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Photoshop® CS4 Bible by Dan Moughamian, Simon Abrams, Stacy Cates

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20.2. Destructive vs. Nondestructive Workflows

In a typical workflow, when working with filters, the filter is applied to a layer or selection, and each pixel is directly manipulated. Once applied, if for some reason your History States aren't available, or if you close and reopen the document, there's no going back. This is known as a destructive workflow, and though it's perfectly acceptable for quick-and-dirty tweaks, it's generally not an ideal way to work on larger projects where you would want to have as much flexibility and editability as possible.

A welcome addition to Photoshop CS3 is the ability to work with filters in a non-destructive manner, using what are known as Smart Filters. Smart Filters are similar to adjustment layers or layer styles. Once applied, their settings can be changed at any time, they can be selectively applied to portions of a layer, and they can be copied between documents. And like adjustment layers and layer styles, Smart Filters are preserved in any file format that recognizes layers (for a file format refresher, check out Chapter 7).

20.2.1.

20.2.1.1. Applying filters, the Smart way

The first step in working with Smart Filters is to prepare your image or layer(s). To do so, choose FiltersConvert for Smart Filters. Photoshop displays a dialog box that lets you know that the layer you selected will be converted to a Smart Object in order to ...

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