How to Use Smart Objects in Photoshop

Hey, everyone! Howard Pinsky here with a shorttip on why you should be using Smart Objects, whenever you get the chance.

Here's a free template that I released a fewdays ago on IceflowStudios.

Com, which is perfect for designers looking to showcase their businesscards on their portfolio, and if I select the layer that contains the image of my businesscard, 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 ofmy business card.

To make the transport easier, I'm going to merge all the layers with Commandor Control Shift and E, or Merge Visible under the Layer menu.

Once the layers have been merged, I can dragit over to my template document.

Now comes the fun part! This layer needs to be transformedto fit the slanted business card.

Entering Free Transform Mode with Command or ControlT, I can now hold down just Command or Control to edit the perspective of this layer.

Eachcorner 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 inmy head.

Anyways, as I said earlier, the business cardlayer is a Smart Object, and just like any Smart Object, a simple double-click on thethumbnail's layer will bring up the containing document.

Now, any changes you want to maketo the business card's design, can be made right here.

You can either create your designright 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 cansimply drag the layers of this document over to the Smart Object's document.

Then onceyou save the Smart Object, with Command or Control S, the template updates with yournew design.

And the best part of this, is it's completelyeditable! At any point, you can double-click on the Smart Object, and edit away.

Your changeswill appear on the cards once you save.

And that's how you can use Smart Objects toquickly and easily update designs like this, which again, you can download for free onIceflowStudios.