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With an ever increasing trend towards ecommerce and digital branding, it is important for designers to have a unique, realistic set of mockups in their arsenal. While pitching your design to a client, a realistic mockup template can help you outshine the competition. Put simply, the right mockup can help the client visualize what the end product will look like with more clarity.
Throughout this article, we'll review how to use standalone PSD files with Smart Objects. Smart Objects are simply special layers that preserve an image's source content. They usually contain raster and vector image data, and are extremely helpful when using mockup templates. Smart Objects isolate the original artwork you are trying to place within the scene from the rest of the visual effects that are applied to it.
You will find plenty of PSD mockup files to work with around the web — this includes both free and paid items. As far as paid mockups are concerned, Creative Market has an entire category devoted to them. Check it out if you're looking for templates that are unique and ready to use.
Before we start, it's important to get acquainted with the folder structure of a professional mockup template. When you download a PSD mockup, it is typically saved as a zipped file. Once you extract its contents, take a close look at what the seller has included. Ideally, it should possess the following files:
·.psd file of the mockup, which is the source file you will edit
·.jpg file of the mockup, a preview of the template in action
·.txt or .pdf file that explains what the mockup is about, who made it, and its licensing policy.
Like I mentioned before, you will often find a .jpg preview, a .psd source file, and some kind of documentation about the product.
The next step is to open the .psd file in Adobe Photoshop and study its layers. What you will find depends on how complex and detailed a mockup is. Understanding how the layers work on the template you're using is important because you are eventually going to replace its default elements with your custom content.
Our tote bag mockup file, for example, consists of three layers: one for the background color, one for the bag itself, and one for the small tag you see on the left. There's also a layer for the white flowers popping out of the bag.
If you are facing any difficulty while locating a particular layer, then you can click on the EYE icon (