Smart Objects


Demystifying the Photoshop® Filter Menu


Lesson Info

Smart Objects

First thing we're gonna start off with is just the concept of what's called a smart filter. A smart filter is a way for us to apply a filter inside of Photoshop, but have it be done in a way that we can always go back and change it. So what do I mean by that? I got a photo open, in fact, right here, let's go and open another one here. Let's get something color so we can see a little bit about what's going on. So, open up this photo, opens up inside a camera and I'll go ahead and I'll make my adjustments, I'll do some things to the photo, I'll open up the shadows, what not. Open the image, brings it into Photoshop. When I come up here to the filter menu, I have the option to convert this over to a smart filter. So, a smart filter makes up a small object. They're the same exact thing. So if I do this and I convert this into a smart, re-editable filter, you're gonna see it puts the little sign down here in the bottom right corner of that filter layer thumbnail thing. That is a smart objec...

t. Now, if I undo that step and I come up here to the layer menu, and I go, and I convert this to a smart object, you will see it's the same icon. They are the same thing. That icon is apparently the universal icon for smart. So, it is the same exact thing, they are one in the same. You could go do what we just did, it technically is a smart filter layer. So what this does for us is we can come up here to the filter menu, and I can go like, let's say I wanna do a Blur on the photo, so I can go over here and do a field Blur and I can add a blur, click okay, I can later decide I don't want this Blur to, oh man, I should've picked a different photo. (audience laugh) This is a full resolution A7R3 mega pixel, crazy mega pixel photo, it's probably gonna take about 37 minutes to apply this filter. So we can talk. (audience laugh) Or I can cancel, no, I can't even cancel. Oh, I can, okay. Let's do this, let's knock the size of this down to 1000 pixels. No ,not 10.000. No! There we go. Hold on. Inches, pixels, there we go. Now, let's re-run the same filter, just because I changed the size doesn't mean anything, it's still the same smart object filter thing. So we'll go to Blur. I'm gonna use that Gaussian Blur here just to be fast with it. So I apply the Blur, click okay, and what you will see, isn't that amazing how that's so much faster? So, what you'll see over here is I kept the smart filter layer. And it's got Gaussian Blur listed underneath it. I can actually go and apply another something to the photo, like, let's say I'm gonna go to unsharp mask and I apply unsharp mask. You'll see it starts to list all my filters there. So, these are re-editable filters. I can go back in here at any point and I can say, you know what, I don't like that Blur, double-click on it, opens up the Blur dialogue and I can change it. Click okay. I can turn it off. I can turn it on. Can turn that one off, can turn that one on. I even have a mask if I wanna mask them away. That is a smart object layer. They have their benefits and so this is where everybody kinda needs to, you need to figure out your work flow and kinda develop what you're gonna do. I very, very rarely use these unless I really am just not sure. Unless I'm doing something and I think there's a high likelihood I'm gonna wanna come back and edit it, unless there's a high likelihood I'm doing it for somebody else and they want me to come back and edit it, alright? There's a penalty for doing smart object type things and that they don't do everything in your photos. You can't brush on them, there are certain, there are certain things that just kinda get clunky in Photoshop if you try to make everything a Smart Object layer. So, you just kinda need to figure out, what type of person are you? Are you the type of person who is always having to go back and re-edit your work? Then you might wanna consider these. For me, I don't have clients, I'm an educator, that is my full-time job. So I don't have clients, I don't have to do this for anybody. I'm doing it for me, and if I'm doing it for me, I'm the only one that has to pay if I go and re-edit things and you know I'm a pretty easy client on myself. If I don't wanna do it, I don't do it. You just kinda have to figure it out. But anyway, that's just kinda to get across what a smart object layer or a smart filter layer is because they are re-editable and they do have some benefits there. Alright, moving on down through our filter menu. We're gonna save the filter gallery for last because it is, you know when they say last but not least? This is last and least. (laughs) that's why we're saving until for the last. So, it definitely is the least part of that.

Class Description

If you’re the type of person who thinks: “If there’s a filter in Photoshop®, then it MUST have a purpose,” then this class is for you. Matt Kloskowski will lead you on a deep dive into the Photoshop® Filter menu. You’ll look at every filter that’s there and see some examples of how most of them can be used. By the end of this class, you’ll have a much better understanding of which filters will truly help you as a photographer and which ones you shouldn’t spend any more time wondering about.