Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Replacing the contents of a Smart Object, part of Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: Design.
- [Narrator] This video picks up where my Photoshop Essential Training Series leaves off. If you're unfamiliar with smart objects please be sure to watch the two videos in the smart objects chapter in Photoshop Essential Training and then join us here. So there a number of reasons that you might need to change the contents of a smart object, maybe you're doing template work, or you're creating a design and you're waiting for the high res version or the retouch version of an image. Or maybe you just simply changed your mind. I'm going to place the smart object using file, place embedded.
I'll navigate to the O1 smart objects folder and choose mountains.psd and then click place. By default Photoshop will resize the placed image in order to fit in the open document. I'll click the check mark in order to place that. If you prefer to have Photoshop not resize the document, under the Photoshop preferences, general, you can disable the resize image during place. I actually prefer to keep this on and I want Photoshop to automatically create a smart object when placing, so I leave this enabled as well.
Now we're going to start working on this image. The first thing I want to do is I want to change the stacking order in the layers panel, so I'll need to change the background into a layer by clicking on the lock icon. Then I'll double click in order to rename it, clouds. I'll reposition the clouds layer above the mountains layer. Then I'll change the blend mode to overlay and decrease the opacity of the clouds over the mountains. I want to transform the mountains, in fact I want to flip them. So I'll select the mountains there and choose edit, free transform.
We can see in the options bar that when Photoshop placed this it resized it to 80% of it's original size. Then I'll right click and choose flip horizontal, and then apply that transformation. I also want to add a layer mask, to create a border around this image. So I'll choose select, all, and then I'll modify the selection by choosing modify and contract. I'll enter in 50 pixels and make sure that the apply effects at canvas bounds is enabled.
When I click okay we can see that that selection has been contracted. At the bottom of the layers panel, I'll click the layer mask icon in order to add a layer mask to hide the area on the borders of the image. At this point if I want to replace the contents of this layer, I can choose layer, and then smart objects, and replace contents. I'll navigate to the O1 smart objects folder. Select branches and then click place. As we can see by replacing the image, I don't have to redo the mask or the transformation or even flip the image.
All of that is done for me. So as your files get more complicated. The ability to replace the contents of a smart object can really be a time saver. Now if you have different size original files I just want to point out that you might have to resize them when you replace the content. But because they're smart objects the transformations will be nondestructive, so there you are. An easy way to quickly swap out the contents of a smart object in Photoshop.
Photoshop CC boasts tools and features for making tonal and color adjustments, applying effects and treatments to type and graphics, and distorting, filtering, and layering elements—all while maintaining the highest-quality output. In this course, Julieanne demonstrates how to efficiently perform common design tasks, including editing images, drawing shapes, and working with type and fonts. Along the way, she shares the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and helps you master features such as layers, filters, blending modes, typography, custom brushes, vector masks, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
- Working with Smart Objects
- Linked vs. embedded Smart Objects
- Creative transformations and warping
- Essential filters for designers
- Emulating traditional drawing techniques
- Working with shape and fill layers
- Pen tool basics
- Applying layer effects and styles
- Type essentials
- Creative brush techniques
- Working with libraries and artboards
- Exporting files and sharing images