Smart Objects are layers that contain image data from raster or vector images. If you’re new to Photoshop, you may not be accustomed to using it, but there are plenty of reasons to start working with them. This video from Adobe Photoshop will show you five reasons to use Smart Objects in Photoshop, but also some ideas when it’s useful to work with them.
1. Edit directly in Camera RAW
If you embed a raw file as a Smart Object, then the entire RAW file is embedded into the document. If you double-click on the thumbnail for the Smart Object, you’ll be able to edit the content of the Smart Object in Camera RAW. When you edit a smart object, Photoshop will re-render the file and give you the highest possible image quality.
2. Apply transformation without degrading image quality
When you use Smart Object, you can apply as many transformations as you want without decreasing image quality. For example, if you transform the object and make it smaller, you can make it larger again without losing any quality.
3. Transform several layers at once
You can convert several layers into a single Smart Object and transform them all at once. You can reposition them and add warp or rotation. If you need to edit individual layers, you can just edit the content of the Smart Object by double-clicking on the thumbnail.
4. Update several layers at once
If you copy an embedded Smart Object within the same document, you can add special effects to the individual copies. If you need to make a change to the image, you can double-click on the thumbnail, which will bring up Camera RAW. Here, you can make the edit, and when you’re finished, the changes will be applied to all of the copies of the Smart Object.
5. Easy to replace the content
If you need to replace the content of a Smart Object, it’s really easy to do it. Navigate to select another image, make any desired changes, and Photoshop will replace the original Smart Object and all its instances.