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Basic Mockups With Smart Objects

Lesson 49 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

Basic Mockups With Smart Objects

Lesson 49 from: Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics

Khara Plicanic

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Lesson Info

49. Basic Mockups With Smart Objects


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Tips for Success


How To Undo Mistakes


Adobe Workspace


Using The Brush Tool


Using The Zoom Tool


Adobe Preferences


Correcting Exposure


Lesson Info

Basic Mockups With Smart Objects

Now we're going to go get the file that we're gonna mock this up into with me. Okay, So this is the design elements we used to create the pattern that we then used in the poster that we're now going to put into this image right here. I love this, and I feel like when you do this, you just feel like you have superpowers and you want to mock up everything. I think it's so fun. So this is what we're going to dio um, and the great thing about this is there's nothing like we have to work to make this happen. You can buy files that make it easy to mock stuff up, but you can also make your own. You can also shoot your own files and then mark them up. So that's what we're going to be doing here. We're gonna be taking the poster we just designed and policing it into this frame. Okay, so how do we do that? Step one is we need to select the area here within the frame where we want to put the image. It's simple to dio, but it takes a little time because you gotta work around the plant and stuff. S...

o I have done this already for us. But essentially, you would just use maybe, like, the polygonal lasso tool. Right? And you can just click to make the selection. Didn't and you could use the, uh, quick selection brush or a number of other techniques to subtract out the plant here. But lucky for you, I already made the selection for you so that you can just keep rolling along. So we'll go to the select menu and shoes load selection. And when the channel, when the dialog opens here under channel, you will choose. Frame should be the only thing here and click OK and you'll notice that it's selected basically everywhere. This artwork needs to go came. So before we just paste in our artwork, we're going to create a clean slate in order to accept the artwork. So we're gonna fill this with white, essentially, but not just flat white, because this is in a real world environment and there's shading happening. So this is the kind of stuff that you want to start tuning into when you're working on these images, Team to make your stuff look like it's more riel and not like you Photoshopped it right? So when I look at this image, we want to know where are large our light source is coming from. So to figure that out, we look for shadows because they will tell us where the light sources there always the give away. So here we see the shadow to the left of the frame. So our light sources obviously on this site, then hopefully that's obvious. I shouldn't say that. Maybe you're new to this, and that's really complicated to figure out, but I think you can handle it. So the light source is coming from over here. So if we want to be persnickety about it, this white should be a little bit lighter than this way. So if you remember back today one we weren't a little bit with Grady, it's We're gonna create ingredient to fill in this space. So first thing I'm gonna do is make a new layer that's gonna hold this ingredient. Then I'm gonna get my grade, Ian Tool. Then I'm going. Teoh, uh, actually not get migrate into will get my eye dropper. Give my eyedropper tool and we're going to take to color samples, one from this side of the document and one from this site. So with my eyedropper eye dropper, I will click over here in this area to select the lighter of the two colors, and we find out it's actually gray, not white, right? I mean, it's white, but in this scene, because of lighting, it looks great. So I've selected that. That's my foreground color Now. Now I'm going to, uh, Ault or option. Click the left side here and now I have a different gray slightly darker, so I've got to grace, right, a lighter one and a darker one. Now I'll get my grade Ian tool by pressing G Ferg radiant and the way that this tool works by default. When you come up in here to the options bar and you click the little drop down. There's all kinds of different radiance here, And if you clicked the gear, there's more groupings of radiance. You could have an entire course ingredients. It's incredible, but the most commonly used ones, I think, tend to be one of these. First to the 1st 2 are dynamic, meaning they change based on what your colors here are so you have, Ah, foreground color in the background color, so the first ingredients watch here in the default ingredients will always be your current foreground color to your current background color. The 2nd 1 will always be your current foreground color, transitioning to transparency. In this case, we want the first choice. So we've chosen are two colors, and we're going to choose this ingredient that blends them, and it's like, barely noticeable. But if you just feel this in with a flat color, you would you'd see the difference. So it's barely noticeable, but it's gonna look great. What come over here, these air, different types of Grady INTs that you can draw. You can draw a linear ingredient, which is what you probably will end up using most often or radio or this funky thing called angle. I think I don't know. I'm still waiting to figure out what use that one for a reflect ingredient I've done that's pretty handy, and then this one is called like diamond or something, but we just want linear, so that means that the colors air going to transition from foreground to background colors in a linear fashion. Okay, so we'll choose that I don't need reverse on. I think everything else is fine, so the lighter color is the one that's on the foreground. So I'm going to start drawing on the lighter side, and I'm just going to click and drag across the frame. I'm following the angle here of this line, so it's slightly it a slope. So I want my line to be parallel to the top of this so that the shadow follows that same path. And when I get over here and just let go and it's done and that's it, Okay. So I can get rid of my marching ants by pressing commander controlled deep. And over here in the layers panel, I'm going to rename this layer blank slate or clean slate or whatever you might wanna call it hand. Uh, now we're ready to put our artwork in here. Now we could do as we've done. We could copy and paste it in, and then just distort it so that it fits. Look at this angle. But a better way to do it is with something called smart objects. Okay. And smart objects are like so cool, and they're capable of so many things they allow us to place are designed into this piece and any other future design that we might use. But we only have two. Finesse it and finagle it and distort it and put it into the frame once and any other design that we simply copy and paste will take on all of the attributes of the smart object. It will make sense in a minute. So here's what we're gonna dio. Instead of just pasting it in, we're going to create the placeholder for it. And we're going to do that with shape tools. So we'll go back and get our rectangle tool, and I'm going to change the color of it just so we can see it clearly. So I'll just pick like Brown something. Sometimes you'll see in mock up files where people do this and they put like neon something, so it's easy to see, and it's obviously not part of the image, but I think Brown will be good, so I'm just gonna click and draw, and I want a rectangle that looks like it's the same size as what the print will be so visually like about the same It's not going to follow the same perspective yet, but so I've just drawn this shape, OK? And this was just using the shape tool with the shape option turned on. And it's filled with brown so we can see it. But the brown will be replaced later. All right, um, next before we do anything else, we need to convert this shape into the smart object To do that in the layers panel, I'll just write clicker control, click and shoes convert to smart object. Okay, that's all there is to that. Now we see this little icon here, and that tells us that this rectangle has, um, a lot. It's very intelligent. It's a smart rectangle. Okay, you'll see why that's useful in a minute. For now, we're ready to distort this thing so that it will fit and follow the perspective of this frame. So I'll press commander control teeth to bring up free transform, and I'm gonna right click or control click to choose specifically the distort transformation. And then I'm just gonna take the corner points and make sure they follow, like this document like Thea artwork here. So creating that perspective that makes sense I hope people at home. All right, so now we fit it into this frame. Now we can set this, and that's all that we have to do with that. Now we're ready to put our artwork it to do that. Let's go get our artwork. So here's our poster. I'll press commander control A. Now, I can't just copy this because we have all these layers going on. And if I just select it like this and I just copy it, I'll only be copying the contents of this current layer that I want. So what I want to do is be able to copy, like all of these layers, but I don't want to have to emerge it because I want to maintain this in case I want to edit it later. So, believe it or not, there's a special copy you can dio. Of course. Of course, there is so well to edit. Copy merged. Check that out, or when you start doing with a whole bunch, you realize it's nice to know the keyboard shortcut. So command shift or control shift see will copy this document as if you merged layers, so it saves you from having to merge them all right now we're going to go back to our mock up now. We don't just paste it. Of course not. No, we're not going to just paste it. First, we're gonna paste it into what? Into this smart object. So here's the way smart objects work. They're sort of like little placeholders that are dynamic and smart. I guess that's terrible. That's why they're called smart objects. So I'm going to double click the smart object thumbnail in the layers panel, which gave it a double click and whoa, what is this? Suddenly I'm looking at a whole separate document. That's just that smart object rectangle. So I mean, look at this. I haven't. Here is the document we were in, and now we're here. So this is actually a separate document. So Photoshopped maintains, whatever this thing is as a smart object, it maintains it as a sort of a separate file. It's sort of like a file that's saved within the PSD file. Okay, so it's also a temporary file, sort of, which is why you see it as dot ps b, not PSD. So it's a different kind of a file, so whenever you're looking and you see this dot psb you know that that's your smart object. Think. OK, stay with me. It's so awesome. And this comes all together. Okay, so we don't really need this actual brown thing. I just put it there so we could see what we're doing. So I'm just gonna hide it, or you could just leave it there and cover it. It's fine, but I'll just hide it. And now I'm gonna paste our design. So oppressed Commander Control V and it turns out it's huge. So I'll press command or control t to transform it. And I would rather just see all the corners. So I'm going to zoom out by pressing Commander Control zero, and now he could see how big it is. So hold shift and dragon in and again because we're downsizing it. That's a good thing. If we pasted this in and it was, like, teeny tiny, then we'd have a problem, all right? And I press commander Control Plus to zoom back in and ah, hold shift and just keep adjusting this until it's it's not gonna fit perfectly. Because I didn't calculate the design to be the exact same ratio as the frame that we're using. But you could if you wanted, but I just didn't. I just didn't do that. So it's gonna be like this, and I think that will be just fine. Eso when we're happy with that will hit check, Mark. So here was what we have. We have our brown rectangle which has just turned off right now. And then we have this design. All we have to do is save this smart temporary dot psb file. Where do we save it? You don't even have to worry nowhere. You just press command or control s to save it. And then you just close it and look at it. It just isn't there now. And it's at perspective and it looks pretty good. We're not done yet. There's some realism things we need to fix. But that was birdie ghoul. So by creating that smart object and or the shape we drew that rectangle the brown rectangle, we converted it to a smart object. Then we distorted it to match the perspective. And then anything that we placed into that temporary smart file will just automatically fit here and look right and It's kind of magical, so we're getting close. Now. Let's make this look like it's actually really here and not, for example, covering the plant and also not looking like it's illuminated from with it. So we have some things to clear clear up here. So for one thing, the plant situation, Um, this blank slate is already perfectly matched around the plant. You see that if we look at the blank slate by itself, it's already know navigating the plant. So what we can do with our smart object is just clip it. So it on Lee appears where the blank slate appears. So because in theory, we already carefully selected this whole thing. We don't need to repeat that work so we can clip this smart object to the blank slate. So remember, on day one, we clipped something else. I don't know what it ended up being, but I gave you the whole analogy of the glitter and the glue, remember? Okay, so this blank slate layer will be like our glue, and we only want the design appear, so I'll rename this design. We only want the design layer to be seen where the blank slate layer is so did clip it. I'm gonna hold down, alter or option. And I get that funny little cursor and I just click on it. And now this design will only be visible any place that the blank slate ISS And that means it won't show up on the plant because the blank slate doesn't show up on the plant. That makes sense. So it's like this whole thing is glue, and then this is not blue, so the glitter will not stick. E never know if that analogy helps anyone, but it really helps me. So I hope someone at home is like in it and digging it. Okay, so that is looking better. But we still have this, like brightness situation going on. So we're going to change the blend mode of the design layer. So up here, instead of normal, will try something like multiply. And that just kind of takes the glowing nous out of it so that this design is now interacting with the gray ish blank slate here and making it look like it's not just placed on top of it. Two other little bits of realism We need a shadow from the plant here, right? We see a loose shadow here, and then suddenly it just disappears because we covered it up so we can recreate this. And initially, the first way that I was doing this was to select the plant, make a new layer, paste the point like fill the plant area with black blur. It adjusted blah, blah, blah. And I'm like, this is just messy, and I don't want to do that on camera. It will take so long and no. So the good news is we're just gonna paint it, And I think you can do this and you can get away with it. And it's totally fine in some cases, like this one. So to just show you how not, um impressive. Some of these things could be they could be so simple. Here's what we're going to do. We're going to create a new blank layer. I'm gonna press D to get default colors. So I've got black here and my active foreground swatch. Well, press B to get my brush tool, which is a soft and huge at the moment, So I'm gonna make my brush smaller by pressing the left bracket, keep and I'm basically gonna, uh, paint and it's gonna look dumb. That's okay. I'm just trying to fill in this area where the shadow should be and it's okay if it looks silly and whatever. That's fine. Um, now I'm gonna blur it. So I've got it here. It needs to be like less dark and maybe fuzzier and just barely visible. It's like a barely visible shadow, so we probably could have gotten away with not even putting it in. But then I feel like I'd be letting some people down. So we're gonna blur it a little by coming to filter, Blur, Ghazi and Blur. There's a lot of different blurs here, and they all have their own thing. But when you just want a general, just blur and you want to control how much blur that is. Ghazi and Blur is your guy, and I can see guy because it's named after the French male mathematician. These air, the weird things I know who uh, created this formula that is used to calculate the blur. I don't know why even know that, but that's what it is, so we'll click on it, and now we can blur this So how much do we blur it? Well, what I'm trying to dio is assess what the inherent shadow looks like here. So kind of a lot, I guess I wanted to be really soft and I guess barely noticeable, actually. So I'm going to blur it about in this case, like 16 ish pixels. The higher the number, the more blurred it is. Maybe 20 and I'll click. OK, that actually looks pretty good. I may need to adjust the opacity here so we could lower that down. I could also, if I feel like I mean, technically, it's on top of the plant as well, but you can't really tell. But if I cared, I could. If I cared about that, I could mask that out. But I mean, I guess to show you all hit the mask button and I'll switch my paint by pressing X so that I've got black on top. And I would just paint these areas with black paint to block that shadow from showing up in those areas. And technically, I guess it's double in this area because it already has the shadow, the actual shadow. So, um, I can mask that too well, just I mean, it's like, really subtle, But I like I like the effect. OK, so we'll call that good. Are you impressed? We're almost done. Next will take this blank slate and we do have some reflection happening in the glass. Like we can see the rest of the room being reflected down here a little bit. So one thing that we could dio to keep that kind of going is duplicate this layer and change the blend mode and lure the opacity and create sort of a false semi glare on the piece so that it looks like it's behind some glass a little bit. So I'm going to duplicate that by pressing Commander Control J. I'm going to drag it all the way on top of everything and change the blend mode Teoh overlay and then drop the opacity down so it kind of lightens it up a little bit, but it's sort of, uh, wait, what's happening with our shadow now? Oh, something is a miss. What did I just dio um multiply normal copy of that me shadow is somehow Oh, I unclipped it. That's what happened. Sorry. So in that process of rearranging these things. I unclipped the design so that it was on top of the plant. So that can happen sometimes. How do you re clip it? Yeah, So to re clip it, we hold down all tore option and we hover between the space and click. And then two, if you ever wanna unclip it, you just do the same thing. You just hold down, alter option and click between those spaces. So when you drag and drop things, I wondered if that would happen. And then I don't know why I didn't catch it right away. But, um, when you re arrange things and mess around with your layers panel like that, sometimes it just gets separated. Because whatever it is, you're glitter in your glue. They need to always be side by side in the layers panel. So I can't, for example, clip this layer, which is the plant shadow. I can't clip the plant shadow to this layer down here because there's two layers in between them. They always have to be, I guess adjacent You would say next to it on top of each other. So anyway, you might have to do some finagle ing and when you move things around, it can get mixed up. But again, all tor option. And you just click right there between the two layers that you want to clip. All right, And then we have this beautiful piece. Now you be ready to, like, put this up in your Etsy shop and start selling your digital prints, and it looks like like you have a nice product.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Photoshop Keyboard Shortcuts
Photoshop Resource Guide
Practical Photoshop Basics (PS action file)
Word Art
Course Files

Ratings and Reviews

Kim Williams

I tuned into this class hoping to glean what I cold since it was free. I ended up purchasing the class because it is FILLED with so much great information in a fun and easy to understand format. Khara is an amazing instructor - I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Worth EVERY penny. Thank you Creative Live for offering such great material, at even more amazing prices.


What an unbelievable teacher Khara is. I have wanted to learn photoshop forever but was intimidated, overwhelmed, then I watched this course. OMG I learnt so much, more then I imagined. I am so excited now to start using Photoshop, I can't wait to try out everything she taught us. With the skills we learnt over these two days I think this course provides everything I need to know to feel and more. She was outstanding, the absolute perfect teacher for someone who has never ever used Photoshop. Also great moderation by Kenna. Thank you for this awesome, amazing, wonderful course. I am sure anyone who watches this course will agree it is incredible. I couldn't recommend it more. This course was just Smurfy!

Roz Fruchtman

I would highly recommend Khara Plicanic's Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics. The name of the class, implies that the class is for beginners, but that's not exactly true. Most of us learn Photoshop by the features we need to know at any given time. As many will agree, there are a number of ways to get to the same end. I can only speak for myself, but... I would bet that many of us don't know all the strategies that are taught in this class! Check it out, I doubt you'd be disappointed! Khara brings a fun and relatable approach to everything she does. She is very entertaining, while being a superb instructor. Last, but not least... This class brings with it a ton of useful bonuses. Warm Regards, Roz Fruchtman aka @RozSpirations

Student Work