Shrinking down a smart object causes drastic sharpening
When I have a large smart object, and then shrink it down, I often get some extreme sharpening. And while I understand that shrinking down an image may require some sharpening, photoshop can go a little overboard.
Here, for example, is a large 1:1 smart object on the right and the result when shrunk down on the left.
It also happens in Save For Web output:
How can I control this sharpening and still maintain the Smart Object link?
The problem is: Bicubic resampling.
I think you need nearest neighbor resampling (In the save for the web window you can select it under "Quality") For more information: http://www.earthboundlight.com/phototips/resizing-resampling-photoshop.html
Update: For smart objects there is no resampling option :( : http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1026169
You have different types of interpolation for resize. The thing to know is photoshop, for non smart objects also use a default interpolation (Bicubic), but different as the smart object one (Bicubic automatic).
The only thing you have to do is to go to : Edit > Preferences > General > Image Interpolation and select "Bilinear (best for smooth gradients)". You will have exactly the same result as a non smart object once resized.