Using Smart Filters

Now you’ve learned what smart objects are. Let’s dive into how to use smart filters on top of your smart objects.



Let’s get started

So you’ve got your smart object created. If you are going to be using the background image, make sure that you unlock the background image before you try to change that image to a smart object. If you don’t do that first, converting it to a smart object won’t even be an object. As soon as you make that change, it will give you that option.


Using Smart Filters

Go up to the options bar at the top of your screen. Go up to filters and choose from one of the filters to use.

This filter will automatically be converted into a smart filter. It will show up underneath your smart object in the layers panel.

Smart filters also create their own little masks. You don’t have to create any new mask for them. Just by creating the filter, Photoshop has automatically created a mask for your smart filter. Say you want to create a blur filter. Select the smart filter in the layers panel.

smart filters and smart objects in photoshop

Smart filters create their own masks. The moment you create that filter for your smart object is the moment that Photoshop creates a mask for that filter.

Choose your selected brush. Make sure your colors in the tool panel are white and black. If you remember that black reveals what is underneath and white conceals what’s underneath. If you remember that little helpful hint when you are painting with a mask it makes it so much easier and faster to maneuver the information on your image.


Using Smart Adjustments


I like to call these Smart Adjustments.  This is because the filters are slightly different to the adjustments in how they are layered and leveled in Photoshop layers.  When using a filter, all of your filters are going to be stacked underneath your smart object.  But, when you go over to the layers panel and use one of the adjustment layers at the bottom of the layers panel, those adjustments are going to be stacked above your smart object.

You can still use them exactly the same way as the filters that you get from the objects panel at the top of your Photoshop screen.  They will all be linked to your smart object without you having to touch your smart object at all.

Voila!  No destruction!


Duplicating A Smart Object

Duplicate a smart object by pressing Ctrl + V. You can change each one to a different size and angle. If you make any modifications to the smart object, it will change all of them.


In This Example


In this example, we can see how I’ve been able to change my original image to a smart object and then added filters and adjustments to it.  Take a look!

Then I added more filters to it.




Adding deeper blues to my picture

Green filters are added

Finally, I’ve added the red filters

Finally, we have the result!

Here is a copy of the original beside the picture that I made into a more vividly colored picture.

In Conclusion

As you can see, using smart objects and filters is heaps better than the long way around and being more destructive to your image. I hope that you have been able to learn something from this tutorial.

Smart objects is my favorite thing to use now. It has helped me keep things more efficient and still giving it better quality.

Thanks for reading! And happy creating!

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