February 2021 // The Post-Production Edition

resize smart object


The first way I utilize Smart Objects is during the RAW conversion process in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). (To be upfront, I very rarely use Lightroom. I began my training long before Lightroom was a glimmer in Adobe’s eyes and I’ve developed a workflow around Photoshop that solves most of my needs.) When I open a RAW file directly into ACR, I will go through a round of quick adjustments to the image. Then if I hit Open on the bottom right of the ACR interface, Photoshop will then convert the RAW file format to a PSD file and open that into the workspace of the program. That conversion does two major things: It compresses that data down a touch into the new file format and also makes it impossible to go back to the RAW file format. Why is this important? Well, why do we photograph in the RAW format to begin with? So we have access to the original data of the image when we capture it with our cameras. None of that data has been compressed by the camera, as would happen if we were capturing images in the JPEG file format. When we open a RAW file, we can adjust all of the data of the image as if we’re capturing it for the first time. The same is true for Photoshop. The RAW file format being converted to the PSD file format enacts a compression of the data and forces us to start there. But not to worry… Smart Object is there to save the (data) day!

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