So Smart Objects were added many versions ago as a way to add
procedural filters, ie, you can take a layer, apply a filter, and then
go back to the filter's settings anytime to change them. However, Smart
Objects are only a partial implementation, and don't work in a lot of
For example, say you have painted a few things on a layer. Now you want
to Gaussian Blur that layer. You change the layer into a smart object,
apply the Gaussian Blur, and you can now go back and change that value
anytime you want. So far so good. But what if you want to change the
original paint layer by adding some more paint strokes? You now have to
remove the Gaussian Blur, convert the layer back to a normal layer,
make your paint changes, then turn it back into a smart object, and
reapply your Gaussian Blur. This is a lot of extra steps. Another
workaround is you can use "Edit Contents", but that
opens a new document with that layer it in, so there's no way to
visualize your final result as you paint.
What I'd like instead is for stuff like the Gaussian Blur filter (and
all other filters you can apply to smart objects) to be applied to a
layer, and then you can still paint or modify what's on the layer in
your current document, and the end result you see is the result of the
Gaussian Blur filter on the layer in realtime.
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