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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.
I have saved my progress so far as Thicker lines.psd, so called because I've thickened up the lines using an application of that Photocopy filter inside of the Filter Gallery combo, which now includes three filters, and you'll find this file inside the 06_filter_masks folder. In this, the final exercise of the series, I'm going to go ahead and tweak my settings to achieve a final effect, just a beautiful effect I think. And it requires next to no work. Thanks to the fact that we've established this entire composition as a flexible Smart Object composition with Smart Filters, everything is non-destructive.
We can make modifications in record time. For example, let's say I want this image to look it on screen, not in print, but on screen so I don't want those thick edges. I would just go to Filter Gallery here, double -click on it, and I would turn off Photocopy. And I already know what that looks like. But I could go ahead and preview the effect if I like by scrolling this guy over. So this is with Photocopy, this is without. And by the way, both Photocopy and Graphic Pen are sketch filters so they're both going to be associated with whatever were the original foreground and background colors when I created this application of the Filter Gallery in the first place.
So you can't mix a red and white with a black and white inside of a single combo. They're all going to be, in my case, black and whites because that's how I started things off. Anyway with Photocopy off, I am not going to throw it away. I am just going to leave it there, click OK, I can always come back to it. It's not taking up any room, so I don't have to worry about that. Then I want to reinstate my layer mask. If I zoom out here, you can see that everything is getting hit with both Filter Gallery and Mezzotint and Variations including, by the way, his collar, which I don't like.
I liked it better when the collar was free of all this stuff. So I will Shift+click on the filter mask in order to reinstate it. So now it is applied across the board, which I think is better looking, and also we have better shadow detail going on, instead of being quite so dark. If I Shift+Click on that filter mask you can see it's getting darkened up, fairly dramatically right there, which you might like or you might not like, up to you. Anyway, I am going to turn that filter mask back on and then finally, I am going to go ahead and zoom in, so that we can see this image at 100% zoom ratio.
Pixel for pixel accurate, one screen pixel for every image pixel and then, I am going to turn back on clone so that we have that embossed texture reinstated there and this is my final effect. That's it, folks. I am going to press Shift+F to switch to the big full screen mode so that we can take in the entire thing. Now, some folks might look at this and think well, that's overwrought. But I don't, not in this case. Oftentimes, you can create overwrought effects inside Photoshop, don't get me wrong. But I like what we've come up with here, and it really is a testament to the creative power of Smart Filters and Smart Objects working together with filter masks, non-filters and the Filter Gallery, here inside Photoshop CS4.
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