Join Chris Converse for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating Smart Objects from Illustrator files, part of Design the Web: Smart Objects.
Now, we're going to create a Smart Object from an Illustrator file. We're going to put this inside of the Banner group. So, let's close main content for the moment. Let's open up Banner. Inside of Banner, we just have a simple rectangle here, colored purple. I'll leave this selected. Let's come back to the operating system. Inside of the Exercise files, let's open up perforated_metal.ai. Now, this is just a vector compound shape inside of Illustrator. If I hit Command+Y, you can see all of these individual circles are set into a compound group with this outermost rectangle.
To demonstrate this, I'll grab the Rectangle tool. I'll just quickly grab a rectangle, color it red. Put it in the background to demonstrate how this is transparent. So I'll delete the rectangle. So what are we going to do here is with our Selection tool, we're going to select this vector shape. From the Edit menu, we'll come down and choose Copy. Let's close the Illustrator file. Choose Don't Save. Let's come back to our main composition in Photoshop. Let's come down and choose Edit and then Paste. Now, when we paste the artwork from Illustrator, or InDesign by the way, you'll get this Paste dialog box which will ask you how you want to paste the contents.
You can choose Shape Layer since Photoshop understands the vectors inside of InDesign and Illustrator. You can choose Path. Pixels will simply rasterize the vector shapes of the canvas. And the last option here, Smart Object, is the one we're going to choose, which is going to encapsulate all of that data into a Smart Object. Let's choose OK and then Photoshop will take all of the Illustrator data, put it inside of the Smart Object, and then rasterize it to the canvas. So now I can hit Return. I'll hit Command+1 to come up 100%, and we can see the circles look exactly the same inside of Photoshop as they did in Illustrator.
I'm going to zoom out of the canvas here a little bit. I'm going to hit Command+T or Ctrl+T to transform. I'm going to come in here and scale this. So I can scale this up to any size. It's always vector, so if I come up to the Size for example, come up to one, we can see the circles still look great. And so while transforming this, I'm going to come up to the toolbar at the top. I'm going to set the width and the height to 105% and then hit Return. Command+1 or Ctrl+1, hit the Spacebar to move the canvas, get the Move tool, and I'm going to move this into place so I can see six rows of dots inside of the purple area.
Now, over in the Layers panel, let's clip group the vector Smart Object into the Banner area. Holding Alt or Option, we'll click to group this in. And now to apply a color to the vector Smart Object, let's come down to the layer effects. Let's choose Color Overlay. Let's click on the red swatch. Let's sample the purple color. Click OK. Let's come over and apply Bevel & Emboss. Over here, for Size, let's bring this down to 3.
Make sure angle is set to 90%. Come down to screen, set this to 40, and come down to Shadow, and set that to 40 as well. So now for Depth, let's bring this down to about 50%. So, as you can see, the effects are being applied to the vector Smart Object, which includes the Bevel & Emboss and the Color Overlay, but we're still affecting the base Smart Object, which is in turn an Illustrator file wrapped inside of that Smart Object. So, let's come in and choose OK. Now, you can use the same technique to bring logos into your file as well, or any other vector artwork that you've created inside of Illustrator or InDesign to bring this into Photoshop.
Now, with our banner created, next we'll look at that happens when we duplicate Smart Objects.
This course was created and produced by Chris Converse. We are honored to host this content in our library.
- Creating Smart Objects from Illustrator
- Creating Photoshop Smart Objects
- Adding effects to Smart Objects
- Duplicating and positioning Smart Objects
- Editing a Smart Object
- Where to go from here
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 11/26/2014. What changed?
A: Chris added one new movie, "Using linked files as Smart Objects," which is a new feature in Creative Cloud 2014.