Creating Templates


Adobe® Photoshop®: Productivity


Lesson Info

Creating Templates

You might have got the impression I kind of like smart objects just, you know, that might have this feeling and, uh, you know, there times where I've done demonstrations and people like, how did you figure that out and said, you know, it wasn't that hard because once you get the concept of if I make this into a smart object, it gives me more possibilities. It was just building on that concept and one of things that I particularly like about it from a productivity's standpoint, is this whole concept, and we saw a little bit before the break, which is by nature, the fact that things are smart means that can also be a template, so you can create some kind of lay out or whatever it might be that they can reuse and for different photographs, so I wanted to show you another couple of examples, then we'll look att at one or two, they're even more detail of kind of how you would set something up to get to the point of doing some upfront work to save you time later. So in this example, all I ba...

sically have here is a document, and it's got some text over late in it, and I want to start building up a document, so I'm going toe drag and drop from many bridge and one of the reasons I do that is because when it's ah, camera smart object, if I just opened it, it would come in potentially very large and I have to scale it down whenever you place or drag and drop for many bridges, the equipment of placing its gonna automatically scale it down to at least fit the boundaries of your document, and then you could still scale up her down. So because it's a camera file it opens in camera, I'm not going to bother adjusting it. I click ok, and you can see it basically by collapse many bridge down its put it into the size where aiken lease it's scaled down to fit so that I can scale up or down. In this particular case, I want to make it a little larger. They want to fill this kind of square shapes I'm going to use the free transform handles are already there and kind of that kind of position her right there, and that is now, of course, a camera smart object. So which means I could double click on it and say it now I've got there and I think I want to put the exposure now just a bit, maybe so whatever I want to do, click ok and update so that's regular smart object kind of thing but I want to make this a simple layout and I just want to make it out of this one photograph so once again I would duplicate the smart object which you saw before being that is a clone and I'll free transform this one smaller and put it over here somewhere and maybe rotated and then let's put maybe a drop shadow on it so we can see a little better whatever it might be and I like to put little strokes around things when I have things floating like that just because it makes it a leisure to see so let's change this to white dish and I like to put my strokes inside when you put the stroke outside there's always a danger of the corners getting slightly rounded you don't see it as much as a small stroke but it's it's uh this is just a way to do it and not forgetting the fact that because this smart object is smart also means filter can be applied so one of the effects I like to do when I have something in the background is do something like this this is an added bonus to me of filters there's the gods ambler filter there's the new iris blur there's various blur filters but there's one filter that photoshopped still doesn't have that I wish it did which is gasoline on the lens filter r that's soft soft focus, blurry filter so I'd always trying to our ways to achieve it. So what I do is deliberately over blur because it's smart I can do this and then double click on this blend setting and lower the opacity is you get that really soft focus kind of effect, which I can still read it, and then let's just do one other thing that at a black and white adjustment layer to this, and I'm going to lower the opacity of that to make it just a very kind of a touch of color. So that's, a nice little layout kind of thing was created fairly easily. At this point, I would say this is a psd, and again, I you bear with me for saying the same thing over and over again, but I want to make sure we don't miss it. This is also a template he doesn't have to be, but if I just save it, move on the end. But the fact that it has too smart objects and smart filter, etcetera means I could now say, oh, now I like that lay out. I should use that for another client, sort of starting from scratch, I want to give them something kind of similar sort of story from scratch. I have two copies of the same smart object, so viewing this is a template means aiken right or control click on either one of them and choose replace contents and then find my way to where I have another file, which is also a raw file, so of course it will start in camera, I can adjust the settings, whatever the way I want like that click ok and then in no time at all it is just both of them they're still independence, we can say, well, this one, maybe I should move up a little bit and now here's a thought I don't want to give two of my client's exactly the same look, so I would, you know, like take it rotated this way so that way they're not exactly the same different enough now, but seriously that's the whole point is that that the hard work has been done. It's replaced both copies of the photograph for me, but I can still tweak it and I could say in this case, I'm not sure about that whole gaussian blur thing or I don't think I want that black and white affected in this particular case, so even though I've replaced the contents, it doesn't change the fact everything still layer based on editable, what I would very quickly do is save as a different name so I preserved the first one I made and then make this a second one and you can take this to any extent you want to show you another example which is just a variation on the same idea in this case I took a raw file there was just a photograph of some water I saw on a fountain somewhere I have this habit of taking photos or just random stuff that I think that could make a cool background now this is actually what it looked like originally you can sort of see a bit more detail, but I want to be very vague and I thought instead of blurring it negative clarity and camera is like softening things up so a very simple way without having to open it and apply a filter if you want to make something like this is very soft is just add negative clarity and I'm going to make that kind of my background then on top of that I have little doodads nothing's some text that I got from one of these little was called was like cloud generation software we just type in a bunch of random words and it kind of creates that for me but at this point I say ok, but I need to start building this up a little bit so let's go back here to find a file that I want and again I'm this could be either many bridge or bridge either way, and I'm going to just bring this one and make my initial kind of judgment call that I want to adjust this way and let's scale down a bit so you can do this and the order doesn't matter, really, but I tend to say, if I'm gonna bring something and I might just bring it in and make sure I can see it and then decide what to do from there. So in this case, I want to more copies and duplicate twice and again for some reason, like keyboard shortcut is deciding not to work for some reason. So this is the alternate method let's hide both of these now normally, as I said before, you don't necessarily want to scale something up, although this case I think I have the room to do it because it's, a fairly large camera raw file, but even if it isn't one way to think about is if you're putting something into the background where it's going to be a background element like this and I'm going to lower the opacity greatly and maybe even changed the blend mode, I wouldn't be so worried about the fact that I just enlarge that dramatically because it's a background element so that's the one time where I'm ok with taking something and enlarging it much bigger because I know it's going to be just in the background it's not going to be a focal point of the image so this point now I have previously this is just a little frame thing that I drew with a paint brush it's already there so let's try and take this one and kind of make it match so take our free transform kind of move it around and then I want to mask it the same way so I was going to take my polygon a lasso tool and kind of follow the contours and I'm doing this very zoomed out normally get much closer so I could make it really accurate but I was trying to show you guys the idea here on this layer at a mask and then on this other one free transform let's move this one over here and kind of rotate this way and make it smaller and position that I could add a stroke to all those things. So just another example of building up something to say how do I want this to look let's make this border wall thicker and a certain point you start saying ok, well it's ok, but I don't really like the way it's covering up her face so maybe I should take these two layers with the shift key so I can transform these down a little bit smaller so this is the hard part is kind of tweaking and building but underlying everything is that recurring fema? But I've never doing anything that's permanent so I could double click and say now have done although I think they're all still I want to lessen the exposure just a hair and maybe put up the vibrancy or something so remember these air all copies of the same smart objects by edit one they're all going toe at the same time which for the most part is a good faith will look an example a minute about how to work around them when you don't want to edit them all at the same time so once I'm happy with it and finished, I would of course save it as a psd, which means I preserved all of these and it's that whole built in template kind of idea now fast forward it's a couple of weeks later I want to use the same template for another person, so I go to any one of the smart objects replace contents and go back to find the image they want to use because this one because it's raw it's going to start their first so I could adjust I tend to not do that because I want to adjust it more in the context of the a final photo, so at first I made this click ok to get them in there because I'm fairly sure there's a good chance we'll have to tweak them like in this case so I would take the bottom one and move her up and then come over to this one now this is where you have to kind of go back take take smart objects out of the equation moment I think of standard photoshopped techniques whenever you look in the layers panel and you see a layer with a mask by nature they're linked together so if I move the photograph the mask will move with it in this case that doesn't make sense for what I want to do. I want the mask to stay put and me to be able to move the photograph inside the mask to do that I have two unlinked them and that doesn't happen by nature by nature layer is linked with its mask so now I can click on this one say let's put that her in there this one looks pretty good the way it is so but as you can see with very little effort I was able to build the thing originally and then take it to the next step and even at this point I could say, well, I need to tweak it further so I could apply a smart filter to this one to do that whole soft, blurry thing or not I mean it's that the options are endless really but by building at this way, and this is, I think the key recurring theme here is even at this moment in time, your intention is not to use it as an ongoing project, but a one off the fact that you save it as a psd means if you change your mind later, you can still build off this and say, I want to use a template very much like this, but change these few things make the background, maybe this color doesn't match as much anymore, so maybe I'd add a huge saturation adjustment layer above that and kind of start to tweak the color's a little bit or actually might be easier now that I think about it, just go back to camera onto it there, start playing around with the color temperature and all that kind of stuff to say maybe would look better if it was more pinkish, considering she's wearing kind of pink, so have it update there, so even things that looked like, well, I've kind of made that decision. Will you have the time you did? But by keeping everything smart object, smart filter adjustment, layer all that stuff, it just means we've got this ongoing ability to say, well, let's, try this and let's, try this experiment so that's, the other kind of added benefit of this hole thinking of it like a template idea is that you can keep trying and say, well, if I like this I can try something different so the one thing that we do potentially run into is what happens if you don't want something to be an exact clone where you edit one all of them will change so that that is certainly a possibility so let's doesn't really matter, I suppose, but let's, just go back to our little brick wall here and I'm going to drag in the same one to start click ok so it's going there and make it this size but here's what I want to do I want to start building something up where this copy is color but another one would be different in some way now if I duplicated the smart object as we saw before that's an exact clone so if I edit one, the other will change if you want to make another smart object that's built on this one but independent you can't just duplicated anymore there's a separate command that it first sounds a little bit confusing but its new smart object via copy that means don't just clone it, copy it but make it new so you'll see in a moment elemental make better sense when actually show you the difference so before when I duplicated the smart object if I edited one, all the copies would change also in this case, it looks like exactly the same smart object but here's the difference if I double click on one and go in and say I want to change this two gray scale just to make it obvious and click ok, you'll see this one change with the other one doesn't because now they're copies of each other not clones so when using the duplicate commander means it's an exact clones of the edit the contents of one the other one will change here I'm saying I don't want that to happen because I want it still to be the same photo, but I want to have mohr independent control there's pros and cons to this because the downside is now if I choose replace contents a little place one of the other not both but that might be okay to you might want to have that happen, so when we were talking about things like contact sheets and picture package before, this would be one way to work around that what if I want different photographs, not just one repeated this would be one way to do it is it's still a smart object but it's a copy as opposed to a clone or a duplicate so that's one of the ways people do this is when the reasons they do it is you want to edit a photograph and say I can't get the results I want from one round of camera raw so what I mean by that is let's see what I could use here use this one so I'm looking at this and I'm thinking when I if I try and adjust the exposure so the water looks the way I want I don't like what it's doing to the green part up of the top so what I might do is say well let me just look at the water initially and say I just want to fix that I hit open object and at this point now I want to I have a second go round at changing of separately for a different part of the image now if again if I just duplicated it it wouldn't work because if I added one they both update so this whining do exactly the same thing is right click and choose new smart object via copy the benefit of doing this sure most of you know about the idea of bracketing in camera where you take multiple exposures the challenge with that is that any movement at all of that the bracketing still happens very quickly but there's still a slight time in between so there could be some movement this is like bracketing after the fact because it's exactly the same photograph so there when the good old days it's called pin register their identical but now I could decide at this point I'd like the green to look a little different so I do that by that new smart of you buy a copy now when I double click and I'll do something really dramatically different so you can see when I click ok it's going to update the top one, but not the bottom one. So now I have to separate exposures in effect after the fact, and you could go to town and do a third one for the rocks and a fourth one for this. And then at this point it be a matter of combining them together by things like masking. So I want to say on this case, I wantto onley see this top part, not this bottom area, so I could do this in various ways. A quick way would be to add a layer mask filled with black. I want to hide everything temporarily on time you add a layer mask it initially fills with white, but if I hold down option or ault when I click on the add layer mask, it fills it with black so it's a very quick way to say, hide everything. The reason I do that is you think about it the way I approach it is if I know I'm going to need to paint with black if I had to paint more than half its easier to fill the whole thing with black and paint with white as opposed to fill it with white and then paint three cores that black that's kind of a long way. So I want to end up with just this one little part showing so now I could switch to my paintbrush make sure my foreground color is white and whether I paint, I'll be showing that area of the layer so I would go through it. Of course I would be much more accurate and careful, but for now I want to show you the idea and I do all of that and then I think no it's still not enough I double click and I can go even further and say, let me punch the contrast and make the exposure lower and it will update but only be visible inside the mask. Of course you would zoom in closer and be more accurate, but that concept of saying new smart object via kopi means for example, a very common use of this is you take a photograph and you need to expose for the skies you get some detail but now the building is is over it under exposed or vice for whatever the combination is so you can say, well, I need to do both I need toe make the sky look better and the building or the architectural shots in the living room to look good but the window's too bright a lot of what people do hdr four but hdr is based on the principle that you take photographs of that moment with different exposure suit can do hdr this is kind of like if all you have is one photo or you don't have the multiple exposures, this is kind of the rough equivalent some people call this tone mapping because we're kind of doing it. We're doing fake hdr it's not a true hdr with multiple exposures but to some extent almost like this better because I have even more control because I can constantly go in and say ok, maybe I went a little overboard there let's pull this back let's go into just the greens and change this and anything I want and as long as my layer mask is accurate which in this case clearly it needs some work that's kind of the principle of it though, is to say more than one version of the same camera raw file now it's worth noting I think that this is a raw file so it works by nature. If I had a j peg file, I could force the j peg to open and cameron do the same thing so a raw file by nature does this it's it's got lots of room to play, but you can also force ajay pig or a tift open and raw and effectively do the same thing just not quite as much room to maneuver, but in a pinch of that's all you got is a j pad you could do the same thing, so what this means to me is times if I know that obviously as much as I can. When I got my camera hands, I tried to get it right in the camera is people like to say I actually have a different expression instead of saying get it right in the camera, so I get it the way I like in the camera because sometimes it's not quite the same because I look at and say, I know that in camera I can go in and tweaked the sky a lot more easily than me sitting here for ten minutes, trying to find exactly the right exposure setting I mean, I don't want to take too much time, but some points when you know what the software capable doing, you can kind of shoot with photo shop in mine and that's a recurring theme we'll talk a lot more about in the the next two day class, but that idea basically just says, well, I don't have to be stuck with what I've got. I can open one raw file new smart object by a copy and have two can't work to arm or camera raw versions that I can edit independently and then math together so that's, just one of those things were again once you know, it's an option, then you're more likely to say I didn't try this because it might be a good solution for something that is causing me a problem so that's not exactly a template, but it's kind of close because it gives me some opportunity to try some interesting things, so here is probably my favorite example of making a template for a purpose that's going to, you're going to have to invest some time up front and then go back in and say, okay, now that I've made this, I can continue to work. So the idea behind this was a photographer friend of mine in the tampa area. We're having discussion a few of us about the pros and cons of including your digital images when you're doing like a wedding, for example, is should you give people your files and there's that's a whole other debate of whether you should or shouldn't, but he made the decision. I'm going to do it, but I'm going to make it a premium like if you want your images, you're going to pay for it, but in order to make given a cent of the people I'm going in my sales presentation and say, look, if you decide to buy the digital images, you'll get this beautiful packaging with your photo on the disc and the cover so he was trying to mock up like this is what it would look like so we found this stock photo when he said well I guess I can just you know create put stick my photos on there I said well is this something you could see doing on an ongoing basis was oh yeah every time I have a client I love in my cells priest a show them their photo on the disc and the cover and I said, well so my suggestion is invest a bit of time making a template that you can then easily replace with the next photograph so this is an example where the time consuming part and it's all relative it's not that time consuming but takes a bit of time up front to do this. So the first thing I would do is I just added a layer and I filled it with a grady and just this is my place holder so I could have used a photograph that I chose just to use this just because it was easy to kind of see what I was doing um so the only thing I need to do is make sure that this is the same kind of ratio as the photograph I'm going to you so I based the size of this rectangle on a typical photograph when I open it wrong before I do anything else I converted to a smart object, and then when I look at it, I need one further cover, one for the deaths of hell really closely there's a little reflection here in the reflection there, so ultimately, I need four copies of this, so I would do that first, just to make sure, because initially gonna start transforming them so I would just duplicate all right, so now I'm going to hide everyone except this one. So this is the one I want to put onto the cover of the dvd, so I hit free, transform and, of course, one of the challenges of photos up how good you are is it's hard to free transform something if you can't see what you're trying to match underneath, so a simple method is just a lower the opacity enough to see what's underneath, and I'm going to start transforming it. So initially I just hold down the shift key to get a kind of close, but because this dvd covers, in some angle of perspective, I have no idea what that angle is. So one of the best little tricks and voter shop when you're transforming by nature, the free transform cia's I'm moving one corner it's trying to move both the top and the right hand side of the same time. At a certain point on michael and that's just that's causing me grief so if you hold down the commander control key it changes the rules so now see that have the difference you can just kind of move the corners into play so now I can put this one over here go down to this corner and I'm just keeping this commander control key held down so that I can kind of estimate now of course again if this was my real project I'd be zooming in close and making sure I was incredibly accurate for our purposes today and I say that looks very close put the opacity back up to one hundred percent and one of the problems is the way this dis has got a nice little shadow happening on the background I want to make sure I don't cover that up so I changed the blend mode to multiply then I've got that shadow happening however it's in the wrong it's still in front of that disk so to speak so this is where I start getting into a little selection techniques like the quick selection tool whenever you see edges you khun usually get a pretty good result like that that's pretty quick and simple I would also try and get this is the part here and come over here and say add a layer mass and adler mask okay so things are just not cooperating so it's uh let's do it the old fashioned way that's my shortcut still there and that didn't work all right there's always multiple ways to do something so let's do it the hard way that was way more work that should have been normally just click on the add layer mass button and works like a charm but today not so much but you can see it started getting the look where it's now behind the disc it looks like and he's got the little shadow so that's good to go now I move on is ok so now that it can do the same thing, make sure you click on the correct layer with the disk so I'm gonna start to free transform lowered the opacity so I can see and I'm in a position that's over the disk and maybe kind of rotated to fit and scale it down as much as I can and make a mask same kind of idea so always the main thing you want to do if you're doing this is always click on the background lower to make sure you're making the selection based on that layer and then I come back here and this time let's see if it works no okay awesome you no idea why that's miss cooperating like that but we'll make it work well together so you can start to see now I'm starting to build this up now because I don't want the whole point of this is not to watch me struggle to do this whole thing I'm going to show you the and result that I created previously so this is the advantage of preparing ahead of time isn't here I have a group and these air this four smart objects in this case I made a grating with a big extra which is so it's easier to see but it's the one on the discover the reflection of that the one on the disc and the reflection of that so at this point I would now say this as my template and I'm not going to bother going into great detail here but if you look really closely I even put on the spine of it a little smart object with text on it so I could even put their name up by the back of the disk but the bottom line is now I've saved this and this is my template so now as I'm preparing for my next sales presentation to say here is what you would get if you decide to pay this premium for all your digital images I want to replace this smart object or I should say these smart objects with my actual graphic now previously you saw me use this command called replaced contents the challenge that we talked about before with replace contents is you have to make sure things are the right size so in this case, I'm a little concerned that the graphic that I want to replace I have a feeling it's not even close to the right size, so if I just choose replace contents, that problem is they're probably take me way too long to kind of fix it. So the other option you always have and in this case I would this is how I would do it is instead of choosing replace contents remember any time you double click on a smart object, it opens the original contents so the original contents of mice foreign object is this grading with a big x through it? So then I go and find my artwork so here's my three layers the photograph with ah little see through white box in the text that's what I want to be the cover of this image are on the disk, so I need to take these three layers and bring them into this document, so I'm basically saying replaced the contents, but I'm doing it manually as opposed to with that command called replace contents and the reason for doing that again in this case is I'm convinced are pretty sure at least that the sizing is way off, so I said trying to fix it later it be easier in this case to do it this way take these three layers dragging into here yeah it's a good thing I didn't do replace contents because it's way off but that's ok because aiken free transform and here's a turkey didn't already know it it's one of my little beefs about photo shop when I have something that's bigger than I can see and I hit three transform I can't see the handles to transform them after press commanding control zero I think that should just happen automatically personally when you hit something big but that it doesn't so command or sees me shift and alter or shift option lets me scale it down to fit hit enter now its size to the right size this is the contents of my multiple smart objects remember so if I had save now I come back here and you'll see it's actually updated for me on the cover of the disc with the shadow blob of the whole set to go looking really nice if you decide for example like in this case I'm not one hundred percent convinced I like the fact that on the disk it's cut off that's put a hole right where I have the little text thing there I could try moving it around inside maybe a little bit so I got a little bit of room to play but a certain point it's still going to get cut off a little bit just by where its position that's ok because this one so back to our original kind of deal here's the layout with the smart object there's my template. This is the contents. So once again, if I do that tile little trick, what that allows me to do is in this window. I can see my quote unquote finished product. And in this one, I can see the contents. So, like, in this case, I think I want to nudge this down just a bit. I'm not exactly sure how much, so I'll try it. So, like these two layers with my move tool and nudge him down a bit. Nothing's going to happen here until I hit safe. As soon as I do, it updates, and I hope that that looks pretty good. So at this point actually doesn't cause I just realized I cut off his chin completely. So that was not a great choice, either. So let's fix that. But that's that's kind of the point is you can continue to edison. They should be up there now. The text definitely be a little further down, so nudge it down using the arrow keys, save and have an update. At this point, I would save this under some other names. So I know this is janet and james's photo and then close it and know that my template is successfully untouched, so any time you're creating a temple like this you could you always have a couple of choices I chose to just use a placeholder because I didn't want to be distracted by a photograph I just want to say this is the kind of shape I want let's distorted to fit transform and all that stuff multiple copies knowing if I replace the contents it'll update once I'm finished I'm going toe save this under a name that makes sense so save as you know whatever their last name is smith cover and then close without saving that means my template it's still my original psd with placeholder files but I've now replaced it with whatever I want now depending on the situation if you absolutely know every single time your photos of the same size you could just right click and choose replace contents but that is assuming you're always using the same sign photograph so you have both options I would suggest that just to save yourself heartache you might also just consider doing this kind of thing where you say let's just bring this photograph in its place to the right size I had saved and updates so once you've done it once then ongoing updates or a whole lot easier and at worst like in this case you have to say okay so that cut off the top of her head so let's go in play around with this want to move it around so and I feel like I'm repeating myself, but I really want to make sure we're grasping this concept is yes, they're smart, but they're still layers so just like a regular layer you khun move it around inside a mask you could do the same thing here. So when I say this template, I made sure that my layers and mass were not linked so that when they were replaced I am able to move in shift things around inside the mask if the layers have that little change symbol, it means they are linked this it's not going to be possible to do that kind of moving around because the mass could move with so any time you're tryingto keep the mask in one place like the disk and move the photograph around inside that's when you want to have them on linked. So we've got kind of two things happening here one is we're working with the smart aspect of photoshopped, but then again we're still building that the building blocks air still layers and masks an adjustment layers and all that kind of stuff now to do this properly and accurately realistically I would say it might take you an hour while the first I might take you two hours but then the next time will you now because kind of working through the process, for example the first time I tried it, I made a a mistake that wasn't huge would have caused me more grief and I would have like is I I made that place holder smart object and I transformed it to fit the discover and then I duplicated will now was already transformed so I had to re transform it to fit something else okay next time I'll just make copies first so then I'm starting with a fresh one each time so that's a guy thing that might slow you down the first time but then once you've done that this is a one shot deal you save it once as a psd it's that template capability where you can go in and say ok, I just need to now make these changes and put new contents in an updated I'm still ultimately have the ability to go back and say let's go back here and this is still a smart object a camera also aiken justice and say and make this a little easier to see click ok close it save it and updates there too so said links within links and sparked within smart and all that kind of stuff okay, so that's just are an example of the point of making a template is to say I'm going to invest a little bit of time to make it but then one sign happy that that works I don't do it again so you do that kind of tying that thing wants to say ok I'm happy with that now I can continue, okay? All right, so as we're working away, it's I think one of the things that I'm always thinking about is how can I reuse and repurpose and whether you think it is a template or place holders or whatever it might be, it just means we have some options for how we do things, so actually we start with a new document, I'm going to pretend this is a on album page, so it's a square page, so let's say I wanted to build a template for album pages, we could do this and a variety of ways, and I'll show you a couple of options because I wouldn't want anyone to think that the only way to do things with smart object of this has some options, but at the very least I would start doing everything layer based. So for example, I could take my marquee selection, too, and say, I want a big square photograph here and I'll just fill that with black, I'll make another layer and I want another photograph here that's long and skinny now that's not a typical photograph ratio, so that means I'm gonna have to either mask or do something when I actually start bringing photographs in here if this was me and today it is, I would be naming layers, so I knew this is the big square one on the left and this is just so it doesn't cause any confusion later on when I'm trying to decide to actually use this as a template and let's add one more just heck of it there is something by the way and floors up called smart guides that can help with this kind of thing so you're not just eyeballing it you're actually you know, making it look the way you want I'm just not bothering in this particular case so at this point now I have a couple of choices I could make these smart each one is an independent smart object which should be one option or I could just leave it like this because for some situations and I don't want to make this seem like the only way to do things is with smart objects because it isn't and it's a personal preference if you want to just do something like this this is another option you have your page that you set up with separate layers as long as these air saved a separate layers then you can start adding photographs and said kind of drag this one in here now this is goingto there's going to be a little bit of smartness here because I'm going to make camera ross smart objects in that kind of thing just because I want that to happen but I'm going to use the template differently and I'm going to do is look at it and say ok, this photograph needs to be directly above this one and then I hold down option alden click in between and clip it inside so now it's a clipping mask as opposed to any other method, so this would be the before smart object way I would always do template is just make place holders and then do clipping mass to say clip it inside the advantage of doing this is I can contain a scale the photograph inside it's a difference almost like a mask but it's sometimes a little easier to work with because you're just doing it visually but because I did this a smart object aiken still double click to open the content descending to retouch this layering to do whatever I want. So I continue to work on this, for example and add a blank layer and use my spot healing brush and make some changes whatever I want make sure sample all there is to turn on so close and save that and it will update so it's all depend on how you do it now. Personally, I would still gravitate towards making these smart objects because then you can do some replace contents kind of things so it's it's a personal choice I think they both have their pros and cons, but at the very least I would say save these layers as placeholders with them when you bring the photograph in, make those cameras, smart objects that continued a work on those and, you know, to play with the settings, but at least now you're doing it in the context of this is the size that I want. Okay, so that's, another way of just kind of making a template idea is to make that whole placeholder idea so let's just explore a little more, shall we? This is the thing I love about smart objects, is that I can't think of too many cases where I've gone well, that won't work, that that just doesn't happen, just not the possibility. So I had a case a while ago where someone said, I'm working on a calendar and I want for each month I want the text tohave a photograph inside of it, which is that's, a photoshopped long she's, not that hard, but then they started making more complicated by saying, but also want to have a cast shadow and just started to become kind of more complicated. So I thought, well, let's, explore this idea to see if there might be a way we can take advantage of this so let's find something that will work we simply, well, by the way, just as a random photoshopped tip. If you are changing the size of anything or changing the opacity and you're still doing this clicking on the little triangle and popping up some little sliders actually is your see over here where there's that little slider thing that's the long way the easier way is put your mouse right above the word opacity and uses one of things called scrubby sliders and they let you just watch more easily change anything same thing goes with changing things like type size that of typing something in just move back and forth you see it's scaling up and down on the fly so let's just put this here and now let's get some text inside of a photograph I should say and I don't have in any way shape or form a good photograph for this but we'll just fake it with something like say this you can't be a better way to do that let's go back and she was place info tosha just cut to the chase and say I want to make sure it's camera raw smart object so let's put back so it was like ok, so it brings it in and I'm going to scale it enough to the size that I want hit enter so that makes that part smart and then optional rolled click in between to clip it inside the text so what that is lying me to do now is to say, well, I've got the editable text and the photograph inside so now for the next month I could edit the text and then replace the contents of that smart object with a different photograph so at a basic level I'm starting toe make my life simpler than each time starting from scratch, but I wantto take it a little step further and see what else I might be able to do with it. So once I've done that, I'm going to convert all right convert take these two layers and convert them to a smart object then I'm gonna duplicate and this bottom one I'm going to free transformed by holding down commander control on the top one I can do this kind of skewing thing and then move it like this doesn't look like much yet but let's do a colored overlay not red black and then apply a blur to that so I started get this nice kind of cast shadow thing happening think I might transform just a little more and by the way a little note when you apply a smart filter and then you hit free transform well you're transforming the filter goes away for a second so like this was blurry now it's not that's because I chose to say let me continue to free transform this a bit more so the filter goes away and then once I'm happy I hit enter and then it updates so that way it's giving me the ability to see what I'm doing better because you might end up with a filter that apply that so blurry that when you're trying transform and you couldn't see so don't be surprised by that it will warn you the first time but now I'm at a point where ok so that's that's cool I kind of like the way that I want and ok so here's a thought way too late if you ever do this don't start with the shortest month of the entire year has like what? I've been a good tip right? They begin used like january or something like that because I just realized going do this is not gonna work at all because yeah so we'll just kind of take it a little bit but anyhoo that was so yeah tip number one pick a larger name so we'll just go with the whole three letter shortcut of month because that's just the way this calendar is grated we all know that so and of course I would also go in and either pick a different photograph or in this case is for the sake of argument I'll make a difference so you can see it and then when I close it and save it you see right away it's got the shadow done as well because the shadow is a copy that smart that will update base whenever I do so all of these things again are just variations on a theme not kind of introducing new concepts is just a different way of approaching to say oh, now that I know what conduce that I can say all right, so I could apply it this way so I could make and if I want I've done once before I wanted a second shadow go any other way because with riel lighting you see a slightly other second shadow so I could do that and then out of mass to make it fade out and just tons of possibilities so this would only make sense it would not make sense if I was only doing two months because I mean, I might still but you know, make much better sense if I was doing a whole calendar where I need to repeat this for every month there was and go through and change so different photograph every time, so if I was I would just go in and say, ok, so now we're change this to some other three letter month and then on this one choose replace contents and try and find some photograph that might even remotely work and I don't know if I have any but well find out in a moment so let's use I don't know what that is perfect because that's you know november is like a girl on a brick red wall work with me people yes, november. Exactly what I had in mind for november on and it's like they're your fall colors. Sort of maybe, and each case it's important. I do this and then save as november dot psd and then replace and keep doing that because otherwise you're going toe, keep changing this and not end up with any end result. So whenever you have this kind of template idea soon as you make a change you like now, save as the new file name and then replace it again. So each timer ending up with a separate file that could still be edited. But you have a different one for each one, and that's, a really important kind of concept of the whole smart of the template is don't just keep replacing. You got to save in between under a different file name to make sure ending up with the individual files you need for whatever purpose you're creating. So just just another little example there's a ton of them, all different ideas.

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Time means money. If you can work quickly and efficiently in the competitive world of professional photography, your dream of turning your passion for photography into a lucrative business are always within reach.

Adobe® Photoshop® master Dave Cross is teaming up with creativeLIVE to teach you practical techniques that you can use every day to be more productive, giving you more time to focus on interacting with and finding new paying clients. During this 2-day course, you will learn how to use built-in automated features in Adobe® Bridge and Adobe® Photoshop® and timesavers such as Layer Comps, Adjustment Layer Presets and Tool Presets. Dave will simplify all of the Adobe® Photoshop® Actions and show you easy ways to utilize this powerful automation tool. You’ll also get tips on how to take advantage of many outside the box methods in Adobe® Photoshop® that will give you additional ways to streamline your photo editing.

If you are spending too much time on laborious Adobe® Photoshop® processes, you won't want to miss this comprehensive, 2-day course with Dave Cross.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6