Join Steve Caplin for an in-depth discussion in this video What are Smart Objects?, part of Photoshop: Smart Objects.
- [Instructor] What are smart objects? Essentially, they're a way of encoding a photo shop layer, so that whatever you do to that layer, you never lose the size and quality of the original. Here's an example. Here's a photograph, cut out and I've added a white background. Let's make a copy of this, by holding the alt option key and dragging it. And this is an exact copy of the original. There are two ways we could turn this into a smart object.
We could use the pop up menu at the top of the layers panel. Or we can go to the layer menu and choose smart objects, convert to smart object. And right away, well we don't see any difference. It looks identical. Then select both of these layers, and now let's transform them. So we'll go to free transform, and let's make them smaller. And maybe rotate them around a little bit.
And we'll hit enter to apply that transformation. Now with a regular layer, when you reduce it and rotate it that much, you'd lose all the original pixels and you'd end up with just those you could see here. Let's say we come back to this, later that day, maybe even a years time. And we'll do free transform again. So let's make this bigger again, and rotate it back to the original orientation.
In this preview, you can see the smart object looks great. The original layer looks very blocky. When we apply the transformation, the original layer still looks terrible. And that's because when we reduced it and rotated it, we cut down the number of pixels dramatically. So when we enlarge it again, all we get is those reduced set of pixels, blown up to a bigger size. It looks dreadful. Whereas the smart object looks as good as the original. And that, in essence, is how smart objects work.
We'll go on to see how much we can do with this extraordinary technology.
- Editing Smart Objects
- Working with multiple layers
- Replacing contents
- Using Smart Filters
- Nesting Smart Objects
- Creating flexible cover shots
- Working with Camera Raw
- Working with videos and Illustrator files