Elements as Smart Objects
How Smart Objects can make your work flow easier
Tutorial for Photoshop CS3+
You can download a pdf version of this tutorial here
In the last tutorial I talked about how opening your photo as a smart object can allow for easy non destructive changes .
This week we will see how creating smart objects from your elements can make your work flow much simpler.
In this layout below I have pasted in a brad and wish to have a line of them
First I am going to turn this element into a smart object by right clicking on the layer and choosing Convert to Smart Object
To duplicate my layer I can just duplicate the layer as I normally would.
This creates another smart object copied from the original
As you can see in the image below I have duplicated the original smart object several times to make a corner.
But now I have them on my layout Im not sure I like the colour of the brads .
Here is where the benefit of the layer being a smart object comes to play.
Right click on your original smart object layer and choose edit contents
You will get a warning dialogue to which you click OK and your original element will open in a separate window.
You can now make whatever changes to the file that you wish – in this instance Ive changed the colour from black to pink with the use of a hue saturation adjustment layer.
Save the file ( it is a .psb file) and as if by magic every one of the duplicated brads will change along with your original
If at any time you need to make further alterations you can right click on the smart object and change it again and all the copies will again change.
I hope you find this technique useful. Its certainly a time saver!