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Understanding Smart Objects

Lesson 29 from: Photoshop for Beginners: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

Understanding Smart Objects

Lesson 29 from: Photoshop for Beginners: Essential Training

Mark Wallace

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Lesson Info

29. Understanding Smart Objects

Smart Objects allow you to transform raster and vector images without damaging any source content. Mark explains how and when to use Smart Objects.
Next Lesson: Smart Sharpen


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Introducing Photoshop


The Class Materials


How To Open Files


Using The Home Screen


Exploring The Interface


Getting Additional Help


Understanding Workspaces


Lesson Info

Understanding Smart Objects

let's learn more about smart objects and smart filters and we can start by showing you how to create a smart object. So what we're gonna do here is we're going to go to file and then we're going to go to open and we're gonna go to the wanna dot jpeg file that we've used many times before. I'm gonna click open. Now what we have here is we have a background layer so we can unlock that or we can just click on it, go to layer and then we can go to smart objects convert to smart object and just like that bam this layer is now a smart object. We know it's a smart object by the way this layer looks. So I'm gonna zoom way in on this layer and you can see that this layer now has this icon right here on top of the thumbnail. And that means that this is a smart object. Okay. There is a different way to create a smart object if you're using raw files and that is the best way to create smart objects because you're retaining all of the information from that file. So what I'm gonna do here is I'm gon...

na open a different file. So I'm gonna open file and then say I'm gonna say file open. Then we're gonna go to our class materials and let's go to this file right here called cami skin dot c r three. It's a raw file. When I click open adobe camera, Raw opens now, we're gonna learn all about adobe camera Raw in the future. Don't worry about it right now. But what we need to do for this step is down here instead of clicking open, we want to open as object. So when I click that this file is going to load in and now we have this smart object you can see here that the layer has that icon, it's a smart object. Now smart objects allow you to do all kinds of different um manipulations to them. You can change the tonal values and the colors and rotate and make copies and all kinds of things. One thing you cannot do too smart objects. You can't manipulate the actual pixels so you can't paint on them. You can't use the retouching tools like the healing brush, the clone tool, anything that modifies the actual pixels, you can't do that to a smart object. Um Mostly there's some filters and things you can use for sure. So let's talk about why these are non destructive and they can be used in some instances as the best thing possible. So we're gonna take this image here, this commie skin image and I'm going to do a free transform and I'm gonna shrink her on the canvas here. So we've got this commie right here now I'm going to take this and I'm going to hit option command and I'm gonna drag this and I have made a copy. So I've just copied this layer. So we have a second copy. And this one I'm going to take this uh free transform. So I hit command t for free transform. I'm gonna make it, I don't know, a little bit bigger and stick that right there. And then the next thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna make another copy right here and I'm gonna take this one and I'm gonna make it like that, something like that. So I've got three different versions of candy here. Now the cool thing is they're all versions of the same smart object. And so if I go here to any of these and I double click it, what's gonna happen is Adobe camera raw opens again and it's going to allow me to do manipulations on this image. Really cool. The exact same thing that I saw when I opened this. So I can go in, let's say we change the exposure, let's make her a little bit blue. Um I don't know, we'll make it where she's super tex Cherie and maybe black and white. Okay. And then I'll say okay now watch what happens. So it goes through all of these smart objects. There are different sizes, different orientations, bam All three of them have been updated. Now there's another thing I can do with a smart object. That's really cool. Um Let's say, hey I don't like these three being black and white again. I can double click it's gonna open this, I'm gonna change the same monochrome to modern four. I don't like that color temperature. That's really bad. Let's fix this. I'll say okay and now non destructively I've gone in and I've changed cammy twice. Now you can see that she's back to where she is. All three of those have been updated. But let's say that I want this little image right here. I want to add a filter to that so I can go up to filter and remember, we need to be in eight bits to do a lot of these filters. So I want to change this to a eight bit mode and now I'm going to go up to filter once this smart object has been updated. It does take a little bit of processing power. So I'm gonna go up to filter and then let's go to oh the filter gallery and then for this one let's do a sketch. We'll do a half tone pattern. Now let's do something that's a little bit more. There we go, that's more noticeable. So that's been changed. I'm gonna go over here to this copy right here and I'm gonna go in, I'm going to do a liquefy filter. This is one of those times you can actually change the pixel values. So I'm gonna make her a little bit smiley like that. Make her nose go down, make your eyes go up. So I'm liquefying her, make her chin really long. Okay now I've made a caricature of cami. Boom, I've got that. So these filters. Normally when you apply a filter, whatever you've done to them. They're there forever. But these are smart filters. So if I go into let's say the filter gallery I double click that I can change this to torn paper and say okay that changes that. And so I can change the filter that I've used. I can change the values of that filter, I can change those smart objects. I can go all the way back to adobe camera raw and work on those. I can do a lot of things to smart objects and smart filters and it's totally non destructive. It's something that's really useful. Now there are some additional things that you can do with smart objects and so if I go up to layer and then go down to smart objects you can see that I have all kinds of different things here that I can do I can edit the contents, I can reset the transform. So let's say this commie skin copy this right here. I don't like that transform that I did. I could go to smart object, I'll say reset transform and it's gonna think about it and then here we go. It does the render and 123 there it is. So it goes all the way back to the very beginning the original size so we brought it in and shrunk it so it took all those transformations away. It did keep the filter though. So we've got that really cool filter there. I can turn that on or off. You can see how these are non destructive. So what I want you to do is after this session open cami skin dot c r w r c R three and then play with these smart filters and see what works and what doesn't and what is best. So after you've done that, we're gonna come back to our next session, we're going to talk about something else that's very smart and that is the smart sharpen tool.

Class Materials

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Class Materials

Ratings and Reviews


Mark did a great job at explaining things and going over them multiple times throughout the lessons. My only issue was that sometimes it went a little faster than I could keep up and I needed to rewind it a bit and start again. But from someone who has never worked in photoshop before I 100% recommend this class to anyone trying to learn.

Terri Schwartz

Student Work