Photoshop: Linked Illustrator Smart Object transform bug with update

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  • Updated 2 months ago
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  • (Edited)
So, I'm working on a game screen and have designed everything in Photoshop to match resolutions. I need the logo to be vector for marketing, so I made an Illustrator file and linked it to a smart object in Photoshop. I have tried ALL smart object crop options for the logo to match it to the Illustrator artbox, and it seems like it works great!...until I update the Illustrator file. Suddenly weird things happen in photoshop, like scale-changing and position changing. It doesn't even seem like it's trying to adjust for anything, they're just WEIRD unlinked scale changes. All I want is for the smart object to stay where it is and update the vector art within the limits of the Illustrator artbox. I have tried this in Photoshop 2018 and 2019. Neither work right. Please help! We work in teams and need updates from one file to sink with another.
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ericloth

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Posted 3 months ago

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eartho, Champion

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I think i remember this bug from a few years ago...have you tried using artboards?
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ericloth

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I am using artboards :-/
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hi Eric, can you post a PSD with an embedded Illustrator file that reproduces the problem? That might help us get to the root cause the fastest.
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eartho, Champion

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Jeff, i can repro quite easily. Basically, if you make a 20x20" canvas in IL and the same in Ps, there's no setting when placing a linked SO which will respect an absolute crop of the IL canvas.
Although i did just figure out a solution...
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hmm. I thought if you saved the file and placed the file with "Media Box" as the option it places the with the file bounds? (at least that works for me)
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ericloth

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It does. But then if I move it and save in Illustrator, the update in Photoshop is ALL kinds of wrong. Transforms are wrong (scale, sometimes positions). I deleted everything outside of the artboard in Illustrator, and that seems to help some, but still acting weird. Currently testing using Media Box crop. Let me know if one of the others works better.
(Edited)
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ericloth

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Also, I can't post this file to the internet as my client has rights to it, but it can be easily recreated if I need to. Might troubleshoot later when I don't have this deadline. Wondering if Photoshop artboards might be effecting it somehow? Currently testing in Photoshop 2018 and Illustrator 2019. Also, this is a LINKED smart object, not embedded, so another team-member can work in Illustrator while someone else works in Photoshop.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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I wasn't using dartboards in Photoshop or Illustrator in my tests. So maybe they're behaving differently. If you have some files and a movie that demonstrate the behaviors, you can email links to me at jtranber at adobe dot com
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eartho, Champion

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Hey, give this solution a try:
- in IL, create a new layer and draw a rectangle which is the exact size as your canvas and fill with white.
- send that layer to the back and toggle off the visibility 
- when placing in Ps, use the crop to trim option

now, as long as you don't scale or move the layer in Ps, the placed art should always stay aligned with the canvas.
but if you're moving/scaling the placed file around in Ps, you can't expect it to maintain an absolute alignment.
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ericloth

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GOOD CALL. So, turning off visibility didn't work, but if I take that back layer opacity to 0% and lock it, that works. Using Crop to Trim. Thank you! Not ideal, but it's workable. Wish I could just use the artboard. I'll do it the early 2010's way.
(Edited)
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Russ Gray

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Hey, finally found this post, after making my OWN post about this! I am illustrating a children's book with a number of large illos, and have had the same issues. I am using bleeds in Illustrator, perhaps unlike ericloth. But like him, I have tried every cropping option there is. They all yield similar results to what Eric described.
Eartho suggested something I've used often in the past to address a different issue that is not a bug. When I resize a vector smart object in Illustrator, or edit it in any way that effects its overall dimensions, the object moves when updated in PS. I get that, and I've used his work-around.
However, this issue is different. At least for me. I can go in and edit NOTHING in Illustrator (maybe turn a layer off and on, or move a small point in the middle of the illo somewhere) and no matter what, when I hit save, it resizes in PS.
Oddly, whenever I hit Command-T in PS, the smart object immediately returns to its normal size, and I simply hit Enter to apply.
But to further complicate this, whenever I hit Command+T AGAIN, it resizes AGAIN on its own, to incorrect sizes (often not even proportional).
As I mentioned, I feel it relates to using bleeds (I don't mean simply extending off the artboard; some of these illos don't even extend off; but I mean using Illustrator bleeds. However I am even sure I can limit it to documents with bleeds. I feel like that's not always been the case.
Jeffrey, if you want me to send you a file (again, private for my client, so I can't post) I can send to you for testing.
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ericloth

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It's not just bleeds. I don't use bleeds, just artboards in Illustrator, and this very same thing happened for me, not matter how I chose to crop the smart object in Photoshop
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Russ Gray

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Eric, I also sent a sample file to Jeff just now. (confidential for client, so couldn't share here). Hopefully we can find a resolution!
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Thanks Russ. I will take a look and let you know if I have any other questions.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Official Response
Russ's files were extremely helpful. I'm consistently seeing some of the unexpected results described. I'll have engineering take a look at it.
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ericloth

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Thank you so much! I've been swamped. Let me know if I can help at all.
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Russ Gray

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled linked smart object resizes upon updating, or transforming.

I have searched the forum for weeks looking for others having this problem, but no luck; so maybe I'm the only one! I have been designing a children's book with a number of full spread illustrations. I created the illos in Illustrator, then I place them as a linked smart object into Photoshop to further "paint" them. Most (but not all!) of the illustrations were built with bleeds in the Illustrator document, and were imported into a Photoshop window that matches the full bleed size.
The problem arises whenever I try to edit the smart objects in Illustrator. When I return to Photoshop and the smart object updates, it resizes on its own, to a fairly random size (usually 101 - 104%, but not always proportional; ie, larger in horizontal scale than vertical, for example).

Normally I can simply Command+T to transform, and immediately upon typing in the key command, the layer returns to its original (100% x 100%) size, and I simply hit enter to apply.
HOWEVER, after having done this. as soon as I type Command+T again for any reason, the object resizes to an INCORRECT size again.
I suspect this all has something to do with bleeds being added in Illustrator, but I can't confirm for sure. I have even tried re-importing the smart objects setting the crop to "bleed box" and the problem seems to persist.
Any help with this would be much appreciated, as this is not the only time I've dealt with it, and it has added hours and hours cumulatively to my work time.

Thanks in advance!

PS 20.0.3. Illustrator CC2018 (2019 is too buggy so far!). iMac with 32GB memory, AMD Raedon R9 graphics card (2048MB)
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Diana Real

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I am having this exact same issue, it seems to start happening about 70% of the time when I place artboards from a illustrator file with multiple artboards on it. And once it starts happening to a smart object it will stretch every time I make an update to the Illustrator file.

The weird thing is, it is not just on my computer. If I open the photoshop file on a different computer windows or mac the bug still happens.

If anyone comes up with a solution for this it would be greatly appreciated. Some of my files have quite a lot of smart objects and having to remember 'reset' them all individually is quite frustrating.