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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How make a reusable mockup in Photoshop using smart objects

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video is all about doing our own mock-ups. We are going to start with a blank magazine, add our own graphics, add some shadows, add some highlights. What's really cool about it is that we get to easily update it, save it, and in our mock-up, look at that. Magically updates, bends around. Let's work through that process now. 

To get started let's go to '16 Mock-ups' and open up 'Magazine Blank'. So this is one I've got from a stock library site. What we need to do now is mock-up our design, like you saw at the beginning there. First up, let's import our mock-up. So our mock-up, I'm going to go to 'Place Embedded'. In your 'Exercise Files', under '16', this is the Spread. If you've done my InDesign course, this is one of the things we make in there. So what we'll do is we'll use 'Magazine Spread 1.pdf'. So I just exported this from InDesign as a PDF. I can hit 'Place', click 'OK'. Size wise, needs to be a little bit smaller, and hit 'Enter'. 

So first thing we need to do is, it's a Smart Object, right? We can see the little icon, we've got used to it now. We need to make it another Smart Object or rasterize the layer. Right click 'Rasterize'. Why? Because 'Edit', 'Transform', we need these options to work, and they don't work straight after that import. So I'm going to right click it and say, you are again a Smart Object. Nothing really changes except 'Edit', 'Transform'. And we want this one called Warp. So now we're going to spend our time moving this around, and jiggling, and trying to get it to fit this magazine. And I guess the thing to know is that because we're using a Smart Object, when we do get into position and we spend our, you know 10 minutes or half an hour getting this thing looking perfect, means next time we can just use that Smart Object, update it like we did in the last video, and life is quick and good. 

I spent ages when I worked at an agency, before I learned any of this stuff I was, it was maybe about 10 years ago, I spent ages, one of my jobs was to mock-up all the work from the agency, and stick it up on our website using different kind of-- trying to make it look real without actually having, to photograph the actual magazines laid out. Man, I want to save some time, every time, started from scratch. So I'm going to work my way through this. You can hang around or just skip ahead a few minutes, or you can watch. 

The trick is, with these lines here, if you are hanging around, is, you're getting the edges first so just get the edges rough. Don't spend ages getting the edges. You can see I'm not zoomed in yet, I'm just kind of getting it rough, because there's a lot of, can you see this inside bit, needs a bit of work, and you can just click and drag the inside, and there's a little bit of fudging. You're watching the lines but you're also looking at your Artwork. You can see there, this is just a mixture of both, grabbing the handles, but also dragging the inside just to get it to look right. I feel like that's pretty good. Now I can spend a bit more time zooming in. Just to get these edges overlapping nicely. I'm happy with it, once you're happy with it hit 'Return'. That's pretty cool, let's add a couple of extra bits, just to make it look a little bit more believable. 

So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to grab a new layer, this is going to be my 'Shadow Layer'. I'm going to grab my 'Brush Tool', I'm going to pick a big fuzzy brush. Opacity is going to be at 30%. And I want my foreground color to be black. I'm clicking once at the top here, clicking another time down the bottom. How big is that? It's probably a little too big. The opacity of this brush, 40% maybe. You can always lower it down, right? So I'm going to have it actually get into this fold here, and maybe a second one, it's a bit smaller. Kind of build it up into that corner there. 

Now the trouble is, it's going all over the edges, so what you can do is you can make the Shadow Layer clip to the layer underneath. The long way is under 'Layer', and you can 'Create Clipping Mask'. That works, or undoing it, just holding down the 'Option' key, and clicking between the two, or the 'Alt' key on a PC. And it just clips the shadow to the magazine spread. Let's do another one, this one here is going to be the highlights. Same thing as before, except I'm using white as my foreground color. Maybe X just toggles white, white in the black, so clicking once, holding 'Shift', clicking again, just kind of runs it through, that's way too big. And the Opacity now turned down, you can have it up, I'll keep mine at 40%, because what I want to do is maybe just lower the opacity. 

Actually I might not lower the opacity, I might use a layer mode. I'm just going to cycle through them until I find-- oh that looks good. Soft light. Just a nice subtle one. Same thing, hold down the 'Option' key on a Mac, 'Alt' key on a PC, and they can both clip to the magazine spread. So we've done a mock-up, it looks good, and then we have to come back next month to lay it out again. What we can do is just double click on the 'Smart Object', come in here, and I'm just going to 'File', 'Place' the 'Magazine Spread 2'. Thank you very much. Hit 'Return'. 'Save'. How cool is that! 

So we spend a little bit of time fixing it up. I have to work on the shine, it kind of looks like the magazine's bent a little bit with my not very subtle shadow. So I might look at redoing those. But hope you can see, it doesn't take super long to kind of mock-up your own version, your own custom stuff. Something that relates to you might work for a company that doesn't do magazines, it might be boxes, or packaging or e-books, or something that you want to mock-up once. Spend the time, but then be able to update it real quick later on. So we've done a magazine spread. We can do box, we could do a wine glass, could be a jar. Anything you like, just make sure that whenever you bring in your Smart Object, or go 'File', 'Place', make sure that once it's in you've got to convert it into a Smart Object again, so that we get all the cool transform settings. All right, let's get into the next mock-up video.