Friday, December 17, 2010

Smart Objects - Photoshop tricks

You too can enjoy the powerful CONVERT TO SMART OBJECT option in the LAYERS pane in Photoshop®...

Three good reasons:

(1) You can convert a layer (or even better, a folder of layers) into a smart object, and then apply filters (like sharpen) on the result -- this allows you to apply filters/effects to an entire folder of layers... yet you can still double click the smart object and it is still a completely editable folder!

(2) You can convert type to a smart object and therefore the file doesn’t need the font. Double clicking the smart object opens it up as live type (in another window -- and yes... for THAT new window you will need the font to do any editing).

(3) Saving the best for last. You can work completely in RGB (as we know there’s a lot more options and control over color/effects in RGB. When you are happy with the file, put all the layers into a topmost folder (or alternatively just SELECT all the layers), and convert the folder (or the highlighted layers) into a smart object.

“But, Uncle Belt, we need to send it to print in CMYK!"”

Aha! You can then change mode to CMYK. Sadly all the colors will muddy up as typical with CMYK.... (but I’ve come up with a snazzy color profiles trick to “pop” the colors to almost as bright as in the RGB...).

OK, so you’re file is in CMYK for the printer.... but if you double-click the smart object, it will open a new window in RGB! Save it, and it saves the revised back into the main CMYK file...!

Warning: Converting things to smart objects WILL NOT make the file any smaller...

...also handy is RIGHT CLICKING on the smart object layer and doing a NEW SMART OBJECT VIA COPY... very different from simply DUPLICATING the smart object layer.

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