After posting my video Cyclical – The Creative Process I received a great question: If you start in Lightroom with a raw file and choose Photo > Edit In > Open in Photoshop as Smart Object, and then edit that Smart Object, how can you “extract” that raw file with the edited settings?
My first thought was to select the Smart Object in the Layers panel in Photoshop and choose Layer > Smart Objects > Export Contents. But surprisingly that method doesn’t export any edits made to the Smart Object. However, it turns out that the answer is even easier. In Photoshop, simply double click on the Smart Object’s thumbnail in the Layers panel (or choose Layer > Smart Object > Edit Contents) and, in the Camera Raw dialog, click the Save Image button in the lower left corner. Voila.
To apply multiple filters to a single layer – each with its own filter mask – convert the layer into a smart object (Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Objects). Apply the first smart filter and paint in the mask as desired. To apply the second filter, choose Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object (essentially “nesting” one smart filter within another), apply the second filter and paint in the mask as desired. If you need to edit the settings or mask for the first filter, choose Layer > Smart Object > Edit Contents. This technique is also an excellent way to selectively sharpen and blur an image.
In the illustration above, the High Pass filter was applied to the Smart Object (Layer 0) and then masked so that it is limited to sharpening the cactus. Note: If you use the High Pass filter to sharpen an image, you can double-click the small icon to the right of the filter name in the Layers panel and set the blend mode to Overlay or Soft Light to remove the grayish look of the filter.)
After applying the first smart filter, choosing Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object nests the first smart filter and allows the addition of another filter (in this example Oil Paint) with its own Smart Filter mask.
In this episode of The Complete Picture, Julieanne explains the difference between duplicating a Smart Object using the Layers panel to create multiple instances of a layer and creating a copy of a Smart Object using the application menu for independent editing.
In this Episode of the Complete Picture, Julieanne will demonstrate her top 5 favorite features in Photoshop 13.1 including refinements to the Crop Tool, nondestructive editing with Blur Gallery and Liquify, increased efficiency with Conditional Actions, practical default Type Styles and support for Retina displays on Macintosh.
After converting a video clip into a Smart Object, the options for Audio and Video (including the mute option) change to Motion options.
Once a clip is converted to a Smart Object in Photoshop, the Audio and Video options change to Motion options.
To access the Audio and Video options after converting the clip to a Smart Object, double click on the Smart Object’s thumbnail in the Layers panel. The contents of the Smart Object will open in its own window. On the Timeline panel, use the triangle in the upper right of the clip to access the Video and Audio options. Click the Audio icon and check Mute Audio. Then, save the open document (the “contents” of the Smart Object). Upon close, the smart object updates in the original document.
To make the Adaptive Wide Angle Filter re-editable, first select the layer and choose Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object. Then choose Filter > Adaptive Wide Angle Filter and make any necessary corrections. To refine the filter at a later time, in the Layers panel, double click “Adaptive Wide Angle” to display the filter’s options. Note: using the Smart Filter’s mask to hide and show the filter selectively can produce some very interesting results
To apply a nondestructive filter to a layer, convert the layer into a Smart Object before adding the filter (Layer > Smart Object > Convert to Smart Object). A Smart Filter mask will automatically be added, enabling you to selectively hide and show the filter. To edit the filter settings, double-click on the name of the filter. To change the opacity and/or blend mode of the filter, double-click on the small icon to the right of the filter name.
In order to warp multiple layers as if they are one (such as multiple text layers), on the Layers panel, select the layers and choose Layer > Smart Object > Convert to Smart Object. Then, choose Edit > Transform > Warp and apply the warp to the Smart Object. To re-edit any of the individual layers, choose Layer > Smart Object > Edit Contents or simply double-click on the layer’s thumbnail in the Layers panel.
Almost all of the filters in Photoshop can be applied as Smart Filters (meaning that they are non-destructive and re-editable at any time) by converting the layer(s) into a Smart Object before running the filter. Not only does this help when you want to re-edit them, but it also helps when applying filters to video layers by allowing the filter to be applied once to the Smart Object and having Photoshop apply the filter to each frame on the fly. Plus, Smart filters have their own mask to hide and show the visibility of the filter throughout the image.
In order to apply a filter to all of the frames of a video layer, be sure to convert it into a Smart Object before applying the filter (Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object). Otherwise, the filter will only be applied to the currently selected frame. As an added feature, because the filter is being applied to a Smart Object, not only is it non destructive, it’s parameters and mask can be changed at any time without penalty.
When creating Smart Objects, Photoshop stores the information (pixels) that make up the Smart Object within the file (lets call this “embedded” information). If you select a Smart Object in the Layers panel and use the keyboard shortcut Command (Mac) / Control (Win) + J or Option (Mac) / Alt (Win) -drag the Smart Object to create a duplicate layer, both of those layers (the original and the duplicate) are referencing the same “embedded” information. Therefore, if you edit the contents of one of the Smart Object layers (Layer > Smart Objects > Edit Contents), then both layers will be updated upon saving the edits.
On the other hand, if you select a Smart Object in the Layers panel and choose Layer > Smart Objects > New Smart Object via Copy, then the “embedded” information is duplicated. Selecting Layer > Smart Objects > Edit Contents will only edit the targeted Smart Object layer.
Any filters applied to a Smart Object are automatically “Smart Filters”. Change the filter parameters at any time by double clicking on the filter name in the Layers panel (that’s what makes them smart, they’re nondestructive). Change the Opacity and Blend Mode of the Smart Filter by double clicking the Filter Blending Option (two small lines with triangles under then to the right of the filter name in the Layers panel.) Paint in the Smart Filter mask just as you would any layer mask.