If you’re new to Photoshop or Photopea, you might be perplexed by one of the following errors: “smart object must be rasterized first”, “smart object must be rasterized,” or “this smart object must be rasterized before proceeding.” Regardless of the exact wording of the error, they all mean the same thing.
See below to learn why this common error occurs and how to rasterize Smart Objects to fix the problem and get back to editing.
What are Smart Objects?
Smart Objects maintain an image’s original content together with its original attributes, helping you to perform nondestructive editing into the layer.
In Photoshop, it is possible to embed the contents of a picture into a Photoshop document. In Photoshop, you may even make Linked Smart Objects whose contents have been referenced from outside image files.
Connected Smart Objects are different from replicated examples of a Smart Object inside a Photoshop document. With Connected Smart Objects, you may use a shared resource file over multiple Photoshop files that’s a comfortable and welcome notion for designers.
How to fix the “smart object must be rasterized” error in Photoshop
In Photoshop you cannot directly edit a smart object. This includes painting, dodging, burning, or grinding –straight to a Smart Object layer, unless it’s first converted into a standard layer, which is rasterized. To execute operations which change pixel information, it is possible to edit the contents of a Smart Object, replicate a new layer over the Smart Object layer, edit copies of the Smart Object, or make a new layer.
You can simply Click “Ok” to rasterize the layer and clear the error. You can also rasterize the layer yourself:
- Press “F7” to show the Photoshop Layers panel
- Select a vector layer in the Layers panel
- Click “Layer” in the menu bar and click “Rasterize”
- Choose “Layer” to rasterize the layer.
Being “Rasterized” means that it becomes an editable collection of pixels.
How to fix the “smart object must be rasterized first” error in Photopea
You can also experience a similar mistake in the Photoshop alternative Photopea. This permits you to do things such as non-destructively change it (you may change it several times and it will not degrade) and employ intelligent filters. Usually this is a good thing.
It’s possible to convert any layer (or a few layers) into a Smart Object by choosing them and click — Convert to Smart Object. Selected layers will be removed and inserted into a new PSD document, which will be the origin of a brand new Smart Object, that’ll be added into the file.
Differences between Photoshop versions
Note that there are some differences in this error between Photoshop versions. In Photoshop CC 2019 and older having a smart object layer selected in the layers panel and clicking on the document area with a tool such as the Brush Tool would introduce a dialog saying the intelligent thing needs to be rasterized and offering an Ok button to do so.
In Photoshop 2020 the same just introduces a dialog saying the smart thing isn’t directly editable and gives no explanation as to why or how to proceed.