Photoshop 21.0.2: Smart Object with Healing Moved to a Different File and Transform Ruins Corrections

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  • Updated 5 months ago
Scenario: I have a photograph of a car. I convert it to a Smart Object., mask the car, and apply adjustment and fixes on the object. My last step is to create a blank layer and utilize the healing, clone stamp, pixel color changes and general clean up of the image. I then group all of these different layers.

If I perform a free transform on this group, or with all layers selected, within this same document (file) everything performs flawlessly.

If I copy this group to a new document (even just a document containing a white layer) and perform a free transform to scale the group, or with all layers in the group selected, the healing areas have shifted colors and show up as circles and selections.

The only work around is to flatten, or merge the layers, after the copy, and before the free transform.

I have multiple images this occurs with and is easily repeatable.
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David Chewning

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Posted 5 months ago

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eartho, Champion

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not sure about the bug, but it's always better to do the cleanup and masking inside the SO. That way, when you transform the SO, everything transforms perfectly. 
Are you putting the mask on the group or on the layer? Are you using clipping groups? Can you take a screenshot of your layers?
Also, i don't imagine this has anything to do with a SO... what happens if you do the same process with a normal layer instead?
(Edited)
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David Chewning

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Thank you for the response. This is a user error issue. I will answer your questions first. Then I will explain my error, and how I can fix the current images. Finally, I'll ask the important question for going forward in my workflow.

The mask is on the original image and not on the group. There are other refining masks within the group to work with separate parts of the vehicle.

Your clipping question is what gave me the clue to the user error. Some are clipped and those transfer correctly, the cleanup one was not clipped. Clipping that layer color shifted other healing areas. That is when I realized my stupidity.

My user error was placing a color layer as a background below the group halfway through the cleanup. Since the healing brush "samples all layers" it obvious sampled the color layer as well. Since the color layer wasn't transferred with the group the free transform, in turning the smart filters on and off, recalculated and thus performed the color shift. Once I realized this then a free transform within the original document caused color shift within other areas of the "clean up" layer.

My work around for being stupid is to just change the group to a smart object before doing a free transform and then everything remains as expected.

I hope that was clearer than mud ;) However, that brings me back to your original statement "...it's always better to do the cleanup and masking inside the SO." If I understand this recommendation correctly then my work flow should then change to:

1. Convert the original image to a SO.
2. Open that SO in a new tab/window.
3. Perform all of my masking, color correction, healing, etc within the SO.

I assume that new workflow will isolate my corrections and avoid my serious user error issue. Am I interpreting your recommendation correctly?

Again, thank you for taking the time to respond. Those few simple questions helped immensely.