April '23

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8 8 G R A P H I C S P R O • A P R I L 2 0 2 3 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M T H E D I G I T A L E Y E | S T E P H E N R O M A N I E L L O Stephen Romaniello is an artist and educator who has taught computer graphics since 1990. He is Professor Emeritus and the founder of the Digital Arts program at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona. Stephen is a certified instructor in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe Premier and the author of numerous books, articles, and media on the creative use of graphics software. Stephen is the founder and CEO of GlobalEye systems, a company that offers training and consulting in graphics software and creative imaging. Intelligent Art Tools Getting the most out of artistic filters I f you're a Photoshop user, you are no doubt aware of the infinite potential to transform images. From enhancing contrast to color correction to creating amazing artwork, the gamut of Photoshop's powers seems infinite. In the shadow of these vast powers, and often neglected by beginners, is Photoshop's dynamic workflow capabilities. e non-lin- ear environment enables incredible editing potential. At any point in the creative process content can be modified. ere are a vari- ety of techniques that correct errors, trans- form previously created content or even gen- erate completely new versions of an image. In short, if you are aware of these techniques, it's virtually impossible to make a mistake. Smart objects One technique for assuring that content can be easily manipulated is by using Smart Objects. Smart objects are often used for migrating vector data from a vector-based program like Illustrator to pixel based pro- grams like Photoshop. Photoshop uses the vector data when increasing the size of image content, thereby preserving image qual- ity and preventing softening and pixeliza- tion. More frequently, Smart Objects do a whole lot more than resolution independent transformations. Clever, clever, clever When we think of the words "smart object" we expect that the object exhibits canny intel- ligence and has an acute memory. Indeed, smart objects offer us several more options than ordinary old dumb objects. In addition to having memory, and can embody vector data between programs, they apply filters globally or locally and offer complete con- trol at any point in the non-linear workflow. Before you apply a filter, convert the layer B U S I N E S S S T R A T E G I E S Highlight the layer and choose "Convert to Smart Filter" from the Layer Options menu. (Images courtesy Stephen Romaniello) into a smart object (Fig. 1). To convert a con- tent layer to a smart object and apply a fil- ter, the filter becomes a Smart Filter Filters. You can apply any of Photoshop's filter effects (with the exception of one or two) and go back at any time and change the settings we've applied without harming image qual- ity. We can layer these clever little objects on top of each other and then re-arrange their stacking order to create different filter effects. We can change the blend mode and opacity 1

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