Photoshop tutorials, tips n tricks
Using Smart Objects
Categories: Smart Objects, Tutorials

Video tutorials

Part 1 – About Smart Objects

Part 2 – Smart Object basics

Part 3 – Smart Obect Cloning

Part 4 – Smart Objects in use


About Smart Objects

Smart Objects are layers that contain image data from raster or vector images, such as Photoshop or Illustrator files. Smart Objects preserve an image’s source content with all its original characteristics, enabling you to perform non-destructive editing to the layer.

You can create Smart objects using several methods:

  • Select one or more layers in the Layers Menu. Right-click, or use the layer palette menu, and choose “Convert to Smart Object”
  • By using the “Open As Smart Object” command in the File Menu
  • By using “Convert for Smart Filters” in the Filter Menu
  • By using the “Place” command in Adobe Bridge
  • By pasting data from Adobe Illustrator

With Smart Objects, you can:

  • Perform non-destructive transforms. You can scale, rotate, skew, distort, perspective transform, or warp a layer without losing original image data or quality because the transforms don’t affect the original data.
  • Apply Smart Filters. Smart Filters can be adjusted, switched on and off, and given layer interaction settings. (Note: When you transform a Smart Object that has a Smart Filter applied to it, Photoshop turns off filter effects temporarily while the transform is being performed).
  • Work with vector data, such as vector artwork from Illustrator, that otherwise would have to be rasterized in Photoshop.
  • Edit one Smart Object and automatically update all its linked instances.
  • Apply a layer mask that’s either linked or unlinked to the Smart Object layer

Editing and copying.

You can’t perform operations that alter pixel data—such as painting, dodging, burning, or cloning—directly to a Smart Object layer.

To perform operations that alter pixel data, you must edit the contents of a Smart Object by clicking on the Smart Object icon in the layer thumbnail to open it as an independent document with the suffix ‘.psb’.

Smart Objects that are duplicated by using “Duplicate Layer” will be clones of each other – i.e. edit one and they will both change. To make a copy of a Smart Object that can be edited independently of its original, right-click and choose “New Smart Object Via Copy”.

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