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Smart Objects Part 2

Lesson 8 from: Advanced Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

8. Smart Objects Part 2

Lesson Info

Smart Objects Part 2

over the years I can't imagine before smart office how many times I actually recommended this method and now I don't anymore because smart obvious they're better but for many years people would do a function of photo shop called stamp visible which was the only solution we had so therefore it was a good one and that was to so I've got three layers here and I want to preserve all these three layers but if I want to keep working for example maybe to sharpen everything or apply some filter what people would do is a function where they'd hold down basically the entire left side of their keyboard and press e so command option shift e or control all shift he would make a new layer that was the equivalent of almost like merging those three layers but preserving the three underneath and for many years that was the best method to use because it was better than the alternative which was frankly nothing so at least this way now I could move on the problem with it is when you press that shortcut i...

t's like a snapshot of that moment in time and it doesn't update so for example if I decided now that the type need to be down here if I go to my type player and attempt to move it nothing's gonna happen because I'm actually moving it but you can't see it until I hide this layer and then you realize oh now it doesn't work anymore so the only option used to be well delete that now put the type wherever you want and do that shortcut again which frankly we did because it was the only option now my suggestion is don't do that anymore because a better option is to take multiple layers and convert them to a smart object so in this case I take these three layers right click and shoes convert to smart object now visually in the layer pal it looks like I've merged or flatten those layers but this little symbol in the corner reminds me that now if I double click there's all my original contents and what will happen in this case you can see I'd actually cropped it a little bit but now I'm seeing everything even outside the crop area because it was a live crop thanks to being smart so here's where once again I would use the same method which is why I showed you initially this tile vertically thing so now I have contents on one side and on the other window the other side I have my quote unquote finished document so it's not fitting very well you can see it's a square because that's where I cropped it but this original shows all this other information so on this side I could decide ok what I want to do I want to put this up here and I had safe and it's gonna update okay now I was a little too far because this one isn't showing me where the crop is so I just figured that out save it now on this one because it's merged in as if it's a washington as if it's merge is still a smart object I could do something like a playa filter uh let's do I wouldn't I want to do something that's obvious so you see to see that I'm actually doing something so I wouldn't obviously typically at a had noise filter like this but I want you to see what's happening is that this is a live filters if I come over here and make any change like move this up here and had saved it's gonna update it but still show me in the context of whatever I'm doing so if I had to do the equivalent this using that stamp visible it would take me ten times longer because every time I have to go delete that layer do it again delete that layer do it again if I apply to filter I have to say delete that layer move it do it again reapply the filter this way everything's life and that's the advantage of this nested smart object concept is you can do things in a way that's going to give you much more control even in this case is it said where you look at the document I'm actually working on it's actually cropped to a square but I still have all this information it's on this side I could decide maybe she needs to be a little further up because they have that much more information I can save and I will update so there's lots of levels of ending you can do if you use this nested put a smart object inside a smart object or just in this case several layers and put them into a smart object so you can take one layer can virtuous martin we could take multiple layers convert to us martha doesn't matter was going to do is open up a whole interesting world of possibilities for you and built into a smart object is the ability to also keep everything else and just replace it with different contents I described this as a template but I do that kind of a little hesitantly because nowhere in photo shop does the word template appear that's just it's a good word to describe what it does but I don't want anyone to think where's that command called savers template because there isn't one it's just that's how it's acting so all I've got here is I created a new document and I made a shape and illustrator which has just got this interesting little border on it and I want to take advantage of that so I'm going to go back here and let's take one of these documents just choose place in photo shop again by placing I know it's going to scale it automatically to fit within the document boundaries so now option or ault shift lycan scale it down so it just slightly larger then my shape by position on top and I use a function called a clipping masked where I option click or all click between them and now you can see I've got this nice border effect because the shay player is clipping the layer above it by nothing other than the shape doesn't happens to be black could be pink green or blue doesn't matter is the shape that's mass kings with different type of mask then I add some text let's get this a lot smaller and I'm not gonna worry too much about making it look incredibly pretty right now it's more just for the purpose of demonstration just as in a subtle side tip when I clicked with the type tool I totally took a random guess where I thought was the middle of the document but I don't really know exact can tell just by looking at it it's not centered very well so instead of trying to figure it out a very simple trick to center something like a type player on the document commander control a for select all and then up in them move two options there's a button it's called a line center and it is automatically aligns it based on my selection because I selected the whole document it aligned it perfectly left right on this layer since I'm going to maybe create a series of prints that all look very someone to this I would also do a smart filter like sharpen and preparation for printing called issues whatever it doesn't really matter for the purpose of demonstration and of course I could do whatever else I could add a drop shadow want to hear anything that I want to make it look the way that I want and I saved this I can now send it to print on my jumper no get a nice little print now I have four other photos I wantto have exactly the same look instead of me starting again I already know this layer has a smart filter that I want for sharpening it's clipped to this shape it has a drop shadow everything's perfect the way I want I just want a different photograph so the fact that I have saved this as a psc which by the way didn't actually do but doesn't matter for purpose or demonstration it's assuming I had one of the built in abilities of a smart object if you think of that container and contents is you can say the container is exactly the right shape and position I just replaced put different contents in take the original contents out put new ones in and as long as you have another photograph or another file that's if not the exact same size pretty darn close to it and that's the part that usually messes people up is they try and replace it with a photo that's complete different size so hopefully I have another one that I think is pretty close to the same size I right collect beside this and shoes replace contents when I do I just have to go and find where I put all this stuff and it's in here on and which one is it that one uh one second okay it's got ahead of myself it's in here last time I demonstrate this I replaced it with the same photograph it didn't really wasn't very good demonstrations that's why I'm making sure it is actually a different photographs so when I had a place because it's a camera raw file still takes a step first and cameron says how would you like to adjust this and you just however you want when you click okay it just takes a second and it updates it and that we're done ready to print so I didn't do any re sizing I didn't do any oh I got to re apply that filter I've got to redo that mask it's just the same smart object I'm saying put different contents in so if you had again four five you would literally go replace contents print wait for the finished replaced contents print unless you wanted to save a copy of each one for a future used then you choose save as in between each one but the real point of this conversation is that we're not rebuilding it from scratch some people would say couldn't you make an action to do that and the answers well you could but having tried it before creating an action that has take a document add canvas make it this big put techs down here even though actions air fast this is faster in my opinion because I already know it works I've already done a test print I just go replace contents and again the on ly but not the key thing to remember is the photo that you're using as your replacement must b if not exactly the same very close to the same size if it's much smaller are much bigger it's gonna fail miserably in your leg and I didn't work at all now if it's much bigger you can potentially at least scale it down but ideally you make sure and if you're using raw files there's a much better chance that they're all pretty much the same size so that's one way of creating what you might call a temple it's a very simple way to a very quick way to use it and I deliberately added like ah border effect but I've done this for a situation we just need a quick way to say bringing a photograph make sure it's sharp incorrectly and hit print so you can use this in any way that you want here's another example of something that's a little bit different I wanted an ability to playing around with the idea for a logo and I want to see what that local look like in different situations because in my opinion looking at logo simply you know flat on your screen in photo shop it's like ok what I'd much rather see it in context like what if it was on ah coffee copper in boston to this portfolio so I would do this by adding a new layer and at first I'm just gonna make a shape is going to be kind of like my place holder I'm going to fill it with any color it doesn't matter what that color is that's irrelevant and before I do anything else I'm gonna convert it to a smart object this is very important to do this first because anything else I do like scaling and transforming needs to be to this original size I need two copies of it one for the coffee coffee cup one for the portfolio so I just pressed duplicate I take one of them and I hit free transform now one of the tricks to transforming it's a little hard to transform and you can really tell how big it needs to be so once I've already hit connecticut troll t I can lower the opacity to something that's a little lower so now I can better see what I'm doing impressing option or ault on the shift key kes I want to keep it proportional and scale towards the center because it's on a coffee cup I would take advantage of this warp option with transforming just give it a little bit of a curve as if it's kind of following the cup a little more open like this perhaps and obviously I'm in a really project I would zoom in closer and the much more accurate but for the purpose of demonstration and put the opacity back up two hundred but I'd probably also changed the blend moto multiply which at first it looks like a bad idea because it goes away but since I know my logo is not pure white I wanted teo by putting multiply it'll kind of follow the shadows of the cup a little more and this might seem like a lot of work but once you do this once now you have this built in template and quotations ready to use so now I do the same kind of thing with this other one this one's a little trickier because it has to follow the shape and perspective this so the way we do that asshole down commander control lets you click on the individual corners and what I usually do I don't want it to be this big but I find it easiest if I get very close to the edge of the object is that way I could make sure my angles are very close to thes angles and once I've done that then I hold down optional and shift and scale it down and then I need to do a bit more tweaking like this just a bit on this one I want the opacity back up and I want to use a layer style like devil in boss I'm going to use one that I rarely used but it works well in this case called pillow and boss which really has the effect we wanted making it look like it's embossed on the leather this is still bothering me a bit so I'm going to hit free transform because I want this to be little better there we go now if you remember I didn't say this very tactless I'll say it out back a couple of steps of second thing I did have to convert the smart objects I made two copies of it by president command control j when you duplicate a smart object their exact clones of each other so if you change the contents of one the other one's will change so I have to do is is replace the contents of either one of these but I'm doing a slight different way because I just sort of arbitrarily drew a shape that was you know this big but I don't know if it's the right size so instead of guessing and right clicking intrusion replace contents and being way off instead in a case like this here is what I do instead of just double click toe look at the contents which is basically just a big white rectangle now I'll go get my logo and choose place in photo shop and this thinks about it for a second or seven or more and okay that was interesting should just be ableto place that baby right in there but it's not going to work today so let's try this one there's my logo in there I hide the background cause I don't want to be a white box anymore that was just my frame of reference now I hit save now this document course nothing happens we always switch to this one look at that now there's my logo nicely on the cup and em boss the edges of in boston the way I wanted to be and I could now say I don't think I like that name to make a change to it if I changed the logo it will update on both of these and if you were doing this for your a designer who makes logos for people as a business that I'd be making one of these and just save it without any logo innings I wantto that there's ones I've seen I'll show you in a second that someone has put together for example for restaurants it has ten packages at a restaurant would have for takeout with a generic logo on your place one and they all trickle through in a place across the board so someone's already done that is like a temple it but you could certainly do with yourself so again just remember that in this particular case any change I make if I decide this is the wrong color or I need to try a different logo whatever it is I make some change to it let's just add a few saturation adjustment layer and change the color to something like that it saved and instantly updates mac and I can't even move fast enough to tow trickett because it's already done so any time where you're looking at a situation where you're like how could I make this simpler so here's this is uh the next day I wanted to take this a step further is the talk specifically about if you have a photo shop c c twenty fourteen in particular the last update it was just done and within the last few weeks one things that was added two photo shop which I love already is called libraries so this allows you to have things you can move back and forth between various photoshopped documents or photos open illustrator so for example before if you want to have a logo accessible there was no way to build a full cover logan to photocopied after just remember where it was and place it now there's this panel called libraries and you can say that's my logo that I want in this document and has always available to you so that's pretty cool but if you go looking and you don't see a library's often option this is photoshopped cc twenty fourteen whatever they call the update that just happened like it literally was in the last couple of weeks in october of two thousand fourteen so this library function is pretty sweet now here's a couple of options I was showing you that somebody came up with and it's like you can see it's a whole series of different elements that you can you update one logo it will update throughout the whole thing and someone did all that work already thes things like that I'm showing you right here is part of my creative cloud membership now I have this wonderful thing called the market and I could just look through and say I really need some graphic so all I did was I searched for think I put rand branding or something to see what it had and it came up with here is a bunch of free graphic elements that adobe paid someone for and they're all kinds of things and you just say I want to use that one so one of the ones that I saw when I was looking was this and this absolutely blew me away the fact that someone figured this out so to me I look at that that looks like a photograph someone took of letters on a wall doesn't mean that looks pretty photo realistic to me but when you look at it it's a smart object so if I hide this and I take my type tool and put some type in here let's make it a big my letters all nicely the way I want it black so this is the hardest part is making it the right size because other nat you just hit save and it says let me update that for you and in a matter of moments like that so someone did that by and god love him because I wouldn't have done this there's like hundreds of copies of layers with little shading things and it's but it's multiple copies of the same smart object so if you update the contents it goes through all those many layers where some very clever designer thought well this layer needs to have a little highlight and this letter needs to have a little shiny thing and this one he's have a spotlight and I I guess that god loving that they did because I never would have done that but the fact that that's now I just went to a built in part of my creative cloud membership went that looks kind of cool was that do downloaded it was in my library within seconds if you don't have this latest version which is download to your down most holder but it's kind of nice that does there but again this is probably a best example I've seen if someone who really put a lot of effort into it that said hey we're assigned company what better way to show them this is what your logo or you know word mark would look like up on a wall is to make one that we could just go change the type update automatically so that's of any template concept I've seen this is probably one of the best examples that I've seen so far because it's that easy really is um ok now in the er previous session on layers I talked a little bit about layer camps and how that has some interesting possibilities this is where update there was also this was photoshopped c c twenty fourteen the very first twenty fourteen update this where it starts to get funny you're describing not that one that happened two weeks ago but the one before that an interesting way to work with graphics so here's a logo and I wanted to give myself or her in this case multiple options as to how her logo displayed talked before about how you can link a graphic and if you updated it will go across the board here's where you khun do a slight variation on that theme so just to show you this one I went through in my I made layer cops so I have white on red red on black white on a darker red this one says white on black but it's wrong so we'll just delete that one because I made a mistake on dh then I have I may use that knockout feature we talked about before to make see through on red and see through on black so that's built inside this one logo file now if I choose place linked and place that psd file just put it wherever we want and then go to this one and do the same thing place linked because I have it set up to place length and if I save these both and then updated they would both change but maybe in this case because this photo's black and white and this one is color maybe I wantto have different versions of the logo for color photographs I want to use one of the color versions of this local quite sure which one it is in inside that logo file because it's a layer come so if I want to change it now in the past I would have had to make a decision while I guess across the board they'll all change but I want to be able to still linked to the same original logo file but look inside of it and access layer compliments to me is just a wonderful possibility so what I do is I go to the properties panel and the properties panel has become over the last couple of years a very important place because the properties panel changes depending on your circumstances if you clicked on a layer mask it shows you offense for layer mask if you click on it it just shows me adjustment layer it gives you options for the adjustment layer if you have ah shape italy the office for the shapes in this case it's saying well I recognize that this place psd file has layer continent so I could look inside and say what if we chose that red see through option for this one notice how the other one doesn't change because while it's linked I'm looking inside that link graphic and saying for just this one file used this layer camp now for anyone that that wasn't sold on the idea of calling your layer calms names that make sense this is why it's important because if it was just called layer comp one two three four five I'd be like you have no idea but what this allows me to do is say for this photo let's use this version of the link file for this one let's use this other one so that's a really nice ability to tweak it a little bit so you're still saying yes I want to link them to the original file but I want to look inside and work a little bit differently

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Dave's Detailed Course Notes
Using Photoshop, Illustrator, & InDesign

Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

I am an experienced photographer and retoucher and this Advanced Photoshop class with Dave Cross was exactly what I was hoping to find. I know how to accomplish everything I need in Photoshop, but was looking for the ways that I could update my workflow with the new features that have been added by Adobe. The complete use of Smart Objects and libraries is already changing my life and is incredibly useful and time saving. Dave gave a great explanation about the coarse at the beginning as to the fact that he just wanted to help users make their workflow better and he did just that...and in an enjoyable way. I highly recommend this class!

a Creativelive Student

While not highly experienced in PS I'm also not a newbie. I've done a few other online courses and am a member of other training sites but very quickly found I got information here that I hadn';t yet come across. Nesting smart objects and the non-destructive editing abilities they give me was one of those light bulb moments. Lots of other useful information in this course. Had to try the CC Library as a result. Very useful..... wish it saved the layer comps with your file though. Put some of these new learnt skills into a composite straight away.... did I say I'm loving nested smart objects!! A great course Dave.


Brilliant, love Dave's clear presentation style which is easy to follow, simply had to buy this one. I thought i had a pretty good grasp on photoshop but I'm delighted at how some of these seemingly simple tips and tricks have improved the quality of my final images and the speed at which I can work.

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