Understanding Smart Objects

5m 29s

In this course, Ramy Hanna will teach you a basic understanding of Photoshop, all the way to using advanced tools such as actions.

First, you will learn the basics of Photoshop starting with setting up various windows and gaining a basic understanding of the tools. Then, you will learn how to add additional elements and blend them into a rendering or photo seamlessly. Finally, you will learn how to manipulate existing photos, and how to remove or add elements with a photo.

When you are done with this course, you'll know how to significantly enhance the color and quality of any photograph, including architectural renderings. There are 2 parts to this course:

Part 1- Exterior Renderings in 3ds Max: You will learn how to take an exterior building model through all the important steps required to create a convincing photo-real rendering.

Part 2- Photoshop for Architectural Renderings: You will learn how to significantly enhance the color and quality of any photograph, including architectural renderings.

Now, let's get into how the layers work. So, we're gonna delete this text layer and I talked about masks just a little bit. We'll get into masks a little bit later, but I want to help you understand layers, and how layers work, and how we add layers, and adjusting smart objects and what those are. So, we will open this back up to the very beginning, back to where it was before. So, scroll all the way back up in your history, and here we are, back to the very beginning. Right now this is our base layer. To create a regular layer you can double-click and turn it into a normal layer where we can move it around if we need to.

I'm going to get into what is a smart object, and what is a smart layer? Let's create a new layer and delete our base layer. Right there. I'm going to go into Windows, and I'm going to find that same image, and I'm going to click and drag it into my window here. Now, you'll notice that it comes in with this handle. What this means is I can control the size of it, and once I have the size of it they way I want it, I can hit enter and it creates this thing right here that's got this little icon.

So, what this is it's basically saying that it's a smart object. So, what the smart object is is basically, it's an image within an image. So, far example, this is my Photoshop file. If I want to get into the contents of this, there's another layer to go into. So, for example, if I want to paint onto this layer and I hit my brush tool, you'll notice I have my brush tool selected, you notice that now I have this, "Sorry, you can't paint on top of this." Or if I hit my eraser tool, it's saying that "This is a smart object, it must be rasterized, do you want to rasterize it?" So, if I rasterize it, it turns back into a regular layer, and I lose that smart object icon.

So, let's go back to the smart object. So, what is the advantage of the smart object? How does it work? Well, if I want to edit the contents of that, to get into that I can simply double-click, and it's giving me this warning saying that it'll open it up, and as soon as you save it, it'll make the changes in the Photoshop layer.

I don't want to show this again, so I'm gonna hit okay. And you can see basically it's opening the same, looks like the same image. Well, if I go ahead and edit on this one, for example, this is a regular layer and now I can paint onto it, and do whatever I want to. Soon as I "X" or save it, it's going to save it, but it's not going to save it in the Windows file itself, it's going to save it into this Photoshop file.

Right now, it doesn't seem to make too much sense, but as we duplicate the layer, you'll see the power of doing these smart objects. So, you can see that it put that in there, and I can't edit it at this level, but if I duplicate my layer, so to do that, you can hold ALT down, and we're going to click and drag, and it's creating a duplicate of that same layer. Now, if I have four of these same layers, I can edit one of them and it's going to replicate among all of them.

So, for example, you can see, let's close this real quick, you can see in the thumbnail right here that I have the same image. Well, if I edit one of them, and I come back here, and let's say I use the spot healing brush to get rid of my blue paint that I created. Let's do that real quick. There we go. We got rid of my spots. And if I hit "X" and say "yes", you will see as it saves and goes back to the root file, you can see it affected all four of those layers, and the reason for that is because they are all instances of the same object.

Now this comes in very handy if I have, for example, a tree that I'm painting into my scene, or people that I'm putting into my scene, and it can be very helpful with that. So I'm going to open these people here, and these people I'm going to drag into my rendering. As soon as I drag them into my rendering, they are just a regular layer and there's nothing special about them, but obviously they're too large.

If you want to change the size of them, you can do a transform. The easiest way to do that is with control T on your keyboard, and it creates these handles. You can scale it this way. If you want to constrain the ratio, hold shift and it will lock the ratio of it, and you can move it around like this and hit enter. Now, right now it's just a regular layer, so there's nothing special about it, but if you want to convert it to a smart object, you can right-click onto the icon, make sure it's over the icon, and say "convert to smart object." As soon as you do that, it creates this little thumbnail.

I am going to duplicate these people all over my scene. An easy way to do that is with the selection tool, wanna hold ALT down, and I'm just going to click and drag. And you see it's creating duplicates of my people. Now, let's say I wanna get rid of this girl here, to do that you can simply open any of these.

We go inside and we can erase this girl here. Erase or hit delete. We'll save it, and you can see it saved it on all of them. So this can be very helpful, especially when you start adding filters. I'll show you later another reason why we use smart objects.

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From the course:
Photoshop for Architectural Renderings

Level 1

Duration: 3h 26m

Author: Ramy Hanna