In our ongoing coverage of the CS3 Beta we now get to the main show, Photoshop. In this part, we examine Smart Filters.
Smart Filters have been probably the most eagerly awaited new PS feature. Planned for CS2, they could not get it going in time for that release to the team’s satisfaction. So it now appears.
To apply Smart Filters you must first convert a Layer (or selected group of Layers) to a Smart Object
You get a warning you can turn off
And the thumbnail changes appearance to show you this
After that, as you apply filters to the Layer(s) you will get these added to the layer display. Note that all the filters you apply will have one, collective mask. This could be a limitation for some, and it would be nice to have the option of individual filter masks.
To go back and change a filter’s setting, just double click on it in the layer Palette. You’ll get this warning unless you turn it off
Here I am changing the filter settings
And after re-rendering we have our changed image
You can use the eye icons to turn on and off individual filters, or all of them. Note that re-rendering usually occurs, so if you had many filters stacked it could take awhile
I was curious to see how a PSD file with embedded Smart Filters would open in CS2. The result of doing so is the following warning. At least in the Beta, both options produce the same result.
The file opens up in CS2 as if the filters had been applied normally.
Whilst I am not a heavy filter user in my personal work, mainly either Unsharp Mask or Gaussian Blur, I still love the feature. It means I will not have to do my usual practice of duplicating a layer and then applying the filter to the duplicate.
Again, this is a work in progress. I do think it needs the ability to put an individual mask of each filter.