I'm a professional fine art printer. I prepare images for large format printing, often starting from the original RAW files. Since the feature to open RAW files as Smart Objects in Camera Raw was introduced, I've been doing that, as it allows me to go back into the Raw file at anytime and re-tweak as I layer. I love this option and it is totally indispensable to my workflow.
HOWEVER, I find a serious flaw when resizing the image for final print, or even when resizing for web-output. If I do any interpolation (pixel resizing) up or down, the edge pixels are not locked in place, and treated as if they are a floating object, therefore the edge pixels usually show up at a lower opacity, (see attached image). This KILLS my workflow! It means I have to completely flatten my work and then resize, loosing all my groovy layers and the ability to go back into Camera Raw and make final tweaks while I make test prints and final decisions with the client by my side.
Even worse, when I apply the final print sharpening and flatten the file to send out, the edge transparency issue is compounded, and the sharpening adds an ugly halo around the whole image, BLAH!
What I need is a way for Smart Objects with the exact same pixel dimensions as the file to lock their edge pixels at the current opacity when resizing. In other words, I need Photoshop to treat the Smart Object as a true Background Layer for certain purposes, while still being able to go back into Camera Raw as I like. I notice the ability to lock transparency is gone on Smart Objects, which I'm sure is necessary for compositing, but not for what I'm doing at all.
Is there anyway this can be done in the current CS5 or 5.5 (haven't upgraded yet) that I'm simply missing? Can anyone from Adobe confirm that this is something you'll look into for me?
Thanks so much, absolutely loving Adobe products these days, you guys rock!