Deke's Techniques 434: Extracting an Unmodified Photo from a Smart Object in Photoshop

In this week's free Deke's Techniques, Deke shows you how to extract your original unmodified JPEG photograph from a smart object that resides inside your significantly edited PSD image.

Why, pray tell, would you want to do this? Well, let's say you were drinking champagne on the London Eye, took a selfie with your phone, went back to your hotel, did some Photoshop work on it, posted it to Facebook, and then promptly forgot to do something intelligent with the original. (Blame it on the champagne and the gloriously dizzying views).

If you've trained yourself to apply your photo edits to a protective smart object, then you can even go so far as to Liquify your nose into pleasing proportions and still extract the original photograph. Here are the "after" (in this case, Deke's starting point) and "before" (the original) images sitting side-by-side in Bridge after Deke's procedure.

Colleen and Deke atop the London Eye


If you're a member of, Deke's got an exclusive video this week in which he shows you how to extract an original DNG from a PSD file, despite having made modifications in Camera Raw and applied smart filters and adjustment layers in Photoshop. (Hmm, if I'm going to show you the "before" on Deke's nose, I suppose it's only fair that I show you the magic Deke did on my teeth.)

Extracting the original DNG from a Smart Object.


Great tips for absent-minded travelers today. And don't forget, if you're not a member of, you can get a free 10-day trial by heading to and signing up.



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How is this not a total lie?

No matter what the original format was Photoshop is saving this as a JPEG. If the original photo was a JPEG it will be compressed as a JPEG twice, doubling the compression/jpeg artifacts. THAT MODIFIES THE FILE. It's not in any way the original photo. It's just an unmodified smart object that you could have left unmodified if you saved it as a PSB. At least as a PSB you wouldn't be doubling the JPEG/Compression artifacts before you have even modified the original photo. Someone will probably edit that JPEG in the future and if it is saved as a JPEG yet again you have 3 levels of JPEG compression. Saving it out as a JPEG literally serves no purpose other then degrading the quality of your unmodified smart object.

If the original file was a Raw file from a camera you have lost all the raw data and saved it as a compressed JPEG.In neither case would you be left with the original photo.

I can't believe this nonsense came from Deke.


Tone needs adjusting

Is this tumblr?

Where you can't make a wrong, mistaken or inadequate statement... you have to be LYING.

And you can't release a FREE video a few days later than expected without someone throwing a tantrum.