I'm currently using Photoshop CS6, and I have an image with three layers:

One layer is the background layer. Another layer is a simple shape (star) layer. And a third layer is a set of text that I imported from Adobe Illustrator into the picture.

What I would like to do is break apart the smart object layer (two words) and spread it out (and mark that as a keyframe). Then bring it back together in another. (second keyframe)

Here's the problem:

  • I created two frames in the timelime feature by duplicating the frame.
  • I selected one frame and double clicked on the smart object in the layer browser.
  • I made the adjustment to the word object in Illustrator and save.
  • I went back to Photoshop and now BOTH frames are now adjust to how I don't want it to be.

Am I doing something wrong?

  • I'm a little confused on your workflow. Why are you editing the object in Illustrator? Are you using the tween animation function in Photoshop?
    – JohnB
    Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 4:30

1 Answer 1


To stop this behaviour, simply uncheck the box Propagate Frame 1 on the top of the Layers panel, right below the opacity value.

Edit. Sorry, I've misread your question.

Your situation happens because Photoshop does not create copies of Smart Objects for every frame - it just remembers some or the parameters like position, opacity, blending options etc.

To achieve what you need:

  1. Right click on the name of your Smart Object and choose New Smart Object via Copy. The simple copying will not do because then both layers will still contain the same Smart Object.
  2. Edit one of the Smart Objects as you need.
  3. Switch layer visibility of your Smart Objects on and off in different frames.

Unfortunately, there's a downside of this method - you will not be able to create tween frames (if you planned to do so). To be able to tween you'll have to break your text apart into many objects and animate them separately in Photoshop (not in Illustrator).

  • Would there happen to be a better way not involving the Smart Objects but maybe converting it to like a shape? Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 20:58
  • This might be the second method of the first "untweenable" variant. The shapes in Photoshop, just as Smart Objects, do not animate (at least in CS5.5, cannot check this now in CS6)
    – Const
    Commented Feb 13, 2013 at 21:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.