LOST WORK in Photoshop
It happened again, and I think I know why. I was working in a Smart Object, and I hit SAVE, and it said (something like) "Can't update SmartObject."
Originally Posted by töff
If you don't use Photoshop, you probably don't care ... but, backstory, a (non-linked) SmartObject is essentially a file within a file. It's not a separate document on your hard-drive; it's embedded in your main .PSD. You can open it in another tab/window in Photoshop, edit it, save it ... but instead of saving as a file on your hard drive, it saves as an internal segment of its parent .PSD.Well, what I thought "Can't update SmartObject" meant was, it could not update the display of the SmartObject in the parent .PSD, which (of course) was open in another tab. But I thought I was OK, because I don't care about the display, really ... it'll refresh the view eventually, when I zoom or whatever ... and, in general (I told myself), in Photoshop and 99% of all software, you can't close an edited-but-unsaved document without the system telling you, "Yo, save changes before closing?" So I thought that when I hit SAVE, it had saved the SmartObject. When I hit CLOSE, it said nothing; it just closed the tab.
Well, I was wrong. When I closed the Smart Object, I saw in the parent .PSD that all my changes since my last save were gone. That was a few days ago, and the work was gone.
Yesterday it happened again: "Can't update SmartObject." Well, instead of closing the SmartObject tab, I looked in the tab for the parent .PSD, and sure enough, it only reflected changes since the last successful save. In this particular case, I avoided utter panic and fury and despair, and I was able to find a gigantic .PSB object in the Photoshop temp folder, which had been modified when I hit SAVE. Okay, so, it DID save my changes! Hah! but it did NOT write the updated SmartObject data into the parent .PSD.
I copied that .PSB file *out* of the temp folder, because when Photoshop closes, it clears the temp folder, which had my technically-saved-but-kinda-not work in it! Thus I was able to preserve my work.
I think I am going to experiment with a new workflow for a while, of relying more on linked SmartObjects than embedded ones. This is how I have operated in my day job (prepress graphics) for 20 years or so. Photoshop SmartObjects are somewhat new, and I am not really versed in their quirks (I think they came out in CS2, and only by CS4 did Adobe repair the alphamask lock for them) ... but if I have everything saved as files on my hard drive, I can more easily ensure that I don't lose hours upon hours of work.
So, I hope this info is of some use to someone here. Grain of salt, as always. Cheers!