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Question About Smart Objects


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#1 teecee

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:17 AM

Can someone explain what "Smart Objects" are? I've seen the term, but don't know what they are, how they work, etc. TIA!

#2 Belle

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 11:12 AM

I would also love to know this. Thanks for asking.

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#3 bjc

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 12:21 PM

me three...lol
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#4 scraphappen

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:14 PM

Yeah that is a good question!

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#5 MariJ

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:27 PM

Me five! Great question and so far no answer... :)

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#6 B&K Mom

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 01:59 PM

Smart object....I'll give it a go, though I'm new to them. In PSE (I have PSE 8 Mac, but they are also in earlier versions of PSE and in PS), when an item is dragged (or is is drug?? lol) up from the Project Bin onto a LO, it becomes a Smart Object. Smart Objects are vector (or raster) images that allow you to resize, transform them without loosing resolution. So with a Smart Object you can enlarge them hundreds of times and still have sharp edges and colors (unlike when you try it with a flat/non- Smart Object). In order to add styles and other things to Smart Objects they must be Simplified/Rasterized first.

That's what I know. Not much, but now you know everything I know about them...LOL!
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#7 teecee

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:04 PM

Smart object....I'll give it a go, though I'm new to them. In PSE (I have PSE 8 Mac, but they are also in earlier versions of PSE and in PS), when an item is dragged (or is is drug?? lol) up from the Project Bin onto a LO, it becomes a Smart Object. Smart Objects are vector (or raster) images that allow you to resize, transform them without loosing resolution. So with a Smart Object you can enlarge them hundreds of times and still have sharp edges and colors (unlike when you try it with a flat/non- Smart Object). In order to add styles and other things to Smart Objects they must be Simplified/Rasterized first.

That's what I know. Not much, but now you know everything I know about them...LOL!


Thanks Debbie! (This is a lot more than I understood about them before lol) :)

#8 HeidiD

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 02:15 PM

A Smart Object is basically when PS will keep the original image information, but let you do edits to it - like add filters, resize, rotate, etc. If you decide to change the image later, you can because the original image's information is still available. It's basically like using a non-destructive edit for your element.

It's kind of like using Lightroom for your photos. You can make changes to them, but they aren't actually made on your photo. The changes are just saved in memory with the photo. You can choose to save the image with the changes, at which point the changes become part of the image. With Smart Objects, once you rasterize or simplify them, the changes become part of the image and you start over with that new image.

So say you're enlarging an image of a frame. But then you realize it needs to be smaller. If you're working with a regular layer, the frame will be pixely when you size it back down. With a Smart Object frame, the frame will still look good when you resize it because the program remembers what the original image looked like.

Also with filters - you can apply a filter (the Gaussian Blur, for instance), do some other stuff, and then decide you don't like the Blur. With a Smart Object, you can just turn off the blur. With a regular object, you can't.

HTH!
...Heidi D...

#9 teecee

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:01 PM

Thanks Heidi! This is very helpful info. :)

#10 mbc72

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 03:44 PM

So is it better to drag from the project bin up and use items as smart objects? Or does it matter? I usually drag from the screen down to my layout, if that makes sense.

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#11 HeidiD

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 04:11 PM

Melanie, I'm not sure it matters. If you decide you want to do something Smart Object-y with your element, I think you can always change it into a Smart Object at that point. At least, in PS you can. From Layers> Create Smart Object or something like that.

PS - Smart Objects take up more space on your hard drive when saving, so it might be good practice to remember to rasterize (simplify) your Smart Objects before saving your layered layouts for storage. ;)
...Heidi D...

#12 mbc72

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 04:23 PM

Thanks Heidi, great info.

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#13 B&K Mom

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 05:06 PM

If you decide you want to do something Smart Object-y with your element, I think you can always change it into a Smart Object at that point. At least, in PS you can. From Layers> Create Smart Object or something like that.


I looked for this feature earlier today in PSE 8 and couldn't find it. If anyone knows where it is, please fill me in. Thanks.
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#14 podiumchick

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 05:50 PM

I use PSE 7 and I'm pretty sure that if you want it 'smart' you have to drag it up from the bin. And there are virtually no edits to be done--it has to be 'simplified' first. (But you'll get a nag screen to tell you that.)

#15 Pab

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 06:06 PM

I know I had it in PSE7 but it's seems to have disappeared in 8 & 9. At least it doesn't happen automatically when I pull over from the bin.
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#16 Melissa13

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

I know this discussion is a couple of months old, but I just discovered Smart Objects in PSE 9. Thank you to everyone who explained them. Although I have to say that I find them exceptionally annoying because when a photo becomes a smart object, you can't use the marquee tool. That's usually how I crop a photo once it's already in a layout.

#17 mimes1

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:23 AM

If you simplify your smart object you can then use the marquis tool. To do this go to your smart object layer, then right click. Select "simplify", then you are good to go.
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#18 Melissa13

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 02:23 PM

Thanks! So if I do that, is it any different than if it never became a smart object in the first place? Or will it be lower quality or anything?

Better yet, is there any way to turn off the smart object option, so PSE doesn't make something a Smart Object automatically?

Honestly, I hate how they keep "improving" things. Sometimes I wish they'd just leave well enough alone.

#19 mimes1

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Posted 11 March 2012 - 10:30 PM

The way I understand it the smart object preserves quality. Once you simplify it you can change it however you want which may or may not effect quality.
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