Open As Smart Object Command in Photoshop CC 2014
Open as Smart Object command is located in the File menu. It is the fifth command from the top and I can bet that many of you know for this command but at the same time I must say that I do not know many users who are actually using this command which can be very useful and time saver.
What is useful with Open as Smart Object commandThis command will open whatever file is selected as a Smart Object layer. It is easy to guess. You can also open PNG or GIF file directly as a Smart Object layer and apply any of the filters or plugins which works with Smart Object layers. You will have embedded Smart Object layer if that's your question.
When we are using filters in Photoshop, then we are usually converting layers or range of layers to Smart Object because we want flexibility, right? Another thing to consider is that you can not just open layered file and apply filter (in most cases). You want first to stamp layers and perhaps to convert stamped or merged layer to a Smart Object. Another way is to select layers and convert them to Smart Object. Well, this command is doing all that for you on the fly.
Another thing you can do is to record action with Open as Smart Object as the very first command and then to proceed with filter or plugin in the next step. After action finish playing you can use blending options (including Opacity) available on the right side of filter name, to work with the mask for smart filter or simply to double click a filter name to re-open filter/plugin dialog or window. And yes, you can double click Smart Object thumbnail to edit content in new tab/window and to work with layers in your composition: to change some values, to show/hide layers and so on.