Photoshop smart object lost layer link

New Here ,
May 23, 2021 May 23, 2021

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I've been working in Photoshop 22.4.0, using a smart object in my larger composition consisting of 8-10 layers. Suddenly, when I open my PS file, I'm getting a dialog box: "Cannot locate linked assets," with a "Relink" box, and all the layers to my smart object are GONE. (In this case, the .psb file is called "JackHalfBody.psb.") I've tried looking in the indicated file path, but the file path folder is empty. I've searched my drives and even tried file recovery software looking for the missing .psb files and cannot locate the named .psb file. The layer has the image of the smart object and I can rasterize it so it's flattened, but the layered files are missing (and so now not editable as layers). Where are the layers stored, where did they go, and can I recover them?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 24, 2021 May 24, 2021

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Its not the layers that are stored - you placed your graphics as linked not embedded. The smart object layer is now reliant on the original file you placed to remain in tact in the same location when placed.

The files have been moved or deleted so Photoshop cannot resolve the missing links.

Your two options are to find and relink the original files to the layers or as you pointed out, flatten the layer and lose the smart object link.

Kevin Stohlmeyer Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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New Here ,
May 24, 2021 May 24, 2021

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Thanks for the response.

 

Yes... but how do I find it if Photoshop lost it? The .psb seems to be a "hidden" file that even a data recovery program can't see, and yet Photoshop remembers the file path so it SHOULD be in there.

 

I have another, different PS document that uses the same structure, and, so far, PS is maintaining that .psb link. But if I search for that good, existing file with either a Spotlight search or a data recovery search, that good .psb file is also invisible. I just can't figure out where my smart object layers went... and how to stop it from happening again.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 24, 2021 May 24, 2021

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How are you creating the smart object layer?

If its asking for a location, that means it was created by placing an external file as a link.

If you are creating them by selecting layers and converting to a smart object, that is embedded into the master PSD file without source files.

Kevin Stohlmeyer Adobe Community Professional/Adobe Certified Instructor

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New Here ,
May 24, 2021 May 24, 2021

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Well, I am using elements common to several files, as a template. I think this is what happened: I duplicated the smart object and changed the art on its layers, then re-linked using a different name for a different Photoshop file. I think I was probably getting too cute for Photoshop. It worked for a while, tho... several days of working with them before they were lost. I guess I can't consider .psb files as a template. I will make sure I am creating them from fresh layers every time. I was still hoping I could recover the original layers. Thanks for your help, Kevin.

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