Why Work Smart?


Everyday Adobe® Photoshop®: From Workflow to Smartflow


Lesson Info

Why Work Smart?

Hey one quick question what level do you think right today you know it's always interesting to try and put a level on thing and I tried as much as possible have a class that reaches across levels so that a really experienced photoshopped user will be a certain point going okay he's talking about kind of the basics of layers were then very quickly it starts to go but let's take it up a notch so I'd say it's kind of in the middle somewhere if you're a really high end advanced photo shop user than there'll be a few snippets along the way I always like to throw in but it's really to me it's less on what level is it and because everyone could work more efficiently and unit room wants to improve their workload and you know me you teach me something every single time on that's my only goal here is to make sure the gym similarly let's let's do it all right sounds good okay so this uh this class when I was trying to come up with the name ford or the idea behind it um some classes or talk about ...

a very specific topic but I've always thought that my what you use photo shopped for you can always be more productive so that's why the term everyday photoshopped meaning these are things you can use every day because I've taught other classes where it was a very specific like compositing so if you want learn how to do compositing, here are tips for that and that's great, but that is very specific the idea behind this class is it really doesn't matter whether you're ah photographer trying to prepare something for print or whether you're doing scrapbooking or fine art or a graphic designer doing stuff for a business card it's all about how can I do that in the most efficient way possible? And I basically spent literally since photoshopped came out I think it's now twenty four years ago where something like that I spent every day teaching photo shop and yet one of my goals is autos it sounds is to help people spend less time in photo shop because especially if you're a photographer that's the last thing you want to spend all of you what I'm doing you know you can go out and see a scene and capture a great photograph and then try to tweak and if it takes you ten times longer and photo shop and it did the moment you press the shutter that kind of defeats the purpose a little bit having said that, I don't think there's anything wrong with if you and I love what you said camp when you said you make photos that make you happy and on that no one else you know and I think that's that's a great philosophy toe have that but that means that there's it's okay to then say I'd like to experiment a little bit and see what I can come up with and the core function I'm going to be talking about throughout these three days is working non destructively that's kind of my thing that I preached the gospel of as much as I can because as we all know, if you've used photo shop for more than three or four minutes, there's always multiple ways to do things, and some are quicker on somewhere a little more accurate. But my biggest concern is when I see people where they get to an end result and it looks fine. But then, if they need to change their mind or repurpose their work later, they look at their document. Go, I I don't know what I did, and I always tell this story because I think it's happened to everyone who uses photo shop where you are playing around because a lot of people that's what they do in photo shop, they don't have a specific goal in mind, so you start playing around with filters and layers and do all these things at the end. You save your document because you really love the end result. And then you may be printed out, and then you come back to that document six months later thing, I want to kind of reproduce that same look on a different image and you look atyour document and the way you create it and go, I have no idea how I did that because at that moment in time it was like this filter in that filter and that, but looking back at it later, depending on how you created, there may just be no way at all toe to be able to re purpose that so when when people talk about working, not destructively, my concern is for many people, they think that just simply means the ability to change your mind, you know, like multiple undue kind of stuff and that's part of it. But I also think that working not destructively also helped to be more productive, because there are ways where you can do things such as we purpose ing. You know, if you if you created a look on one photo and then you think I'd like to do that for another photo, then rather than build it from scratch, why not pull those elements you did on one photo and just put them on the other one and then tweak it? So instead of starting from scratch all the time, I also think it helps people be more accurate because there are times where you're trying to do something and photo shop on dh we'll talk about this a lot where I see people trying to in effect get it right the first time, and I have this expression, I'll talk about more about just worry about ending up with the look you want on the other thing is I think it opens up creative juices too, because if you photoshopped by nature has a limited number of undoes and once you close the document undoes are gone and so is history. I see people talk all the time, but we don't want to be just use the history brush or the history panel and photo shop, and the problem with that is you have to think of the history function photo shop as today's history. Once you close the document, history is gone, so there's there's no chance and then unfortunate some people rely on that I think too much so therefore they are experimenting and then they think I wish I hadn't done that five steps ago, but it's kind of too late because you're kind of committed to that function because of the way you structure the document, so my biggest goal in this class is to help us find ways to create documents that are, shall we say, built for success so that at any time you can say, how did I do that? Maybe you this happens all the time, people, they create something and they think it looks great and they printed and maybe it's a little too dark or something, and you want to tweak it well, their ways you can do that more efficiently based on the way you've created your photo shopped document and what it also comes down to. I think that idea of repurpose ing and also reverse engineering, one of my favorite things is to look back at a document that I created three years ago and think, how did I do that and know exactly how I did it? Because I just look at the layers panel ago, right? I did that filter with this, and I can kind of figure out how I did it because of the structure of the document before we jump in there's two key concepts that I always talk about, and that is working non destructively means nothing unless you develop the habit of always saving a psd file. Ptsd is photo shops, native format, and that means by nature it includes layers and smart objects, or anything you've done in photo shop is preserved, so I probably told this story on great of live multiple times, but it always makes me remember the feeling I had I was traveling somewhere and reading happen to be a british magazine and there was a beginner's article on photo shop and it was kind of a cool little technique and I was reading along and that the very end it basically said and that's the end result now flattened and save and I think the guy next to me thought I was having a heart attack on the plane because I was like, well this are going what how could you tell beginners just now flattened and save and I'm like no we're told to tell them save a layer document that's your master working copy you can always come back to and then if you need to save a copy is a j peg or whatever else and that's such a key element it always really worries me when I see people creating really great artwork and then a certain point they start thinking I should probably emerge this and flatten that I'm like I mean I used to say there were some instances where I could kind of see that now I can't think of one instance where it's necessary to merge layers or flatten them inside your master document yes you're going to make a copy that's flattened down to a j p because that's the one you can print or sent to someone or whatever but I'm still preserving all this information in the layers and to me that's so crucial so that's that's a big part of it the other phrase that I am not a big one on tattoos but I'd probably tattoo somewhere is they end up with because that's kind of my catch trees and photo shop is I see people that think to themselves for example I need to lighten just this part of a photograph and they proceed to do it and what I feel is a very challenger there making it more difficult for themselves and it needs to be and instead in my mind even though it sounds kind of similar I always think I need to end up with this part of the photograph being lighter than the rest and by thinking end up with sometimes I might as you'll see completely overdo something so I can see what I'm doing and then pull it back to the final amount so I'm ending up with the look that I want and I might get there in a way that's a little more unusual but to me it's still and help get helps with my accuracy and my speed because if you go in knowing that you have this built in ability to change it then why wouldn't you do that? Okay all right so enough of that whole chatter stuff a couple of people mentioned that they're using light room for the most part and that's great cause light room my philosophy is also more you can do before you get into photoshopped the better so later on in the course, we'll talk a little bit about light room, but for now we're just going to soon however you're getting the photograph in these are things we can do and photoshopped to enhance, so I'm going to be using bridge just because it's a simple way for me to get to my photos very quickly and visually so I'm going to start off with a couple of basic concepts is to show you the difference of like why I suggest we work not destructively and I tend to do it in a fairly obvious maybe exaggerated manner to make a point, but this is the idea here, so when you open a document generally speaking without doing anything else, it opens as the background layer and one of things that I, oh, I should actually throw this out here as a kind of a disclaimer I love a dope I love adobe adobe is awesome, but every so often they make choices, which are unusual and I shouldn't complain too much because if photo shop was that easy to use, I probably wouldn't have a job, so I should just stop talking about that but as an example you look at the background layer and there's a padlock symbol there now most people if they see a padlock that would imply the background layer is locked but it really isn't it's only kind of locked because the only thing you can't do to the background layer is move it so if I take my move tool and try toe move it it's going to say you can't do it because the layer is locked however I can paint it I can clone on it I could do all these other things so it's not really locked as much as we might think it should be so for me one of the first rules of photo shop is that I don't want to work directly on the background layer with very few exceptions now if I open a photograph and I see it's got sensor dust spots on it or something that I might you might work directly on the background later probably still wouldn't because to my mind as soon as you touch the background layer that right away you're making a permanent change I don't want to make anything that I'm committed to where I can't decide later on maybe I changed my mind or I don't like the way it looks a very common problem I see is that we have to remember what you see on the screen is not what you're going to get when you print in terms of matching color matching and things like that by nature were working on a monitor which is backlit we're printing on ink on our inkjet printer it's very where that it matches so you might have touched up a photograph in a way that you think looks fantastic and the imprinted and kind of go glowed clone area doesn't look so good anymore so if you clone directly on the background layer I hope you have a backup copy because this is it so for me and we'll talk in much more detail later on about my favorite topic which is smart objects I never worked directly on the background there always do something first and used to duplicate the background layer and work on the copy and that that's I would now consider that kind old school because while it was better than working on the background layer it still was kind of limiting so as a general rule now I always start by making a new layer so that whatever I do next is going to be on that later in fact just to show the difference let me not do that and take the closed abdel hey jim trivia for you what did the clone stamp used to be called because everyone talks about the clone stamp tool but remember what used to be called the duke tool that was actually called the rubber stamp tool in fact for many years I feel the rubber I mean the clone stan because they suddenly changed it I'm not armed version of photo shop it was after years of saying just use the rubber stamp clone stamp of the river so here's an example where I just decided I don't want this number on here so with the clone stamp tool mejust reset some settings I have here I just hold out option and click once and then cover up that number and it looks great the problem is if I move on now and if I save this document that's it it's that's the end of that story and even though I might at this moment in time being absolutely one hundred percent convinced I'd never want to see that number again how do you really know that? I mean, I just why why would you set yourself up for that a bit of failure so instead by undo that this is where I would add a new layer and one of the functions that you see in photo shop in fact, one of the comments I always suggest to people as a habit is when you're working and photo shop what you should do is click on the tool you want to use and then immediately go on look at the options bar and see what the settings are for that tool I had to do it in this case because clearly the last time we used the clone stamp tool it was set on some unusual setting and I know just by looking at it it wouldn't have done what I wanted it to do so as a habit, I suggest the first thing you want to do is go and look and say, ok, I clicked on the clone stamp tool. Now let me see what the settings are, and over time you start to develop understanding what settings do different things, there's, certainly lots of times where you'd want to change the settings, but the main one you want to look at is this setting that says sample all layers and that appears in most painting cloning, fixing type tools like the healing brush and and the clone stamp tool and so on and what that means, that's adobe engineers way of saying put the results of this tool onto a blank layer, so it only works if you add a blank layer first, and then when you use the clone stamp tool that's telling it visually, it looks like you're cloning right on the background layer. But the results are going on the separate blank layer instead, so functionally it still works the same. Hold on optional. Then click wants to say sample from here and now I clone over there. But the difference is I now have one layer with a little bit of cloning on it, so visually to the viewer, it still looks like that number is gone. But I know if I save this as a ps defiling you'll get so tired of hearing me say that over the next three days but it's so important that I know if I changed my mind and decide maybe I do want the number I have that option now in the good old days of photo shop in the early days of photo shop when layers first came along, people were had a reluctance to let's use this method simply because the more layers you have, the bigger your file sizes and today I would say who cares? Because I mean seriously storage today is so cheap that if that's a concern of you go get more ram and your computer and some wars a bigger storage drive because I would hate for that to be the reason for someone to say, well, the file size getting so big no don't don't let that be the reason. So even though at this moment in time I might be actually convinced that I want to get rid of that element in my photograph so I would clone it out I would still do it this way just in case because to me what's the downside and doing it is I haven't actor file on my machine now that I save as a psd file I know in a pinch and I might frankly never change it but I'd rather have that option then a year from now go wait a minute didn't wasn't there? Where is that and realize that there's no going back photoshopped has multiple undoes but on ly at this moment in time so if I did this traditionally with cloning right onto the background layer at a certain point I'd have to close and save it and that would be my new photograph unless I had another version now I tend to shoot my photos in raw and one of the advantage of that is a built in backup plan because you can't save over the top of a raw file so I know for example when you look at a folder of my images I have a bunch of raw files I have a bunch of psd files that air might working copies and I have a folder full of finished j peg and I always do air quotes for finished because by the way I created I know it's never ever a final version because I have these other steps to go back to. So any time you're looking at doing something in my opinion you shouldn't even be a question of should I add a new layer it's what should I call this new layer that I'm going to add to my document if you won those people it likes toe name your layers I think when you're first starting out naming layers is a great idea I used to be religious about naming all my layers now you look at one of my documents is like ok, my lawyers called like layer seven copy too you know it's like well that's really helpful but now if you have a ton of layers are there are some times where is useful to name layers when you're exporting and other two other programs for example but from a data the standpoint to me I'd much rather have you say yes, I have a layer document so at this point as an example let's just say that's all I've done let's cover up the other one since we're at it okay, now when I go to just save it it won't let me just directly save it because this came in originally as a file it didn't have layers in it so as soon as I hit the regular save command it's prompting the to save it as a photoshopped document because it has layers and that's exactly what I would do what I would save this as ah file dot psd and for me the fact that says dot psd on the end tells me this is my master working copy and then once I done that then I would save a call if I felt I was finished and ready to print or sent to a lab or whatever then I would use to save as command to create another copy that didn't have layers now let me address very quickly something that I say and I think every class I've ever taught on photo shop since layers and that is there are these commands here that say like merge and flatten those should be considered evil were dirty words like I always have said this a thousand times but to me flatten images like photoshopped f word it's bad and you should not use it here don't use it here, however, saving a flattened copy that's completely different my worry is I see people do this, they hit flattened image, then they go to hit save as and like you just added an extra step because here's, what happens? So you saw a moment ago that when I went to save it prompted me to save it as photo shop because it had layers so let's pretend I had done that. Now I decide I need a j peg or a tip for something else, so I go to say that in the same dialogue box it's still prompting me to save his ptsd because it has layers, but look what happens if I tell it I'd rather have a j peg it automatically unchecked layers so it's going to flatten it anyway so instead of me doing flatten, then save as this cuts out that step and it's less dangerous because now you know you're deliberately doing this to make a flattened copy so when I on ly semi jokingly say flatten is a bad word, flatten a copy is fine, I just worry when people say, like now flattened and save that scares the bejeebers out of me because I mean, what that what do you have left? Nothing. So this is the kind of work flow that I use is I'm working on I start, I happen to use camera, but camera slash light room do as much as you can bring into photoshopped do this kind of work and then save a psd, which is your master file just in case, and then save as whatever format you decide to say, then for your own print or saying to a lab or putting on a website or whatever it might be and that's kind of the core of what we're going to talk about is this is going to I won't often go to the step of saving because my only purpose here is to show people things, so I probably won't save a lot, but it's kind of the implication should be every time I'm finished, I would be doing that save us psd, save as j peg or whatever version you want now it is possible to save a layered document in tiff as well as as psd, and technically they're they're almost equal there's no real difference between them personally, the main reason I use ptsd is it's very I always say this is almost stupid simple the reason I do is because if I'm just looking in a folder and I see a tiff file just says like something dot tiff, I have no way of knowing it has layers or not because it might but it might not I prefer to know and I know when I see a file says dot psd on the end I know I say that that way because it has layers so it's not any technical reason other than just for me it's quicker I look in a folder and go that's my psd fell that's my layered file. Now some people call it like photo dash master dot tiff for something and that's fine too, but I'm suggesting that psd just by nature you know it has everything you need in it all the built in things that are all smart and layered and all that kind of goodness that's in there is a common part of the file format, so rule number one is when you first open a document we wantto somehow make sure we're protecting the background layer and one simple way is to add a layer on top and do all of our cloning, healing whatever it might be on that layer one thing that happened fairly recently and jim and j k o alluded to this earlier one of the cool slash challenging parts of photo shop these days is because of creative cloud you never know when you're talking to a group of twelve people who has what version because they might have updated yesterday versus someone who updated last month so that's great from a user standpoint as an instructor it's kind of a challenge because you go to show something that someone like I don't have that but I have photo shops sisi michael is because I have the january update so one of things that changed a while ago which was really nice is the patch tool I was always an interesting tool but by default you had to work directly on the background layer which to me eliminated out of the conversation because there's no way I was going to use patching developing on the background layer and then in photo shop c s six and into c c they made a very important change which is there's an option now called content aware and that's really cool but the included benefit of that is now there is a check boxes sample all layers so now it's the same concept where I can say I would like to cover up this and I was just picked this is an area sometimes this is way easier than the clone stamp tool because the cold stamp to you have to decide from where should I clone no sided that somewhat grabem please correct because I normally I don't from where should I clone to make it match up here you're getting a preview so if you have any question all you can kind of tell this only works though, because I have this option called sample all layers so there's you'll see a lot of recurring themes here and one of them is be sure to check the options bar for each tool because sometimes there's a new feature like this one some people have been using were tend to be creatures of habit, so if you've used the clone stamp to a certain way, you'll probably still keep using it that way and the patch tools a good example it was always kind of an interesting tool, but to me it was never high on my list because it wasn't abel you weren't able to do it non destructively now since you are I use this way more than the clothes battle because I can pick areas and be much more specific and it uses content aware which is an adobe technology from a number of years ago which as the name suggests it's more aware of its surrounding so it generally does a better job of blending in if you compared side by side use the clone stamp tool it's literally just taking those pixels copying and pasting them with a brush content aware says I will copy and paste but I'll do a little more blending than the clone stamp tool does by nature so that's why any time I see anything that has the word content aware in and I'm like well, use that because it is by nature a better technology than cloning which has always been good and it's a great tool but it literally is just that is if you said take these pixels copy paste there's no blending you blended by the choice of the brush you use and other settings but content aware does that by nature, so when content where phil came out, it was really useful I used the patch to a continent where way more because it gives me the choice of where to use and therefore it's also faster, and I'm still as before doing it to a separate layer so that I know if all else fails, I can change my mind so that part doesn't change. Ok? So that's kind of the first concept of working non destructively it's it's being more efficient because you're always making sure that you don't have to worry about that. I save a backup copy of this file because I'm changing the appearance of my background layer without actually touching it so as soon as you go directly and touch the back probably and do something directly on it to me or you're taking a bit of a chance, I mean it's ok, but there are times where, you know, maybe it's just me that even like if I see a big speck of dust, I was still at a blank layer and do it on their not that I'll probably ever want that speck of dust back, but there's some little voice in my head going at a layer don't do that, which is probably overkill, but again, and I had a conversation with someone wants it because they were like, I don't know why I wouldn't I don't work, not destructive because I never changed my mind. I'm like, well, good for you, first of all, if that's case but but more importantly, it's not just about, you know, if you again want to go back and see, how did I do that? At least by looking at this, I can remind myself, so you have this photo had a number up there that I covered up because I can see by looking at the at the layers panel, so that's kind of the first thing, the second example, and I'll get more of these I'm just trying to sort of given overview of a lot of things, but as we go through individual sessions going to get into much more detail, including this one, which is one of the bigger challenges the photoshopped hasn't said before we are we all know there's multiple ways to do things and photoshopped and one of the challenges of photo shop is when you're new to it you probably make certain assumptions like the fact that adobe puts a menu right here that you can look at suggests that perhaps we should use those functions because it's right underneath the menu but the reality is this should be called destructive adjustments or something because anything you pick from here unless you do some kind of work around plan is a directly affecting the pixels in a destructive manner so let me use my typical example just to show and I'm going to overdo it to make a point but let's say for example, I have this photograph and I thought I want to use the levels command to adjust the way this photograph looks so first of all it brings up this big dialog box which I have to try and find a place to put it so I can see my photograph and it gives me this history graham and that's kind of beside the point but as example I decide I want to really alter this photograph that I'm deliberately overdoing it to make a point cause hopefully you wouldn't actually go that far but and at this point the problem is to get out of this dialogue box I have to click ok and ok is very close on the emerge flatten evil list because when you click ok, it means I have altered the pixels of this image and if I move on and do anything else, and in particular, if I save it that's my new photograph so again, I hope I have some kind of a backup plan. I don't like putting that much pressure on myself to say make a decision and stick with it so instead oh, I'm just to make a point because you clicked, okay, that said that's final now, if I many people discover this, if I say I'll just go backto levels and fix it when you open levels and you see this kind of history, graham that's telling you, there's nothing there like I there's no way I could move a slider and put it back the way it was, it just gets worse, so even to say I deliberately overdid it to make a point. But that's, the nature of everything under that adjustment menu is you click ok and you've committed, and then then you have to move on and do something else, so instead I would prefer not to do that so you don't add a blank layer on top of that when when you did your well, the problem with levels is it has to be applied direct under that menu, it has to apply direct if I had a blank layer, levels would be blank because there are a ce far as that's concerned there's nothing along that layer, so unfortunately, that put a blank layer wouldn't make any difference. Now, there is a way we'll talk about where you could do the equivalent of that, in fact, it's even better, but that's kind of the key point is by anything under this menu is pretty permanent, because every single one of these at some point has an ok button, which means I've gotto say, all right, I'm going to live with that and move on, and my concern is because so many people like to experiment a photo shop if on step three ided levels and clicked ok, and then did four, five, six, you know, more steps if I decide that step eight, I wish I hadn't done levels that much. Oh, well, because back in step three, I clicked, okay? And said that I'm happy with that, and I'll move on, and then if you decide later on, I wish I hadn't done that well. Now, again, in the moment, you have multiple undue, so maybe you can go back, but what happens if you close the document tomorrow, you don't have levels of undue so instead, even though these ones air right in your face going, pick me, pick me because they're under a menu don't pick those don't use those instead, we want to use adjustment layers, and one of the ironic things is that adobe is always making an effort to make things more they like to use the word discoverable, and in my mind, adjustment layers aren't working so well, because that's to me where what you should be using his adjustment layers, but you have to go looking for them, you know, it's not like right here, I wish there was an option where you could say, replace this menu with adjustment layers, but there is not so you have to either find a panel called adjustments, and it has all these little icons that tells you all the adjustment layers or if you look down the very bottom of the layers panel there's a little icon that looks like a black and white cookie that's the adjustment layer menu, so either way, same thing, but as an example, if I said all common apply levels, there's a couple of things about this that are important, let me put this the way I like it, ok, so two important differences about using adjustment layers and again this is just sort of overview will get much more into adjustment layers later on today but first differences it appears in its own panel it's not covering up half of my photo if you have a big photograph nine have no longer worry about having this big levels adjustment that you have to kind of move out of the way but if I show it to you here let's just make this you could see it base looks the same as levels it's a little smaller but that's ok and if I do the same bad adjustment and then go to click ok oh wait there's no ok button aha so that's the first important difference of an adjustment there is I don't have to click ok I just leave go there and as long as I say this in psd format, it should be a counter every time I say that that's the way it'll come back if I open this a week later it looked just like that the photograph will look like this, but I'll have an adjustment there left right here so I can look at it the next day and go that was a little extreme let me pull that back a bit so the great benefit of adjusting layers as we'll see in more detail is you never have to click ok that's a big plus, because now I don't have to ever feel like, you know, I used to hate that feeling of going well, I guess that's ok, because I have to move on now. Now, I never feel that way because I feel like and make a levels adjustment or occurs or whatever adjustment layer, knowing that any time that's, just another element, I can come back and change. And as we'll see later on, we talk about presets. If there are common fixes that you have to do, oh, you khun, save these settings under a menu and then even cut that part out. We're not having toe typing numbers or move things around. You just pick a preset you've already created. So that's. Another. Another big advantage.

Class Description

Ready to spend less time editing your photos and more time taking them? Join Adobe expert Dave cross for a course that will transform your image editing workflow into an efficient smartflow system.

During this course, you’ll discover how a non-destructive editing process can help you to be more accurate, creative, and efficient. You’ll learn why presets are an essential part of a smartflow and learn how to efficiently create and leverage them. You’ll work with the full range of Adobe® Photoshop® features, including adjustment layers, smart objects and filters, templates, camera raw smart objects, and much more. You’ll also learn about reusing effects, looks, and templates to make your work more consistent.

By the end of this course, you’ll have proven techniques and strategies for saving time, working smarter, and reaching new creative heights.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.2


a Creativelive Student

Dave Cross is a wonderful instructor! He has a fantastic teaching style and has great mastery of his subjects!