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This is a portrait of an incredibly creative person that I'll be talking a little bit more about later. Yet here what I want to focus in on is the background. You know one of the things that happens as we learn a technique, we think, oh yeah, great! We learned how we can Content-Aware Fill backgrounds. Now that's going to work every time with all of my photographs. Yet with this image, it isn't going to work very well. Let me show you why. Here we'll go ahead and copy the Background layer. We'll press Command+J or Ctrl+J to do so, and we'll name this new layer clean up.
First we'll take a look at how Content- Aware does, and then we'll look at some other options, so that we can then clean up or extend this part of our background so that it looks better. Let's select the Lasso tool, and we'll click and drag over this area in order to make a nice lasso selection of this part of our image, that we want to fill in with the backdrop. Next, let's press the shortcut for Content -Aware Fill, just to see how that works. Here we'll press Shift+F5; that opens up Content-Aware Fill or the Fill dialog with Content-Aware selected.
Here we'll click OK and cross our fingers and as we'll soon discover, it just won't work very well. It's bringing in some of the lightbulb. The reason why this isn't working is because our selection is too close to other types of content. Because of that Photoshop doesn't know how to rebuild or kind of fill in this area. So in situations like this, we have to reach for other tools. Another tool that we might try is the Patch tool. If you click and hold down on one of your Healing tools, you'll find the Patch tool here.
Now we maybe excited about working with say Content-Aware Fill, so let's use our Patch tool with Content-Aware. Yet again, in trying that as we click and drag over to this area, what will happen is, while it tries to fix that area, Content-Aware just isn't going to cut it, and so what you'll see is that we kind of have these strange gradations, and the blending isn't very good. So if ever you run into this issue, well, just keep tinkering, keep trying, rather than using Content-Aware. Because of the proximity of our selection to other content, we could do something say like Patch.
If we patch on Normal, rather than Content-Aware Patch, this will then just blend these edges. The way that the Patch tool works as you saw. You make a selection. You then hover over the selected area and click and drag to a good source area. In this case, the source area over here on the right. Then you can let go. This will then bring the source from the right over here to the left, and it will do so in a way that it will build some nice texture. Already this is looking a ton better.
Let's deselect, so that we can see how this looks so far. If you go to Select, you can then choose Deselect. Here I notice there's just a little bit of a dark edge. So I'll make a circle around that area and then click and drag that to a new part of the image. You may need to do this multiple times. In other words, you may need to create a circle around a couple of the little areas, and you can make different sized circles in order to hide that gradation or that transition area, so that it can then successfully remove that part of your photograph. In doing this, in making these little circles, I've really hidden my tracks.
I've rebuild this side of the photograph and I've done this without a lot of effort, and the reason why I obviously wanted to show you this was to highlight how we can start to work with these different tools, and also to highlight that as you work with these tools there is no one magic bullet tool. Rather, you need to have a good working understanding of the various tools and techniques, and then you just need to experiment until you find the technique that works on your photograph. Well here with this image, the Patch tool worked wonderfully.
If you click on the Eye icon there, you can see our before. Then we'll click on that again to see the after, after we have filled in or extended our backdrop, so that this portrait is now stronger.
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