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Final Q&A

Lesson 8 from: Smart Objects for Beginners

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

8. Final Q&A

Lesson Info

Final Q&A

Are there instances when smart objects are the right choice when a normal flat layer would work better than a smart object? Yes, a lot of the time, smart objects can get in your way. If you want to just paint on a layer, it won't let you because it's a protective bubble and you're trying to put paint on it. You have to create a brand new layer to put the paint in so it's separate from the smart object. Same if you want to retouch. Just create a new layer above it. Do the retouching up there. But sometimes they simply get in the way, and if they ever really got in the way, like if I had my book cover, for instance, and just, it's getting in my way. I can't figure out, especially mentally, if you get overwhelmed and you're like, "I don't know what I gotta do to get that to do whatever." Well, what you can do is when you have a smart object, like here's one, I can go to the layer menu, choose smart objects, and there's a choice called rasterize. Rasterize means turn it back to normal. T...

ruly merge those layers together. Make it just a normal layer. Get me out of the fancy stuff. So I choose rasterize. Watch the layer of my layers panel. Do you see the smart object icon on it? When I choose rasterize, it disappears. Now I can no longer get to the individual layers that are contained within that. They're not contained within it anymore. So that's a normal layer. So, whenever they get in your way, get out of them. Just rasterize, and that means make it normal. And, yeah, there are times when it's just they're a pain in the butt, you know. Also they make your file size bigger, because it has not only a merged version, which is what it's showing, but it also has the individual layers it's made out of, so you're file sizes are getting bigger, so I only use smart objects when they're going to help me. And if something's I can't think of why I would truly want to use it, I'm not gonna, you know. And so if I all I'm going to do is open a picture and retouch it, no need for a smart object. It's when I start thinking about scaling, rotating, warping, it's useful cause those things wouldn't be permanent anymore. Or applying filters, if I might change my mind what settings to use. Then there's a benefit and I'll use them. Yeah, another here. Do you need to use that if you want to create your signature, let's say, for stamping in the pictures that you are doing? You don't have to use smart objects, if you just want to sign your image in the low, in the corner kind of thing. You don't have to. You can just put that in there, but if you might want to change the style of your signature, like have somebody design a logo that looks like a signature, if you use the linked smart object, so you had on your hard drive your signature, and then you used it within each of your files, but as a linked one so it was linking back to the one in your drive, if you ever had somebody design you a logo that was similar in proportions, you could just go open that original signature file, replace your signature with the newly designed thing, and now all those other documents, they're not going to update instantly. They're only going to update when you open them, though the little yellow triangle that indicates say something's out of date here and you can tell it to update it via the layer menu. And you can easily update all those, and that would be convenient. But most of the time you wouldn't have been thinking that far ahead, so I just wouldn't have used them. Next question from a girl on the Internet. Shirlene would like to know on the concentric circle image that you just had up there. Concentric circle image. You just had it up. Yep, that one. That one? Yeah. The question is how did I get it to look 3D and shiny. How did you get them in different colors? The different colors you have there in the same smart object? Yes, the same way that I made the leaves on the head image different colors. Do you remember when I said you can have something called a color overlay layer style? What you do is you click on a layer, you go to the bottom of your layers panel. Down here there's a choice called color overlay. That means completely cover the contents of this layer with a solid color. When I did that, it took the contents of this layer, which looks like this. Do you see the grayness? I'll do it right within the smart object. I'll say color overlay and I'll just choose a color. You see how it's now red? It just covered up whatever the contents of that layer was with red and then I came in here and I applied a little satin in the middle. Do you see the little shading? And then I came over here and I did a little bevel and emboss. And I came in here and I finessed it. I was watching really bad television at the time, and it makes it so it's easy to have 20 minutes to play with all these settings, to get all sorts of interesting effects, because the T.V. you're watching is just not too exciting. So you can kind of go back and forth like, "Okay, I'll spend another minute and a half on this." Okay, let's look back up at the T.V. You know, then come back to it, until you get something really cool. Then what I did, I had this style and if you look at it, my layers panel, here's what it is. It's bevel and emboss, satin, color overlay, and drop shadow. If I turn those off one at a time, here's how much bevel and emboss is contributing. Look at the red one. If I turn off satin, that's how much it's contributing. I turn off drop shadow, that's how much it's contributing. And finally, color overlay. And so this can also be copied and pasted between layers. You have to go to the layer menu, and you go to, it'll take me just a moment to find it, cause my brain's not thinking about those. Come on, where's it say layer style or. There, layer style. Copy layer style. That means copy. If I have any of those settings applied to this layer, copy 'em. Then I can select as many layers as I want. I can select 100 layers right after that. And I choose paste. And it suddenly applies to all the others. Then I went in and I changed the color used for color overlay. Just on everyone individually. Double click on it, click on this little guy, change the color.

Ratings and Reviews

Jeph DeLorme

Great class, extremely helpful for understanding smart objects... both creating and the full range of uses. Fun and engaging instructor, loved this class!

Amy Vaughn

Awesome overview of smart objects. This class may be geared toward beginners, but I think Ben did a good job of showing just how powerful and complicated they can be.


Such a useful and easy to follow class! Ben breaks down smart objects and makes the whole process clear and easy. Definitely a game changer with Photoshop.

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