Broken Smart Objects

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  • Updated 10 months ago
  • (Edited)
Smart objects are not functioning properly. I have templates that use vector objects which have been converted to smart objects to act as containers. Typically, when I double click on the smart object and open the linked PSB file, anything I place into that smart object, once saved, stays within the boundaries of the shape in the parent document.

However, now when I drop an object into the PSB file linked to the smart object and save back to the parent document, the smart object no longer contains the object to its shape. For example, let's say I would like to create a circular photo for a website (doing it with a round image and not CSS), I used to be able to create a circular shape using the Ellipse tool and convert the shape to a smart object. I would then double click on the smart object, drop my image into the PSB, save, and the image would retain the circular shape in the parent document. It made things easy. That is no longer the case. As I have illustrated below with the images.

I have a circular smart object which I would like to use as the boundary for making a circular image. This is meant to be a template for "graphically challenged" people to just drag and drop images into.



So I double click on the smart object, drag and drop my image into the linked PSB, and save out to update the image in the parent document.



I expect to see a circular image confined to the boundaries of the circular shape of the smart object. However, what I see now is shown below.



Has something changed? Am I doing something wrong? I have never had this issue before. 

PS* photograph is not mine, it was simple the first image I had access to and is simply what I dropped into the PSB to illustrate this issue.
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Creative Catalyst

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Posted 10 months ago

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Max Johnson, Champion

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I have never ever seen or heard of the exact functionality you describe, but in order to get what you are intending, you would either clip, mask, or knock-out. You could still use your smart object, but would use one of these options on it in the main file.

Clipping Layers to Other Layers as Mask: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop-elements/using/clipping-masks.html

Vector Mask Basics video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4fPjbQAaCE

Knock out parts of a layer: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/using/knockout-reveal-content-layers.html
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Creative Catalyst

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No. I know vector masks and clipping. What I am talking about is the Smart Object containing elements placed into it to their shape. A smart object should also pass along the transformation effects to the element placed in it as well.

Here we have a file with skewed smart objects of a particular size.



If I double click on the element it opens the smart object. I can then place an element inside of it...




If I now save it and go back to the parent document, the element I placed inside of the Smart Object is now contained to the shape of the Smart Object and has inherited it's transformations, e.g. skew...




However, on new files, the object inside of the Smart Object doesn't inherit the shape or the tranform. The boundaries of the Smart Object are simply not respected. 
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Creative Catalyst

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You shouldn't have to clip anything, that would defeat the purpose of using a Smart Object as a container for other elements. The Smart Object should pass along all of its attributes to the items placed into it, but on new files that is no longer happening.
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Max Johnson, Champion

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But every photoshop layer that is made of pixels is rectangular. There is no property for a layer that is not explicitly a vector shape to make it round without a mask either inside or outside the smart object.

You could make a group inside the smart object named "Your Art Goes In Here" and apply a mask to that. Then the mask would make anything in the group circular and in the main fike the smart object would deform like your example...
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Creative Catalyst

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Hmmmm...maybe I'm just fever delirious and shouldn't be Photoshopping right now.
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eartho

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Yes, you're not thinking clearly on this one. If you want that layer to work, you'd either need to clip inside the expanded SO, or use a vector mask on the main layer before converting to a SO.