In this tutorial, I will explain how to scale and resize images without losing quality by using smart objects in Photoshop. We will learn the difference between resizing and normal pixel-based image and resizing a smart object. We will also learn, why objects always look better. I’ll also include a tip at the end of this tutorial to make sure you are always getting the best results.
I’ll be using Adobe Photoshop CC. Any other recent versions of Photoshop will also work well. Let’s get started to see the advantage of resizing an image as a smart object. Once quickly set up everything so we can view a side-by-side comparison between resizing a normal image and resizing a smart object.
If we look in the layers panel, we see the image on the background layer we need to make two copies of the images, one for the normal pixel version and one for the smart object. To make the first copy, go up to the layer menu in the menu bar, choose new and then choose layer via copy. In the layers panel a copy of the image appears above the original. To make the second copy, use the keyboard shortcut. This time use ctrl J on a Windows PC or command J on a Mac. A second copy appears above the others. Let’s rename our copies so we know which is which. Double click on the top layers name layer 1 copy and rename it smart object. Press Enter or return on a Mac to accept it. Then double click on the name layer one below it and rename it pixels and again press enter. We don’t need the image on the background layer anymore. So let’s fill the background with white. Click on the background layer to select it. Then go up to the Edit menu and choose fill. In the fill dialog box set the contents option to white and then click ok.
To fit both versions of image side-by-side, we need more canvas space. Go up to the image menu and choose canvas size. In the canvas size dialog box, set the width to 200 percent and the height to 100 percent. Leave the relative option unchecked and in the anchor grid, choose the square in the middle left. This will place all of the extra space to right of the image. Click ok to close the dialog box.
To move one of the images into the new space, select the move tool from the toolbar. In the layer panel, click on the smart object layer at the top to select it. Then click on the image and drag it into the new space on the right. We now have the image that will remain a pixel-based image on the left and the image that will convert to a smart object on the right. Finally, to convert the image on the right into a smart object, make sure the smart object layer is selected in the layers panel. Click the menu icon in the top right corner of the layers panel and then choose convert to smart object from the list. Photoshop converts the layer to a smart object and the smart object icon appears in the layers thumbnail. Now that we have our document set up.