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Photoshop tutorials, this tutorial will focus on how to use smart filters.
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How to Use Smart Filters - Photoshop
Hey you guys, Gerry for Iceberg Creativity. We’re going to be doing a Photoshop lesson today and that is about Smart Filters. A few people have asked me in the past what is a Smart Filter is and how they’d use it. Well, think of them as adjustments layers but we’ll get into that in the tutorial. It’s funny because I’m actually doing a tutorial today, it’s my birthday so I thought I deserve a day off but I had a bit of free time so I figured, you know what, I’d give a nice tutorial for Photoshop.
I was going to do one for Adobe’s Premier as well but my buddy John has yet to give me the footage that I require. I’m not knocking him or anything like that but you guys will get a premier tutorial when I get HD footage to work with.
Alright, let’s get started with the Photoshop lesson, shall we? Start by opening up Photoshop if you haven’t already as you know I say it at the beginning of all my tutorials and open an image you want to work with.
I have an image of a little girl that I found on Photo Express that I thought would be perfect for this tutorial. So I’m going to open it up. Now the first thing I’ve note this image is huge. It’s in a thousand of sizes. So we got to resize it. I’m going to image, image sizes and I’m going to size it down to 850 and then I’m going to hit okay.
I’m going to double click my magnifying glass on the tool palette to make it to full size. Hit V on my keyboard to get my move tool back, you know we won’t be doing any moving or anything of the sort within the tutorial.
Now, Smart Filters need something special on Photoshop and that is a Smart object. By Default nothing you make unless it’s important and familiar share will be a Smart Object. You have to covert your files over the Smart Objects within Photoshop. It’s not very hard. It’s actually pretty quick. There is a keyboard short cut for it. You can right click the layer and you could just convert the smart object. You can click this little drop down menu right here. Convert it to smart object and of course you can go through layer smart objects, and convert to smart object that’s what I’m going to do right now.
Now you can see that it has been converted into a smart object by the layer icon over here. It is also called layer zero now, that means you can edit this and go back in it when you’re done. So let’s get in by applying our first smart filter. Now smart filter work like adjustment layers, you can add then turn them off and adjust them at any time you want.
If you see that in a smart filter is affecting you’re image in a negative way and you want to turn it off or you want to weaken it you can do that easily. That’s what’s great about smart filters. They don’t destroy your image. They’re smart editing rather than destructive editing. Once you apply a normal filter, that’s it. You can’t go back and adjust the value, but with the smart filter you can and that’s why it’s so gorgeous to refer photographers especially within Photoshop.
So rather, than tell you about it I am going to show you two of my favorite ones. Now this is probably the most favorite of all the Smart Filters and that’s median and smart sharpen.
So the first one I’m going to show you is smart sharpen, we got to go to the filter-sharpen-smart sharpen. Now don’t get the wrong idea, smart sharpen is just a normal sharpen tool it doesn’t get the name smart sharpen because it’s a smart filter it’s just a more intelligent version of the sharpen tool. So I’m going to click it and when I’m presenting with my dialog box you can see that it improves the quality of the image just a little bit better.
I want to make the amount much more noticeable so I’m going to bring the amount up to 300 and the radius to 1.2. I’m going to remove lens blur instead of Gaussian blur and then I’m going to click this icon right here. This will save my setting so say for example in the future I have an image similar to this I want to play the same filter I can just save it. I’m going to call this flower sharpen or flower sharper whatever, actually flower sharpen, sharper rather.
Okay, now I have it spelled correctly, I’m very tired sorry guys. Click Okay, and here at my setting flower sharpen is there. We’re going to go down to it and then click Okay and this is our filter applied. And over here on the layers you're going to see something different now. Here under the layer is the smart filters and under that is the smart sharpen. Now if I click the eye it turns off, once again if I click the eye on my smart filters it turns off.
If we have more this will turn them all off. Now if I want to adjust what I just added the values of the smart sharpen, just double click the name and the smart sharpen dialog box appears once again.
Since I want to leave the way it is I’m just going to click cancel, but say for example I want to change the bonding mode of the filter itself. You know add a color dodge or soft light or lighting. You can easily do that by clicking this little slider adjuster buttons right here and you’ll be presented with this dialog box where you can move around to see a preview of your image. The girl’s eye and this leaves look pretty good, so I’m going to change the blending mode to lighten and the opacity to 59 to about let’s say 49 and then I’m going to click okay.
You begin to see a small new effect as we achieved in our image and once again you can turn it off or you can turn it on. You might not be able to see it on the YouTube video but if you’re doing this following along you’ll definitely notice the difference. Now I’m going to add my final smart filter, so I’m going to go filter, noise and median.
Median is a great little filter if you can use it properly, so I’m going to bring the radius up to about 20. I’m going to hit okay and I’m going to adjust its blending mode to soft light, and I’m going to bring the opacity down to 75%.
Now, I’m going to turn off both smart filters there’s the original image and there’s the adjusted image with the smart filters and that’s how you use them guys. These are extremely efficient tools especially for photographers. If you have a beautiful camera such as the Nikon D500 like my buddy Ryan, or the Canon Digital Rebel or you know the Sony Opus and you edit your photos within Photoshop as opposed to the light room or aperture. These are wonderful to work with. You can safely adjust your images and if you don’t like the media filter on top of the smart sharpen you can turn one off and see the differentiating effects.
And that’s all there is to it. That’s the smart filter. That’s how you use them and that’s how you adjust them. I hope you learn something from this tutorial. Thanks for watching and in the next tutorial I will do a video tutorial for Adobe Premier. Thanks for watching guys. Have a great day.