Smart Objects and Composites


Adobe® Photoshop® CC® Bootcamp


Lesson Info

Smart Objects and Composites

What you're gonna notice that happened to this, and the reason why I'm showing you this is because you know what happened to this one over here, how the edges got blurry when I did that Gaussian blur? I wanna show you how to fix that before. So we'll go ahead and close this down, open this up. Okay. So what we have here is basically just a regular gallery-style look. We can fill these in with whatever pictures we want, so let's say you're trying to showcase your work on your website in a clever way that's not necessarily just some slideshows, and you wanna make it look like your work is in a gallery. We can go ahead and fill these blocks in with our work, and you're gonna see that these ones, that's kinda easy, okay we could do that pretty easily. That's kinda easy, that's kinda easy, but look at these ones, they have perspective attached to them. So the reason why that last smart object layer kinda failed us and got blurry on the edges was because we made that shape a smart object at ...

the wrong time. There's a workflow to this and when you want to make that shape and turn that shape into a smart object. So if I were to go ahead and make a shape on here, so let's go ahead and zoom in here. I'll make a shape, just like this. If I wanted to make this fit exactly into this space, and I started pulling these handles now, at this point, and then turned it into a smart object, it's not gonna remember that at one point this was a perfect square. It's just gonna remember what you told it to remember when you told it to remember it. So if I go ahead and right-click on this, and Convert to a Smart Object, and then I zoom in here, notice how it wasn't a perfect selection for that area. If I press Command or Control + T, and I press Control on these handles and move this to here, and move this down to here, and then move this here, and then here, Didn't seem like there was a whole lot of perspective going on with that area, did it, but there was. And I'll press Enter and commit to that. What happens is because we've converted that to a smart object before we did the transforming, so Photoshop remembers that. Photoshop remembers that at one point, that was a square. Now, with this one it might not be easy to wrap our head around, but let's do this. Let's do this on this one right here. Let's make a shape, any size shape will actually do at this point, that'll be fine, right-click, Convert to Smart Object, Command or Control + T, and then, as I press Control, I can fix that box there, Control and fix that box there, Control and fix that box there, Control + click down here, move this up, and fix that box there. Now, this frame does go on, doesn't it? Goes on a little bit further, so we can even do that to, if we zoom out here, if we press Control and space bar, and then Fit on Screen, and then Control and space bar and pull to the left, I can even drag this out a little bit, to there, and then press Enter. Because what Photoshop is gonna remember, Photoshop is gonna remember that that was once a rectangle that was this big, but then you converted it into something that is now a little bit wider. So if I were to go ahead and double-click on this, that's the rectangle that we started with, to make it fit into that space. So if I click on a photograph to put in there, let's just put this photo in there. You'll see how this is gonna warp it, we press Yes. Notice how it cuts off the sides and it fits it right into that perspective of the image, because it remembers that that at one point was a rectangle that has now been warped to fit that shape. Same thing here, if I make a shape that is relatively the same size as this, press Command or Control + T, I'll zoom in a little bit more, Control + T, to fit those edges. Okay. You know what I didn't do first? I didn't turn it into a smart object first. Command or Control + Z, let's go back, right-click, Convert to Smart Object, Control + T, and then we'll do this, and there's another thing I wanna incorporate in this one that's gonna make this a little bit more fun, and that's gonna be layer styles. So I'll make that about that size, perfect, press OK. Double-click inside here, so I can change this to whatever I want it to be changed to. Let's just use this photograph, move it into that rectangle, exit out, save it, Yes. Right now it's fitting, it's fitting into a perspective, it's changing the perspective of this image as it puts it into that rectangle, but it just doesn't look like it fits, does it? It looks like someone just put an image inside that canvas, and there's no gradience or anything that looks like there might be like a glare on it. So if I double-click on this rectangle, and go into the Layer Styles, I can go ahead and add a Gradient Overlay to that. Maybe I'll change that Blend Mode to something like Soft Light, and then change it to a Radial Gradient, and then a gradient that goes maybe from black to white. Press OK. I can move this gradient around, and then maybe increase the scale a little bit. Now it looks like it has kind of like a glare on it. If I change that radial from something like Radial to Reflected, again same kind of thing, looks like we have a glare coming from it, or it's a little bit lighter on the top than it is on the bottom. Press OK, a cool thing about this is because those layer styles were recorded into this as a smart object, if I double-click on that smart object to replace that image with any other photograph, guess what's gonna happen, it's gonna have those layer styles attached to them. So I'll take this image, let's just grab this one, and drag this and drop this into that layout, Shift + Alt. Save it out. Those layer styles are saved in there, see that? Pretty darn cool. So let me go ahead and minimize this. I'm gonna show you how this plays in resizing things for composites. So I'm gonna go ahead and open up an image. I'm just gonna open up this image. Now how this works when it comes to resizing images, especially for things like composite work, because I told you in the beginning, when you make things larger and you make things smaller, you're gonna be losing pixels and gaining pixels as you make that image smaller. So I'm gonna turn the background layer off on this, and I'm gonna duplicate it, I'm gonna go to History and I'm gonna duplicate. And on this one, I'm gonna right-click, and I'm gonna say Convert to Smart Object, and on this one I'm going to just leave it as a non-smart object. So at this point, I'm gonna press Command or Control + T, and I'm gonna make this smaller, much smaller, like this small, press Enter. I'm gonna come over to this image, press Command or Control + T, and make this smaller, much smaller, and press Enter. So if I go back to this one, because this was a rasterized image that I made smaller, if I wanna ever make that larger, watch what happens, if I press Command or Control + T, and I increase the size of this, look at that. We got our own Gaussian blur. If I go to the vector-based image, or what we made our smart object that then turned those rasterized pixels into what would be a vector-based similarity, press Command or Control + T, Shift + Alt, make that larger, look what happens. It remembered all of the data that was in that image before we made it smaller. So it is a good habit to get into using smart objects when you're resizing images, making images smaller, or more specifically, when you're doing composite work, like compositing a model onto a different background, turn that model into a smart object before you go ahead and put it onto the background, or before you put the background behind it, I should say, so that as you resize that model to get her to fit just right on that background, you're not losing that pixel quality as you make it larger and smaller, larger and smaller, larger and smaller. So we talked about quite a bit when it came to smart objects. We talked about what a smart object is, how a smart object works, and what we can do as photographers, and how we can use them in our workflow. We talked about smart objects from Adobe Camera Raw, how all we have to do is press Shift, and we can open that image as a smart object, and we can always go back in and redo any of those Camera Raw settings. We then used smart objects with filters, so that we could apply a Gaussian blur, and then go back into those settings, and even use the mask on that Gaussian blur. We then talked about smart objects as they pertain to straightening images, and we saw how effective that was on the vector versus raster. And we talked about smart objects with image layouts, and how you can change shapes, and apply images within those shapes. And then we talked about how to maybe make your own composite gallery-style wall, and how if you make it a smart object before you do any perspective corrections, those perspective corrections will be saved into that smart object. And then we talked about why it's important to use smart objects, specifically when it comes to resizing our images, because we saw that we just made a Gaussian blur by making a really bad rasterize decision.

Class Description

Adobe® Photoshop® CC® is a valuable tool for photographers, but it can also be intimidating. In this all-inclusive 20 lesson course, you’ll go from opening the program for the first time to creating images that really stand out. Join Blake Rudis, Photoshop® expert and founder of f64 Academy, as he shows you how to maximize your use of Photoshop®. Topics covered will include:

Week 1
• Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
Week 2
• Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
Week 3
• Smart Objects , Transforming, Actions, Filters and Editing Video
Week 4
• Custom Creative Effects, Natural Retouching, Portrait Workflow, Landscape Workflow, and Composite Workflow

Don’t let the many aspects of Photoshop® prevent you from maximizing your use of this amazing app. Blake will help you develop the confidence to use your imagination and create the images that you will be proud to share with your clients.

Software Used: Adobe® Photoshop® CC® 2018


1Bootcamp Introduction 2The Bridge Interface 3Setting up Bridge 4Overview of Bridge 5Practical Application of Bridge 6Introduction to Raw Editing 7Setting up ACR Preferences & Interface 8Global Tools Part 1 9Global Tools Part 2 10Local Tools 11Introduction to the Photoshop Interface 12Toolbars, Menus and Windows 13Setup and Interface 14Adobe Libraries 15Saving Files 16Introduction to Cropping 17Cropping for Composition in ACR 18Cropping for Composition in Photoshop 19Cropping for the Subject in Post 20Cropping for Print 21Perspective Cropping in Photoshop 22Introduction to Layers 23Vector & Raster Layers Basics 24Adjustment Layers in Photoshop 25Organizing and Managing Layers 26Introduction to Layer Tools and Blend Modes 27Screen and Multiply and Overlay 28Soft Light Blend Mode 29Color and Luminosity Blend Modes 30Color Burn and Color Dodge Blend Modes 31Introduction to Layer Styles 32Practical Application: Layer Tools 33Introduction to Masks and Brushes 34Brush Basics 35Custom Brushes 36Brush Mask: Vignettes 37Brush Mask: Curves Dodge & Burn 38Brush Mask: Hue & Saturation 39Mask Groups 40Clipping Masks 41Masking in Adobe Camera Raw 42Practical Applications: Masks 43Introduction to Selections 44Basic Selection Tools 45The Pen Tool 46Masks from Selections 47Selecting Subjects and Masking 48Color Range Mask 49Luminosity Masks Basics 50Introduction to Cleanup Tools 51Adobe Camera Raw 52Healing and Spot Healing Brush 53The Clone Stamp Tool 54The Patch Tool 55Content Aware Move Tool 56Content Aware Fill 57Custom Cleanup Selections 58Introduction to Shapes and Text 59Text Basics 60Shape Basics 61Adding Text to Pictures 62Custom Water Marks 63Introduction to Smart Objects 64Smart Object Basics 65Smart Objects and Filters 66Smart Objects and Image Transformation 67Smart Objects and Album Layouts 68Smart Objects and Composites 69Introduction to Image Transforming 70ACR and Lens Correction 71Photoshop and Lens Correction 72The Warp Tool 73Perspective Transformations 74Introduction to Actions in Photoshop 75Introduction to the Actions Panel Interface 76Making Your First Action 77Modifying Actions After You Record Them 78Adding Stops to Actions 79Conditional Actions 80Actions that Communicate 81Introduction to Filters 82ACR as a Filter 83Helpful Artistic Filters 84Helpful Practical Filters 85Sharpening with Filters 86Rendering Trees 87The Oil Paint and Add Noise Filters 88Introduction to Editing Video 89Timeline for Video 90Cropping Video 91Adjustment Layers and Video 92Building Lookup Tables 93Layers, Masking Video & Working with Type 94ACR to Edit Video 95Animated Gifs 96Introduction to Creative Effects 97Black, White, and Monochrome 98Matte and Cinematic Effects 99Gradient Maps and Solid Color Grades 100Gradients 101Glow and Haze 102Introduction to Natural Retouching 103Brightening Teeth 104Clean Up with the Clone Stamp Tool 105Cleaning and Brightening Eyes 106Advanced Clean Up Techniques 107Introduction to Portrait Workflow & Bridge Organization 108ACR for Portraits Pre-Edits 109Portrait Workflow Techniques 110Introduction to Landscape Workflow & Bridge Organization 111Landscape Workflow Techniques 112Introduction to Compositing & Bridge 113Composite Workflow Techniques 114Landscape Composite Projects 115Bonus: Rothko and Workspace 116Bonus: Adding Textures to Photos 117Bonus: The Mask (Extras) 118Bonus: The Color Range Mask in ACR


a Creativelive Student

Amazing course, but don't be fooled into thinking this is a beginner's course for photographers. The problem isn't Blake's explanations; they're top. The problem is the vast scope of this course and the order in which the topics are presented. Take layers for example. When I was first learning Photoshop (back when we learned from books), I found I learned little or nothing from, for example, books that covered layers before they covered how to improve/process photographs. These books taught me how to organize, move, and link layers before they showed me what a layer was actually for. Those books tended to teach me everything there is to know about layers (types of layers, how to organize them, how to move them, how to move them two at a time, how to move them two at a time even if there are other layers between the two you're interested in, useful troubleshooting tips, etc. ) all before I even know (from a photographer's point of view) what it is the things actually do. The examples of organizing, linking, and moving mean everything for graphic designers from Day One, but for photographers not so much. Blake does the same thing as those books. Topics he covers extremely early demand a lot of theoretical imagination for a photographer who doesn't already know quite a bit about what he is talking about. Learning about abstract things first and concrete things later only makes PS that much harder to understand. If you AREN'T a beginner, however, this course is amazing. I thought it would be like an Army Bootcamp, taking you from zero and building you into a fit, competent Photoshop grunt. Now I think it's more like Army Bootcamp for high school varsity jocks. It isn't going to take you from the beginning, but the amount you'll get out of it is nonetheless more than your brain can imagine. I've been using PS for years to improve my photographs, and even to create the odd artistic composite or two. The amount I've learned in the first week is amazing, and every day I learn something -- more like many things -- which I immediately implement to improve my productivity and/or widen the horizons of what I can achieve. If you ARE a photographer who's a Photoshop beginner, I'd take very seriously the advice Blake gives in the introduction: Watch one lesson, and practice the skills and principles you learn in that one lesson for two weeks. THEN watch the next lesson. You can't do that of course without buying the course, so it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to learn Photoshop and master Photoshop all from the same course. Learning it first and mastering it later will cost more money, but I think you'll understand everything better and have a much more enjoyable ride in the process. As for me? I'm going to have to find the money to buy this course. There is simply way too much content in each lesson for me to try to take on all at once, but on the other hand I don't want to miss anything at all that he has to share.

Esther Gambrell

WOW!!! I've been purchasing CL classes for several years now and have watched HOURS of "How-To Photoshop" classes, but this is the first one I've actually purchased because of the AWESOME BONUS content!!! SERIOUSLY??!!?!? A PLUG-IN??? But not only that, Blake is SO easy to understand, and he breaks down concepts in different ways to connect with different people's learning styles. I REALLY appreciated this approach because I am a LEFT-BRAINED creative that has an engineering background, so I really connected to what Blake was saying. THANK YOU FOR THAT! There are TONS of Photoshop courses out there, but I found this one to be the most helpful in they way Blake teaches concepts so that you know WHY you're doing what your doing. I feel like he taught me how to fish with Photoshop to feed me for a lifetime instead of just giving me a fish to feed me for one day. This is the BEST overall PS course out there!!! Thank you!!!!

Sonya Messier

I'm been using Bridge, Adobe Raw and Photoshop for 12 years. I thought I knew those programs until I started to follow Blake and do this Photoshop CC Bootcamp. This course is AMAZING. I love the way Blake teach, brakes down concepts and tools... excellent teaching qualities! I'm half way in this course and I change all my workflow already. Much better results and better use of what Adobe offer me. This course is an investment! When I will be done, I will listen it again. Great job and congratulations on your success Blake!