Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wednesday Q&A - Getting Images To NOT Open As Smart Objects

An interesting search brought someone to the blog the other day from  Cape Town, South Africa.  The entire query was "how do I stop ACR opening my images in CS5 as smart object?"  This is the second time in the past few weeks someone was asking about how to NOT do something in Adobe Photoshop CS5.  The last one dovetails with today's question and the post of November 21, 2011 was titled "Wednesday Q&A - Getting Rid Of SmartObjects".  It's interesting that folks want to not use this extremely helpful piece of Photoshop wizardry.  Smart Objects are incredibly useful and there have been several posts dealing with them here at the Gallery.  Back in July of last year I did a two part "Wednesday Q&A" (Part 1) (Part 2) about just why Smart Objects are so great.  I use Smart Objects every day  and can't imagine (anymore) working without them.  Just the other day, while preparing the image of the motocross rider coming through a curve, Smart Objects saved a great deal of time for me.  I'd gone through several steps, used Convert To Smart Object (select all the Layers you want to make a Smart Object, right click on any Layer and pick Convert To Smart Object) several times and then noticed a mistake I'd made back two or three nested Smart Objects ago.  Had I used the older CTRL/ALT/Shift/E to make a composite on the top of the Layer Stack I would have been in big trouble when I saw my mistake.  The only thing I would have been able to do would have been to scrap the Composite Layer and everything above it.  That would have trashed a considerable amount of work.  By using Smart Objects I was able to cycle back through the Smart Objects to the point of the problem, fix the problem and then Save and Close my way back to the point I had been at when I noticed my error.  A two minute fix rather than a half hour rebuilding what had already been done.  But, let's get to today's question.  To learn the simple answer, hit the "Read More".

Today's "image" is a screen shot of ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) with an open image.  Click on the image to get a larger look at the panel.  In the lower right you can see that it says "Open Object" rather than the more normal "Open Image".  Somehow, somewhere, someone tripped a toggle that changed the default setting to open images as a Smart Object.  The person asking the question about turning off opening images as a Smart Object either wasn't the person who flipped the toggle or forgot what he/she had done to put it in that condition. 

I've circled two areas in today's image.  In order to get to the inset, click once one the informational settings below the image being worked on.  The inset dialog box lets the "photoshopper" select several parameters to open the image in when going to CS5.  These include the color space to work in, the color depth, the size, any default sharpening and the resolution.  This sets up how you'll be working with your image once it gets to CS5.  The last thing in the dialog box is a check box the says "Open in Photoshop as Smart Objects"  That's the toggle that is tripping up the person asking about being able to NOT open images as Smart Objects.  As the person got frustrated the check box was checked "on".  To "stop ACR opening my images in CS5 as smart objects" all the has to be done is uncheck that box.

If you are interested in selective control over how an image opens coming out of ACR you can use the usual suspects as modifiers.  In ACR, with the normal "Open Image" as the default choice, use Shift click to open the image as a Smart Object or use ALT click to open the image as a Copy. 

One thing to remember:  Adobe makes huge use of "modifier keys" (CTRL, Shift, ALT and combinations of the three) to give a large number of options.  In general, when in CS5 (or earlier) Shift means "Add to", Alt means "Subtract From" and CTRL means "Intersect With".  These are particularly handy when making selections.