What I'm trying to do is, I have multiple layers (lineart and color) that I want to liquify at the same time visually.

So I converted my layers into a Smart Object. Then, I apply Liquify filters multiple times to it. But now I want my original separate layers back again, with those multiple liquify filters applied to each of those layers.

Is it even possible to do this? Any help will be truly appreciated!!

1 Answer 1


If your Smart Object has the same pixel dimensions as your document, I think there's a way:

  • Double-click the Smart Object to open its .psb file.
  • Select all layers, right-click on them and choose Duplicate Layers.
  • Select your main document as Destination and click OK.
  • Close the Smart Object's .psb file.
  • Back in the main document, duplicates of the layers from the Smart object has appeared. Convert each individual layer to a Smart Object.
  • While holding down ALT, drag copies of the Effects from the original Smart Object and drop them on each of the new Smart Objects.
  • Turn off the original Smart Object.
  • If you don't want the layers to be Smart Objects anymore, you can right-click them individually and select Rasterize Layer Style.

This way you have copied all the liquify effects to each of the layers, but I'm afraid the result will not be as you expect. Liquifying together all the layers in one go must give another result than liquifying them individually.

If your layers had transparency when grouping them into a Smart Object, Photoshop trims off transparent pixels and makes the dimensions of the Smart Object smaller than the main document.

If that is the case it would be troublesome to get the everything aligned and I would recommend just working inside the Smart Object. You can split the screen so you can see the main document with the liquify effects while editing the contents of the Smart Object. Everytime you save the Smart Object's .psb file the main document refreshes.

  • That's a shame, I even tried to duplicate, then merge the layers, liquify the merged layer, the Load Last Mesh to each of the original layers, and the results are still not the exact same. Is there any alternative programs that can do this?
    – gn pan
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 6:28
  • But can the results ever be exactly the same? Imagine in the physical world, swirling around two colors on a board compared to having each color on a separate glass plate and then layering them. In the first case you are mixing the two colors in the second you are mixing each color with transparency. Isn't it possible to make you corrections to the original layers inside the smart object? About an alternative program. You mean another program which could open your psd-file and unpack the smart object, keeping the liquify effects as smart filters? I don't think so.
    – Wolff
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 16:20

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.