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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Get More From Smart Objects

Eliminate the dreaded do-over when your client changes his or her mind by making good use of this Photoshop feature

This Article Features Photo Zoom

8) This is what the final composite looked like after adding all six of the objects onto the background. The layer stack with the named layers as Smart Objects is shown on the right. In a perfect world, this would be the finished piece, but don’t you know, the art director decided that the upper-right widget needed work. Smart Objects to the rescue! I just double-clicked the upper-right object to edit it.

9) When you open a Smart Object for editing, you’re presented with a dialog box. Be sure to read it and understand it before proceeding. It basically means that Photoshop will open the embedded object in a new window and allow you to do what-ever edits you need to do. Once that’s finished, you must save the document without doing a Save As; otherwise, the link will be broken (which is really bad).

10) With the combined image still opened, the upper-right Smart Object opened as a separate file showing its own layers and allowed a tone tweak to the widget. I used the object’s transparency mask to create a layer mask for the Levels adjustment. Once the tweak was done, I saved the file without doing a Save As. Once saved, the adjusted image showed up in the main image with the updates displayed.

11) After saving the modified Smart Object, the edits were updated in the main image. After working on all the Smart Objects, I also did some overall adjustments. I added Vibrance and Hue/Saturation adjustment layers as well as a pair of graduated Curves adjustments. The other layers I added were some tone adjustments just above the Background layer to lighten and darken areas in a streaked pattern.

In order to create them, I made a new channel, chose Filter > Render > Clouds, adjusted the density and ran a Blur > Motion Blur filter. I loaded the channel as a selection and filled with white for the lightening layer, and then inverted the selection and filled with black for the shadowing layer.

Jeff Schewe and Martin Evening have forgotten more about Photoshop than most photographers will ever know. Individually and together they have lectured and written on photography and image processing around the world. Their book
Adobe Photoshop CS5 For Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop is available at Amazon. You can see more of their work at www.schewephoto.com and www.martinevening.com.


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