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Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill

From: Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

Video: Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill

Isn't it amazing how many different tools and techniques that we can use in order to clean up or remove these distracting elements that we find in our pictures. Well, here we're going to look at another technique. This one's called Content-Aware Fill. This works incredibly well when you need to remove larger items. Let's explore how we can work with it. The first step is to copy the layer. Rather than creating a blank layer, we have to duplicate or copy the background layer. To do that, you can press Command+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on Windows. Think J for jump.

Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill

Isn't it amazing how many different tools and techniques that we can use in order to clean up or remove these distracting elements that we find in our pictures. Well, here we're going to look at another technique. This one's called Content-Aware Fill. This works incredibly well when you need to remove larger items. Let's explore how we can work with it. The first step is to copy the layer. Rather than creating a blank layer, we have to duplicate or copy the background layer. To do that, you can press Command+J on a Mac or Ctrl+J on Windows. Think J for jump.

Jump the contents of one layer up to a new layer. Next double-click that layer name and here we'll name this new layer clean up. The next step is going to be to make a selection. You can make a selection with any of your selection tools. For this image, we can see the roll in the background and also the crease here in the backdrop. I want to clean that up or get rid of that, so I'll use one of my bigger selection tools. We could use the Rectangular Marquee or maybe the Lasso tool. Either way, let's select one of these and then go ahead and create a selection of the area that we want to correct.

The next step is to press Shift+F5 or to go to the Edit pulldown menu. In the Edit pulldown menu, you want to choose Fill, either by clicking on this here or by using the shortcut it'll open up our Fill dialog. In the Fill dialog, you want to use Content-Aware. The way that this work is it analyzes the surrounding area and then it builds something new on top of this blemish or this item that we want to remove. So, when we click OK here, what we'll see is it successfully removed that for us without a lot of effort and that looks great.

Well, just to highlight how we can use different selection tools, this time let's use our Lasso tool, and let's click and drag around this little blemish that I find here on the left side of the picture. And I'll click and drag around that and then press Shift+F5 once again, and here will click OK in order to clean up that part of our picture. Now that we've done that last but not least I noticed that in this image there are some small little blemishes in the background. To clean those up, the smaller blemishes, you want to reach for a smaller tool say like the Spot Healing Brush.

If I try to use this tool right now though to clean this area up, it won't work and it won't work because we have an active selection. So when you're working with selections you need to first deselect in order to work on a new area in your photograph. Well, here we can do that by going to Select and then by choosing Deselect. Next we can click and paint over the small little blemishes that you can see here in the background and you know all of this initial cleanup work is so important; it will help us bring our images to a really good starting point, so that we can then further enhance them.

All right. Well here I'll just zoom out a little bit, so we can kind of view the overall before and after. Here it is. There is our before; now here is our after.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching
Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

85 video lessons · 25031 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
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  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 6m 49s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      3m 51s
    2. Using a Wacom tablet
      1m 8s
    3. Exploring resources and finding inspiration
      1m 50s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Where to begin?
      1m 19s
    2. Reviewing the basic cleanup tools
      3m 59s
    3. Removing small distractions
      2m 41s
    4. Using selections and cloning to remove distractions
      4m 26s
    5. Simplifying the background with the Clone tool
      5m 12s
    6. Removing a garment strap
      5m 17s
    7. Removing a distracting logo
      3m 43s
    8. Removing lint from a T-shirt
      3m 40s
    9. Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 58s
    10. Cleaning up a backdrop with the Patch tool
      4m 6s
  4. 22m 31s
    1. Extending a real-world scene, part 1
      4m 6s
    2. Extending a real-world scene, part 2
      4m 20s
    3. Removing distractions for a creative effect
      4m 31s
    4. Using selections and Free Transform to rebuild image elements
      3m 44s
    5. Moving a person with Content-Aware Move
      5m 50s
  5. 28m 48s
    1. Removing small details from the face
      4m 50s
    2. Retouching skin
      4m 35s
    3. Reducing hotspots, part 1
      4m 32s
    4. Reducing hotspots, part 2
      4m 36s
    5. Reducing brightness with selections and curves
      3m 26s
    6. Using Hue/Saturation to minimize variations in skin color
      3m 45s
    7. Removing tan lines
      1m 53s
    8. Leaving imperfections in portraits
      1m 11s
  6. 37m 15s
    1. Correcting tone with curves and masking
      5m 39s
    2. Fixing exposure and color with curves
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting tone with blending modes and masking
      5m 22s
    4. Using Shadows/Highlights to improve exposure
      5m 28s
    5. Using Soft Light layer blending to burn and dodge
      4m 37s
    6. Exploring the burning-and-dodging workflow
      6m 35s
    7. Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights
      5m 20s
  7. 22m 42s
    1. Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      7m 21s
    2. Working on wrinkles and details
      6m 51s
    3. Fine-tuning and making final adjustments on wrinkles
      3m 44s
    4. Quick wrinkle reduction with the Patch tool
      4m 46s
  8. 43m 27s
    1. Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending
      4m 7s
    2. Adding sparkle to the eyes
      4m 38s
    3. Increasing color with Colorize and blending modes
      5m 37s
    4. Rebuilding the edge of the eye
      6m 34s
    5. Whitening eyes, part 1
      3m 54s
    6. Whitening eyes, part 2
      5m 42s
    7. Removing eye veins and sharpening eyes behind glasses
      7m 8s
    8. Correcting color and tone behind glasses
      5m 47s
  9. 11m 26s
    1. Trimming eyebrows
      5m 25s
    2. Darkening eyebrows
      2m 48s
    3. Adding mascara to darken eyelashes
      3m 13s
  10. 16m 47s
    1. Enhancing lip color and tone with curves and masking
      4m 23s
    2. Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips
      7m 41s
    3. Improving the look of lips with the Burn and Dodge tools
      4m 43s
  11. 13m 49s
    1. Teeth whitening made easy
      2m 33s
    2. Exploring advanced teeth whitening
      5m 0s
    3. Automating teeth whitening with actions
      5m 9s
    4. A note on retouching facial features
      1m 7s
  12. 35m 22s
    1. Covering and correcting hair discoloration
      5m 48s
    2. Fixing the color of hair roots
      3m 3s
    3. Making creative color adjustments to hair
      2m 44s
    4. Patching a gap in hair
      4m 27s
    5. Removing flyaway hairs
      6m 18s
    6. Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background
      5m 57s
    7. Adding accents and creative color to a fashion photograph
      7m 5s
  13. 27m 22s
    1. Brightening shadow areas on the face
      4m 22s
    2. Adding color to the cheeks and eyelids
      4m 30s
    3. Modifying eye makeup color
      3m 52s
    4. Increasing color saturation and variety
      4m 17s
    5. Enhancing color with the Lab Color space
      5m 44s
    6. Using Selective Color to create vibrant color
      3m 29s
    7. Additional makeup resources
      1m 8s
  14. 23m 15s
    1. High-pass skin softening
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a mask for the skin
      4m 23s
    3. Softening and adding even texture to the skin
      5m 36s
    4. Adding a soft glow to the skin and details
      6m 28s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Adding dimension using curves and masking
      3m 50s
    2. Reshaping a jawline with Liquify
      4m 30s
    3. Reshaping a shirt with Liquify
      3m 13s
    4. Reshaping a shoulder with Liquify
      3m 22s
    5. Reshaping the body with Liquify
      2m 35s
    6. Using the Warp tool to reshape a jawline
      3m 33s
    7. Modifying the body with the Warp tool
      3m 35s
    8. Changing shape with selections and masking
      8m 32s
    9. Tips for thoughtful portrait retouching
      1m 26s
  16. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

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