8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 11, 2014 3:28 AM by c.pfaffenbichler

    Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers

    sigtm Level 1

      Since I started using linked smart objects I have occasionally noticed that my PSDs suddenly get corrupted – linked smart objects appear either black or without content in my PSD (even though they look normal when opening them, and the .psb file has not been modified on my hard drive) and text layers are also black for no reason. Again, the .psb files have not been opened or touched by anyone, yet suddenly they can't even be placed into a new document.

       

      The first time it happened, I got away with it by simply opening each .psb and resaving them, and the parent PSD would work again – except for the text layers, which I had re-fill with their appropriate colours. Still, linked files were saving me so much time I decided it was worth it if I could fix it by occasionally re-saving the .psb's.

       

      Now it has just happened again, except this time I couldn't even place the .psb's into fresh files, even though they had not been opened or touched in any way. I tried restarting my iMac, and now the .psb's work when placing them into new files, but I still have to manually re-save every .psb to get them to refresh in my existing PSD's though, and almost every text layer every PSD that linked to the same .psb's is ruined.

       

      A quick google reveals that this is nothing new, and has been going on for months. So why in the name of all of the money that Adobe charges for CC is it still happening?? This is going to take hours to rectify, and for all I know it could happen again tomorrow! I read somewhere that to fix it you had to re-create every shape layer, text layer and smart object from scratch, which is preposterous. There is simply no way I can tell my client to extend their deadline by a week while I re-build every PSD. As a professional I do NOT have time for this, and it makes Photoshop CC completely unusable for me and, I would imagine, thousands of others.

       

      It is taking every fibre of my being to restrain my rage right now. Does anyone know what's causing this, how to fix it and/or how to avoid it in the future? I haven't considered switching to Sketch/Affinity yet since it would take too long to convert my existing files, but I simply cannot trust my tools anymore – these bug-riddled updates are absolutely killing me. If I have to rebuild every PSD from scratch for this project anyway I guess my opportunity to switch has arrived.

        • 1. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
          c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

          A quick google reveals that this is nothing new, and has been going on for months.

          Have you found a thread/bug report pertaining to the issue over at

          Photoshop Family Customer Community

          ?

          If so add your +1 and see if there is an official reaction, if not and you are convinced it is a bug indeed you could start a thread.

           

          Can you reproduce the issue?

          Edit: If you make a report please list your exact version, OS, hardware, …

          • 2. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
            sigtm Level 1

            I can't see one there, but I'll have a closer look later when I have a minute. Thanks for the tip.

             

            The first time this happened I did find an Adobe Help page on it, which is where they recommended that you recreate everything except bitmap layers in a new document. It was claimed that it was a problem with PSDs created in CS 6, although these files were all created in CC (though some of the layer groups could have been copied from files created by a colleague in CS 6, not quite sure.) I can't seem to find it again now, so I'll have to have a more thorough search for it later.

             

            I have been able to restore my PSDs to earlier versions thanks to the magic of incremental backups, limiting the damage to a couple hours of redoing stuff rather than a couple of weeks. Which feels like a victory at this point, even though it's cost me half a day of ulcer-inducing work.

            • 3. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
              sigtm Level 1

              Ah, found the page I was thinking of:

               

              http://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/kb/text-replaced-text-different-layer.html

               

              It only pertains to text layers though, which is the first time I started noticing random corruption of layers, before we decided to incorporate linked smart objects into our workflow. Basically a whole bunch of files suddenly had all text set to #000 Myriad as soon as I tried editing them, and I had to manually change every layer back to the correct colour and typeface. Not sure if it's the same bug though, since it's now been happening to placed files in addition to text layers. Go figure.

              • 4. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                Herbert2001 Level 4

                It's frustrating - with CC I often get the feeling all users have become beta users.

                 

                Anyway, Smart Objects are a bit of a pain in general in Photoshop. You cannot edit them in place, and they always open in a new window. When you do edit them with the SO and the main document set side by side, the edits have to be saved, otherwise they will not show up: in short, they do not update in real-time. Extremely inconvenient, and it breaks the workflow.

                 

                I mentioned this once to Chris Cox, and his answer was that things would slow down too much if they would allow real-time editing.

                 

                What I do not understand is that Photoline does allow for these things: its virtual layers are comparable to SOs in Photoshop: any layer, layer mask, adjustment layers, and group of layers can be cloned as a virtual layer (basically operating the same as an SO in Photoshop), and the original can be 1) edited in place, and 2) updates in real-time.

                 

                It's incredibly useful to have in-place and real-time editing for SOs. I actually see all my instances update in real-time in a layout when I make some edits in the original layer group that I am referencing. This also opens up possibilities like mirror painting! When things become too heavy to update in real-time, Photoline just slows down the updating, but still allows for quick editing.

                 

                Now, if Photoline can do this, why not Photoshop?

                 

                PL can also import external files as a layer. Pretty much identical to Photoshop's externally referenced SOs. And it works well, with no bugs. Also interesting to note that PL can automatically add a vector clipping mask layer to any external file layer, so masking becomes very simple and straightforward. Double-click on the place holder layer, and you can edit the original. Change the original external files, and everything is automatically updated in the master document.

                 

                And virtual layers (SOs) in Photoline can be re-used on multiple pages, since Photoline supports pages (which Photoshop after all these years still refuses to do).

                 

                In short, the two-man Photoline dev team outsmarts (pun intended) Photoshop completely in this regard. A bit embarrassing.

                • 5. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                  c.pfaffenbichler Level 9
                  What I do not understand is that Photoline does allow for these things: its virtual layers are comparable to SOs in Photoshop: any layer, layer mask, adjustment layers, and group of layers can be cloned as a virtual layer (basically operating the same as an SO in Photoshop), and the original can be 1) edited in place, and 2) updates in real-time.

                  I’m not familiar with Photoline – can its virtual Layers be of different Color Spaces, Color Modes, bit depths and have Warps, Tranformations and Filters applied to them?

                  • 6. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                    sigtm Level 1

                    Smart Objects can be pretty frustrating in some ways, although I do get that there are legitimate challenges in regards to real-time editing due to the amount of different transforms etc that can be applied to them. Although it would be nice if real-time updates were available when those conditions didn't apply, which is 99% of the time for many UX designers for example. At least just updating a smart object when it is placed from a library, so you can actually use it as an up-to-date library of UI elements, seems like an obvious way to make them a lot more convenient for a lot of people.

                     

                    But most of all I just need my tools, which I have paid a lot of money for, to actually work reliably. I need them to not corrupt my files, and not require me to spend hours researching and cursing bugs and flaws every other time a new feature is released. I would like to be able to trust a new feature when it's launched, rather than feel like I should give it a few months because nothing ever works well enough in the first update.

                    • 7. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                      Herbert2001 Level 4

                      c.pfaffenbichler wrote:

                       

                      What I do not understand is that Photoline does allow for these things: its virtual layers are comparable to SOs in Photoshop: any layer, layer mask, adjustment layers, and group of layers can be cloned as a virtual layer (basically operating the same as an SO in Photoshop), and the original can be 1) edited in place, and 2) updates in real-time.

                      I’m not familiar with Photoline – can its virtual Layers be of different Color Spaces, Color Modes, bit depths and have Warps, Tranformations and Filters applied to them?

                      In Photoline each layer in the layer stack can be set to any colour mode or bit depth. Transformations are by default non-destructive, warps and liquid filter can be applied to any layer (no matter whether they are virtual or not), and most filters are non-destructive by default.

                       

                      However, Photoshop does have an edge where it can apply any third-party filter non-destructively to SOs - something not possible in Photoline (at this time?).

                      • 8. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                        Level 7

                        Uh, no - you're comparing a skateboard to a Ferrari and claiming that they do the same things.

                        You seem to be missing 99% of the functionality in Smart Objects.

                        • 9. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                          Herbert2001 Level 4

                          Hi Chris,

                           

                          I'd be very interested in what sense I am missing 99% of the functionality of SOs compared to Virtual Layers in Photoline? Obviously they are very different in implementation. I never argued that. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. The point I am trying to make is the way users apply these in their work for very similar or identical reasons:

                           

                          - both are used to create repeatable, recycle-able objects (layers) in a layout/composition.

                          - both are used to offer an option to change the original object, and have the changes cascade throughout the layout/composition.

                          - externally referenced SOs in PH and external file layers in PL allow both to bring in external files that are externally update-able. With virtual layers in PL they can then be turned into instances as well.

                           

                          You are correct in stating that functionality-wise there are caveats - both for the SOs in PH and the virtual layers in PL:

                           

                          - There is no reason to convert any imported image that has a different image mode and bit-depth in Photoline: any layer can have its own image mode and bit-depth. Photoshop's layer stack can only deal with imported images in a different image mode and bit-depth by isolating those in a SO. Photoline's workflow can be advantageous in this case. No need for arbitrary SOs.

                           

                          - Photoshop can embed Illustrator and Photoshop files with full functionality in an SO. That will only work up to a point in Photoline. No-one outside of the Adobe software ecosystem can pull this off - in favour of PL it can import the most common colour adjustment layers, but obviously this is a win for Photoshop's SOs. The more self-contained nature of SOs can also be handy under circumstances.

                           

                          - Photoline supports pages, and those can serve as a way to organize your virtual layers. For example, a full PSD document or SVG layered file can be grouped there, and converted to virtual layer. This can then be used and cloned wherever it is needed in other pages and layer stacks. And any page has its own layer stack. In this sense Photoline provides a more organized method to work with virtual layers than SOs in Photoshop. Photoshop lacks support for pages, unfortunately.

                           

                          - Photoshop's SOs most definitely win when it comes down to applying non-destructive filters to those SOs. In Photoline most built-in adjustment/filter layers can be applied non-destructively, but that is it. This is a real boon in Photoshop.

                           

                          - In Photoshop the user cannot edit SOs in place, or see the edits affect the other cloned SOs in real-time. Also, the user is forced to save the changes before they are applied to the composition/layout. Another issue is that Photoshop relies on external temporary files to work with SOs' content. In Photoline placed virtual layer instances do update in realtime. They can be edited in the document itself (granted, the original source only). The user can also decide to open a second window and work with the original sources of the virtual layers on a different page - similar to a two-view setup in Photoshop with the SO side by side with the layout/composition. Again, changes in Photoline are immediately reflected in the other view. In Photoshop the user must save the changes first, and then switch to the second window, breaking the workflow somewhat.

                           

                          - external files can be loaded up in both Photoshop and Photoline. They update automatically when the externally referenced file is edited. Of course, again the Adobe ecosystem prevents Photoline from having complete support for all the Adobe file features, and compatibility suffers. On the other hand, Photoline has great support for image formats like SVG and PDF, and handles vector files as a true vector editor (unlike Photoshop). Also nice is that Photoline adds an automatic clipping mask to external file layer if required, which means external files respond pretty much as a frame with content (like InDesign). But the fact remains no-one outside Adobe can provide the 'full' psd and ai support.

                           

                          - both SOs and virtual layers can be transformed and warped non-destructively. Liquid filter is a layer in Photoline, so that is also supported (can be cascaded too).

                           

                          They offer different workflows to similar goals in our compositions and layouts, granted.

                           

                          But I fail to see in what way virtual layers are 99% less functional than SOs for a user?

                          Could you perhaps throw some more light on these differences?

                          • 10. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                            c.pfaffenbichler Level 9

                            How does Photoline handle painting a straight line with an illustrative Brush on a warped, perspectively transformed, distort-filtered and blurred Layer?

                            Are all the changes counteracted, so that the Brush stroke appears straight and undistorted or is the result basically unpredictable?

                            • 11. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                              Herbert2001 Level 4

                              No, PL does not counteract those things - I and other users have asked for brushes to adapt at least to a rotated/scaled/perspective distorted layer, and that has not been implemented yet unfortunately. Layers have to be 'fixed' in that case.

                               

                              As for counter-acting a warp and/or distortion filter: I wonder if that is at all possible? Warps and distortions are non-destructive by default in PL as well, - those can be deactivated quickly in the layer properties panel.

                              • 12. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                                c.pfaffenbichler Level 9
                                As for counter-acting a warp and/or distortion filter: I wonder if that is at all possible?

                                And there it is.

                                Can’t you just imagine the whining of Photoshop users complaining that they wanted to paint on a warped/distorted/… Smart Objects but the brush strokes behaved strangely?

                                Not to mention the complaints if someone wants to paint on an RGB Smart Object in a CMYK file and the color changes etc.

                                • 13. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                                  Herbert2001 Level 4

                                  True enough - and to be fair, trying to paint on a warped and distorted layer is much too slow as well - real-time feedback is just not possible under those circumstances. This is something Chris mentioned a while back as a reason to not have real-time SOs editing in Photoshop.

                                   

                                  Having said that, for more down-to-earth work it works wonderfully well. For example, create a virtual layer of a vector or bitmap layer, and mirror it. Then start drawing: instant mirror painting and mirror vector drawing with real-time feedback. The in-place editing of virtual cloned instanced layers does certainly have its advantages.

                                   

                                  For example, Photoshop still, after all these years, offers no method to do real-time mirror painting. The nature of Photoline's virtual layers makes this very, very simple to do (even with vectors) - and any number of axes can be added as well.

                                   

                                  Both Smart Objects and Virtual Layers have their strong and weak points. Currently I prefer the Virtual Layer approach, especially seeing Photoline allows me to apply those to layer masks as well. I can clone a single layer mask or a layer mask group, and re-use it anywhere in my layer stack. And better, I can even apply non-destructive adjustment/filter layers to these!

                                   

                                  Photoshop's layer masks cannot be converted into an individual Smart Object. Nor can non-destructive filters/colour adjustments be applied to layer masks in Photoshop. Being able to convert layer masks to cloned instances in your layer stack is wonderful: one change to the master layer mask, and your entire layer stack cascades the changes. Brilliant.

                                   

                                  Add to that the option that virtual layers can have other nested virtual layers (again easier to deal with than nested SOs in Photoshop because the user can work with these in-place), AND that adjustment layers can ALSO be cloned in the same manner (Photoshop's adjustment layers cannot be converted to a smart object that can then be cloned across the layer stack), and you start to realize the possibilities!

                                   

                                  Anyway, I would love to see such features in Photoshop. Who wouldn't want to be able to clone layer masks and adjustment layers? Or even apply layer effects and non-destructive filters and adjustments to layer masks? Sound like great ideas, because it would make the image editing workflow far more powerful and flexible. And that is exactly what Photoline allows me to do.

                                   

                                  So, I do not really understand the off-hand remark from Chris that I am missing 99% of the functionality of Smart Objects, and implying Photoline's virtual layers are not even in the same league as Smart Objects. Seems to me the Virtual Layer approach, combined with PL's layer system, offers many possibilities that are just not there in Photoshop's layer system.

                                   

                                  And vice versa, there are some properties of SOs (like the non-destructive third-party filters option) that work better in Photoshop.

                                  • 14. Re: Linked smart objects are randomly corrupting almost entire PSDs, including text layers
                                    c.pfaffenbichler Level 9
                                    I do not really understand the off-hand remark from Chris that I am missing 99% of the functionality of Smart Objects, and implying Photoline's virtual layers are not even in the same league as Smart Objects.

                                    I think Mr.Cox’ comparison referred to Photoshop and Photoline and did not specifically and exclusively refer to Smart Objects/Virtual Layers – but I may be wrong.

                                     

                                    I support the Feature Request for smart Layer Masks. (Can’t locate the thread at current, though.)

                                    Mirror painting capabilities are not that relevant to me, but I also support that Request.

                                    Photoshop: Mirror Paint/Symmetric/Seamless Tile Paint Function