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Smart Objects
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Feb 11, 2019 04:40:12   #
magnetoman
 
Do you use Smart Objects in Photoshop? They can be very handy - but can also lead to trouble, as I found out recently!

For those not familiar with them, ‘Convert to Smart Object’ is a layer option. They have two major advantages that I’ve found: say you’ve brought a layer in to add to a composite. You’re not quite sure yet what size the item will be in the final image so you simply choose Transform, hold shift down and grab the corner of the transform box - now whizz in and out changing the size from large to small and probably back again until you think it fits nicely. The trouble is, the layer has lost resolution as you reduced then re-enlarged it. If you had converted it to a ‘Smart Object’ first, resolution would have been retained. Very handy.

The second advantage they offer is when adding filters to the layer. If it’s a smart object you get a ‘smart’ filter - which means you can reopen it and adjust it as many times as you wish. So if you’ve added say, a Gaussian Blur, then you would like a bit more or a bit less blur, easy - just click on the smart filter (which is now attached by magic to the layer) and adjust to suit.

Be warned though, there is one thing you MUST NOT DO with smart objects. If you take a small image into Ps expecting to use use Transform to make it fit your composite, you’re heading for trouble. The file size of that little object (now enlarged) is going to be disproportionate to the image size. And that will slow your machine down in a big way. Most annoying! Especially if your machine is a bit long in the tooth and has restricted memory. Like my four+ year old Mac with 32gb - the maximum I can plug in. That apart, the only other minor nuisance I’ve found smart objects causing is the limitations as to what you can do with them - occasionally a message will pop-up to say you must rasterise the layer before continuing. Not major, just click OK and the job is done. You can always reconvert it BUT you will have lost the ability to alter those filters, so check they’re right before rasterising.

Hope this helps some. If you know other ways smart object help or hinder, please share with us.

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Feb 11, 2019 07:37:20   #
Linda From Maine
 
Thank you, Dave. I've only tried once and promptly forgot. I've become way too comfortable in what I know and don't know. This will be an excellent prompt to try again and expand the brain's boundaries

Your time is much appreciated!

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Feb 11, 2019 09:13:14   #
magnetoman
 
You’re welcome Linda, hope it helps.

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Feb 11, 2019 17:41:03   #
kenievans (a regular here)
 
Good topic Dave. I use smart objects fairly often. It makes a big difference to me as I use multiple layers and blend modes. Those can effect the look of something you have done previously to the image and it is so helpful to be able to edit those filter applications.

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Feb 12, 2019 02:47:06   #
magnetoman
 
kenievans wrote:
Good topic Dave. I use smart objects fairly often. It makes a big difference to me as I use multiple layers and blend modes. Those can effect the look of something you have done previously to the image and it is so helpful to be able to edit those filter applications.


Absolutely right Keni. It can be very frustrating when later additions affect an earlier adjustment that cannot be changed without starting over. Long live Smart Objects!

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Feb 12, 2019 07:20:21   #
Revet
 
I use smart objects all the time, mostly for the smart filters. There are times when they are problematic such as when using the spot healing brush or patch tool which don't work with a smart layer. In these cases I just rasterize the layer and I am good to go.

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Feb 12, 2019 09:46:01   #
magnetoman
 
Revet wrote:
I use smart objects all the time, mostly for the smart filters. There are times when they are problematic such as when using the spot healing brush or patch tool which don't work with a smart layer. In these cases I just rasterize the layer and I am good to go.


Yes, that’s what I find - but the ability to alter filter settings later is such an advantage it outweighs that little bit of bother doesn’t it? Thanks for joining the chat Revet.

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Feb 13, 2019 07:09:27   #
Revet
 
magnetoman wrote:
Yes, that’s what I find - but the ability to alter filter settings later is such an advantage it outweighs that little bit of bother doesn’t it? Thanks for joining the chat Revet.


Glad to be here! This is now my favorite UHH Topic and I thank Linda for doing such a great job as moderator. I have been really busy refinishing our master bedroom but once that is done I will be joining in on all the PP challenges

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Feb 13, 2019 07:32:45   #
Linda From Maine
 
Revet wrote:
Glad to be here! This is now my favorite UHH Topic and I thank Linda for doing such a great job as moderator. I have been really busy refinishing our master bedroom but once that is done I will be joining in on all the PP challenges
Appreciate your praise; it's the participants, though, not me Those who frequent this section are respectful, friendly and constructive in any feedback they offer, and interested in sharing the joy of the hobby. Looking forward to seeing you more often!

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