Online Help for Chasys Draw IES: Linked Layers (Linked Smart Objects)

Linked Layers (Linked Smart Objects)

What is a Linked Layer?

A Linked Layer is a layer that sources its image contents from a separate image file on your computer, thus forming a link between your file and that file. The linkage regularly monitors the linked external file to check if it has changed. If a change is detected, Chasys Draw IES will read the file, extract the fresh image and apply it to the linked layer. That way, the linked layer stays up to date with any changes that are made to the external file.

Linked Layers are useful in situations where you have an image that is a shared asset that is used as a component in several compositions and you don’t want to have to individually modify each image every time you change that shared asset. They are also useful in situations where an asset is an complicated image with lots of layers and you don’t want to make your images unnecessarily heavy by having all that in a single file.

A Linked Layer is conceptually similar to a “Linked Smart Object” in Adobe Photoshop and similar image editors.


If Chasys Draw IES cannot find the external file, the linkage will break and updates to that file will no longer be tracked by the linked layer. It is therefore important to make sure that you do not delete or move the external files referenced by your project if it contains linked layers.

Chasys Draw IES will attempt to derive and use a relative path for the external file. As a result, if you move both the main file and the linked external file(s) together while maintaining the folder structure, the linkage will hold and update accordingly. This is handled in a manner that is analogous to the relationship between a HTML web page and the files it references.

Layer linkage does not support animated sprite-sheets at the moment. The linkage will work, but correct behaviour is not guaranteed.


Creating Linked Layers

A linked layer can be created in two ways:

Option Details
Using New Layer

When creating a new layer, you’ll be offered the option of creating a linked layer. You'll be prompted to provide a path for the linked file.

Using Layer Properties window You can add layer linkage information via the layer properties window by selecting the appropriate page from the drop-down and entering the linkage information manually.


Linked Layers in Chasys Draw IES can be used to achieve the same goals as “Linked Smart Objects” provided by recent versions of Adobe Photoshop, although important implementation differences exist.



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