Hi, one of my students had a question I promised I would find an answer for.
What are the "ground rules" for how a Smart Object affecs document size?
In this specific case the student wanted to know if a given .psd file, in which he is using a Smart Object with some Layer Styles, will be bigger or smaller if the Styles are applied within the SO itself vs. applied to the SO layer in the .psd file.
I did a little experimentation and found quite radical differences in file size, but they depended a lot on which Styles I used. Sometimes version 1 was a larger file size, sometimes version 2. So rather than try and discover every possible combination for myself, I am asking here: just what is file size a function of, when working with Smart Objects? Thanks !
I think you don’t provide enough information to assess the actual situation.
Please post meaningful screenshots including the pertinent Panels.
• The Smart Object has its own size; this adds to the size of the containing document (edit: unless in the case of Linked Smart Objects naturally). So for example a flattened SO has much less effect than a SO with additional Layers or no Background Layer, because the preview has to be included.
• Each instance of the SO in the containing document is a Layer and as such adds to the containing file’s size. That includes the effect applied transformations have.
Yes, the question itself is vague and I don't have any specific file to show for it. The student wanted to know the difference in file size if he had a Smart Object in a .psD document, opened the Smart Object (as .psb) and then saved it with layer styles applied to it in the .psb --- versus having the same Smart Object, in the same .psd document, and simply applying those same layer styles to the Smart Object layer itself (not opening the Smart Object as a .psb).
I said I didn't know, I'd find out! But I don't have his specific files so all I could do was experiment, and ask this forum.
My experiment yielded a lot of different possible results, depending on what the contents of the document were... and to compound the problem we both have Version 21.1.2, which as I understand from this forum has some fixed-in-V22 issues with cropping the canvas of the Smart Object .psb. Good times.
Thank you for helping me, if you have any more ideas I'd love to hear them but I can also just keep my ear to the ground here and see what I can learn about the behavior of Smart Objects and their file sizes.
An example: An RGB 8bit image 2048px x 2048px.
• »flatNoSo.psd« is juat a flat, noisy image, so it does not compress well.
• »flatSoWithLayer.psd«: The image is a plain Layer in a Smart Object. Roughly four times larger than the flattened image – the image in the SO, the preview of the SO, the instance, the preview of the containing document.
• »flatSoFlat.psd«: The image is a flattened Smart Object. Roughly three times larger than the flattened image – the image in the SO, the instance, the preview of the containing document.
• »flatSoFlat50Perc.psd«: The instance of the flattened SO is scaled 50%. Less than twice the size of the flat image – the image in the SO, the smaller instance, the preview of the containing document.
• »flat2SoFlat50Perc.psd«: 2 instances of the flattened SO are scaled 50%. Roughly twice the size of the flat image – the image in the SO, two times the smaller instance, the preview of the containing document.
Another issue: A (non-Vector) Smart Object, when created on Photoshop by converting Layers to a Smart Object, is a psb.
However one can embed other file formats like tif or jpg by placing them (File > Place Embedded).
And lossy compression like jpg can decrease filesize for some images much stronger than non-lossy compression.
But the instance/s of such a SO are not affected by that, they are compressed according to the containing document’s compression.
Well, what about the Smart Object instance/s?
Are there more than one?
Have they been transformed?
What are the Layer Styles in question (in particular: do they incorporate patterns in any way)?
So far, the example my student had was just one Smart Object instance. I'm not sure if he transformed it at all, and as far as I could see (we were on Zoom) he didn't use any patterns in the Layer Styles applied to the Smart Object.
And what are the image’s and the Smart Object’s bit mode, bit depth, pixel dimensions and the resulting sizes?