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Hello everyone!
I do have problem with smart object on artboard. When I shrink smart object from 1400x600px to 512x512px it results to smaller image with horrible jagged/no sharp edges/pixelated...
When I reopen smart object - everything is perfect-sharp edges, no pixelation.

There is PSD file for better understanding/testing.

Steps of process:

  1. I have template file, which consists of 4 artboards. Each artboard's size is 512x512px.

  2. There is one layer in artboard - smart object.

  3. I have original side.PNG file (2000x1000px) in folder.

  4. smart object is opened and side.PNG file is inported in its 100% size (2000x1000px).

  5. I edit side.png file: pen tool, add vector mask = 1400x600px

  6. save and close smart object

  7. I am back on artboard 512x512px, with smart object overlaying 512x512px because of its real size 1400x600px.

  8. I do free transform to shrink size of smart object from 1400x600px to 512x512px. Then rotate smart object to better align.

  9. PROBLEM 1> shrinked smart object is not as sharp as original/pixelated/no sharp edges... When I artboard zoom in to 200% I see more clearly difference between 1400x600px file which has sharp edges and shrinked smart object with jagged edges.

  10. PROBLEM 2> rotation also cause problem with jagged/no sharp edges.

  11. when I open smart object - side.png file dislays in 1400x600px size and everything is perfect-sharp edges, no pixelation.

I tried:
I have tried to change interpolation (bicubic automatic, sharper, ...) but it did not help at all. When I do job without smart object> I insert file side.png (2000x1000px) directly into artboard 512x512, pentool+add vector mask, free transform to make file fit in 512x512px = result is the same: no sharp edges/pixelated.
Original file contain thin line under upper edge. When i paint over it, save smart object - shrinked smart object is still jagged, but little less?

Goal
What is a solution to keep image on artboard in smaller size, the same quality and sharpness as it is when I open smart object?
When I shrink smart object - am I destroying it's quality/sharpness? When I reopen shrinked smart object on new tab - it's back in perfect quality.
When I shrink original image in Photo viewer in Windows 10 as much to fit to 512x512px, it has great quality without jagged edges, but in PS it has jagged edges.

What am I doing wrong, please?
Thank You!

Files
PSD
comparation 100% comparation 100%
comparation 200% comparation 200%

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  • I think what you are seeing is merely a result of anti-aliasing. Anti-aliasing is more noticeable if the area being aliased is smaller. This is also why things appear more anti-aliased if you rotate the smart object. It is simply how pixels and raster images function. The document (and smart objects) are all at 72ppi... there's just so much that can be "smoothed" with low resolution, small images. Higher resolution smart objects would improve things. In general.. one wants to work at high resolution, then export/save to low resolution.
    – Scott
    Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 18:53
  • So are you asking why an image gets pixelated when you lower its resolution?? Commented Sep 20, 2023 at 22:11
  • @julian-steinmann why is image in Photo viewer not pixelated when I zoom out on 31%? Why the same image is pixelated when I zoom out in PS? pixelation 31% Resolution of smart object is 72ppi, resolution of artboard is 72ppi. When did I lower its resolution?
    – Jenna
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 18:17
  • You scales a smart image from 1400px to 512px width. Smart objects will retain their initial quality and resolution which is handy if you want to transform it multiple times etc. But when you export it, it will be 512px wide not 1400px. Depending how far you zoom in the edges will look jagged. If you at the picture in photo viewer and make the vindow 30% in size the picture will still look sharp, but if you take a screenshot and look at that zoomed in you should get the same effect... Commented Sep 22, 2023 at 22:24
  • @juliansteinmann yes, in PS original image 1400px is shrinked to 512px. So there should not be quality loss. But in PS shrinked image looks jagged, less quality. "Depending how far you zoom in.." but I am not doing =zoom in=, I am doing =zoom out=. I am sorry, but I do not understand that part about screenshot. I already did it - I took a screenshot which consist of > opened the original image 1400px in PhotoViewer+zoom out on 30%, and align it to image in PS, which was smartobj 1400px shrinked to 512. So there are 2 images with the cca same width/size, but image in PhotoViewer is sharper.
    – Jenna
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 18:34

2 Answers 2

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I could be wrong, but 512px seems quite small to get anything to look high res even if you're importing from 2000x1000. Id say triple that artboard size (1536px X 1536px), and then maybe compress the image after you're done to fit your needs.

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  • Thank you. I am comparing quality, sharpness, jagged edges... of the same image. First I open it in PS, second I open it in PhotoViewer. In PS with free transform I shrink original smart object 1400px to 512px. Original image 1400px is exported in PS to PNG. This PNG is 1400px. I open this PNG in PhotoViewer and zoom out to be +/- same width on screen as image in PS. Result is that image with the same width is much more shapner and without jagged edges in PhotoViewer than in PS. When I export 1400px image to PNG 512px and open it back in PS=png is again pixelated, jagged edges.
    – Jenna
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 18:58
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The problem is caused by reducing the size of the smart object by quite a large amount, and also by rotating it. These two combined transforms will cause excessive image degradation. If you can, try to make your smart object at the same size and resolution as the image you need to use it on so that you can avoid recaling the smart object.

An example.

The top rectangle is a smart object which has been rotated only. It was made at the same size and resolution as the image I am using it in. The second rectangle below is a much larger smart objected scaled down and rotated. You can clearly see the issue. The first one is relatively smooth, the bottom one isn't.

enter image description here

As already mentioned by others, the other possibility is to work with a larger canvas, try not to rescale the smart object if possible (or at least, not too much), and rescale and resample the finished image to a smaller size for output only.

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  • I do edit images of different size and resolution. I have created template with artboard and smart object. With a script> new image is open from a folder in PS, dimension of image 2000x1000px 72ppi are stored as variable, work template is open, smart object is open, canva is resized by image dimensions, layer with image is transfered into template. With a pen tool I add vector mask, trim, dimensions are now 1400x600px with sharp edges, close smart object. Now I am on artboard 512x512px with smartobject which is big, so I do free transform and shrink smart object to fit 512x512px.
    – Jenna
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 16:48
  • Now I created new smart object with canva 512x512px, close smart object, free transform it on 100%, reopen smart object, insert image/inserted as smart object, shrink smart object to fit 512x512px, image is small but looks like has sharp edges, close smart object. Result is better, but it is still not as sharp as image displayed in Photo viewer. [![512px smart object[1]][1]<br> [1]: drive.google.com/file/d/1J5y6BF8ZwraH6PrPz3AWHWefMrYAWLhZ/…
    – Jenna
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 17:16
  • @Jenna I can see your zoom level is set to 200%. Set it to 100%. You can't zoom in on raster images and expect them not to degrade. Raster images should always be viewed at the actual size 1:1 (100%) - the size which they will be displayed at in a browser.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 17:30
  • it is 200% only to better see difference on sharp/jagged edges. 100% Raster image in Photo viewer is zoomed out on 31% and it has sharp edges than smart object or smart object shrinked from 1400x600px to 512px. What is the purpose of smart object if it's quality is degraded when shrinked? Final image is 512px, but I need edit it. For me it is better work on 1400x600px than shrink image to 512px, rotate it and then start edit small image I almost do not see on screen...and zoom in and edit pixelated image?
    – Jenna
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 17:55
  • "try not to rescale the smart object if possible (or at least, not too much), and rescale and resample the finished image to a smaller size for output only" my smart object is final image, which was edited and the last steps I need are: fit image 1400x600px in smart object into 512px artboard and rotate it according guideline which is placed on artboard.
    – Jenna
    Commented Sep 21, 2023 at 18:06

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