Filters and Smart Objects


Lesson Info

Create Fabric & Hair with Flame Render & Plug-in

♪ It's one of my favorite sections! ♪ Because I love fairies. Fabric flame render. Again, it's all about the render today. All about the render. And this is one of those areas where I'd like you to investigate filters in a way that they were not intended. I do not believe, I'm going to bet dollars to donuts, that at Adobe they did not think, let's make a flame render, and someone's gonna use it to make fairy wings. I'm gonna guess. I mean, I'm going out on a limb there, but I'm gonna guess, no one thought that this was gonna be what was gonna happen. Well, that's the fun part. Yeah. Grabbing stuff that's supposed to do this and then making it do something else. Or pairing them up with something else. Yeah. Making something greater than the sum of the parts. Absolutely. So let's take a look at this. So what we've got is a generic stock shot of a totally adorable gal, little gal. And I put some color correction simply to make the fairy wings visible. And what I've done here i...

s I've made a layer set with a very loose mask. Wait till you see how bad this mask is. Are you guys ready? Ugh. Look at that. And why I like to show that, rather than cleaning it up, is you don't have to be so perfect. I find that you'll find folks who spend hours making something perfect. It doesn't show, let it go. Spend the time where it counts. Right, it's all money and time. Come back to it if it's still bugs you at the end. Right. So what I've done is I've used these, the flame render, and I'm about to show it to you, and you'll see all of them, all these flames used to make this little fairy, little butterfly background. And then, what I did is I just did some generic shape colors. I'm gonna put the ubiquitous gray background here. Not black, but gray. So you can see it, these are quite literally a layer with a lasso tool, with a shape, filled in with a color. That's all it is. Let me get my tools palette up here, gang. Sorry about that. Either black, which we don't wanna do, or white, or pink, or you can fill in with a percentage of white. Okay, it's just a small little color. Alright, let's go to the heavy lifting. Let's do the flames. So with the flames, what you need to do, is you need to have a path. This is critical. To use the flame render, you need to start with a path. Alright, now I've already drawn some paths to start, but don't worry, I'm gonna make some new ones. It doesn't matter, this is very, what I like to call loosey-goosey. So I'm gonna make a new path. I like to click on a path and start a fresh path, as opposed to being on the pen tool and clicking and dragging and starting a path. Why that is, it's a production thing. Whenever you click and drag with the pen tool in a work path, and you get a work path, and then you go back to the pen tool, and you start clicking and dragging? Do you see how it starts over again? Oopsie. How many of you have done that? Spent an hour doing a path and then (laughs), accidentally started a new one? And your path disappears? It's a little annoying. So my suggestion is, just start a path and then create it. So very key is, you want to click your start point. Click down, make up a shape. You can do this till the cows come home, so you don't have to be perfect about this. And then, once you've made a path, the next thing that's very important, is you're gonna make a new layer. So I'm gonna call it Flame Render. I'm gonna put it in top, just so you can see the full glory. ♪ Render, flame, flame, flame, flame, flame, render ♪ Alright, I love this thing. Alright, your ubiquitous flame render. It's fantastic, no one uses it. I don't know why. Lots of choices in here. Candle, multiple, one direction. I think that's a band, but I'm not sure. You don't want any of those. You want just the one flame along the path. Numba one. Pick number one. And you can pick your, you can go to advanced. There's basic, and then advanced. You can change turbulence. Oooh. Ahhh. Look at this, I love this filter. I love it, love it, love it. Alright, you can do random, see, you can do oval, there's a hundred different things in here. I tend to not go too crazy inside here. I tend to work on the turbulence and the jag, okay? I'm gonna go back to basic here. Now, just like the trees. It works just like the trees. You can click here to use custom color for flames, and you can change the color of the flames. So where it says custom color for flames, and flames are generally warm, correct? Well, fairy wings might wanna be pink. So you can pick a new color. You wanna click out of that. Quality. Draft, low, medium, high, very. Very slow. Photoshop very helpful. Very slow. (audience laughs) So whatever you need, you can redo this. And what I would suggest, is you probably wanna keep your paths while you first start. I'm gonna go ahead and hit okay. And there's my first little wing. Now here's what I'm gonna suggest you do when you do the style, is click off the path. See, I'm in the path window, click off it. You can bury your path window up here if you like, to keep it out of the way. And then go back to your wing. I'm gonna call it a wing from now on as opposed to a flame. I've gone to the V, to the move tool. And now you can command-T, and rotate it. You can skew it. I have to tell you, I am not very precious about these, because they're so easy to re-render. I am holding the option key and clicking my anchor point from where I'm gonna rotate it. Now, I can command-J that. Command-J to make a duplicate. And move it. I'm gonna command-T to transform. And when you're in the command_T, to transform, You can flip this horizontally, and make the second set. Now, do you guys notice? When I built this, I put this all in a layer set down here. Again, it's good organization. I tend to not do that until I'm done. I like to build it this way, and then maybe I'll go back to the paths. How am I doing on time? Lovely. Excellent. Click a new one, click and drag. Click and drag. Make a new one. Go back to the flame render. I love this filter. Can I just keep saying that? Now you notice I dragged from the bottom-up. Doesn't really matter. It's just gonna change the direction. And have some fun. Now, if you're working on something that's really precise, I'm not sure that would be this particular job. You might wanna take a screen capture of your settings, to have them. I'm not so precious with this. But you might wanna be, because, I will tell you, there was one job, we did this with the logo, and I had a pretty awesome flame thing going, I didn't screen capture anything, and that bit me in the hiney a little bit later, which was not so enjoyable. Anyway, I think you guys get the point, and then you just keep going, and you keep making your flames, command-T. The other thing with command-T, especially with that last one I just did. That last one I just did, I'm gonna go to command-T. I'm gonna go to warp, and I'm gonna pull it out. Now one of the things I did, and I really want you to be careful of this, cause I do this all the time, I made that flame on the same layer I had the other flame. So now they're conjoined, like twins. So I'm gonna warp both of them. And then you can move em around. I really like this warp. Do you use this much? Yeah, so you've got one favorite that you like and you duplicate it cause you liked it so much, then you can go in there and scooch it around so it doesn't look identical. Exactly. It looks like you did twice the work. Yeah. Now I have a tendency, if I like one, I'll duplicate it and warp it, rather than keep making new ones, cause I get a little lazy. But, lazy's not too bad, is it? No, when you get something perfect, then you can improve on the correction. Right, so basically that's it, and you don't have to worry about the color so much too, because you can color-correct the entire set, if you like. So hopefully you find this useful. I think it's kind of cool. Excellent. I'm gonna move on. Do you wanna do the hair flames? Yeah, why don't you show them that? Alright. Lemme give em a little heads up on that real quick. So along the lines of where this happened, and, Good Lord, I'm trying to remember where we were when this happened, when we figured this out. This? This whole thing. We were teaching the filter class, and we ran through flames on paths. And we looked at the, and you were like, that looks like hair. Yeah, I think you're right. That's what started it. So this is actually for a job, it was for a comp, and we were, I think I mentioned, I'm not really a good illustrator. And I really wish I was. And I don't draw hair as well as Hair Man here. He actually, the man with the hair is the brilliant hair drawer. And we came up with this idea, and I think it took you about ten minutes to sort this out. First time, yeah it was twenty whole minutes. Yeah. Yeah, you were like, well can you explore that and see where you go with that? And I was just back there cussin up a storm, just like, holy smokes, (mumbles). And so, and then this is what we ended up with. Well actually, he's gonna show you, and with the handouts, there is a handout that will show you how to build this step-by-step, but you're gonna run through it, I think, for a second. Run through real quick. So you showed em how to put down the path. Yep. Hit the render, and you get these tendrils. We started with a lady, didn't dig the hair. It was just, that's her hair. But we wanted to make it a little more magical, a little more sci-fi. Got one tendril of hair, started adding to it, and just duplicated em up. Some we duplicated to make em thicker. Some we just added body to it, and just keep addin on. Then we came to a different section. So, you have, like the back hair, and then start bringing other hairs to wrap around. Start moving back to front, and if all of a sudden you have one you're like diggin, but it looks like something that would come off the forehead, just move it up in your layers palette till it reads in front of everything. And then you can just mix and match that way, is another one. These got longer. I believe these are the ones we just kept dupin up, just get the whole body of the head. And again, with your transform, scooching, bigger, smaller, warping around, so it doesn't look like step and repeating. And the cool thing is it's the exact same process as the fairy. The exact same. Only a different color. Wings and things. Wings and things, we could call it wings and things. Yep, we just did. Cool. Excellent. This one we just threw in, and then, yeah, it kept on getting bigger. And I think at the end, so it does look like, did you go through color correction? Where it does look like flames? And you can't change the flame color, can you? No, you can change the flame, as we did on the butterfly, you can change the flame color, but again, when we first did this, we didn't know that. We didn't realize that little button, you could change the flame, I tell you, you discover things as you go. Oh, okay. So on this one, he changed the color correction afterwards which is fine, it's all six-to-one, half a dozen the other. Mm-hmm. And it's also where do you wanna spend your time, like I personally don't wanna spend all my time trying to exactly make that hair the right color, because this went into a comp, I changed this comp, she had blue hair for a while, on this, for this job. Blue hair! I'd rather just make the hair and change the color at the end. And he put some adjustment layers on top. Yeah, so with the flame, and you get the yellows and the oranges and the reds, de-saturated that back, and you got a kinda brassy blonde, and then with this curve, it brought up the deep darks and made it a little more respectful. Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. Mm-hmm, mm-hmm. Excellent. So again, there is a handout that comes with the course, step-by-step, outlining, and the key for the hair, you have to start the path from the crown and move down. If you go the other way, her hair's going on fire.

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%!