Nested Smart Objects Tutorial
I don't usually do wee-hours-of-Sunday-morning posts. But I happened upon a pingback message in my inbox. And besides, I was supposed to review some contracts tonight. (Ug, contracts.) So I felt compelled to blow off my real work and do this instead.
An article that I wrote for Layers magazine got picked up as part of a big Smashing magazine compilation of "50 Excellent Digital Photography Photoshop Tutorials." (Mine is the very last one. Many of the others are very good, so check it out.) It's all old news. Both the compilation and the article appeared in 2008. But I hadn't seen either before so I thought, what the hey, I'd pass 'em along.
The topic of the article (entitled "Nesting Smart Objects for Multimask Effects in Photoshop") is every bit as relevant now as it was last year. It explains how to take an image that requires some advanced applications of sharpening and smoothing, and achieve both using a combination of nested smart objects, which in turn permit you to apply independently masked smart filters.
Along the way I take this uninspiring bison photo (that I shot, mind you):
And turn it into the elegantly finessed one below. (Damn, you one fine, sesame-sprinkled bison, Bison.)
The one thing missing is the full-res sample file. The Layers post includes a downloadable "before" file, but it's been downsampled so you'll get different results. Which is why I'm including the full-res file here.
The article is available for free in the ether, so I figured I'd make this file available for download to members and nonmembers alike. Just right-click here to download the original bison image and choose Save or Download or a similar option.
Or click on the Attachment link at the end of the article. If it appears. (We have such problems with these things.)
For a detailed video explanation of this technique, see my series Photoshop CS3 Sharpening Images at lynda.com. You're interested in Chapter 4, "The Sharpening Support Staff," which is located about midway down the page. (If you own Photoshop CS4, don't worry. It works identically for you, too.)