Photoshop: "Pass Through" blend mode for Smart Objects that contain layers with different blend modes

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  • Updated 7 years ago
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please make an option to keep blend modes on layers made into a smart object.

For example if I select three layers with different blend modes and make them into a smart object, they all become blended by the mode of the smart object. Please make a "Pass Through" mode for smart objects to honor the blend modes of the layers contained.
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Darren Setter

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Posted 7 years ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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If you want several Blend Modes you need several Layers ... better get used to it.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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I am not an Abobe employee or even a programmer, but let me elaborate why I think this request is not reasonably feasible:

One of the advantages of Smart Objects is that in the containing file they are one Layer and the source file (psb, pdf, ...) has to be accessed only when it is being edited or an instance of the Smart Object is being transformed or (re-)filtered.
Being one Layer each pixel is defined by its transparency and its values for between one and four channels.
If you want to maintain the contained Layers with their various Blend Modes in the containing document each pixel of each SO-instance has to maintain that full information – the pixel values and transparencies for each Layer.
Data-wise that would, I think, mean that the file basically has to hold the whole shebang at least twice or as many times as the SO has been used in the file (adjusted for transformation factors).
Now that may seem negligible to you compared to what you consider improved convenience, but I suspect that programming-wise it would be an enormous effort (if t is possible at all) to achieve what you could achieve yourself by converting the Layers to SO individually and linking or grouping them.

But then I could be wrong ...
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Chris Cox

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You got it right. This request can't be done. If you keep blending all the child layers, then it can't be a Smart Object, can't use all the optimizations for Smart Objects, and just becomes a layer set.
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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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Glad to read it.

Sometimes I wonder about the hours you keep, though.