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How to Use Smart Object Mockups in Affinity Photo
  • By Nadine Spires
  • 19 May 2022
  • 7 Mins
  • Beginner
  • Affinity Tutorials

How to Use Smart Object Mockups in Affinity Photo

In only 3 steps discover how to use Smart Object Mockups in Affinity Photo to showcase your designs.

Mockups for Smart Objects can now be opened in Affinity Photo V1.8 and later. By clicking on the selected placements, you can edit these mockups quickly and easily. For designers, mockups are an essential tool for showcasing their work to clients. We will show you how Affinity Photo can use PSD mockups by simply changing one setting.

Smart Object mockups in Affinity Photo

During the tutorial we will be using this canvas bag mockup from the Plus Hub. Not a member yet but want to give it a try? Then sign up for a free 30 day Gold Plus Membership trial today!

For our graphic we will use a book lover SVG. Ideally, you want to use a mockup that contains a PSD file for more flexibility. You can find tons of great Tote Mockups on Design Bundles.

Before you begin, make sure to download and unzip your purchased files to your PC or Mac.

Step 1 - Change the Preference Setting

In order for Smart Objects to show up correctly, we need to change a setting under Preferences. This option is usually not set by default. Without it, you may not be able to edit Smart Objects the way you would in Photoshop.

Open Affinity Photo, then go to Edit > Preferences > General. You don’t need to create a new document to do this.

Open Preferences panel in Affinity Photo

Under the General Tab, look for the option that says Import PSD smart objectswhere possible. Now, tick this box.

Import Smart Objects option in Affinity

Click on the Close tab, bottom right, to close out of the Preferences Panel.

Step 2 - Open a Smart Object Mockup

To open your PSD file, go to File > Open and locate where the file is stored. Depending on the product, your PSD file may take on the Affinity Photo logo. To double check, right click > Properties. You will see .psd next to Type of File.

Open PSD file in Affinity Photo

Click to open the file. Once opened, you will see a selection of layers under the Layers Panel on the right side. We will be focusing on the layer “Double click to place design”. This layer contains our Smart Object.

With Affinity Photo, when a Smart Object file is opened, it changes to an Embedded file. This is to make it compatible with the software. For the duration of the tutorial we will refer to it as an Embedded file.

PSD FIle layers in Affinity Photo

Step 3 - Use the Smart Object Mockup

You can edit the Embedded file one of two ways. Either click on Edit Document top toolbar or double click the layer thumbnail of the Embedded file. A new window will open. For this mockup, we have three layers.

Change smart object in Affinity

Hide the layer for “Yourdesignhere grey” by unticking the visibility box next to the name.

At the top toolbar, enable Snapping in order to use the guides for centering on the page.

Enable snapping in Affinity Photo

Now, drag and drop your design onto the document. Resize the image as needed then reposition using the red and green guidelines.

Import image for Smart Object in Affinity

You can either close the window or just click back over to the mockup. The image will appear perfectly on the mockup design.

Smart Object edited in Affinity Photo

The great thing about this feature is that it's non-destructive. You can go back and edit the color or add other effects. Here we added a Color Overlay with the Layer Effects Panel.

Change color of smart object design

You can even add text to your Embedded file. Our mockup is now ready.

Add text to smart object in Affinity

Ready to use Smart Object mockups in Affinity Photo are just one way you can showcase your designs. No more struggling to get a realistic look, just place your image, adjust and you’re done. We hope that this tutorial has inspired you to use mockups to your full creative advantage.

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smart object mockups affinity photo tutorial

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