Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Wednesday Q&A: Photoshop Smart Objects - Getting Rid Of Them

Any body wanna buy a house?

As promised last week, the next couple Wednesday Q&As are going to be about Adobe Photoshop Smart Objects.  Smart Objects (SOs) were sort of a hidden feature introduced in Photoshop CS4.  Adobe didn't make a big deal about SOs and you'd have to right click on the Layer's panel bar and drop down to Convert for Smart Filters (I believe) to use them.  The growth in the use of SOs has been slower than frequent SO users might think.  We're at CS6 and many people either still don't know what they are or how to use them.  Newbies to SOs convert a Layer to a Smart Object, try to do something on the Layer, get frustrated and want to dump the SO and go in another direction.  The biggest thing I see is that people want to do something directly to the Smart Object.  Basically, you can't.  If you were to try to use the Healing Brush (J) on a SO you'd see that you'd get the good old Ghost Busters icon and you wouldn't be able to "heal" the SO Layer.  You would be able to put a new Layer over the SO Layer, make sure Sample All Layers is checked and heal whatever needs healing that way, but not directly on the SO Layer.  If you're absolutely frustrated by a Smart Object Layer and want to just get rid of it, hit the "Read More".

You're not going to believe this (and queries about getting rid of SOs is the most entered search to bring people to the Gallery), but it's as easy to "un Smart Object" a Layer as it is to make a Layer into a Smart Object.  That "should" give you a hint.  You can end up with a Smart Object in several ways.  If you come over from Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 you can use Photo/Open as Smart Object in Photoshop.  Same with ACR (Adobe Camera Raw).  In ACR you can click on the information text below the image and click on the box that says Open as a Smart Object.  That will permanently (until you change it back)change the Open Image button to Open Object.  You can Shift Click on the button that says Open Image.  In CS6 (or 5 or 4) you can go to Filter/Convert for Smart Filters (it makes the Layer a SO).  You can right click on the Layers bar in the Layers Panel and click on Convert to Smart Object.  So, you can see that there's several ways to get in trouble (if you really don't want to use SOs). 

Once you have a SO and are tearing your hair out in aggravation, just Right Click on the SO's Layer bar and click on Rasterize.  There it is.  It's not so hard after all.  When you Rasterize a Smart Object you simply return it to a pixel based Layer and you can do whatever you want to it.

My big question is WHY?  If you really have to do something on the Layer that's been made into a Smart Object, double click on the Smart Object's Icon.  That will drop you down a step to (in its simplest case) to the pixel based Layer.  Do whatever you "have to do" there and then Save (not Save As) and Close the Layer.  That'll return you to your Smart Object and you can push on.

BTW:  Today's image is just a shot of the livingroom.  That kids are grown and gone and we are interested in moving to a condo.  Anybody want to buy a house in Connecticut, USA?