Find out why smart objects are amazing
A free video tutorial from Cristian Doru Barin
Certified Photoshop Instructor & Expert, Web & App Designer
4.6 instructor rating • 6 courses • 225,602 students
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23:07:19 of on-demand video • Updated September 2020
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English [Auto] A smart object is a laser type that preserves its pixel content. Any layer can be transformed into a smart object no matter its type. To do that you right click on it in the layers panel and you select convert to smart object. Now Photoshop will remember all its characteristics and it will hold all those pixels. This means you can shrink it to 10 percent then enlarge it to 100 percent and it keeps its quality. It doesn't get pixilated if we do the same with the rest arised layer so a layer where Photoshop isn't instructed to keep all the content. Here's what happens. You shrink it to 10 percent and press enter. Then you use control t again. But notice this time you don't have 10 percent in its size. Instead you have 100 percent. That's because Photoshop doesn't remember those pixels. It just discards them. So now we'll put in 1000 percent to achieve the same initial size. Look what happens. It's very pixilated. Let's try this again side by side. One is a smart object and you can tell that from its icon here and the other one is at rest arised layer and you know that because it doesn't have any icon in its thumbnail select them both and use control t to shrink them. Now control t to enlarge them roughly to about the same size they initially were as you clearly see the smart object looks fine because Photoshop kept those pixels while in the other case Photoshop had to make up some pixels you had to create them based on its upscaling engine and obviously that's not as good. Again please remember that any lag can be converted into a smart object. It doesn't matter what size it is how it looks or anything like that. For example I can rust arise this shrunken smart object meaning I'll let Photoshop know that it can discard those extra pixels. Now I can convert it back to a smart object but see it won't get those pixels back that it just discarded. No instead it will remember these ones. So this is now the 100 percent state remember that initially this was way bigger. When you convert a layer to a smart object you lock into places those pixels that are currently there. Photoshop can't magically get back those pixels you threw away when you rest arise the layer. So now the logical question why would you ever Rasta rise your legs if it's much better to keep your graphics of smart objects. Why would anyone do that. Simple. It enlarges your PTSD file a lot and it drags down performance meaning instead of having a 10 megabyte PTSD file you'll have a 100 megabyte project. More than that in your piece you might move slower and that's the major reason for Rasta rising layers. A third reason is this. If you have very high quality graphics either custom graphics or stock photos you may not want to leave them at their super high definition state. You may want to send them at their size used in the PSP. This is so people can't steal from your files and reuse them in other places. Okay that's it. Have fun.