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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

How to Use Smart Filters

The drawback to applying a filter to an image is that the only way to undo it is to go back a step using either Edit > Undo or the History panel. There is a way, however, to apply a filter and then turn its effect on or off as you want without altering anything else in the image.

Converting for Smart Filters

To set up an image so that you can use Smart Filters, you have to convert it.

  1. Go to Filter > Convert for Smart Filters.

  2. A message appears warning you that the layer, or Background, will be changed into a smart object. Click OK.

    This message warns that Photoshop will create a layer that is a smart object.

  3. This is how the layer will look in the Layers palette. You’re ready to apply filters.

Applying Filters Using a Smart Object

Once you’ve converted a layer for Smart Filters, to apply a filter simply select the layer and then apply the filter.

  1. In the Layers palette, the name of the filter is under the Smart Filters section with a visibility (eye) icon to the left of it. You can click the eye to hide the filter.

    If you double-click the filter name, you can return to the filter settings and change them so the filter is completely editable.

  2. You can change the blending mode and Opacity of the filter effect by double-clicking the Blending Options icon. The Blending Options dialog box appears (see below right) and you can choose the blending mode and Opacity to apply.
  3. To apply a mask that determines which parts of the image the filter is applied to, select the white mask icon and define hidden areas in black or gray, leaving the areas you want to remain visible as white.

    The Layers palette after the Water Paper filter is applied to the layer that was converted for Smart Objects.

    The Blending Options dialog box.

  4. Apply more than one filter effect and then rearrange the order of the filter effects by dragging them up or down in the list.
  5. If you want to delete the filter effect altogether, click and drag the filter down to the Trash in the bottom right corner of the Layers palette.
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