Photoshop: EPS or PDF Smart objects render badly (with jags) when being scaled or transformed.

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Like the title says.
Smart objects render badly (with jags) when being scaled or transformed.
There are stair-like jags on the edges and text looks like crackled.
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Kenny

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Posted 7 years ago

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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I seem to be getting identical results for SO- and pixel Layer-transformations.

What version are you working on?
Is the white background part of the SO?
What are your Preferences > General > Image Interpolation-settings?

Edit: Is the SO a Vector SO?
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Kenny

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My Photoshop is 12.1 x64

The white background you see there is actually a letterhead. I was designing one for a customer and placed it over a grey background with some noise on it. So the white thing is one rasterized layer. It cannot be seen on that example, but very often the outer edges/boundaries of a layer get very strong stairways-like - especially when rotating the layer i think.
--> The smart object is a pixel image.

Interpolation is set to bicubic in my settings - I didn't change this anytime, it should be the standard setting.
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Chris Cox

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Something is off - are you sure you didn't use the warp transform mode by mistake?

Which version of Photoshop are you using? Are you sure all updates have been installed?
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Kenny

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I always install the updates.
I did use the perspective transformation on this one.
I just played around in photoshop just now, but couln't get it that way again...
I have noticed this problem since about 3 years already - this is no new problem to me.
I don't know what kind of transformation brings up this...

edit: I am not sure if I really used the perspective transformation in this screenshot already, because I did the screenshot in the middle of buidling up the composition/image...
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Kenny

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It seems to be more visible when I transform the smart object from a high resolution to a much smaller (to 30% of size for example - but still like 500px wide) and transform in perspective.
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Anthony Edge

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I also have this problem (Photoshop CS6).
The moire and jaggy effect make Smart Objects MUCH less useful.
If I take Raster artwork (copied from Illustrator) and paste into Photoshop as a smart object, scale down, the results are terrible. I'm mean - unusable.

To get a usable result I have to rasterise the full-sized smart object and then scale it down to get acceptable results. Goodbye smart object.
I'm using CTRL-T to transform (not perspective or other transform).

Photoshop CS6, Win 7, 64bit.

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Anthony Edge

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FYI, if you use CTRL-T to transform your Smart Layer and scale it, you see a live preview of the layer scaling. Traditionally (CS5) when the transforming is completed and you 'tick' or hit 'Enter' to apply the Transform, there is a monir delay whilst Photoshop calculates and renders the anti-aliased version.

This rendering of the "scaling preview" DOES NOT happen in CS6.
You are left with the preview.
No wonder it looks like crap!

I'm guessing Adobe will want to fix this pretty quickly.

Smart Objects are dead until it is rectified.
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Anthony Edge

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Eight months on, issue raised again with Adobe staff, still no resolution. Seems to be related to PDF sourced smart objects or elements copied into Photoshop from Illustrator documents with raster elements (as Smart Objects). It does not happen with all PDFs, mind you. Is most obvious when scaling dramatically down.

This is a serious bug with Smart Object support.
Is anyone working on this?

The attached image shows the full-sized source PDF (flattened raster PDF) in the background. I scaled down a raster layer (green box) and also a Smart Object version (dark shading with white boxes highlighting the difference). It's bad. And the further away you scale from the source PDF document size, the worse it gets.

The very small versions (Smart Object vs Raster Transform) show this the most starkly.

Is an update coming for this? I can't use Smart Objects! Is anyone watching this space?

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Anthony Edge

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You can download the same test I sent to Brian. As I mentioned, not all sources behave this way. Naturally I've installed all updates since this set of demo files was compiled. The problem persists.

http://mredge.com/temp/AdobePS_CS6_Sm...
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Anthony Edge

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So, open a PSD, drag in the attached PDF and scale it down to around 300px width. Apply the transform (notice no smoothing is applied when you do this).

ps, As well as Brian, all other users running CS6 in my office can replicate this problem. PC and Mac. Actually I'm yet to find anyone who can scale the PDF sourced Smart Object with smoothing in PS CS6.
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Chris Cox

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The scaling used for SOs depends on your default interpolation -- change your default interpolation to Bicubic, then force the SO to re-rasterize (transform, or update the file)
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Anthony Edge

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Wow, did that work for you Chris? It certainly made no difference for me.
I used: Edit > Preferences > General > Image Interpolation > Bicubic (best for smooth gradients)

nb. When transforming smart object, "Anti-alias" is checked.

Restarted Photoshop - just in case. Still fails to smooth scaled down Smart Object created from PDF in previously posted .zip file.
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Chris Cox

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It makes a difference. But I'm just not sure exactly what you're seeing since I have yet to see a problem such as you describe.
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Anthony Edge

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Here's a screencast of the issue at work.
https://tfa.viewscreencasts.com/29f9f...
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Anthony Edge

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Here's a link to an example PDF which, when placed or dragged into a PSD (creating a Smart Object layer), fails to be smoothed.

http://mredge.com/temp/BobJane-Demo-C...
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Yeah. It may be something specific to this particular PDF. We'll figure it out.
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Jeanne Rubbo, Employee

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I am also able to reproduce it with the file you provided. I've logged it in our bug database.
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Anthony Edge

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Thanks folks.
ps. The problem is not isolated to this one PDF. I can reproduce it with loads of them, but not all. Many PDFs scale beautifully.
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Chris Cox

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BTW - that file demonstrated the problem very well. It was a bug in the EPS/PDF rasterization library that caused it to not resample images correctly.
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Anthony Edge

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I'm glad it helped.
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Paweł Rytka

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Why Photoshop CS6 have defective rasterizing module? I'm asking because same file in CS 5.5 is rasterising properly. Below 2 files rasterized from same PDF in photoshop CS 5.5 and CS 6:


This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Photoshop CS6: artifacts when downsampling images in PDF or EPS files.
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Anthony Edge

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So, problem first reported 14 months ago.
Any update on a fix?
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Chris Cox

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Nothing I can share yet. But the rasterization team did find the cause, eventually.
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Anthony Edge

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OMG! Really?! This is GREAT news.
Please keep us posted. For those of us with an eye for detail, a fix here will make a real difference to our work lives.
Thanks, AE
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Anthony Edge

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ps. Please pass on my thanks to the Jamaicans, mun.
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Chris Cox

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rasterization, not rasta-ization....
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Anthony Edge

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i know, but I read out the good news and...
Colleague 1 said, "Does the Rasterization team have dread locks?"
Colleague 2 replied, "Jamaican a joke?"

Thought I'd better share the joy. :)
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Anthony Edge

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So, how are we going?

I presume, now that the bug has finally been identified, that it is being taken extremely seriously. Image quality one of the reasons many rely on Photoshop, after all.

Is it likely a fix will be included in the next patch?
When will the next update come?

Thanks,
AE
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Chris Cox

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The problem has been identified, and a fix is in testing.
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Anthony Edge

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I've installed the latest updates released this week.
Still no joy for this Smart Object smoothing issue.

Any ETA on a fix release date?
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Jerry Mills

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This really sucks for me because I use a lot of vector smart objects. Even exporting an Illustrator file to psd results in all the vector objects looking jagged (even type). Here I thought my eyes were getting bad.
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POWALOWSKI

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For me this phenomenon applies pretty much to ALL smart-objects. Especially when they're heavily scaled.. like from 14MP down to 1-2MP or something...
How is things going on at this topic?

Hope this will get fixed soon.
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POWALOWSKI

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Recently I've been working on some text Smart-Objects and stumbled again over this bug. Made up some examples showing that it's not only about PDF or Vector Smart Objects but pretty much about PSB Smart-Objects also. The shown text is once prerastered and scaled down and once embedded as PSB and scaled down exactly the same amount.

Scaling setting to bicubic auto.


How is things going on on that Issue? Is it solved with Photoshop CC any information or experiences?

Cheers
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Chris Cox

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The problem being discussed here ONLY applies to raster content in a PDF, AI, or EPS file.

It does not apply to raster smart objects. For those, you might have accidentally changed the default interpolation in Photoshop preferences.
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POWALOWSKI

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Hi,
thanks for the tip. Unfortunately I have checked all of the relevant parameters. It's that I am not able to change the state of the "anti-aliasing" checkbox while transforming Smart Objects.
Will move to CC in the next days I think :)

Thanks for being so active and close to the community.
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Philippe Côté

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Hello guys,

I've encountered the same problem only to find out it is not a bug.

- Hit Cmd + T to transform your Smart Object.
- On the toolbar on top, there now should be an "Anti-Alias" checkbox unchecked. Check it.
- Hit Enter.

Done. :)

Have a nice day!
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POWALOWSKI

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Maaan I cannot check it!! :-(
Any suggestion what I could have misconfigured? The checkbox for some reason is disabled.
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Anthony Edge

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I can confirm you are WRONG about this, Philippe.
Your suggestion does not help resolve issues with affected PDFs or imported artwork.
Adobe have identified there IS A REAL PROBLEM and have been working on a fix for some months.
Photoshop CC resolves the issues (of course), Though the results are still not as good as Photoshop CS5 in my initial tests..
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Chris Cox

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Hmm, in my tests Photoshop CC was doing a better job than CS5.
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POWALOWSKI

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Hujujuj... guys you like really encourage me to switching to CC.
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Anthony Edge

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Powalowski, There are Smart Objects you cannot turn Anti-Aliasing off for when scaling in CC too (ie, PNG/TIFF dragged in as Smart Objects).
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Chris Cox

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Official Response
This issue is solved in Photoshop CC.
It only affected raster content in a vector file format (PDF, AI, EPS).

Thanks everyone for the sample files to demonstrate the problem - they were very valuable when trying to get other teams to understand the issue.
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POWALOWSKI

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Thank you.
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Anthony Edge

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Unfortunately, a new bug is in Photoshop CC affects PNGs and TIFFs dragged in as Smart Objects and introduces edge brightening around dark lines. So, improvements for PDF Smart Objects - but seemingly at the cost of support for these other raster files.
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POWALOWSKI

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Seems like lots of digging in low level image processing. I believe in your conventions and code quality and hope the best for quick and simple solutions.
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POWALOWSKI

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Chris I watched your entry in the photoshop hall of fame. It's a big honour to talk to you. Your work has enabled so much creativity. Keep up, you're a great inspiration.

Thanks again for your help.
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Anthony Edge

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Photoshop CC... adding halos to Smart Objects created from dragging external PNG/TIFF files into PSD? Maybe a new bug...



Is there a workaround for this one?

(ps, I've done a complete Win7 64bit reinstall before installing CC. No legacy CS exists on the machine)
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Chris Cox

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Looks like Bicubic Sharper - try changing the interpolation method and re-rasterizing the file.
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Anthony Edge

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Thanks Chris, I can confirm it is Interpolation setting related.

Photoshop CC ships with (global application) Preferences for Image Interpolation @ Bicubic Automatic. This setting defaults placed TIFF & PNG (and likely other) raster file placements (as smart objects) with "Bicubic Sharper" settings. This adds the (horrid) edge enhancement.

You cannot change this Interpolation per Placed File, nor can you adjust the Interpolation of the Smart Object after placing it. So you must reset your Photoshop Application Preferences each time you want a different result.

I've set my preferences to Bilinear to replicate the appearance of placed PDFs.
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Chris Cox

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Bicubic should be fine (and better looking overall).

At some point I'd like to expose some of the inner values used to render smart objects, that are currently picked up from defaults. But there always seem to be bigger priorities...
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Anthony Edge

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Yeah, that seems like a good idea, given the focus on Smart Objects now.
I imagine it is more fun to invent new toys than tweak old ones though.

I notice Interpolation preferences don't effect the PDF sourced Smart Objects. What setting are they locked to (behind the scenes)?

ps. Non destructive RAW Smart Filters = amazing. Spot healing, radial gradient areas, camera shake removal... all WOW additions. Congratulations on some wonderful additions to Photoshop CC. Rounded Shape editing is a REAL timesaver. I've already found the new RAW editor to be smoother than Lightroom CC (at least for spot removal)! Can you update Lightroom to be as smooth? Hmmm, reminds me I have an enhancement idea. I'd better find the correct place to post that!
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Chris Cox

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PDF, EPS and AI files use the interpolation inside AGM, our shared technology rasterization engine (same as used in AI, ID, Acrobat, etc.). There aren't many parameters for it other than on and off.
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Dru Martin

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Hi. Yeah. I'm running CS6, not CC. I've made a smart object out of a type layer and when that's rotated, it gets completely jagged. Running Mac OS 10.9. But it's been like this with CS6 for a long time, prior to this OS. I've had to rasterize everything before going final with images (web design).
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Angus Hume

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I've only just started using Photoshop CC and testing CC 2014 and I still see this problem in both versions. I'm copying a raster/vector object from InDesign CC and pasting into Photoshop. I have been doing this for ages in Photoshop CS5 with InDesign CC and it works perfectly for web work. In both versions of Photoshop CC the pasted smart object is slightly jagged. The problem is definitely the lower quality rasterisation of the initial paste compared to CS5. Anti-alias is checked on when pasting however further testing shows that what I am seeing is that in Photoshop CC and Photoshop CC 2014 the anti-alias checkbox is not working. Checking it on or off makes no difference and in fact if I swap over to CS5 and turn it off I see exactly the issue I get in CC with it on.

Edit: Just to clarify the anti-alias checkbox is making no difference for the image component of the smart object, but it does make a difference for the vector part.The pasted image IS anti-aliased just not as well as CS5 and the checkbox makes no difference in CC to the image.
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Chris Cox

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Other users are not seeing this problem in Photoshop CC or CC 2014.
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Angus Hume

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OK, but I've just verified this with a colleague who is using a different computer and Yosemite and he sees the exact same result. CS5 the pasted image is anti-aliased as expected but in CC or CC 2014 the image is not. I copied an image and a vector logo in the same object and the vector is fine but the image is not. The image result is the same with the checkbox on or off in CC 2014.
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Angus Hume

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Just an extra note, if I copy from InDesign CC to Illustrator CC and then copy that to paste in Photoshop CC the image part is correctly anti-aliased as per CS5. But not directly from InDesign to Photoshop.
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Angus Hume

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Here's an image of the problem. Showing CS5 vs CC.
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Angus Hume

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Did a lot more testing. The example sample above was an image placed in InDesign and scaled and then copied/pasted into Photoshop CC 2014 at same size as InDesign layout. The placed image renders without anti-aliasing even when the checkbox is on. If I do the same thing with the image unscaled in InDesign the pasted image is clean, and looks equal in quality to the original image placed in InDesign. However if I scale this 100% smart object in Photoshop CC 2014 it looks jagged just like the sample on the right above. If I open the original image into Photoshop and make it a smart object and scale it it looks fine. The problem seem to be with smart objects containing raster data that come via a copy from InDesign etc, my clipboard is default clipboard setting of PDF in both Illustrator and InDesign. I cannot imagine my colleague and I are the only ones with this issue? As it stands I cannot use Photoshop CC or 2014 at all for this work. Back to CS5!
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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What are you Image Interpolation settings (under Preferences>General...)? It looks like bicubic sharper (as a result of having Bicubic Automatic enabled) on the right and Bicubic (the default setting in CS5) on the left.
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Angus Hume

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Both were initially set on their default, so CS5 was bicubic and CC is bicubic automatic). For the sake of testing all scenarios I later changed CC to bicubic only but this makes no difference when pasting the smart object at 100%. My ramble above may have got a bit confusing but the sample image above is produced by 1. Place an image in InDesign, 2. scale, 3. copy 4. paste at 100% into Photoshop. The general interpolation settings made no difference for placing at 100% or for scaling the smart object. When you transform a smart object the only option in the tool bar is anti-alias on/off unlike a bitmap which will show different interpolation options. So from my tests CC is just ignoring the general settings and the local anti-alias option for the raster part of pasted smart objects. Hopefully someone can take these steps and verify the result in CC is the same with anti-alias checked on or off, while in CS5 checked on actually does it's job.The result in CS5 checked OFF is the same as CC checked on OR off. The problem is the same opening a PDF into CC 2014. In the open dialog choosing anti-alias on or off makes no difference to the image part of the PDF only the vector parts. In CS5 it is smooth. Even if someone only has CC or CC 2014 they could hopefully verify that side of the behaviour at least :-)
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Jeanne Rubbo, Employee

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Hi Angus,

I'd like to try to track this down. Could you send me the original InDesign file that shows the issue when pasting into Photoshop? My e-mail is jrubbo AT adobe DOT com.
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Angus Hume

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Thanks for looking into this. I have emailed a link to the files hosted in dropbox. The assets include the InDesign document, and examples pasted into Photoshop CC 2014 and into CS5, as well as a PDF from the document. The PDF is made without image downsampling. Pasting into Photoshop or rendering the PDF both give the same results in CC, which makes sense as the clipboard format from InDesign would be PDF.

Note that, I read in several other threads a quick fix for users who had pasted a smart object without anti-aliasing turned on can later invoke it by hitting transform, making sure anti-aliasing is checked and hit return. If I open the CC PSD into CS5 I can use this trick for force anti-aliasing on the paste done in CC. This trick does nothing for the image component in CC 2014.
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Olivier Heckendorn

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Hello Every one it seems that the problem is back again in photoshop CC2017
I have trouble with resizing smart oject with transform compared to a rasterized layer
The transform preview is OK but the result is Jaggy !!

(The smart object itself contains only rasterized elements)

You have the same result when using "resize" and "export as" with a resize inside, "save for the web legacy" with resize inside go smooth ...

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christoph pfaffenbichler, Champion

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No, this is not that problem as you appear to be talking about Smart Objects created in Photoshop and not placed eps, ai or pdf. 

There seems to be a misunderstanding about the results of multiple resamplings as opposed to a single resampling. 
And Smart Objects are supposed and intended to apply all of an instance’s cumulated transformations to their original content in one single operation. 

The preview in the Image Size dialog is effectively irrelevant and can produce results that differ from the actually scaled layered file even with no Smart Objects involved. 
(Edited)