Filters and Smart Objects


Lesson Info

Bokeh & Details with Alien Skin Software

I want to do a little more conversation about ParticleShop because I want to show you a few other brushes, and show you actually on a real-world job that it was used on. And then we're going to talk about some additional products you may or may not want to consider for work. So let's get through here so here's a- again ParticleShop, let's call it like it is. It's not cheap. This may not be for everybody, however if you're going to use it, lord willing and the creek don't rise, your job will actually pay for it. And some of you all will be able to illustrate this. As I said we have brush class and we're going to talk about brushing this kind of style, but brushing takes a long time, and ParticleShop takes 30 seconds. So you decide is 30 seconds worth the price of admission because there is a fee involved here when you use something like this. Now let's take a look real quickly. All right so this is a current job going on here, and they just wanted a little bit of magic In the hand area.

This is gonna be really quick. I just wanna talk about some adding different layers of Particleshop here. So what I'm gonna do, do you remember I said that this is a little buggy? This is 100 percent a little buggy So what I would probably suggest you do especially on a file where you've got a lot going on, in fact, you know what? I'm going to just take a moment to dissect this for just a second it might be useful. So, it's a standard stock shot and then it's a gallery shot that they used to get this and remember the glowing edges that we used earlier? So it's just a way of illustrating light on it quickly. It takes two seconds. It's a little glowing edge filter. Now, you'll notice that it actually is called hue saturation and once again I'm kind of a believer of giving it to you the way I work. This file goes to nobody but me. I just keep it. I'm a little sloppy is what I'm trying to say, when I work on my own jobs. So what I did is I did that glowing edge filter but I didn't want the colors. Did you notice when we did the glowing edge it keeps the color? I didn't want that I just wanted it to be white. So I just applied a hue saturation and Smart Objects can get a little buggy and I just wanted to have it so I went ahead and merged it. Merged it with its hue saturation. It's on a normal mode because the layer set is onscreen. And why I did that is I wanted to add a little warmth just to part of it. So I just wanted to keep the layer at normal and add a little color and then by putting the layer set to screen I was able to just add a little warmth. It's pretty subtle but it shows up when you get up close and personal. I could add color just where I wanted it. And so that's a example of this being used pretty quickly. And then we've got a box and a little pixie dust and then a little more pixie dust put in some top particles, there's some bokeh stock. You can also on the bokeh you can use the mixtures. The mixtures has bokeh in it. And then I just want to talk about ParticleShop real quick. So in the spirit of being safe and careful what I would do if I was doing this on a real job is I would just go ahead and merge this. This would be saved out as a separate file only because I know it can be buggy and I don't want to lose any more hair than I've already lost. Right? It's a reasonable request. I'm gonna hit command J, I always work off a copy. Always, always, always. And I'm going to go to painter to ParticleShop. Now the Core Pack is what you all saw before. Now this time I went out and I got the Flame pack, because I was feeling butch and I thought I'm going to look at some other stuff. Inside here there's a whole new set of brushes in here and I wanna tell you that inside here, oh look there's a button here called more brushes. They have a ton of brushes. It looks like they don't want to show any right now. They're a little shy. Don't be worried about it. When you guys go if you buy Alien Skin, you can go see more brushes online. You have to be online to do this. You can only work on this if you actually have the file, the plugin. And once again there is no free plugin. So you're going to have to commit to one pack. One pack you have to commit to Once you commit to the one pack you can see more brushes but you can't really try them. However what I want to show you real quickly and let's see if you guys can see this. If you look at the Core Pack and you look at Billowing, and Billowing is what we used for the fabric. And you know what just for this image I'm going to change the color. I wanna remind you that you change the color over here. You click here on the window. You can change the color hue and then the tone of it here. And then you can also add a glow. When you have a color- I don't think I talked about this earlier- When you have a color and you add a glow, if you leave your brush long enough you get a glow in there. I don't like the glow I really don't. But somebody's gonna like the glow. It's just not going to be me. I like the glow See I told you somebody's going to like the glow. I don't particularly care for the glow. So the billowing looks like this. The Crawler I love the Crawler bear with me. It's called Crawler I think because it's slow. You ready for this? Oh it's not too bad. The Crawler looks like- let's do this up close and personal so you can see this. I'm just trying to zoom in. See oh did I mention the Crawler was slow? "Momma, I don't wanna go fast." All right let's see if we can do this. The Crawler looks like that. Oooh, look at this. And then there's something called the Heat Trail. That's heat trail. Well I'm in the Core Pack. Now I'm gonna go to Flame and there's something called Flame 2. Well that's kind of like this one only the algorithm is different. So the colors are different how it works but how it draws is different. Do you understand? So what I'm trying to say to you guys is these brushes are kind of similar only what will happen is there's just different effects to it, and I say that because I have purchased these- Can you guys see that okay? Maybe I'll do a lighter color. I have actually purchased these different packs and then gone, "Oh, well that's kind of like the billowing, only it's a little tighter, or it's not that different" so a little buyer beware before you buy extra packs you might find that it's already okay the way it was you just need to add a different color or double it up. You can do flame by doing one layer of yellow and then another exact duplicate of it in orange and expand it a little and then that will look like a flame. Okay so I just feel like we're touting these but I wanna kinda show the slight negatives of them as well. And the sparks I really like the sparks. Now the sparks should be called Crawler instead perhaps. A little slow is it? It's going a little slow. It's white. And can I say this for the 100th time? I really don't often care what color I painted it because I know I can change the color afterwards so I often just do it whatever the default is And then I'll change it once it's in the piece. But worth it's weight in gold come on. Look at that it's just lovely. So that's on its own layer It's on it's own layer. It's floating. Let's just put a gray layer here. Sorry let's make a gray layer. But look at that I mean yeah you could paint that by hand. But I'd rather charge them and just buy the application. I don't know if this is kind of a dirty little secret or if retouchers like to talk about it but there are all kinds of different sketch and filters and items you can buy. There's these folks that figure out these actions and these are actions more often than a filter but they really operate like a filter and 100 percent they use what's already embedded in Photoshop. That means you can do this in Photoshop if you can figure it out. If you can figure it out. And sometimes it's worth the six bucks to let someone else do it for you. Pay the six bucks let them do it again I really want to stress sometimes, often the minute you get an upgrade this won't work. Okay so buyer beware or keep your older edition of Photoshop on your machine so you can use them. Some of them are super cool some of them look super cool and then you get them and they are so lame and you're like, "Dear God, really? That was lame." But it was six bucks. It's a cup of coffee for a mistake. Who cares? It happens. And sometimes while it might be lame if you're action oriented like he is you can actually watch the action play and you can make adjustments to fit it to work for what you want. There's a few buyer beware things that I really wanna talk about. Some of these like the design cuts- I love the stuff in design cuts. They tend to be pixel or resolution dependent very much like mixtures and so if you get them and they're small, you're jacked because you can't use them at high-res. There is a TV show that did a poster. I didn't do it but the designer used one of these actions and I'm sure you guys have seen it it was pretty popular. It was where it did that newspaper effect like the piece was a collage out of a newspaper. Well how it did that it used brushes, which are resolution dependent. And it used pictures of newspapers to make the mask. It was totally cool. The newspapers happen to be foreign language papers so those brushes, the finisher had to figure out how to replace each brush with a different picture so that it read in English and read what they wanted and more importantly the finisher had to figure out what size do you make the brush what size do you do the scattering especially to repeat the exact effect that the comp was done at. Keep in mind the product that you bought for six bucks is made for a file that's this big that you're giving to your mom for Christmas because it looks cool. Not for a major network's launch that's going to be on the side of a building and while it was really cool looking it was really hard for the guy to reproduce and it took him a week to figure it out. Okay so he took a week and he figured it out, but as businesspeople you just need to be aware that if you're using something like this you may or may not be able to reproduce it at a large size. But for most of us that six bucks is well worth it. I do want to show you one of my current favorites and I think we'll let it go at that unless you have something or if there's... Show us your current favorite. All right let's just flatten this baby 'cause it's going to flatten it anyway. Mhmm (affirmative) A lot of these actions that you might have also will flatten the file so again as always buyer beware because you don't want to get in trouble and have your beautiful composite that took you two days to do flattened and then you accidentally hit save cause how many of you have done that where you accidentally hit save and you close it. You're like "No! I lost everything!" So please just be careful. And there's this Photo Sketch Effect it's called Photo Sketch Effect and I bought it on Ivedo Marketing- Graphic River pardon me Graphic River. Kind of the same thing. And it runs this action and I can absolutely 100 percent do this myself eventually. It's gonna take a minute. You go get a cup of coffee. But it's kind of my current favorite because it's a beautiful sketch action. You may have to just trust me it's coming. Hey yeah. Did I mention you go and get a cup of coffee and you wait and it comes but it's worth the effect Now as you see this- Oh hey look it's completed isn't that awesome? This file let's call attention to this. This file is not that big it's a 48 meg file. For me that's not big at all. So that took a little while. Don't panic. It's complete. It saves it on top. It doesn't give you layers it doesn't give you anything else that you can work with but look how cool it is! It's absolutely really beautiful I think. And it's not your Photoshop sketch okay? It cost me six bucks Turn it off and on. Right on. And then, aw heck fire You could put yeah You could put it on Screen Mode. You could put it on Overlay You could use this in all sorts of ways. Softlight. So this is another way, The sketch effect is another way of producing sharpening or producing a illustrated look. See how it looks a little print-y? Is that a word print-y? It is now. It is now right. And it's cool. Six bucks. Worth it's weight in gold Or six bucks in gold Or sick bucks in gold absolutely And like all things it might not work for the whole entire image but certainly parts of it. Cool well we can be found at, I don't actually have it visible here but We do have classes here at Creativelive and hopefully we'll continue to have classes here at Creativelive on the end of the handout you'll see there's a little message there if you click there we actually have what's called a premade starter file of filters and it's every single Photoshop filter currently available with Photoshop in a smart object that you can load in your photo and it will populate it with whatever picture you have and it's a way of being able to test a file Do you remember with Snap Art I said, "Oh you should really make this so you can test and see what the files look like without having to hand go in" Now I did not make one for Snap Art because you guys don't own Snap Art but Photoshop you do own Photoshop filters so if you- On the end of the handout if you just click on that little button or if you write that down you can sign up and we'll send you that little handy dandy filter and keep you in touch with us. Fantastic Excellent And Simon, your website? My website is so my name is R-A-I-B as in boy L-E Y-E-L-L .com and the web page will open up with some monster yellin at ya. That's fantastic It just has all my portfolio pieces I've done over the years Yeah and you've done some pretty awesome things Well thank you. I just want to tell you a little story. So we work together. We do a lot of work together and what happens is calls come in and you get whatever job slots in so this job was coming and another job came in and I was up so I had to do it and then this one came in and I was like "ugh!" Because it's cool. But you don't own You know that might be it This goes with my- That might be it. Anyway lots of fun stuff there for you all to peruse.

Learn how filters and smart objects can enhance your images when you incorporate them into your retouching workflow. Make adjustments to your file without overwriting your original image. Professional high-end retoucher Lisa Carney will show you the many tools within filters and how to use them to improve and speed up your post-processing workflow. You’ll learn about:

  • Transforming edit functions
  • Camera Raw Techniques
  • Understanding Liquify
  • Blur and distort techniques
  • Adding textures and stylized looks
  • Incorporating third party plugins into Photoshop® like Alien Skin Software and Nik

Gain more control over your portraits or product retouching by understanding and incorporating filters and smart objects.



  • This is one of the best courses I have taken on Creative Live. Just amazing. This is geared towards intermediate to advanced Photoshop users. So happy to see an advanced class!! Very happy to see Alien Skin being used as a part of this course. Highly recommend this course.
  • I can't say enough about this class. I am looking forward to watching this again and applying all I have learned at my leisure. Lisa Carney is am amazing instructor and I loved Simon as well, they did an awesome job! Just the handouts alone are well worth the price of the class. Thanks for another class filled with excellent content and lots of laughter. I own all of her classes and will certainly purchase any other's she instructs. Way to go Lisa! Well done and Exceptional!
  • Great class presented in a way that keeps your attention. This class is packed full of fun ideas with a ton of great take-aways for your 'bag of tricks! I would recommend this class 100%!