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Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 76 of 118

Smart Object Overview


Adobe Photoshop 2020: The Complete Guide Bootcamp

Lesson 76 of 118

Smart Object Overview


Lesson Info

Smart Object Overview

our next topic will be smart objects and smart objects have the potential of completely changing the way you think about Futter shop, depending on what you do now in previous sections of Photoshopped, The Complete Guide, we've used smart objects. We use them once when we're playing filters, and so it's very nice way of doing it. But let's jump in and really dig deep into the concept of a smart object. Some. I'm going to duplicate this image here by going to the image menu in choosing duplicate when I duplicated, I'm gonna call it not smart. So you know that that version is not going to be utilized. Smart objects. Then we have two versions of that image open. I want to be able to see them side by side, so I'll go to the window menu, choose, arrange and choose to up vertical, which will show the images side by side. And at this point, I'm going to take the image on the right. Uh, and I'm going to go to the layer menu, choose smart objects and say, convert to smart object. Now when I do t...

hat, watch what happens in my Layers panel. If you look at the little thumbnail picture. If that layer and you look in the lower right corner of it, When I convert this to a smart object, you'll see an extra icon appear there. Now. The first time you ever do that, you might get a little warning that comes up, and it just tells you something about, um, if need to edit the contents of this to double click on the layer. Just see aware, if something comes up the very first time you do that, there should be a don't show again check box. I suggest you turn it on and click OK, because after this lesson you'll be quite versed in smart objects. So now the image on the right is a smart object. The image on the left is not. They look the same, but they're not gonna always act the same. Whenever you create a smart object, it is like taking your image in putting it into a protective sleeve. Imagine it's something like a Ziploc bag, and by putting it into a smart object, it's going to protect the original contents of that layer. So anything I do to it from now on will not be able to to change the original contents. I can still change the look of the picture, but I always can get back to the original look. So first I'm gonna work on the not smart version and I'm gonna unlock its little layer here because it's a background layer and there's only certain things I can do to the background. If I clicked the lock symbol, though, I could do anything to it. And what I'd like to do here is first I'm going to apply a filter to this, and when I filter it, let's see. I'm gonna come down and maybe just sharpen the image and all kind of over sharpen it so it looks really sharp. Click OK, and if I zoom up on it and I choose undo, you see before and after it's over sharpened. Then I'm going to scale and rotate the picture to scale and rotate something. Usually I go to the edit menu and I choose free transform or I type will the keyboard shortcut command T control team windows and I'm going to scale this really small like that small. It also rotated and press return or enter to indicate that I'm done move into the middle of my document. So if I zoom in, that's all we got. Then I'm gonna do the same thing to the image on the right. That's the one that is a smart object. With that one, I'll go to the filter menu. I'm going to sharpen it in o apply in Sharp Mask. It looks like it's remembering the settings I used on the other one, so just click OK, and then I'll go to the edit menu and choose free transform. This is one of those things where you got a warning that you just choose. Don't try again and click, OK, and I'm gonna make that again very, very small, much smaller than that. And I'll rotate it, press return or enter. So now we've down approximately the same thing to both images. I don't know if I haven't exactly the same on both. I doubt it, but it's close enough. The main thing is, the image on the left is not a smart object, and because of that, it does not remember what the old version of the image looked like. Especially if I were to save this image, close it and open it a month later. Sure, because right now I could choose undo to get it back. But imagine it was saved, enclosed so that it doesn't retain any kind of a history. Well, now I'm gonna take that image on the left. And let's say I didn't want it to be quite that small. So I go to the edit menu, I'll choose free transform, and I'm going to attempt to scale it up when I scale it up. It does not remember how much information it originally contained. So if I attempt to get this to fill the majority of my screen, it's not gonna regain any of its quality. And if I attempt to straighten it, there's nothing that's gonna help me. Make sure that it's perfectly straight, and that is not at like a one or two degree angle compared to what it was before. I'll get it up there. I'm gonna press returner enter and you'll see how terrible the results look. Take the image on the right, though it's totally different because it's a smart object, which means the original contents of that layer, you are completely preserved in everything I do to this image will always be calculated from the original contents of that smart option. What that means is when I go over here to edit and I choose free transform first off, I doubt you can tell right now, but it's starting off differently. Do you notice that the transformation handles that are on this match the angle of this object? Whereas when I did it to the image on the left, they were straight. It never knew that I ever rotated the image in the past. But here, with a smart object, it knows that I've rotated it. And if I look up here in my options bar, I can see what angle it's been rotated to. If I select the number for the angle and type in zero impress return, that should straighten it out. So now it's back to the way it used to be. Also in the options bar. It tells me exactly what size this had been scaled to, and I could just select that and type in 100 and press return. And that's going to end up bringing this back to its original size because the transformation I've applied is just thought of as a setting attached to the layer. It's not actually changing the true contents that layer in, so I can always bring it back. But when I bring it back, I look at it and I'm like, That looks overly sharp and I'd really wish I wouldn't have sharpened the image Well, if you look in my layers panel since this was a smart object, when I applied a filter, it was applied as what's known as a smart filter. And if I would like to remove the effect, I could either turn off this eyeball were just drag this to the trash and I would see the version of it That's not sharpened war. Aiken double click on the name of the filter that's in my layers panel, and it will open up the sharpened screen here, and I could find tune the settings to get it to be more appropriate for this image. Because anything I do to that file is not going to harm the original contents that was put into the smart object, and it will always be calculated from that original contents and therefore I can easily scale it back up to original size. Rotate it back, change any filters that have been applied. It's much more versatile, whereas the image on the left just looks terrible. So what that means is, any time you plan and combining multiple images together, let's say you're going to design a little layout that's gonna show maybe six pictures, and you're going to scale them down and rearrange them in various areas. It would be best if you were to start with smart objects, because then let's say you scaled down those pictures and you started placing them side by side. And when you were done, you decided, well, they're a little too small. You want to scale them up to fit some more space. Well, if you do that and you don't have a smart object, anytime you scale things up, it's going to make your image look softer. And that's like what you're seeing on the left side of my screen. That's just an extreme example of it, but if it was a smart object, the quality would still be there

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!