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Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 66 of 118

Smart Filters


Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 66 of 118

Smart Filters


Lesson Info

Smart Filters

Now we're going to transition into talking about filters. Filters are found under the filter menu and photo shop, and it's a long menu of creative effects you can apply. But there's really a lot to know about them because it depends on how you apply them as far as how versatile they're going to be and how you combine them with other features that are found in photo shop. So let's jump in and get started. So first, all off, all, uh, when you apply a filter, usually it's gonna be a destructive process. What I mean by that is, if I really come in here and let's say, blur my picture, just bring up the blur. Click OK, and then, if I save, enclose that image and I opened it a month later. There's no way for me to get that information back if I apply. It is a normal, everyday filter like I just did. There's a special way to apply filters that makes it so. They're non destructive, then, Therefore, they just become an accessory to a layer like a setting attached to that layer, where at any time...

you can turn them off or modify the settings. So if later on I decide that I blurred that too much, I would be able to lower the amount of blurring. And so I'm gonna choose. Undo here, and before I apply that filter, I'll go to the filter menu. And there's a choice called Convert for Smart Filters. When I do that, it's going to convert this layer into what's known as a smart object you can think of. A smart object is a protective bubble around your image that makes it so. Nothing can affect the original contents of that layer directly, so you're always gonna retain the ability to get back to the original content in anything you do to the layer will just become a setting attached to the layer, a setting that could be thrown away where you would get it back to the original look, if you'd like, will have on entire separate lesson about just smart filters if you end up watching all of the complete guide so you'll learn more about them. But they put a special command right here called Convert for smart filters under the filter menu. If you use smart filters before you'll find another command under the layer menu under smart objects called Convert to Smart Object. And that does the same thing as the menu choice that I was just showing you under the filter menu. They're just trying to make it more discoverable and kind of suggested by giving it another name as well. But it would do. The same thing is coming here. So I'm gonna go up to the filter menu and choose convert for smart filters the first time I do that, it's just telling me that it's gonna be converted into a smart object. And I'm like, Okay, that's what the command does. So choose. Don't show again and I'll click. OK, now, if you look at my Layers panel, you'll find there's an extra icon that wasn't there before in the lower right, and that indicates this is a smart object. So just think of it as this layer is like a protective bubble around the original contents, and I'm not able to directly modify that contents. I'm able to just add settings on top of it that can be removed later, so then I'll come over here and apply a filter. I mentioned blurring before it will Let's use Ghazi and Blur, and I'll apply it just like we did before I click. OK, but now if you look at my layers panel, it's different. Before, all I saw was a blurry layer in nothing else was special about it. But because this is a smart object now, when a filter is applied, it's applied as a smart filter in right here. It gives me the name of the filter and you see little eyeball icon. Well, if I were to click the eyeball that would disable the filter, bring you back to what it looked like before using it. If I turn the eyeball back on, it re applies. And then if I double click on the name of the filter in my layers panel, it ends up. Bring the right back into the filter, as if I had never left the filter. And I can lower the setting if I find it to be too much or increase it if I need more, whereas usually if you weren't using a smart object, then you've blurred the image once, and you go back to the exact same blur filter. The only thing you can do is add more blurring to an already blurry picture. But this is a Ziff. I never left the first application of that filter so I could lower it by bringing out a 0.1. It won't be blurry at all. Click. OK, then. If you apply more than one filter in a row to the same layer here, I'll come down and choose no in boss. Then you're gonna find in the layers panel that you just start getting a list of filters one stacked on top of the next, and you think of the bottom. Most filter is the one that's applied first. And then after that was applied, the ones on top and then above you have the word smart filter, and that just means collectively all of the filters that have been applied. So here I could turn off the M boss, just turn off its eyeball. You could see the image over on the right, go back to its original appearance. Also the thumbnail here. Turn that back on or I could turn off the blurry. And then it's going to UNB. Blur the picture, but still apply the emboss. Or I could come up here and turn this eyeball off, and that's gonna turn off all of these things. So now I should be seeing the original image before any smart filters were applied. In addition to that, there is a white rectangle here in my layers panel, and that's known as a layer mask. And we have a separate lesson just about layer mass. If you're not used to using them, be sure toe look for that particular session. But if I paint with black when this mask is active and you can tell it's active when it's corners are highlighted. If the corners air not highlighted, you just got to click on it to make it active. Well, now, if I grab my paintbrush and I paint with black anywhere where I paint is going to remove the filter that's there and bring me back to the original image. Now I have a single layer mask for all of the filters that have been applied, so I can't tell it to do something like Onley removed. The blurring. Don't remove the embossing because this is collectively applying. All of the filters have been applied. If I needed something where I could, uh, mask them separately, I would have needed to duplicate the layer and apply the filter on a separate version of the the Image. But you can see here the black paint that I've put in that mask, and that's preventing these filters from affecting that particular area. You can do things to this layer mask that's here just like you can with any other layer mask. So if you learn any tricks it out layer mask like for instance, I mentioned you could, ah, shift click on it to disable it when we had the layer mask lesson where you could option click it all clicking and windows to view the contents of it. Those kinds of things they work here is well, But if you haven't used layer mask for now, just think of that as something that could limit where the filters are applied. Other things you can do when it comes to working with smart filters is here. We have whatever is at the bottom is considered to be applied first, and then whatever's on top is applied after. Well, I could drag this, I believe, to change the order, and now that's gonna change The appearance of the image because now M boss was applied first in then Ghazi and learned All I did was click on one of these and dragged them like that to change their order, although it seems to like it better when I dragged down. And so if you have a large stack of various filters applied, you can't experiment by moving them up and down in that stack. Finally, towards the right, you're gonna find a little icon over here. It's supposed to look like little sliders that you could use. And if you go to that icon and you double click on it, then each one of those filters have applied can have its own blending mode, and you can lower the opacity, the lesson, its effect. So we have an entire lesson on blending modes. That's part of the complete guide. And in that session you would have learned that there's a set of blending modes where 50% gray goes away and the embossed filter is a filter that gives you a lot of 50%. Great. Look at this result, lots of gray. Well, if you change this menu to one of the choices found in here, then that 50% gray could go away. And you still get the overall look of the filter, though. And then if it's too strong, you could lower the opacity. Click. OK, so the way I got to that is in the layers panel. Ah, you need to have a layer that's been converted to a smart object. Remember, I converted it to a smart object under the filter menu, and it just said, Convert for smart filters. And that's what added this little icon to it. It's only if I've added that little icon that when I apply filters, they'll show up is a list down here. If it's not a smart object, then you don't see this list. I double click on the name of any one of these to get to the settings for it, and I double click over here on one of these to get a blending mode choice. And if you try to edit the one that's underneath, if you have more than one, it's gonna tell you that, um, it's going to have to hide some of the you know any filters that are applied above that while you're changing the settings and so I'm gonna come in here and just do, Ah, a bloody more. That'll make this look a little different. Just my results. There we go. Now we have looking quite different. That's because I was able to use blending modes and opacity. Uh, so that's how I generally work with filters. I end up converting most of the time to a smart object first, because then I can experiment as much as I want with filters. And if I decided, don't likely look at the end result. I only need to do is if I don't like the in boss, let's say is I can just drag it to the trash, just drag it down here in the trash can and that will go away. And I decided I didn't like that. Maybe use a different filter where I can click on the word smart filters, and I believe I can drag that to the trash, delete all of them, choose undo a few times, and once you have filters applying, the last thing you can do is in your layers panel. Over on the right side will be a little triangle or up pointing arrow, and if you click that you'll collapse things down to keep it nice and clean looking. But these two little circles here indicate you have a smart filter applied, and so you could expand it to see what's there. So now let's try to take a look at some of the effects we can create using filters. I'm gonna revert this image back to its original, get rid of all the weird stuff we've done to it and let's see about filters I might want to apply.

Class Description

All individual classes that make up this bootcamp are also available here for individual purchase.


  • Develop an understanding of how Photoshop works
  • Create your ideal workspace
  • Configure the essential preference settings
  • Set up Adobe Bridge and Lightroom for optimal integration with Photoshop
  • Navigate multiple images seamlessly


Adobe® Photoshop® 2020 is a feature-rich creative force, perfect for turning raw ideas into audience-wowing images. With Ben Willmore as your guide, you can master it faster than you think and take on a new decade of projects.

Ben takes you step-by-step through Adobe Photoshop 2020 as only he can. With an easy pace and zero technobabble, he demystifies this powerful program and makes you feel confident enough to create anything. This class is part of a fully-updated bundle – complete with 2020 features and more efficient ways to maximize the tools everyone uses most.

Whether you’re a 20-year designer or you’re opening the app for the first time, this is the perfect way to learn and love using Photoshop. From retouching to masking to troubleshooting, Ben unpacks all the essentials and hidden gems, while giving you real-world examples to drive each lesson home. By the end of the class, you’ll feel eager to make serious magic with Photoshop 2020.


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)


  1. Introduction To Adobe Photoshop 2020
  2. Bridge vs. Lightroom
  3. Tour of Photoshop Interface
  4. Overview of Bridge Workspace
  5. Overview of Lightroom Workspace
  6. Lightroom Preferences - Saving Documents
  7. How To Use Camera Raw in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  8. Overview of Basic Adjustment Sliders
  9. Developing Raw Images
  10. Editing with the Effects and HLS Tabs
  11. How to Save Images
  12. Using the Transform Tool
  13. Making Selections in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  14. Selection Tools
  15. Combining Selection Tools
  16. Using Automated Selection Tools
  17. Quick Mask Mode
  18. Select Menu Essentials
  19. Using Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  20. Align Active Layers
  21. Creating a New Layer
  22. Creating a Clipping Mask
  23. Using Effects on Layers
  24. Using Adjustment Layers
  25. Using the Shape Tool
  26. Create a Layer Mask Using the Selection Tool
  27. Masking Multiple Images Together
  28. Using Layer Masks to Remove People
  29. Using Layer Masks to Replace Sky
  30. Adding Texture to Images
  31. Layering to Create Realistic Depth
  32. Adjustment Layers in Adobe Photoshop 2020
  33. Optimizing Grayscale with Levels
  34. Adjusting Levels with a Histogram
  35. Understanding Curves
  36. Editing an Image Using Curves
  37. Editing with Shadows/Highlights Adjustment
  38. Dodge and Burn Using Quick Mask Mode
  39. Editing with Blending Modes
  40. Color Theory
  41. Curves for Color
  42. Hue and Saturation Adjustments
  43. Isolating Colors Using Hue/Saturation Adjustment
  44. Match Colors Using Numbers
  45. Adjusting Skin Tones
  46. Retouching Essentials In Adobe Camera Raw
  47. Retouching with the Spot Healing Brush
  48. Retouching with the Clone Stamp
  49. Retouching with the Healing Brush
  50. Retouching Using Multiple Retouching Tools
  51. Extending an Edge with Content Aware
  52. Clone Between Documents
  53. Crop Tool
  54. Frame Tool
  55. Eye Dropper and Color Sampler Tools
  56. Paint Brush Tools
  57. History Brush Tool
  58. Eraser and Gradient Tools
  59. Brush Flow and Opacity Settings
  60. Blur and Shape Tools
  61. Dissolve Mode
  62. Multiply Mode
  63. Screen Mode
  64. Hard Light Mode
  65. Hue, Saturation, and Color Modes
  66. Smart Filters
  67. High Pass Filter
  68. Blur Filter
  69. Filter Gallery
  70. Adaptive Wide Angle Filter
  71. Combing Filters and Features
  72. Select and Mask
  73. Manually Select and Mask
  74. Creating a Clean Background
  75. Changing the Background
  76. Smart Object Overview
  77. Nested Smart Objects
  78. Scale and Warp Smart Objects
  79. Replace Contents
  80. Raw Smart Objects
  81. Multiple Instances of a Smart Object
  82. Creating a Mockup Using Smart Objects
  83. Panoramas
  84. HDR
  85. Focus Stacking
  86. Time-lapse
  87. Light Painting Composite
  88. Remove Moire Patterns
  89. Remove Similar Objects At Once
  90. Remove Objects Across an Entire Image
  91. Replace a Repeating Pattern
  92. Clone from Multiple Areas Using the Clone Source Panel
  93. Remove an Object with a Complex Background
  94. Frequency Separation to Remove Staining and Blemishes
  95. Warping
  96. Liquify
  97. Puppet Warp
  98. Displacement Map
  99. Polar Coordinates
  100. Organize Your Layers
  101. Layer Styles: Bevel and Emboss
  102. Layer Style: Knockout Deep
  103. Blending Options: Blend if
  104. Blending Options: Colorize Black and White Image
  105. Layer Comps
  106. Black-Only Shadows
  107. Create a Content Aware Fill Action
  108. Create a Desaturate Edges Action
  109. Create an Antique Color Action
  110. Create a Contour Map Action
  111. Faux Sunset Action
  112. Photo Credit Action
  113. Create Sharable Actions
  114. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 1
  115. Common Troubleshooting Issues Part 2
  116. Image Compatibility with Lightroom
  117. Scratch Disk Is Full
  118. Preview Thumbnail


a Creativelive Student

Wow. I cannot communicate the value of this course!! The true value in this course is how the instructor identifies workflows you'll need before you'll ever realize it, repeats important information without it becoming annoying, and explains the "why" behind the techniques so well that even if you forget the exact method, you can figure it out via the principles learned. Excellent value, excellent material, excellent instructor!!!


The short lessons makes it easy to find things. Clear explanations, structured content, great examples, handbook plus practice images - this class is worth x10 the price! I have seen many of Ben's classes and I'm so happy you created this one, love it

Madelaine Enochs

Ben's class has been extremely helpful for understanding how everything works in photoshop. I am so grateful for his classes. Easy to understand and thorough. Thank-you Ben!