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Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 66 of 118

Smart Objects and Image Transformation


Adobe Photoshop CC Bootcamp

Lesson 66 of 118

Smart Objects and Image Transformation


Lesson Info

Smart Objects and Image Transformation

Let's go ahead and talk about how this works when we transform images. So, what I've done here is I've made a diagram for you that you can use to test this out too. It's a really interesting perspective. We've talked about pixel peeping before, this is definitely pixel peeping at its max, but it's really cool. So we have over here, we have a vector based image, that's a smart object. Over here, we would have a raster based image, that will be a pixel based layer. And I have a broken bubble level in my head. Even with the levels that are on my stinking tripod, my tripod head, it doesn't matter what it is, I always have something in my image that needs to be straightened. It's just one of those things. I actually, I just thought of this. About 11 years ago, I made an action to tilt my canvas two degrees to the right because that's how broken my bubble level is. It's always broken by two degrees. So, when I pull an image in and I press play on that and it would, it was that predictable. I...

t was always going to be two degrees off. Anyway, so what you can do though, is actually, when you do that to a photograph, when you straighten the image, you're actually shifting the pixels and transforming that image when you straighten that image. Might be a little bit different in something like Adobe Camera Raw because it's on the raw file and tapping at the raw level. But if you come into photoshop and you straighten an image, it's gonna shift everything. So, if you've got sharpening that's happening on your photograph, as you shift that image, that slight rotation, is going to throw off the sharpening in that image. So, these examples will show us exactly how that works. I'm gonna press command or control R and I'm gonna bring down a ruler or a guide, just to the top of here, because these boxes now need to be straightened and put up on that guide. So, how I'm gonna do that is the first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna zoom in here and show you that this is the raster based version and move over here, this is the vector based version. Notice how other than really making our eyes hurt, they're the exact same thing. But there's a reason why I chose to fill them with that pattern, it's not because I like it. So, I'm gonna go ahead and zoom out. I'm gonna click on this vector based layer. I'm gonna command or control T, and I'm gonna rotate this until it is straight and I'll know it's straight because I'm using that guide. Press V for my move tool and move that up and then rotate it up until it's straight on that line. Which this is essentially the same thing as image straightening. The only problem right now is if I go to the crop tool and straighten that, it's gonna throw off this whole canvas. That's why I'm not using straighten tool right now. So, once I've got that set up, I can look in here, make sure it's perfect. There, perfect, okay, so that would be straight and I'll commit to it and press enter. Now I'll move over here. I'll look at this raster based image and I'll press command or control T and I'll move it 'til it's straight. Again, I told you this is pixel peeping at its finest. If you want to stick your tongue out while you do it, go right ahead. And then I'll press enter on that, press command or control H to get rid of that. Now what I want you to look at here is when you zoom in here to this edge, notice how because this was a vector based image, this line is still perfectly straight. If we go over here, it's straight but look what happened to the pixels when I moved it. It shifted all those pixels a little bit and it shifted those pixels and put them up here. Look what happens inside this design. Now, I'll move over here. Look at that, that's still straight. Everything in there is still very nice looking, right? But the other one on the other side, that raster based image, lost all that quality, along with that shift. So how this works is if you got an image like this, like this photograph here in Chicago, you can see my broken bubble level, even though I've got all the things to straighten things out it's still broken. If I was gonna go ahead and straighten this image, the typical way I would straighten it, by going into the crop tool and use my straighten tool and straightening out along one of the buildings that might be within the center of the image, everything's gonna shift. So, if I press C for the crop tool, control and spacebar, zoom in, and then straighten this, off of this building, press enter, I'm gonna go ahead and make a duplicate copy of this with my history and on this one, I'm gonna go ahead and step back. Now what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna right click and I'm gonna convert this to a smart object. 'Cause what I said before, what a smart object does is it can contain vector or raster based data. So by turning this into a smart object first, it's remembering all the data that was in this image before I do the straighten. So, if I go ahead and zoom in here, press C for the crop tool, and straighten this along this edge, just like we did in the last one. Now, if I wanted to move one on top of the other, I'll press V for the move tool, move this on top of here. Which one was my, oops, one of them. You know what I'm gonna do? I'm gonna go back to the beginning because I messed myself up (laughs). Good idea, Blake. So, I'm gonna go ahead and let's go to this image. Okay, let's close this down. Okay, so I got this one converted. This is my smart object one. So, I'm gonna do, is after I've got that smart object and it's straightened, I'm gonna double click here and I'm gonna call this smart straighten. And now, I need to make a duplicate copy of this, go back to the very beginning and not make it a smart object. So, I'm gonna rasterize that. And now I'm gonna zoom into the back of this, C for my crop tool, straighten this down. Basically, I want to turn that raster based image. So, when I straighten this and I move this one, which is not my smart one, pull it on top of here. What is going on here? I think I know what's going on. (sighing) 'Cause this one is not straightened anymore, is it? No, I know what's going on. I'm gonna go back all the way to the beginning because I think what's happening is sometimes when you duplicate a smart object and you mess with that smart object on another layer, what happens is it saves those settings from that duplicate that you made because it's always thinking about that smart object. So, that's the problem that's happening there. So, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna open that back up. Just the regular JPEG that we had there and now I'm gonna straighten this image. Just like we did with the last one, but I'm gonna make a duplicate copy of it. So, I'm gonna make a duplicate that I can straighten, that's gonna be a rasterized image, and the other one is gonna be the smart object. So, I'll right click on this, convert to smart object, and then I'll straighten it along that building in the back. You guys are gonna know how to straighten an image like no other. And then I'll go ahead and commit to that and press enter. Come over to this one, C for my crop tool, and then straighten it along this edge, right here. So, this would be my non smart and I'll press V for the move tool, bring that over to this image. I'm pressing and holding shift while I do that, 'cause what that's gonna do is because they're the same size, if I press and hold shift while I move it over, it will automatically align them from the center. Now, other than my crop being a little bit different because no two crops are the same, there will be a slight difference in the pixels here. So that's the smart object, that's the non smart object. And because this image is so small, it might be hard to see the different details in there, but you'll notice the same thing is happening, especially right up here. Look along this top edge of this building. There's the non smart object, there's the smart object. That slight change in pixels that's happening up there, especially right along this edge, that slight change in pixels is because that data is being manipulated with that non smart object. And here, the smart object retains the same. So, other than those being slightly different because the straightening was just a little bit different, we are seeing a slight difference in pixel change. Again, this is a small image, so it'll actually probably more evident on the small image than it would on a bigger image. So, what that means is that the more that image has to straighten, the more it has to shift those pixels. We didn't have to do a whole lot of straightening to this, so, now a whole lot of pixels actually did move in that process. But, if you're gonna be straightening your images in photoshop, change it to a smart object first because that first image that we looked at, this image right here, was a dead giveaway that when we straighten our images on a raster based image, we do lose some pixels there. Now, if we zoom out here, look at that. We can't tell the difference. I don't want you to say, everything single time I'm gonna straighten my image, I'm gonna have to turn it to smart object. What I'm showing you here is an example of what is happening. But does it necessarily mean that every single time you straighten your image, you have to turn it to a smart object first, no, that's not exactly what I'm saying. But know that when you do straighten it and if you've done any sharpening in the process, you're gonna throw off your sharpening a little bit. So, let's say you get done with your whole work flow. Your whole work flow is done and you go, ah crap, my horizon's not straight and you straighten that horizon, just pay attention to it because some of that sharpening might have shifted in that process. I'm not guaranteeing that it's always going to happen, but some of it might happen. So, just look at it. I just needed you to be aware of that.

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:

  • Class Introduction & Bridge, Adobe Camera Raw, Setup Interface, Cropping and Layers
  • Layer Tools, Masks, Selections, Clean-Up Tools and Shapes & Text
  • Smart Objects, Transforming, Actions, Filters, and Editing Video
  • 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.


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018


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