PhotoSpin.com Offers Tutorial on Smart Objects

Tommy Maloney’s tutorial explains the basics of Smart Objects, the new non-destructive way to manipulate images

The Smart Objects feature is one of the most exciting things Photoshop has brought to the table in recent years: importing an image and being able to scale, distort, transform and otherwise manipulate it without making it go soft or blurry because you scaled it too large. It’s like working with an image in Illustrator and being able to enlarge it 1000% without any image degradation. I tell people that I predict the way of the future is a single Adobe application for page layout, photo manipulation and graphics creation (Creative Suite, anyone?) and this is one of those little examples of one Adobe application using ideas from another and/or using one app to do another’s job. Heck, lots of designers use Illustrator to create layouts when they should be using InDesign, so why not use Photoshop in a way championed by vector editors like Illustrator?

Anyway, PhotoSpin.com has published this interesting primer covering the basics of Smart Objects. It’s not bleeding-edge stuff, but if you haven’t heard of Smart Objects before go here and you’ll have a good understanding of the feature.

I just bought Ben Willmore’s Photoshop CS2: Up to Speed and it has an entire chapter on Smart Objects. I haven’t read that part yet but I will and if readers are interested I’ll post some of those tips as well as some far-out effects if I can conjure up some.

5 thoughts on “PhotoSpin.com Offers Tutorial on Smart Objects”

  1. My biggest problem with Smart Objects is that Image Ready doesn’t support them. This causes real problems for working with them for anything remotely complicated for the web. I’m hoping this is a temporary bug and it will be fixed with a service patch sometime soon.

  2. I don’t know, sometimes it seems the Photoshop development team doesn’t know what the ImageReady team is doing, and vice versa. My money is on ImageReady being relatively ignored for quite a while longer. I personally think ImageReady should be rolled into Photoshop, or with Macromedia’s impending buyout they could roll ImageReady’s tools into Fireworks and create a stronger application focused on web graphics and as visible as Photoshop or any other CS application. ImageReady has always been buried in the Photoshop folder, and not everyone knows it’s even there.

    I hope to do some stories on ImageReady in the future, and perhaps we can check in with Adobe and learn their plans for ImageReady, Fireworks and other web graphics applications.

  3. I certainly look forward to any series you can do on Image Ready. About all I ever use it for is Save For Web, but I can see that it does a great many things, you can even create animation with it.

    It would be nice to see someone explore it the way it ought to be explored.

  4. You can also use Photoshop’s and Illustrator’s “Save For Web” to do the same thing, so it’s not necessarily limited. ImageReady’s reason for being is to create animations, specifically animated GIFs.

  5. I do recall my instructor in beginning Photoshop animating a wood manikin swimming in an ocean whilst the class was working on a test.

    Made it hard to complete the test…but then she is a genius.

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