“Any “object” that needs the ability to adjust size and rotation without the normal limitations of layered images is an excellent candidate for Smart Objects … When doing a traditional multilayer composite, the resizing and rotation of a layer can cause image degradation. Positioning and sizing an object has to be a precise operation because if you use Free Transform to make a layer smaller and then find out you actually need it back at the original size (or bigger), you basically have to start over. The way to deal with this situation when doing a complex composite is to make those layers into Smart Objects. Smart Objects are embedded image objects that allow resizing, rotation and other select editing without changing the pixels in the object. The image layers are actually treated as a separate file embedded within the master file. You can’t do all editing on the Smart Object, but you can open the original layers as a temporary file and do pixel-level editing there and then save the changes back into the Smart Object; the changes will auto-update in the image in which the objects are embedded.” – Jeff Schewe
Read more about Smart Objects at Digital Photo Pro.
Get Schewe & Evening’s book CS5 for Photographers: The Ultimate Workshop.
Learn more with my online resources.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.