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Smart Objects Part 3

Lesson 9 from: Advanced Adobe Photoshop Techniques

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

9. Smart Objects Part 3

Lesson Info

Smart Objects Part 3

here's the other thing I want to just touch on a little further I've kind of mentioned passing keeps saying that talking about him or there's going to be a separate section tomorrow and more detail about camera raw but I want to talk about um this concept a little bit more here to introduce it so we can have more times like about things tomorrow so when you have a raw file show you how it normally works by default so normally when you have a camera value double click on it and it says here's your raw file how would you like to adjust it so of course we make some adjustment to it whatever we want and we hit open image when we do that I'm gonna close these other two files here just to avoid any confusion what's happened is it saying well this is now a regular old photo shop player no connection to camera whatsoever so I had to make sure I did all my editing upfront because now it's too late to use camera ought to change it and to me that's not the ideal plan I would love to have the abil...

ity will back and forth the camera on keep changing it but do we have to tell that to photos off to make sure that happens so we need to do it and I do this once and that's why you go and turn it off because it's always on for me down at the bottom here it shows you your current work flow options I'm gonna click this little button that says open and photo shop s mart objects that's like saying from now on every time I do this I want to create a two way editing street between camera and photoshopped so I make changes to it I had open object it still comes into photo shop but now the difference has got that smart object logo on it the little icon so I know no matter what I do here I could start doing photoshopped style things to it with applying you know free transform I could add a layer mask and start painting on the mask with whatever show you what I'm doing something here so you can see something is happening and I do all this work and all of a sudden I think and I think the settings are wrong instead of going to start again I just double click and is going to go jump back to wherever I left off so now I can readjust my settings it okay it's goingto update in photoshopped this to me offer some really nice ending possibilities but instead of doing a one shot deal have to go oh well I have to live with that and we'll talk about this a little bit tomorrow we talk about compositing one of the challenges is when I'm trying to make a selection of something where it's hard to see like dark hair on a dark background well now I can deliberately say for now I'm going to go over the top and do an exposure that looks horrible at first but now it's easier to see what I'm doing with this setting so I would do that I would now say okay now I can see I'm doing take my selection tool make my selection once I've done that then I go back and put it back to the well actually want the photograph to be click okay it's gonna update so this is a almost like having access to camera aw right within photo shop is just a back and forth editing now for those people that use light room there is a similar principal where you can start in light room and use a command called open in photo shop as smart object and that takes the light room file opens it in camp in photo shop with that same little smart object symbol but here's the only tricky part when you start in camera and you double click on the thumbnail goes back to camera when you start in light room on your double click on the smart object thumbnail it goes to camera so it doesn't go back and forth directly it goes like room photo shop camera raw photoshopped room so it's effectively the same thing but there is there isn't a possible is having a direct link between camera on photo shop but effectively it's the same we just have to recognize that if you do decide to edit the light room file it's going to go to camera which is exactly the same sliders and settings it just looks a little different so that's the only kind of difference between them but what these smart objects and thinking about the way that they work opens up such a world of possibilities including things that I used to just look at and go yeah I can't can't really do that very easily so for example just gonna just do this do a quick little graphic here for a calendar just for the sake of argument okay I'm just gonna make a little bigger visually what I want okay so my goal here would be to make kind of like headers for a calendar you know january march et cetera and because I want them all to have a similar look I would rather not have to build them all separately even though there's on ly twelve it's still twelve so I would liketo do in such a way is going to make my life a little simpler so sorry I can't help it I have to tweak my text I can't stand where just look silly that's bad okay so before we do anything else I'm gonna convert this to a smart object because I want to make sure that I'm going to preserve all this ability that I'm going to hit duplicate let me go back one step it will be easier I think if I pick a different color first you can see what's happening here okay that will be easier all right now we'll convert to a smart object and then duplicate and when I said before when you duplicate a smart object their exact clones of each other so if I change one the other one will change which in this case is both good and bad because the good part is if I change it to one to february they'll both change the february the downside is I want to make this layer here a drop shadow that's black but if I double click on and changed at the black the other one will change the black because they're goingto in concert with each other so this is where you have to put your thinking cap on and say well how can I tell photoshopped not to do that or to do in such a way that gives me the look that I want so the solution would be I can't just double click on and change into black but I could at a layer style like colored overlay and tell it to be black they won't see it at first until I hae this but now you see this is the tricky part the thumbnail the type still looks red but because I've got a colored overlay it looks black now I want to make it look more like a kind of a cast shadow thing so we'll just scale it like this a little bit still looks a little too nice and sharp considering it's a shadow so we'll take this bottom one and add a bit of a blur to it to make it look a little more shadowy but really drop shadows I mean real shadows tend to be sharper closer to an object and blurrier as they get further away so I would consider taking a layer mass to this whole layer taking my grady in tool doing something like this someone the wrong way sorry but still a bit much I just want the very edge to be just look a little blurrier and I'm doing this just fairly quickly to show you the concept of how we can get to the end result that we want so now I could add maura facts like it has stick a photo inside the type of whatever I want to do but the base of it is now set up and I should have mentioned the beginning having done this before the first I let you in the world of when you I realized too late that you make a mistake the very first time I tried this I just arbitrarily said I'm gonna pick one month and I picked mei but then of course every other month other than may is much longer so also in the rest of didn't if it so in this case I deliberately chose one of the longer months to make sure if this one fits and the other one should be pretty good to go so now I've got all these things looking the way that I want I could tweak it a cz muchas I want moving around but if I want to now move on to the graphic for the next month I want to work on which is march just picking marshes arbitrarily I double click there's my read text that's march my clothes and save it and now you see they change both the word and the shadow automatically fifths could we do this in other ways of course the challenge would be if there is anything like what I used to do was add a layer style called drop shadow separated and then transform and then it just became a bunch of pixels that looked like type because this shadow layer is really just a a clone of my smart object that I've made look like a shadow its life so I khun do whatever editing I want to this and it will update completely and each one I would just make whatever changes I can't even say well this month actually needs to be a different color darker red okay close and save it and felt both update you see each time it's now if I'd needed to maybe there's one month where for some reason the drop shadow even though it worked it doesn't look quite the way that I want it's still a separate layers so I could still go in and tweak the results and say let me just that do whatever I want so this is the reason I showed this example is this is one that I had a project much like this and I realized I was doing all these extra steps and having just almost start from scratch each time and I kept thinking surely there must be a way to take advantage of this technology where I'm not doing it all over again and then the rial example yes on several the month I do a little bit of an adjustment but it was better than the alternative which was started completely from scratch every single time now at any time remember you always have the option if he had a certain point you're happy with the way this looks then we can take these separate layers and convert that to a smart obvious so we're kind of starting afresh from now if I want to add another shadow or whatever it might be so that concept of nested smart objects is always an offense going to give us lots of different possibilities um I'm not for you guys remember there was that what was the name of that movie was all about the dreams within dreams yes inception I watched that movie and with other members of my family and they were like I don't get this sounds like makes perfect sense to me because I'm so used to a smart dodging within smart dogs don't like yeah dreams within dreams sure perfect no no problem at all really good question that we had from the chat rooms and alfred ingram wanted to know is there any way to add comments to let you know how many levels of smart objects you have well not an easy one I mean the only thing that kind of exists in photo shop is there is a notes tools was like a little post it note there's no other simple way I could think of that's going to be other than the equipment you just stick a little post it note to yourself which I suppose is still better than you know the alternative just completely guessing I have that case where I go back to a file that I created a year ago and I quite literally just go double click double click double click oh there it is I keep just digging down far enough eventually I find there's my original contents and then I just worked that getaway save save save anand updates so this uh the smart object concept one of the things we have to always remember it a smart of it could be just a simple is saying I just need to apply a filter to something so if I just open a document and I just choose a filter I'm doing it directly the document now what people used to do and I say people including myself because before smart this was the method they would use is they would duplicate the smart object and then apply a filter to it like say gazi in blur and the good part of doing it this way at least you had the original photograph to go back to if you change your mind and what I used to do I want to get kind of a soft focus effect so I would lower the opacity of it and that was kind of nice it worked but the core problem was unless and this is what I used to do because it was the only solution I can think of it you might think it's silly but it worked if I want to come back this file later and remind myself how much I blurt it I used to rename layer one as gaussian blur twenty seven pixels so I would know later on looking edited at least I knew so this method while it works and this is one of those things where we develop habits and because a long time ago people started saying I should duplicate the layer and that'll give me more control it did but the one thing it doesn't do is let you edit the amount of blurring so instead this is where habits change if we would have been having this conversation six seven years ago I would have said without exception the first thing I do when I open a document is duplicate the background layer that's what I used to do now the first thing I do with very few exceptions is convert to a smart object because that's the equivalent but better because now for example if I go on do my blur I can still put it out amount I could double click over here and lower the opacity so I still get that nice effect that I had before but the difference is as long as I say this is a psd and that's crucially important I come back a year from now on go how did I do that I can find out I just double click on it tells me oh yeah I blurted seventeen point six and I can tell just by looking at it that's not a complete blur so I must have done something over here with seventy four percent capacity so the other really nice advantage of a smart object and I particularly love this part with my failing memory is I talked to people all the time and I'm sure some of the viewers will have had this experience where one things we do in photo shop sometimes it's just play right you're just trying things ago try this filtering and try that and do this and you get in effect you really like and you save it and you come back six months later look at go how on earth did I do that because at that moment in time it made sense because you were in the middle of experimenting but there's nothing I hate more than not being able to look at the file and go oh that's how I did that so one of things that I particularly like about both smart objects in smart filters is they preserve or they have the ability to preserve everything including what filter you used the name of it what the settings were did I change this what was the blend mode that I make a copy and all those things you can just I can look now in my layers panel and kind of reverse engineer and deconstruct even that was months and months or years ago and go oh that's how I did that and more importantly or as importantly I could not only look at something and say oh no I could just drag down another photo and have that similar effect or copy and paste or whatever or just make note of the effect and kind of replicated or tweak it and say well I I liked starting this way but I want to move in a different direction police I know I started with a costume blur forty fifty percent of passing or whatever it is so are there ever times that I apply a filter that's not smart I would say very very rarely and the on ly time that's even a possibility is the one thing you can't do is a smart filter is if you have a layer mask you can't apply a smart filter to the mask so there's been a few rare occasions where when I'm experiment ago what happen if I apply this filter to the mask and that it works but then I don't have any track record to say oh I did this to a filter maybe someday in photo shop twenty twenty there'll be a ability to do that but I think it's coming any time soon I guess it's a little too complicated but the bottom line is when people I tend to say things very dramatically to make a point like you should always do this you should never do that and there will always be be exceptions but what I would say is that for example with smart filters of someone says do you always use smart filters I would say I always consider it because at the very least I want to make sure is there any disadvantage if I do this or not so I and most time the answer's yeah make it smart why wouldn't you you know the drawbacks that people run into we've already seen if someone says oh but wait now I can't you know pink on this or clone or whatever then I just would say well let's go back to the original file add a new layer he said but it didn't work at a new layer and whatever we're going to do I don't know we'll do something so you can see me doing something so I make a change to it I close and save it and then this one updates and the filters already done so I have to re do any work so any time you can save yourself time by not saying add another stepper in particular the part I hate more naming else and photocopies have tto ri do work I've already done because I did it in such a way that I painted myself into a corner and then I changed my mind or my client changed my mind for me I'd have to redo a bunch of work so I'd much rather have a bigger file that takes up more room it's a longer to open all those bad things about a bigger file that gives me all this information smart objects smart filters I also used in things like adjustment layers and things that I know I can look at any single part of it and deconstructed and say oh that's how I did that and if they do say could you just make this one little change because people tend to do that just changes one thing and then their mind is a simple change but it could be quite a problem unless you have all these layers mean there could still be times where people say things like just take jim out of the photo you're like after that we'll take the first ball eh I don't want to because I want him in my photos but secondly you know people say something like just take them out well that's a lot of work but again even that could be easier if you have all the structure that lets you do that working non destructively is such an important part so I think that's about it for this section do we have any other questions or anything I think you know dave let me take a quick peek because I know folks been chime in on a lot of different subjects a lot of stuff you're going to cover tomorrow so we have that going for us um so I don't know if you this is a bit of a rabbit hole but folks are asking let me ask let me just say what are the top two adjustments that you cannot make too smart objects that you find you know what I just need to do this I'm not going to do it on the smart up your top two you know I'm gonna answer by saying I don't know I came to think of an answer because I use smart a pic so and some people would say not excessively but passionately shall we say that my first thought is smart objects and I've yet to run into a roadblock were like oh I can't do that it just means I have to add another layer and he'll clone etcetera that layer so for me I there's yet to be a situation I've run into that that's drastic enough that I let go I'm unless it's something like it's hard to say because if I'm just showing someone real quick I might slap something onto a layer and just a race part of it you know the back mine I'm going I should just mass that pickup yeah just in case so I think the same way with filled smart filters I mean realistically sometimes I probably could just say you know what just blurt ten percent but the back of my mind there's a little voice it goes yeah but what if someone comes back and before I change my mind for the extra step it takes to me it's I can't think of too many occasions where I wouldn't just be smart about it

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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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