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Library: Creative Design


Use Photoshop's Smart Objects and Smart Filters for streamlined versatility

Added on Monday 15th of February 2010 05:00 am EST


Smart Objects and Smart Filters significantly reduce the amount of time it takes for graphical changes without destroying the original image, allowing you to concentrate on designing. To clear up any confusion you may have between the two, let’s explain their relationship with each other. Smart Objects are layers containing either raster or vector image data, which preserve the integrity of that layer throughout countless scaling and transforming attempts to allow nondestructive editing. Smart Filters, on the other hand, are any filter(s) applied to a Smart Object.

A non-destructive way to work
Like we mentioned earlier, you can create a non-destructive Smart Object from pixel or vector data in Photoshop. When you modify your document in the original application you created it in (for example, a Camera Raw image or an Illustrator vector logo), Photoshop re-renders the Smart Object based on the source data.

Paste art as Smart Objects
One common task is pasting an Illustrator file into Photoshop, but with Smart Objects you have more non-destructive editing possibilities if you paste it as a Smart Object. The ability to choose how you want to paste Illustrator art into Photoshop is controlled by preferences settings in Illustrator. The AICB (No Transparency Support) options are selected by default in Illustrator CS and later.

To paste Illustrator vector art as a Smart Object in Photoshop:
1. Select the item in Illustrator and choose Edit > Copy or press cC ([Ctrl]C in Windows).
2. Open a Photoshop document and choose Edit > Paste or press cV ([Ctrl]V in Windows).
3. Select ...


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