From what I’ve been reading (e.g. this) I should be able to animate the scaling of a layer in Photoshop CC 2018’s Timeline, provided the layer is a smart object. Once an object is a smart object the ‘Position’ option for that layer in the timeline should change to ‘Transform’. Okay, that makes sense.
However, when I copy and pasted some artwork from Illustrator into Photoshop, I chose for it be pasted as a smart object. It has a ‘Smart’ icon in the layers panel. But examining that object in the timeline shows that it only has the ‘Position’ option, not ‘Transform’. To make Transform available I have to select the layer in the Layer panel and choose ‘Convert to Smart Object’, sort of double-smartening it.
Why does vector artwork pasted as a smart object not gain full ‘smart object’ privileges without this doubling-up process?
Vector Smart Objects have limitations regarding transformations, I suppose due to the fact that their main functionality is that they can be edited in Illustrator. On the other side, the Photoshop Smart Object does not have these limitations, that’s why the double action.
If you have a Smart Object made from a Photoshop document or object on a layer, you can warp it any way you like. However, if the Smart Object is a Vector Smart Object from Illustrator, you cannot warp it.
The transformation is made on the Photoshop Smart Object and then, by double clicking, it’s possible to access the Vector Smart Object to double click and edit it in Illustrator.
The conclusion is that a Vector Smart Object is not the same as a Photoshop Smart Object.