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Now that we've created separate layers, we need to do a little additional cleanup. We've got to take the pieces and essentially remove them from the background. To do this, we're going to take advantage of some cloning techniques as well as some Content-Aware Fill. Let's see how it works. I've got our Field shot here, and we need to remove our subjects and the tent. The good news is that we basically have these selections already. So if I Ctrl-click or Command-click on the existing layer masks, you see we could load those in.
Press Q for the Quick Mask mode, and I'll just paint in this other tent back here that I'm going to eventually remove. There we go. Got a nice basic selection, Q to exit, and we need to expand that a bit. This is going to create a bigger selected area. Well, that's going to work well. Now that I have that we need to delete this area from here. Now this is a very big area to do Content-Aware Fill on, but I'm a bit adventuresome, and we'll see how well it works.
I'm going to expect that we have to do some filling in here, but we'll try Content-Aware Fill. Edit > Fill, and I will choose Content-Aware and click OK. It'll analyze the surrounding area and attempt to generate a new pattern fill. It's not going to be perfect, but it is a starting point. We're going to need to do some cloning here, but that's not too bad. I'm going to clone to an empty layer to make this a bit easier.
Choose the Clone Stamp tool and get a nice big brush. By choosing Current & Below, I could sample and paint downwards, and we're just painting in the background. There we go. And we're just cloning this in. I need to get a little bit of the shadows here for the tent. This is a good time to turn on the tent and sort of see where it's falling. It gives me a pretty good idea. So Alt-click up here on the skyline, line that up, and just paint that in.
Now this doesn't have to be perfect, because in most cases the subjects that we cut out are going to obscure the other material, and I'm just doing some short strokes to fill that in. Let's turn on the Tent layer for a second. That's looking pretty good. There's our Soldier's pretty good so far. There we go. And I want to just blend this a bit more.
So I'm going to take a selection and use the Patch tool. This allows me to start to blend a bit. Doing this we can make some rough selections and just mix the textures up. Good. Now I'm a big fan of dropping the opacity of the Clone Stamp a little bit lower and then sampling textures to mix them in.
So using several strokes will make this feel less repetitious. Good. There's our tent, there's our soldiers. Now I need to do a little bit of additional cleanup, and the tent is really the problem area. So I'll select that layer and zoom in. Here's the cloning we've done on top of the previous layer, and I can also see the original background if I want to check for reference. There's our Field.
There is the Blending. That looks pretty good. I'll go ahead and merge the field and the new layer together, and we'll rename that field, and then let's come over to the tent here and zoom in a bit. With the Clone Stamp tool selected, get a nice small brush, we'll say only the Current layer, Alt-click to set our sample point, and start to fill in the rest of the tent.
Now you need to use smaller brushes sometimes to pull this off. So try to not be too aggressive with your strokes. I'll turn on the layer on top, and I just get an idea of how much I need to clone out. So this is going to take just a little bit. So I'm going to work on this on my own, and when we come back we'll have this resolved, and you could practice cloning as well with your image.
I finished the cloning. A little time intensive, but this is really the slowest part of this technique. If you look at the image here, you'll see we've got all of the major layers, and I've done my cloning, and if I turn on the Soldiers there, you see it fills in, so that's going to block most of that stuff. Then we have our field in the background. Let's just zoom out so we see all the pieces, and there they all are. That works out pretty nicely. We've got all of the major elements. Now I'm just going to finesse this a bit. We've got a little of garbage up here in the sky.
Let's make sure the right layer is selected, and with the Patch tool I could just lasso around some of these blemishes and just clean them up. It's really quick way to get a rid of some problem areas. We got a nasty little scratch here. That will work well with the Spot Healing Brush, and we'll just paint over that crack. There we go. We get these few little specks of dust and the picture is just about ready.
All we're going to do now is make sure our layers are properly organized for import into After Effects.
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