Smart Objects will always (have to) be PSBs. Period.
There is no such thing as a "parent file" to a Smart Object as the Smart Object is NOT linked to the original file; it is an embedded, independent, stand-alone copy of the original file, now embedded as a layer into your working file..
You say they 'have' to be .PSB's. Is this a technical limitation of the software?
What version of Photoshop are you using? We have Linked Smart Object layer support in more recent versions, and the source doesn't have to be saved in the PSB format.
I am using CC. I have noticed that when a smart object is created, it is saved in a temp folder. It is also saved as a .psb.
In my case, this is an issue because applications like 3D Studio Max and Unreal Engine do not read .psb's and temp folders are not a great place to be keeping documents.
I started this thread, mainly because I'd like to know if anyone knows of a way to specify where smart-objects are saved (when created) and what format they are saved as.
Of course, this is all just an irritation, because there is nothing stopping me from saving the document as a .psd in a relevant location, and then re-linking the document. I find myself asking, "Really Photoshop, is this what you intended for your Smart Object? Does everyone else do the same thing?" (Everytime, several times a day).
When you use "File > Place Embedded", Photoshop will do just that: It'll embed the image right into your document (as a Smart Object). Save as PSD to preserve it all together. You can close the document and come back to it later and the embedded Smart Object will still be there. Pay no attention to the temp files.
You'd use linked Smart Objects to apply an asset or element across several documents at once, which is really handy since you can change it in one document and it'll change it across all the other documents it's also linked to (provided they're open but you can change them later if they're not). Check out the video Steve posted if you haven't yet.
Yes, thank you Warunicorn.
The question is about smart objects created in a document. Similar to precomping a series of layers in After Effects, where you select some layers, merge them into one sequence and then double click that sequence to edit it directly.
If you follow this workflow in Photoshop, (select layers>convert to smart object) it creates a file that is hidden in the temp and saves it as a .psb. If I wanted to share this document with others, I'd probably want to save as>.psd to some relevant location. Doing this makes a copy which is not linked to the original document.
Maybe there is a better way to do this, but in my professional design setting, our team starts with a large artboard of images- we then puts these images into folders (layer folders), we apply adjustments, write notes and eventually turn several layers into neatly organized smart objects. The smart objects become their own documents for members of the team to work on, and the changes are thus propagated up the line to the original 'parent' artboard... As it stands now, I can either relink the smart objects to documents that have been saved to relevant locations/file types or replace them entirely with link/embed.
Why save these files to temp? Why not save them to the same directory as the parent as a .psd?
If you're working as a team, then you want to link, not embed, and place all the assets in the same folder as the containing document for simplicity's sake.