When you decide to expand your creative toolbox and acquire some new design skills, you may find yourself struggling with specific Photoshop assets. If it happens to be a photo effect, this detailed guide will eliminate the problems on your way to a perfect image!
The photo effects are super helpful when you need to change your graphics but don’t want to spend time on all the adjustments. It seems like an easy process: you just place your images inside the Smart Layer and enjoy the result. But what if it gets not as simple? In such a case this article is exactly what you need as it tells you what to do step-by-step.
To show you the whole process of putting your graphics inside the Smart Object and how to work with overlays and options afterward, we chose Memories: Old Photo Effect. However, you can apply this guide to any photo effect with a Smart Object, so let’s go ahead!
Changing the Placeholder of the Smart Object with Your Image
After you unpack the zip folder and open the Effect.psd file in Adobe Photoshop (we recommend using the latest version of the app so it works well) you’ll see the pre-designed document and the layers panel on the right. In order to put your image inside the Smart Object, you need to click the thumbnail (not the layer itself) of the layer Edit Content marked green.
It will open a new window in Photoshop, where you can find the Delete Me layer. Just like it goes from its name, you need to delete it.
After that, you’ll see an empty canvas. That’s exactly what we need! Now you can drag and drop the image you want to apply the effect to (or use CMD+V/CMD+V or Ctrl+V/Ctrl+V on Windows to paste an image from the clipboard) inside the canvas and adjust it so it fits the frame perfectly. It’s important to save the result by hitting Cmd+S (Ctrl+S on Windows) or via the Photoshop menu panel: File > Save.
It’s time to go back to the main tab and enjoy the result!
Applying Overlays and Styles Inside the PSD
That’s where the real creative process starts! After the image is placed, we can explore all the additional options the effect provides. Here you can see the Gradient Map layers marked orange you can play around with. There are 3 options you can choose from and to switch among them you need to toggle layer visibility (click the Eye button in front of the layer) with the color you want to apply.
You can even turn them all on at once. Mix them the way you want to get unique results!
Another thing you can work with is the effects included in the PSD file. Here we have 6 options that work just the same: you toggle the visibility of the layer you’re going to apply and that’s it!
There are also products that are designed for cut objects. To show you the process of working with such assets, we chose the Triple Halftone Exposure Effect. Please note that this feature is available in the latest Adobe Photoshop version only.
Repeating the first steps of the guide above we open the Effect.psd in Photoshop and click the thumbnail of the layer Edit Content. Then delete the Delete Me layer.
Same as before, we put the image on the empty canvas. However, now we need to remove the background before saving it in the Smart Object. So, after you drop the graphics inside, hit Ctrl+F and choose Quick actions.
A new window pops up and here we need to choose the first option — Remove background.
Voilà! The background is removed perfectly and now we can finally hit Ctrl+S. Once we go back to the main tab we see the result we were aiming for!
Memories: Old Photo Effect
This photo effect breathes life into the past with a touch of poetic nostalgia, offering designers a chance to craft captivating retro visuals.