Layering Help Needed

Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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Hello.  I was wondering if someone could help me with layering in photoshop.  I am performing different adjustments to this image with different layers and groups.  Some of the things I want to do require that I make a duplicate layer to work with, like the duplicate layers under the sharpening category.  Something I want to do is create a duplicate layer in order to remove dark circles.  If I were to perform (on Mac) command, option, shift, and 'e', it would create a merged duplicate layer, however I don't really want that because what if I want to go back and edit different aspects of the photo like the eyes?  But if I create a duplicate layer of the background layer, the effects don't show up.  Let me know if my question makes sense, thank you.Screen Shot 2022-02-18 at 11.10.15 AM.png

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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You already employ a Smart Object, so why are you also working with plain pixel Layers instead of using multiple instances of the same Smart Object?

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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Could you further explain what that all means?  I am relatively new to Photoshop, and I use separate YouTube videos as guides to achieve the desired effects I want, like iris pop.

Like in the YouTube videos, they tell me to convert certain things to smart objects, but I am not really sure of how they work.

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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Converting to smart objects has many advantages. One of which is allowing you to apply a filter and then adjust or even delete it entirely later non-destructively.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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Do you have an example?

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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Convert a layer to a smart object, then add unsharp mask. Later you can double click the unsharp mask and re-adjust it, turn it off, change the blending mode, or delete it completely; leaving the original layer intact as it was.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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What is an unsharp mask?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 19, 2022 Feb 19, 2022

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If Filtering and/or complex Adjustments (spread across Groups and with Layer Masks) are involved you may want to consider starting with a Smart Object. 

That way touch-up (applied within the Smart Object) will apply to all the instances instead of just the one with the Filter applied. 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 19, 2022 Feb 19, 2022

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Which layer in my project would I convert to a smart object?

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