I downloaded a magazine mockup which uses a smart object layer where I can place my own artwork. However, the mockup and the smart object layer are quite large in size (6000 px by 4500 px), and my artwork is roughly 800 px by 1100 px. I can't make my artwork larger as that would generate so much extra work for me, as I have several mockups with different types of artwork to complete.

I tried resizing the height and width of the mockup (including the smart object layer) to roughly match the size of my artwork, and initially that works just fine. However, after I place my artwork in the smart object layer, save it and jump back into the mockup, my artwork shows up very small. It is as if the resizing of the mockup and smart object layer never happened.

I downloaded a few different mockups, and some accept the resizing without issue, and others don't.

The first screenshot shows the original magazine mockup with the mockup artwork (person standing in field). The second screenshot shows the magazine mockup after I resized the overall height & width to about 25% of its original size (I resized the smart object layer by the same degree), and you can see my artwork (nature medic 25) shows up quite small. In screenshot 3 I changed the opacity of my artwork so you can see how my artwork is about the same size as the mockup artwork - screenshot 3 is the smart object layer.

If anyone can help out, that would be great. Thanks in advance.

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  • Can't really add anything to what's already been said, but if you need/want to batch process this, I've made a script that can process multiple input files and multiple mockups that can have multiple smart objects each: Batch Mockup Smart Object Replacement.jsx – The gotcha with this script is that you need to basically make a .jsx file where you trigger the main script and feed it config that is at minimum: input path(s), mockup path(s), smart object layer name(s)
    – Joonas
    Nov 17, 2020 at 8:26

4 Answers 4


Try this: Don't rescale the smart object.

Instead, double click the smart object in the layers panel to edit it, paste your artwork on a new layer, and scale it within the smart object so it covers the original artwork layer. Finally close and save the smart object.

Alternatively, paste your artwork onto a new layer in the main composition, convert it to a smart object. then use Edit > Transform > Distort, and click and drag the corner handles to match the perspective of the book cover.

Either way, some manual work will be required.

  • I appreciate your response, but as I explained, increasing the size of my artwork so it matches the height & width of the smart object will result in a loss of quality, as my artwork isn't as big as the mockup artwork. I am trying to understand why the smart object doesn't respond to resizing.
    – Eric
    Nov 15, 2020 at 11:06
  • @Eric Then use the alternative method I described.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 15, 2020 at 11:25
  • @Eric tip: if you change Image Interpolation setting in General Preferences to Bilinear you won't see much quality loss (other interpolation types add additional post-sharpening) Nov 16, 2020 at 21:00
  • @SergeyKritskiy Thanks Sergey, I'll give this a try!
    – Eric
    Nov 17, 2020 at 4:49
  • @BillyKerr Thanks Billy, I'll give the alternative method a try.
    – Eric
    Nov 17, 2020 at 4:54

Think of the smart object as a container, containing another document. The right way to do this task is first, open your artwork and convert the layer to smart object. Then copy this smart object and paste in in the mockup (Your design group). Now when you hit Ctrl+T for transform, you can resize the smart object containing your artwork.

You probably try to paste your artwork in their original, big smart object and I guess that's why it looks small. Hope that helps.

  • Thanks, much appreciated! This seems to work well - I just tried it.
    – Eric
    Nov 17, 2020 at 4:43

This all depends on the size/resolution of the original document when compared to the size/resolution of the layer/SO being moved to the original document. If you are working at two very vastly different sizes/resolutions, there's no real way to improve a low quality image to match the size/resolution of a high quality image.

The short answer is.... work at the same size/resolution when combining files.

Barring that option, always work largest to smallest, rather than vice versa. You can downscale a large layer/object to match a small object without much quality loss. Enlarging is almost always replete with quality issues.

Smart Objects simply reference the original resolution of their inner contents upon output. This ensures transformations, especially multiple transformations, don't degrade the layer repeatedly. Using a Smart Object Layer does not improve anything.

  • Thanks for the detailed reply, Scott - much appreciated.
    – Eric
    Nov 17, 2020 at 4:48

Regarding Smart Objects, + replacing Smart Object contents, what I've found is: Major resizing issues often occur if the resolution/DPI of the input image doesn't match that of the Smart Object.

Let's say your Smart Object layer is sized at 1000 x 2000 pixels. Your input image is ALSO 1000 x 2000 pixels. If the DPI/resolution of the input image doesn't match the Smart Object layer? (Like if the Smart Object layer is set to 72, but your input image is 300?) The Smart Object replace operation will lead to WILDLY mis-sized images, that don't match the Smart Object container size. The key is to have the aspect ratio AND the DPIs match. If you're using lots of images, you can do a batch processing step that auto-resizes all images to match what's required for your mockup template.

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