smart objects

The Brilliance of Smart Objects

Pardon me for my impertinence, but I have an idea. I think the powerfully enabled but abysmally named Smart Objects ought to be called "Magic Wrappers." Because, when you wrap a layer in a Smart Object, you can apply filters and other "destructive" edits to it without harm. Not to mention, change your mind later.

The Smart Object lets you adjust edits like Shadows/Highlights, Gaussian Blur, and even Puppet Warp as many times as you like without starting from scratch. Just double-click an item in the Layers panel to pick up where you left off. That alone makes these wonderful wrappers invaluable. But there's a lot more that you can do with them, as I'm about to explain.

smart object lead image

Today's tip hails from Chapter 29, "The Power of Smart Objects," from the video course Photoshop CS5 One-on-One: Mastery on lynda.com. Read more » 

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Martini Hour 094, In Which We Hypocritically Mock Some of Adobe's Odd Feature Names

What's in a name? Does a feature that goes by any other name still function as well? This week we're enjoying making fun of the names of Adobe features that don't really make any sense. And who are we to complain? "Martini Hour" is never really an hour and this week we're drinking Manhattans. So join us on this vaguely hypocritical but otherwise entertaining discussion of goofy names for otherwise highly useful (for the most part) set of features in Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign. Like Martini Hour, you shouldn't be scared off by the names. 

Martini Hour 094: Adobe's strangely named features

Here is a list of cryptically, oxymoronically, or just ridiculously named features that we enjoy making fun of this week: Read more » 

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"Photoshop CS4 Smart Objects" Is Complete

Update: As of November 6, "Photoshop CS4 Smart Objects" is now available at lynda.com. Members of the lynda.com Online Training Library can check out this link, Photoshop CS4: Smart Objects, for the entire course.

Well friends, more than 1900 of you have voted on my fate. And even tho "Photoshop CS4 for Bio-Medical Imaging Geeks" recently surged to 5 percent (95 votes is none too shabby!), the masses have spoken. "Photoshop CS4 Smart Objects" continues to be the dominant leader.

So I'm hoping the masses will be happy to learn that I have finished filming all 80+ screen-capture movies for this series, ending with the project file shown below. (That's just a detail, of course.) The effect is a combination of nine smart filters--Median, High Pass, and Shadows/Highlights; nested inside Variations and Mezzotint; capped by Find Edges and Emboss; with a measure of Poster Edges and Graphic Pen wrapped up inside the Filter Gallery--all set to different blend modes subject to the whims of two filter masks, a layer mask, and an adjustment layer. In other words, utter simplicity itself.

Nine-filter army Read more » 

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Bert Lets Me Go Nuts

Episode #141, "Smart Objects Are Pretty Smart," marks the third and final episode of Bert Monroy's Pixel Perfect in which I appear. (For now, anyway.) And this time, Bert lets me freeform. It's a little bit smart objects, a little Camera Raw, with some live type that inverts everything in back of it thrown in for good measure. Click the movie above to see what I mean. Read more » 

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Two Smart Guys Discuss Smart Objects

Over at O'Reilly Digital Media, Derrick Story has posted an interview he did with Deke at last Spring's Photoshop World, wherein Deke enlightens O'Reilly's evangelist on the mysteries of smart objects. It's a fun conversation, with Deke the graphics guru and Photoshop connoiseur enlightening Derrick the photographer and Photoshop anarchist. (I like the audio only when my eyes need a break from the screen, or you know, I'm driving a car.) OK, so this picture is actually from last month in Las Vegas (y'all are going to figure it out from the dekePod logo on the screen anyway). But it is, in fact, Deke and Derrick, and they are talking about something related to Photoshop. It could be smart objects. And my shots from Orlando were apparently affected by humidity.

It just so happens these are the two guys I'm putting out there for my Photoshop CS4 book offerings this fall. You all know what Deke has to offer, and the Adobe Photoshop CS4 One-on-One book will be ready as soon as the project launches (thanks to Deke's amazing amazing team--Carol, Spink, Ron, Julie, David, Toby--woohoo!). Derrick's book, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers, will be day-and-date with CS4 as well, providing photographers with a streamlined plan for Photoshop that gives them everything they need, and nothing they don't. See? I gotcha covered. 'Cause I know smart when I see it.

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