How to Use Smart Objects in Photoshop

How to Use Smart Objects in Photoshop

Hey, everyone! Howard Pinsky here with a short
tip on why you should be using Smart Objects, whenever you get the chance. Here’s a free template that I released a few
days ago on, which is perfect for designers looking to showcase their business
cards on their portfolio, and if I select the layer that contains the image of my business
card, you can see, in the Layers panel, that it’s been converted into a Smart Object. Now before I get into why this is so important,
let me first show you how frustrating this edit can be if you don’t use a Smart Object. Over in this document, I have the back of
my business card. To make the transport easier, I’m going to merge all the layers with Command
or Control Shift and E, or Merge Visible under the Layer menu. Once the layers have been merged, I can drag
it over to my template document. Now comes the fun part! This layer needs to be transformed
to fit the slanted business card. Entering Free Transform Mode with Command or Control
T, I can now hold down just Command or Control to edit the perspective of this layer. Each
corner can be dragged to match the perspective of the business card. Now, while this certainly did what we wanted,
editing the card at a later point would require you to repeat that whole process. What a pain!
Let’s now look at the smarter way, using Smart Objects. Hmm, that joke sounded better in
my head. Anyways, as I said earlier, the business card
layer is a Smart Object, and just like any Smart Object, a simple double-click on the
thumbnail’s layer will bring up the containing document. Now, any changes you want to make
to the business card’s design, can be made right here. You can either create your design
right in this document, or bring in a design you’ve already created. So let me hop back over to the back design,
but this time, instead of merging all the layers, and losing all that data, you can
simply drag the layers of this document over to the Smart Object’s document. Then once
you save the Smart Object, with Command or Control S, the template updates with your
new design. And the best part of this, is it’s completely
editable! At any point, you can double-click on the Smart Object, and edit away. Your changes
will appear on the cards once you save. And that’s how you can use Smart Objects to
quickly and easily update designs like this, which again, you can download for free on

Comments (100)

  1. Well that's only for updating already placed objects. Not for any other use that you could have, but didn't, go over.

  2. how do i preset a logo so it can show up in the same place (like in a corner) if i were to have to do it on a whole album

  3. You are one of rare guys that with short videos tell us so much!

  4. When I was working at a branding company, one of the artists showed me that you can drag a layers style properties (ie, drop shadow) as a completely different layer with a hotkey, anyone wouldn't happen to know how I might do that?

  5. That's the word "patron". The website he is using is pronounced exactly how it's spelled, "patreon".

  6. Great. I did not know that this was possible.

  7. Since iOS 7 has a very minimalistic look, i would like to much my app icon with that minimalistic look. Would you make a tutorial on how to replicate some of the icons?

  8. I will probably be creating a tutorial on how to create an app icon shortly.

  9. That would be awesome! thanks

  10. I facing printing problem for my art project by using Photoshop CS6. I needed your help. I hope you can help me solve the problem. The main problem is the color is not accurate when printing hard copy. I always follow gamut warning guide in colour picker,using RGB 8 bit in colour setting,convert any image used to RGB. I save the PSD in JPEG then i print out but the printing result is not same as digital copy.I hope i can get your email and send some screen shot.Anyways, thanks you so much!

  11. If you're designing for print, your color mode should be set to CMYK. RGB won't give you accurate print results.

  12. Really? I confused with colour setting. I just using cheap Canon inkjet printer. I have using CMYK setting last month for banner project (commercial printing not inkjet) but it turn out very bad. I have been save in PDF for printing, it turn out missing word and object because it cant read the colour. πŸ™ Now i needed trying again and printing in CMYK format. I also will be posted on your facebook page for more detail. Thanks for fast respond!

  13. I wasn't mentioned in the supporters : I chose to do $20/month via paypal but you haven't gotten in touch with me yet via email. I've missed out on advertising myself through this video post.

  14. Sorry about that. The PayPal donations were handled separately, and haven't been assigned rewards yet. I haven't gone through all the PayPal donations yet. I'll be sure to add you in the next video if you're still a supporter.

  15. Alright, I think I'll hold off further donations until the paypal system is operational, seems a bit unfair to paypal supporters atm.

  16. You can also use Patreon and max out your donation, if that makes it easier. πŸ™‚

  17. So no recognition for the $20 already donated?

  18. I can't edit this video, but yes, you'll be a supporter on the next video.

  19. Yes, I'm going to revue the options. Error on my part for donating blindly with out a laid out perks structure via paypal option. Let's just skip listing me on the next video, I don't want to make a big deal out of this. I just want to know how my name/website or whatever package I decide on will be listed. Currently I do not want my legal name listed, just company but let's just skip it all for now to simplify your work load. I'll take a look into Patreon options in the future.

  20. For sure. If you go with Patreon, shoot me a message on there to let me know what you want listed. πŸ™‚

  21. Hey Howard, do you know if you can do this in CS3? Thanks πŸ™‚

  22. Yep! Certainly will be covering Smart Objects in more detail soon!

  23. You should be able to. I believe Smart Objects work the same in CS3.

  24. Well they've been around since CS2, so I hope so, thanks. πŸ™‚

  25. Yep! More of those coming soon!

  26. Thanks man. Forreal.

  27. Awesome πŸ™‚

  28. Be smart, use Smart Objects !

  29. Can you do a tutorial on how to make the business card template? Thanks

  30. Hey Howard, I have two question, the first. I wanted to be a designer ( I don't know what courses to take in college) but, will it be best to invest in a Wacom, Or any other tablets? The second question. Is Photoshop on CC a great subscription purchase?

  31. Definitely invest in a Wacom tablet. They'll make your editing much smoother. Photoshop CC is nice, but you may be able to get CS6 from your school for a nice low price.

  32. Is there any tips you can give me for college courses to take? I have always designed backgrounds and business cards, but I've always wanted a degree….

  33. If i had a job and money.i paid you with good will but im broke πŸ˜›
    Thank you very much for all the tutorials.

  34. Howard, teaching how to do this mock up things is a great idea! =D

  35. Damn this is a great tip im glad i subbed everytime i see one of this.

  36. thanks for the download

  37. Oh my god you sound and look like seldon cooper

  38. That is probably the best Smart Object video I've ever seen! You are definitely worth more than you're getting.

  39. Some tutorial of depthο»Ώ of field in Photoshop CS6 (depth maps)

  40. just made a video on How to use the dodge burn and sponge tool in Photoshop CS6

  41. Nice tutorial. What I would like to see, how you make the card-stack!
    Thank you.

  42. your voice is mesmerising

  43. good video, thanks for the video πŸ™‚

  44. IADT's Graphic Design degree actually gives CS6 Master Collection for free, once you reach DESIGN140, which I start next month, so I'm super excited about it πŸ˜€

  45. Hey Howard, I was wondering how do I make the two places that the business card image is seen two different image? For example, the stack the front side image of the business card and the slanted card the back side image of the business card.

  46. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  47. Hey Howard, thank u for this great tutorial, I have a question, Now i'm working on a JPEG Image and I've selected an area (like the Business card in this video) and converted it into a smart object, but the problem is when I double click and open it in a new tab It's not appearing in a "FRONT RECTANGULAR VIEW " (Like you open it) , it appears like the area i've selected,,, The question is "How can I make it A Front View & just put the other image" ?? .. Pls answer, thank u πŸ™‚

  48. thanks for the tutorial .. but can you make one to tell us how to create that mock-up ?

  49. Howard – where did you get your ps, ai plushies?

  50. Where are my manners – thank you!

  51. Archived video: Using Smart Objects can help improve and speed up the work flow in your projects. This video explains how they work.

    Download the free business card template:Β

    Subscribe for more:

    NEW tutorial coming on Monday!

  52. Hey, thanks for the tip man! Will deff use it!
    Lots of love to you!

  53. Smart Objects exist all the way back to CS2 I believe.

  54. hey howard , i need the fonts that you used in your card please πŸ™‚

  55. i really thank you to all your tips! thanks XD its really helpful

  56. Howard, a ?: I place an image as a smart object in PS (CS5), double click to edit that photo, save the image (as same name), close and return to master document, but no updates appear. I saved, closed and reopened, still not updated. Waht gives?

  57. Hi, I have a question..what if I wanna put the back AND front of my card into the template?

  58. But no tip on how to create smart objects.

  59. Thank you so much this helped a lot!

  60. "Hey guys and thanks for watching that tutorial"… You can hardly call that tutorial. Is just a demo showing what Smart Objects are, not how to make them.

  61. Hey Howard i wanted to know. how to make thickness of cards without losing its originality. i mean if someone want to change the color of stack too. how would it be done. ?????

  62. I wish that there were as great illustrator tutorials on Facebook.

  63. That so easy! but your video helped me, i was totally lost.
    Thx! πŸ™‚Β 

  64. You are so awesome!!! Thank you so much this is exactly what I've been looking for πŸ™‚

  65. Sorry, but I am working on a similar project for some shop front signage, and both signs are in perspective ie. like you business cards, but when I create the smart object and then place artwork in and saving it, it comes in flat and not in the perspective that I would like… Any help???

  66. How am I able to use this across Photoshop, Illustrator, and Flash and be able to editing without it creating a bunch of clip groups or movie symbols and bitmaps?

  67. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS INFORMATION! I was struggling with editing smart objects but now I'll have no issue. Thanks again Howard

  68. Hey Howard I am taking an image and making it into a triptych. I am selling gallery wrapped canvas so I want each piece in the triptych to appear 2 inches thick on the left side. I also add a drop shadow for some more effect. This takes awhile using rulers, marquise tool, cutting, changing perspective. Is there a way I can use a smart object on this? Maybe I can turn this into one layer. Any help would be appreciated.

  69. Hello Howard,
    Wish you had a business card mock up tutorial but with automatic stack side appearance because that’s the part I don’t know how to do it :))))))

  70. Awesome video! Are you able to do a video showing how to create a stack of business cards on photoshop? Thnx

  71. GREAT tutorial!! Thanks a lot πŸ™‚

  72. Ohh thank You. We should go to date Howard πŸ˜€

  73. This is the first smart objects thing I've read or watched that made sense to me. Thanks!

  74. Need to start from scratch.

  75. Okay, but how do i convert a layer to a smart object?

  76. Subtitles are helpful πŸ™‚ Thanks A lot

  77. Thanks but it would be a more complete video if you would show how to create, change, go in and out of smart objects. Maybe in a next video you can include that info. In any case, thanks for sharing knowledge

  78. Dude you sound like Greg Miller

  79. Useless, not even a tutorial.

  80. bro u are good guy, thank you sharing knowledge. hope you can do more video ..

  81. hey love your work just wanna know why is the download link misdirecting me when wanting to download the psd

  82. thank you thank you thank you

  83. VERY helpful, thanks!

  84. Why you sounding so excited for? are you making this video on a laptop on top of a helter-skelter ? It's quite annoying.

    Shut the fuck up, you over-excited four-eyed git !

  85. i have learned something

  86. I think you skipped an important step, which is how to CREATE the smart object. That would be helpful for beginners who are wondering how to create a smart object before you can use it.

  87. Is there another place to download the psd? the place you hosted it is no longer in business.

  88. It's too fast, not understood.

  89. That was an overview. Not a tutorial. I'm sure you've done this before many times, so probably didn't think it important to disclose HOW to create that smart object. Going off to search for a REAL tutorial…

  90. Awful tutorial

  91. false adverting

  92. Tangina wala ako natutunan

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