Parametric Feather and Glow
      7m 12s
    14. Smart sharpening Smart Filter
      5m 36s
    15. Adding highlights and vibrance
      7m 10s
    16. Luminance blending
      8m 18s
  5. 49m 7s
    1. Placing one Smart Object inside another
      1m 9s
    2. Creating a super-massive Smart Object
      7m 9s
    3. Styling a super-massive Smart Object
      4m 29s
    4. Recoloring background regions
      4m 42s
    5. Cloning a super-massive Smart Object
      5m 56s
    6. Finishing off the first draft
      5m 4s
    7. The plasma ball effect
      4m 45s
    8. Applying the Smart Clouds filters
      4m 57s
    9. Converting clouds to lightning
      5m 4s
    10. Updating nested Smart Objects
      5m 52s
  6. 1h 14m
    1. Editable, nondestructive filters
      1m 24s
    2. Applying and modifying creative effects
      6m 54s
    3. Blending filtered effects
      6m 24s
    4. Tweaking filters with adjustment layers
      4m 14s
    5. Restoring halftone highlights
      4m 25s
    6. The price of Smart Filters
      5m 56s
    7. The power of true clones
      7m 13s
    8. Sharing between Smart Objects and comps
      8m 45s
    9. Just click on it
      1m 50s
    10. Applying a corrective filter
      5m 24s
    11. Smart Filters and disk space
      3m 46s
    12. Picking the right blend mode
      6m 36s
    13. Combining multiple Smart Filters
      6m 13s
    14. Editing and previewing filter settings
      5m 27s
  7. 1h 44m
    1. Still more Smart Filters
      1m 3s
    2. Introducing the non-filters
      4m 15s
    3. Reducing luminance contrast
      5m 19s
    4. Faking an HDR portrait effect
      7m 20s
    5. Adding a filter mask
      3m 22s
    6. Editing filter masks and density
      4m 26s
    7. Applying Variations as a Smart Filter
      7m 24s
    8. Establishing independent filter masks
      4m 51s
    9. Painting away unwanted halos
      6m 28s
    10. Creating a wood grain effect
      6m 2s
    11. The luminance-style filter mask
      6m 23s
    12. The downside of independent filters
      5m 11s
    13. Merging the effects of two filters
      4m 38s
    14. Adjusting and merging masked effects
      6m 26s
    15. Introducing the Filter Gallery filters
      4m 39s
    16. Applying a Filter Gallery filter
      5m 57s
    17. Merging two Filter Gallery effects
      7m 16s
    18. Adjusting the colors of Sketch filters
      5m 2s
    19. Adding a third filter to a combo
      4m 58s
    20. The versatility of Smart Filters
      3m 2s
  8. 1m 31s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 31s

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