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teecee

Question About Smart Objects

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

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Yeah that is a good question!

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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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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) :)

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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!

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Thanks Heidi! This is very helpful info. :)

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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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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. ;)

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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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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.)

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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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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.

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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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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.

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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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