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Last week we looked at Creating Perspective Easily with the Free Transform Tool.   We learned how to apply perspective to a photograph in order to match the perspective of a frame.   It was a manual process, but very easy to do.

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Back in August we looked at Editing Images on the Fly, Utilizing Smart Objects.   In that tutorial we learned how easy it is to make changes to elements in our layouts, when those elements are Smart Objects.

Today, let’s combine both of those lessons!   Our goal is to quickly replace the photograph in the frame while (1) maintaining proper perspective in the new photograph but (2) without having to manually re-create that perspective, which takes time.

Here’s how:

1. If you used the Place Command to get your photo on your document, the photo will be a Smart Object, indicated by the Smart Object icon in the lower right corner of your photo layer.  If your photo is not already a Smart Object, right click on the photograph layer and choose “Convert to Smart Object.”  It is critical that your photograph is a Smart Object; if it isn’t the following technique won’t work.

2. Please reference last week’s tutorial on how to apply perspective to your photo.

3.  Now that you have taken the time and effort to apply appropriate perspective to your photo, what if you wanted to replace the photo with a different one?  You could go through the entire manual process again; but since your photo is a Smart Object, you don’t have to!

4.  Double-click on the thumbnail of the original photo in your layer panel.  This will open up the original photograph in a separate window.  You will see that the original photo does not have the perspective applied.

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5.  Use the Place Command to place your new photo on top of your original photo, which is in the new window.

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5.  While still on your original photo, click File > Save.  When you do so, your document will automatically register the change.

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Now you have replaced the photograph, the proper perspective has been maintained on the new photo, and literally took seconds!

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I love being able to save time and effort with Photoshop tools and/or techniques; but it’s even better when we can combine things we’ve learned to build an even stronger foundation of knowledge!

Credits:  The frame and background  used in this tutorial are from my kit Deck the Halls. 

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns You Tube Channel  and on theStudio’s You Tube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!  Thank you!!

 sd_perspective-pt2video

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What is perspective, and why is it important to us in digital scrapbooking?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “perspective” in this way:

a :  the technique or process of representing on a plane or curved surface the spatial relation of objects as they might appear to the eye; specifically :  representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance.
Creating perspective in our scrapbook pages helps make our designs more realistic in appearance. We can create perspective easily by paying careful attention to the size of our embellishments in relationship to one other, and by their placement on our pages.  Here is a great example of keeping these principles in mind.  This layout was created by Norma, a member of both my Creative Team and that of theStudio, using Oven Lovin’.  The size and positioning of the embellishments near the photo frame create great perspective.
Norma
 When we have just one item, whether it is an embellishment, photo, or paper, that we would like to create perspective with, it’s a little more difficult to achieve this effect,  simply because there is nothing else to provide spatial context.  In this situation, we would choose the Transform Tool to help us.
We can access the Transform Tool  in several ways:
1.  In the top Menu Bar:  Edit > Transform > Perspective, OR
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2. Click on the layer you would like to transform making it the active layer; use the keyboard shortcut Control (Command on a Mac) + T to access the Transform Tool; right click on the selected layer in your document to access the Perspective option.
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No matter what method you choose to access the Perspective Tool,  you will end up with  nodules on the corners and on the sides of your selection. By dragging the nodules, you will be able to give  your element perspective.  When you drag one nodule, all nodules will move as Photoshop tries to guess the perspective you are trying to create.
Things can get really crazy very fast though! In the image below, I moved the upper right nodule slightly towards the right, and the lower left nodule slightly to the left.  Yikes!
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 Thank you, Photoshop, for giving us a much easier way to create perspective when working with just one or two elements, and that is with the “Free Transform Tool” (rather than just the “Transform Tool.”)
You can access the Free Transform Tool like this:
1.  In the top Menu Bar:  Edit > Free Transform, OR
2. Click on the layer you would like to transform making it the active layer; use the keyboard shortcut Control (Command on a Mac) + T to access the Transform Tool; rather than letting go of the Control key as you normally would, continue to hold it down to access the Free Transform option as you work.
(Photoshop Elements Users: Your path is:  Image > Transform > Free Transform)
Here is a frame, with perspective,  that is included in my kit, Deck the Halls.  Let’s look at how easy it is to give matching perspective to a photo for this frame using the Free Transform tool.
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 I  have resized a photo to make it just slightly larger than the top of the frame inset.  (Not a great photo, but it works well for this tutorial. This is my husband, Rick; our grandson, Owen; and me).
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Next I accessed the Free Transform Tool.  This tool will allow you to move just ONE nodule at a time, rather than having them all move at once. I then moved each corner into the desired position and hit ENTER to commit the changes. (You can also click on the check mark in the top Menu Bar to commit).
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The perspective in the photo, with this frame, looks much better than if we had placed the photo without perspective here.
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That’s how easy it is!
Next week I will show you how we can use Smart Objects in combination with this tutorial to make layouts even EASIER!
Are you ready for Christmas? Are all your favorite cookies baked, menus planned, food purchased?  Don’t forget to take a few  minutes to photograph your activities so you will be able to document your memories!
Here is an Oven Lovin’ cluster (with beautiful perspective!) created for you by Norma, to help you get started documenting your holiday baking/cooking!
 
Click on the image to download.
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If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here: Creating Perspective Easily with the Free Transform Tool.

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns YouTube Channel  and on theStudio’s You Tube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!  Thank you!!

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Today let’s take a look at Smart Objects in Photoshop, and how they can help us in our digital layouts and projects.

So just what IS a Smart Object?

“A Smart Object is a container in which you can embed raster (e.g. PSD, JPEG, TIFF) or vector (e.g. AI, PDF, EPS) image data from another Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator file that retains all its original characteristics and remains fully editable.  A Smart Object can be scaled, rotated, and warped non-destructively without losing original image data.”   (ref: Steven Johnson)

And what does that mean for us as digital scrapbookers?

It means that we can work non-destructively, when we work with Smart Objects.

Here is an absolutely stunning layout created by Robyn (credits: Border Buddie Set 14, Deck the Halls Kit, Deck the Halls Word ArtDeck the Halls Glitter)

Border Buddies Set 14 and Deck the Halls

Here is the original paper and  original-sized word art:

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The original word art is quite large, and needed to be resized to look best with the photographs and embellishments. When starting this layout, we might not know exactly what final size we would like the word art to be.  Working with it non-destructively, as a Smart Object,  will give us the option of changing  our minds without concern over degrading the quality of the graphic.

Here is a visual reference:

On the left:  I resized the pixel-based word art, making it very small, then sized it back up to its original dimensions.

On the right: I converted the word art into a Smart Object, resized it to make  it very small, then sized it back up to its original dimensions.

The pixel-based word art has lost resolution, while the Smart Object graphics has retained its clarity.

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There are several ways to convert pixel-based graphics into Smart Objects (dependent upon which version of Photoshop you are using):

1.  Use the Place command, instead of the Open command, when accessing your word art (or any pixel-based object). (Top Menu Bar:  File > Place.)

2.  If your pixel-based object is already in your Layers Panel, right click on its layer and choose:  Convert to Smart Object

3.  In the top Menu Bar:  Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object

(Photoshop Elements Users:  Use the Place command to put a graphic on your page as a Smart Object.)

A small square box located in the lower right corner of your graphics thumbnail indicates that your object is now a Smart Object.

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Now you can begin working on your layout, changing the size of the word art as many times as you like without losing any image quality!

Smart Objects are very smart!  This is just one of the things they do that make life for us, as digital artists, easy!  We’ll take a look at a few other ways Smart Objects can be helpful over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, if you missed my other tutorials on Smart Objects, you can read them here:

Editing Images on the Fly Utilizing Smart Objects

How Smart are Smart Filters?

If you would like to keep this tutorial on your computer for easy reference, you may download a PDF here: What is a Smart Object?

If you are a visual learner, you can view this tutorial on SnickerdoodleDesigns YouTube Channel  and on theStudio’s YouTube Channel.

Please head over to YouTube and take a minute to Follow both channels.  Each Channel will have some exclusive videos, so by following both channels, you will be sure not to miss a thing!  Thank you!!

Here is a graphic from Deck the Halls, for you to enjoy! Click on the image below to download!

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Customizing Word Art

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 6 December 2014
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I love quotes. I love seeing quotes turned into word art graphics. But sometimes the positioning of the words in the graphic don’t suit my layout.  Have you ever found yourself in the same situation?  Let’s take a look at how easy this is to fix! If you need a refresher on different selection methods, […]

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PNG vs. ABR files – Which should you use?

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 22 November 2014
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I love Photoshop brushes because they offer so much versatility. Today let’s take a closer look at them. Many designers, when creating brushes (ABR files) will also include the “stamped brushes” in PNG format. So when you purchase a product that comes with both PNG files and ABR files, which should you use?    Let’s look […]

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Using the Black and White Adjustment in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 15 November 2014
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With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about seasonal photos.  Do you prefer posed photographs or spontaneous ones?  Do you like to creatively edit your photographs with filters, actions, or adjustments?  Today let’s take a look at a simple way to create some dynamic black and white images. For the purposes of […]

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Resizing the Contents of an Entire Folder at once in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 8 November 2014
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Are there times when you need to resize multiple layouts to meet particular specifications?  As a designer, perhaps you need to resize Creative Team layouts or images for blog posts?  As a Creative Team Member perhaps you need to resize your work for forums?  As a personal scrapbook artist, do you need to resize your […]

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Using the Stroke Command in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 4 November 2014
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Several weeks ago, Su, one of our blog readers commented on a post and mentioned the Stroke Command.  Today let’s take a look at how the Stroke Command works. The Stroke Command works in conjunction with Selection Tools. In order to place a Stroke around an object, that object must first be selected. The Stroke […]

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Using the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 25 October 2014
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In your scrapbooking layouts or photo editing, have you ever wished you could either hide or repeat an element for artistic purposes? Photoshop has given us a tool to easily accommodate that wish, and that tool is the Clone Stamp.  Today, let’s take a look at this tool and see how it can help us. […]

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Working with Guides and Smart Guides in Photoshop

by SnickerdoodleDesigns 18 October 2014
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Photoshop Guides and Smart Guides are tools which allow us to easily align shapes and/or selections.  I use them quite a bit, but last week I discovered something new about them! I did a search on our Studio blog to see if previous authors have written about Smart Guides.  I found a tutorial written by […]

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