Smart Objects Q&A


Adobe® Photoshop®: Retouching and Collage


Lesson Info

Smart Objects Q&A

Let's, start with kind of the basics. Smart objects are awesome. Everyone is convinced of that. So why wouldn't just everything be a smart object? Why don't you just convert every single object you put in there into a smart object? What are the downsides of smart objects? What makes it so that or why doesn't adobe just make everything by default to smart object? A couple things the first off remember you can't edit the later directly meaning if you click on that layer, if there's anything you'd usually do, like painting on it, we're re touching on it. You can still do those things, but you do them differently in that if I wanted to paint on this image, I create a brand new empty layer to contain the paint that's sitting above things so the paint isn't actually directly going onto the pixels that make up these layers. Instead, that paint is sitting on a separate layer on top. You can also do re touching the same land, just create a new layer on top, then you have to make sure you're ret...

ouching tools are set to a setting called current and below talked about yesterday, so they were able to access that information. S so you have to just make sure you think through those kinds of instances where you're so used to being able to directly get to the contents of that layer and so mentally have to shift a little bit, but the other thing about it is your file size is going to go up because what happens is when you turn something into a smart object it's going to take the original contents of that layer and keep it, but then it's also going to create a new version of it that looks like whatever those layers were when you murder if you would emerge in together and that takes up more space eso it can get to be ridiculous. Space wise, let me show you why I don't always try to convince people into using sixteen bit mode because it can really start to bite. Yet when you work with smart objects and create composed, is it? So here is an image that I created last night it's just a little shape, right? If you look in my layers panel, just one layer looks pretty simple to me let's see how it was made, though I'm gonna double click on the thumbnail for this layer that's going to show me the original contents of the smart object takes a little bit of time because what's in there is more complex than what you might sometimes have you know, it looks the same, but now I can see the pieces. It was made out of so there's a little cap where there was retouching to fill this hole and all that is was thie spot healing brush just heal over the hole. But then, below that we have all these smart objects. And if you look at the smart objects, they really look like the same thing in each one there just rotated around because they are the exact same thing there multiple instances of the same smart object by double click on one. It'll show me the original it's. Just that part it has a mask attached to it will learn later on that you could hold on shift and click on the mask to disable it. So it looks like it just came out of some picture. And if I choose to reveal all, remember when you crop with a smart object, it doesn't actually throw away the stuff that's out there still retains it. But she's reveal all that's the original picture. All right, now this is the picture I started with. This is what I made turned it into using smart objects and it was just something I was playing around last night and made that. But the reason I made it is I wanted to show you how crazy things can get if you choose to always work in sixteen bit mode and you choose to always use smart objects and everything else. Let's, take a look at the file on my hard drive. Here's a little trick on a mac I doubt you're familiar with, but you might be, and that is, if you have a document in a mac in any program, for the most part usually have the name of the file open the top right up here, and if you hold down the command key control on windows, I know it don't say control windows, ben, this is a mac specific thing, so used to say the windows equivalent, but if you hold on, the command can click, it'll tell you where the file stored, and so I'm just going to come in here and say, show me the folder it's in ok, there's the file right there, let's see how big it is? Can you see this number? You see that it's a gigabyte that's big, is it not? Okay, let's, see if we can do something to get it to be more manageable and see how using smart objects is a very good thing when they're useful once they're no longer useful. Then you should probably use other things and you might not want to generically is sixteen bit mode unless you own a hard drive manufacturing company and want to sell more drives all right, so let's take a look I'm going to go back to the original contents of the smart object this this thing at the top of my screen it tells me it's sixteen bit see that sixteen right there if it wasn't, that would be an eight I'm going to take that and I'm going to change the mode to eight I'll say then close this once I turned the this back on saving close so did updates the smart object it was used within then this is a smart object that has multiple layers this file is also sixteen bit mode I'll convert it to eat bit when I think I messed myself up here in this because I closed the original which means this is won't be able to save itself back into the original sin which is not open let me see take me a moment here no no no it is it's still open, it was just in a different window so I'm fine, eh? So I'm going to take this one I'm also going to change to eight bit I'm going to save and close it all I'm doing is getting every little piece of this to no longer be sixteen bit because this is where one of the biggest disadvantages of smart objects are I'll take this one which is the final it was used in since we started in sixteen bit all the repercussions anytime we turned into another smart object is still in sixteen bit mode I needed to get all of them down to eight then I'm going to save that I'm a hard drive to remember the size of the original what was it like? One point something one point nineteen gig well, once this is done saving because saved it on my desktop let me make sure you got the right file name sixteen that even though it's not sixteen deaths it's called sixteen now look at the file size what did we just do? We cut it in half didn't weigh or less than half then there are other things we could do to attempt to get the file size down when you're done using smart objects when you know it's what you wanted, then go into these layers ah and when you go into each one of these you don't need to keep them a smart objects you can select all the layers and there's a way to say make us so it's no longer a smart object the way you make it so it's no longer a smart object is you go to the layer menu choose smart objects there's a choice called rast arise rast arise means make it so this layer is no longer special. Make it so. This is a cz. If I did it the normal way, the way without smart objects in the little smart object icon in each layer will go away. The contents of the letter will look the same. If you look in the layers panel, if I choose undo the only thing that's going away is that little icon. And the only thing that's doing is making so I can no longer double clicking that layer to get back to the original contents. These air no longer independent are no longer clones of the same thing. And when you're done, you could also come over here in marshall's layers together in the one if you do that kind of stuff, your file size every time you do that is going to go down, down, down smaller, smaller, smaller. And if I did that to that particular document, these would be the results if I was actually careful doing it, it looks like I wasn't careful there because I made some changes to the image when we're turning masks on and off and that's everything. But here is my original sixteen bit version of the file file size was one point, one nine gigabytes that's ridiculous. If I made all the layers eight bid instead this was the result. If I was careful about doing it, I was very other quick when we were doing things and you see the file size it's actually less than half and then once I merged together those layers into just one piece to sam done using smart objects here's the end result that's a high risk file so it needed to be that big. But do you see the difference in the file size and how much it can balloon on you so as faras disadvantages using smart objects it's going take a more space on your hard drive and making that choice between eight and sixteen debt is a bigger deal because it's goingto be more of a geometric enlargement of your file size and so you might want to think about eight bits instead of sixteen and you might want to think about when you're done. You might want to emerging things together and get your file size to go down once you know it's safe to be permanent. But other than that, the main adjustment you have to make the smart objects is a mental one knowing that I can't directly adjust or modify this layer anything I want to do to it anymore either needed double click in the layer, work on it in that separate document or I need toe create by pretty layer on top to paint crater later on top to retouch do something where it's, independent of the smart object itself, because a smart object itself can't be changed without double clicking on cnn. It's separate window it's a mental adjustment that is tough for some people, so hopefully that gives you that was fantastic, eso collins from colorado says then ben so how do you? What are the guidelines for when you use them and when you don't? Well, whenever I'm doing compositing, if I'm going to scale in rotate things are, or even move around a lot, I usually will use smart objects so that whatever I do is not permanent season to change him if I'm not doing it a composite it's rare for me to need them. If I'm just doing the landscape image retouching on top in that kind of stuff, it is not a huge advantage to using them, but if you see any things that I've shown you like being able to warp things where more it's more than one layer at a time, being able to apply a filter where you can change it later, when those air big enough advantages, then it's worthwhile to use them or in general, and I'm doing composites when I'm done, I can try to get my file size down by rast arising the layers, which means get himself into no longer smart objects will go down in size, but while I'm actually moving things around in creating stuff, they're welcoming it. So I want to show one other thing because I want to make sure that I don't forget about it, and that is when you have a smart object. There are certain filters are certain adjustments that it usually aren't available as adjustment layers and weaken cheat if we have a smart optics, so show you this in just a moment. But first, here I'm in camera about to open an image, and you remember if I wanted to open it as a smart object, I could hold down the shift key in the open image button changed to open object, but what if you want to do that all the time? Because I don't wanna hold shift all the time I might forget one day? Well, if you see this line of text in camera rock bottom, if you click on that line of text, a little dialogue box will appear in one of the choices within the dialog box is open and photo shop a smart objects what that's going to do if I turned on is making so that button always says open object and then holding shift will change it back to the old temporarily to open image so that just means if I want to most of the time, open things, a smart objects that way, I can get it to happen automatically in on ly those times when I don't need a smart object, what I hold shift, but I got to that by clicking the text of the bottom of camera. There was ole check box it's up to you if you want to have that on or not depends on how you what your workflow is like. There are certain adjustments that you find under the image adjustments menu that you don't find when you create an adjustment layer there, just certain things that don't work his adjustment layers there's a reason for that it's a technical one it just has to do with the limitations of adjustment layers photoshopped has to know what to do with any pixel in your picture, regardless of what any of the other ones look like, meaning I can feed it any color, and it could just figure out what to do with smart off with a adjustment layer. But there are certain adjustments over here that require it to know what the surrounding image looks like in order to figure out how to apply the adjust mint, and those simply aren't available is adjustment layers were right now I have a smart object. And when you have a smart object, all these adjustments and here are great out because remember, you can't directly change that layer. These are things that would usually directly change it usually use an adjustment layer instead, but I have some special ones in here that are available in these air to that usually are not available as adjustment layers, and a lot of people complain to a w they're like, why don't you make shadow highlight workers an adjustment layer? And they just don't realize that technically, they can't, because the limitation of how adjustment layers work, eso instead, they decided, well, how could we cheat an offer those features in a non destructive way, without having to completely reengineer how adjustment, layers work, and what they did is they made it well, hey, if this is a smart object, we'll let you apply these it's just we can't do it as an adjustment layer, it will be just a necessity to that layer. So if I ever want to use shadow highlight in a way that is non destructive and by nine destructive, all I really mean is easily undoable or changeable. Later, you can destruct an image in here, you know, just move the sliders enough where you lose detail, and you know, that kind of stuff, but the main thing is there are certain adjustments that aren't usually available this adjustment layers but you could apply I'm too smart objects and when you do they show up is an accessory to that layer like right here one of those a shadow highlight the other is called hdr toning and if I double click on this name, it just brings me right back into shadow highlight so I could change it and therefore some people call that nondestructive doesn't mean it's not destructive though you can always move sliders they're in here like if I take black clip and turned up this high as it goes and same with white clip I'm losing chatter detail it's turning solid black that's to me destructive all it means is it is easily undoable or changeable it's not permanent, so if I double click on channel highlight, I could go back in here and change this back default and get that detail back. But that's something where a lot of people aren't aware that it's possible and I just want to bring it up not that that particular command has do with compositing, but when it comes to smart objects if you're not aware of it and you're one of those people that complain that certain things are available adjustment layers now you're like, oh, I can still apply it in a undoable way and so it's a nice thing tio knowabout one final bend your mind a little bit kind of thing is if you have a raw file in one of those layers is a smart object there's something weird about it? If I click on that layer, I could go to the layer menu too smart objects and there's actually a choice called export contents if I do that, it will spit out a copy of the original rafa on my hard drive that I give somebody else the raw file not this layered file that has a bunch of other stuff but the original rafael. So if you ever have a complex document let's, say it's ah composite in one little piece within it is a smart object that contains raw files been scaled it's been rotated it's part of blur filter applied to it it's gotta drop shadow underneath it's it's really in a composite deep, but you want to use that image for something else and you don't want to go search out and find the original wherever it was. On your hard drive, you can just click on the layer that contains that go to your layer menu too smart objects and export your contents and when you d'oh you're going tohave the original raw file sitting right there, it'll create a brand new clone of the original raw file and that's original rafael you get anybody you'd like so it's kind of weird, uh think so whole bunch information about smart objects one you smart objects for a lot of things today and you'll get much more comfortable with him because well have continued use. I just wanted to show you how versatile they are because I find very few people really use the full power of smart objects, so yeah, okay question from sid dav can one lakh a layer, but not its adjustment layer so you don't accidentally work on the actual layer. Yeah, you can lock a later. In fact, we did it yesterday remember when we had the original layer at the bottom? You can lock it it's at the top of the layers panel there are little icons in one of them is a lock icon, and if you click the lock icon, it will lock the position of the later it will lock the content of the layer. You know, the lockwoods noticed the capacity of the layer, which means you wouldn't be able to use the eraser tool to raise things. Ah, war there's just an icon that looks like a checkerboard. You see that one over there and that would mean just lock the pixels that make up that layer meaning that it's you can't paint on it, you can't re touch it, that kind of stuff yeah, uh, photo maker says, can you double protect a clone smart object? So if you want to change a bunch of clones but not others, you can protect some from changing when you make a net it know ifyou've duplicated a smart object, all the duplicates link back to the original um the one way I could think about doing it is in bed, a smart object into a smart object meaning if you have let's say that image that had all the bolts around it, uh or I think I have a file saved on my desktop, I can use an exact example he can't do it directly, but you can get around it. So let's say I had this image and you remember that those are all instances of the same smart object let's say I want to change half of them when I hit the smart object, I'm assuming this will work, I haven't tried it, I'm going to select about half of them here are four of them. I don't know if we have age and they're not, but they're for him. I'm going to take those four and I'm going to protect those by putting them in their own smart object that was their smart objects that you put into another support out, so it'll look a ziff those merged together when I do that it's not aware of the other layers that are outside of the smart object is not aware of anything that's outside of that smart object so now when I go to the other ones and double click on the thumbnail and make a change saving close, I'm assuming it's going it update half of them because the other ones the second you put it into a smart object that has no idea about anything that's outside of that smart object and so now if I save and close this I'm assuming we're going to get half of those looking different yeah, so select the ones he didn't want to have change put those into a smart object, you know look as if they merge together is the only problem on and then they'll be independent of the others that might be the same solution for this upcoming question for ah from shade k from spain who as can you create a layer on top of a smart object and add it later onto that smart object so it's inside the same bubble? Uh, yeah, if you wantto put something inside so let's say I had all right I have one of these layers I create a new layer and I put something on it it won't be an overly creative thing it'll just be a, um black squiggle of ogata put it on top ok she's a black squiggle and that's sitting here in this document that house all these layers I'd like it to actually be inside that smart object instead of outside of it there's not a way that I can think of off hand to make sure it's going to align properly though since that particular smart object has been rotated in such but if I double click on that smart object to see its contents, I can always go back to the other document and take the other layer and just drag it over I'm just going toe I have the layer contains the paint active I can click on a drag it, drag it to the other tab, drag it down here the only thing is it's going to still be at that angle it was at in the other document I'd have to rotate it here to get it to a line so there's no automatic way of ensuring that this is in the exact same position and if the smart I've had been rotated the paint would have been rotated but the smart action would be straight but I can put it in there by either comping and pasting or dragging and dropping with move tool saving close that and now we just have to go delete the original layer and then since I put it in a smart I was called to lead the original layer and now it's on every one of them because these were all instances of the same smart object but it's a matter of just think about it is being two separate documents how would you get it over to the other document you could copy and pasted over there or you could use the move tool and drag it between the tabs s so you can do it but it's not an overly elegant solution where you just say pop it over okay we have time for maybe one more question and it actually just answered the one that I was going to ask so I'm going to scramble here and find one more let's go with cool crew who says can you apply more than one mask to a smart object? Can I apply more than one mask? Kinda if I take some layers here and I turned them into a smart object then I add a mask and I'll paint on the mask to hide something so if you look at my layers panel I've a smart object it's got a mascot there's two ways to add a second mask the first method is to put this particular smart object into what is known as ah group you can do that by typing command g control gene windows watch my layers pal command g hopes gotta make the layer active first command g that's a group looks like a folder and then add a mask to the group. Now I have two masks that are affecting the same content. So that's one way method, you could do it. The other method would be take that smart object that already it has a mask on it, an embedded into another smart object, you know, like, like, a higher accurate. I can't even say the word, but I just turned that into another smart object and at a mass to that. So now I have the mask affecting the contents of this smart object. Double click on it and here's the original concepts of the smart off object with the other mask. So I think it's, just easier to group it, throwing what in a group by typing command, g a little easier to manage.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

Learn how to retouch any image, whether it be the simplest problem or the most complex and seemingly impossible task. Understand the difference between all the retouching tools and then learn how to supplement them with other Adobe® Photoshop® features. See how multiple images can be combined into a seamless composite that is much more than the sum of its parts.

  • Learn the difference between all the retouching tools and when to use each one
  • See how the Clone Source panel can help with difficult retouching jobs
  • Rid your images of telephone poles, power lines and pedestrians, even if they overlap complex backgrounds like trees
  • Discover how Layer Masks, Blending Sliders and Vector Masks are best implemented
  • Learn how Smart Objects can allow you to make almost infinite changes to your design without having to rework your image

  • This course is also part of the Photoshop tutorials series

    Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6