smart object

Deke's Techniques 434: Extracting an Unmodified Photo from a Smart Object in Photoshop

Extracting a Photo from a Smart Object

In this week's free Deke's Techniques, Deke shows you how to extract your original unmodified JPEG photograph from a smart object that resides inside your significantly edited PSD image.

Why, pray tell, would you want to do this? Well, let's say you were drinking champagne on the London Eye, took a selfie with your phone, went back to your hotel, did some Photoshop work on it, posted it to Facebook, and then promptly forgot to do something intelligent with the original. (Blame it on the champagne and the gloriously dizzying views).

If you've trained yourself to apply your photo edits to a protective smart object, then you can even go so far as to Liquify your nose into pleasing proportions and still extract the original photograph. Here are the "after" (in this case, Deke's starting point) and "before" (the original) images sitting side-by-side in Bridge after Deke's procedure.

Colleen and Deke atop the London Eye


If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive video this week in which he shows you how to extract an original DNG from a PSD file, despite having made modifications in Camera Raw and applied smart filters and adjustment layers in Photoshop. (Hmm, if I'm going to show you the "before" on Deke's nose, I suppose it's only fair that I show you the magic Deke did on my teeth.)

Extracting the original DNG from a Smart Object.


Great tips for absent-minded travelers today. And don't forget, if you're not a member of, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to and signing up. Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 419: Adding Depth of Field to Vector-Based Illustration

In this week's free Deke's Techniques episode, Deke takes last week's Vector Island scene and applies a depth-of-field effect to the illustration inside Photoshop (with some help from Illustrator along the way).

The "depth-of-field" in this case, consists of doses of plain ol' Gaussian Blur applied as a smart filter. The trick is to create an independent smart object for each level of depth (blur) and then isolate desired objects for each depth of field by editing the smart objects in Illustrator.

In this case, for example, one layer/smart object has just the backdrop. Each of the other layers is stripped down to just a specific head. The result is that a blurry background, a sort of blurry guy on the left, and a completely sharp guy on the right creates the illusion you see here:

Applying different levels of blur to different layers creates a depth-of-field effect

If you're a member of, Deke's got two follow up movies this week. (If you're not a member, you can get a free 10-day trial at In the first movie, he shows you how to add gradient and color overlays to this scene for this effect:

Adding color and gradient overlays in Illustrator

In the second, you'll see how he incorporated textures from the original Easter Island photograph that was the inspiration for the illustration.

Using the original inspirational photograph to add texture to an illustration

Deke's Techniques, bringing your head(s) new tweaks every week. Read more » 

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Turning a Photo into an Ink Drawing or a Pencil Sketch (in Photoshop)

In this article, we'll take a portrait photo and give it a hand-drawn touch by turning it into first an ink drawing (below left) and then a pencil sketch (right). As you can see, this guy is quite surprised at how well the technique works.

Creating an ink drawing or a pencil sketch in Photoshop

We'll start by making the ink effect using a Smart Object, Gaussian Blur, High Pass, the seldom-used Note Paper filter, another round of Gaussian Blur, a Levels adjustment layer, the Multiply blend mode, and a little bit of luminance blending. It's hardly a one-click solution, but the results are amazing. Plus, this flexible approach can produce several interesting alternative looks, including a credible pencil effect, also documented here.

Today's article is based on Deke's Techniques 026 and 027, presented by (The ink effect is also documented in video form on this site.) Read more » 

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Deke's Techniques 045: Creating a Synthetic Rainbow

Deke's Techniques 045: Creating a Synthetic Rainbow

This week, I show you how to make a synthetic rainbow, one that actually looks like an actual one, in Photoshop. If I were a silly little girl, I might posit the rainbow in back of a magical prancing unicorn. But I'm a silly little boy, so I set it in back of a highly aggressive, man-eating shark.

"Pardon?" I here you say. "How do you put a rainbow in back of a shark??" Watch the video and find out.

In the meantime, here's the official description from Read more » 

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dekeSpeak April 19, 2011

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