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The Content-Aware Move tool

From: Photoshop CS6 Image Cleanup Workshop

Video: The Content-Aware Move tool

Sometimes the image clean-up task we want to perform isn't so much removing an object as it is simply moving an object. And the new Content-Aware Move tool in Photoshop CS6 allows you to do exactly that, to move an object within the frame. In this photo for example, I might like to move this boat upward into the frame to give me a little bit more space down below. And so the Content-Aware Move tool gives me exactly that flexibility. I'll go ahead and get started by choosing the Content-Aware move tool. I'll click and hold on the Spot Healing Brush tools button on the toolbox.

The Content-Aware Move tool

Sometimes the image clean-up task we want to perform isn't so much removing an object as it is simply moving an object. And the new Content-Aware Move tool in Photoshop CS6 allows you to do exactly that, to move an object within the frame. In this photo for example, I might like to move this boat upward into the frame to give me a little bit more space down below. And so the Content-Aware Move tool gives me exactly that flexibility. I'll go ahead and get started by choosing the Content-Aware move tool. I'll click and hold on the Spot Healing Brush tools button on the toolbox.

That will give me a flyout menu where I can choose the Content-Aware Move tool. I'll then go ahead and create a new layer which will be the destination layer for the pixels that I'm going to copy. So I'll click the Create New Layer button at the bottom of the Layers panel and then I'll double-click on the name for that layer and give it a new name. I'll just call it clean-up. And then press Enter or Return on the keyboard. I'll then create a selection of the area that I want to move within the image. I'll go ahead and click and drag. The Selection tool here, is essentially just the Lasso tool. So, I can create a selection around the object that I want to move within the frame.

I can then choose the Move Option for mode, we'll take a look at the Extend Option in just a moment, and I can specify the adaptation. In this case I want very strict adaptation. I want these pixels the boat to be moved exactly as they are. I don't want Photoshop to change the shape of the boat, if it thinks that doing so will help the boat blend in better with the surroundings. But I could also allow a very loose interpretation in some cases, but generally speaking I would use anywhere from a medium to a very strict setting. For adaptation when I'm actually moving an object within the image.

I also want to make sure that the Sample All Layers check box is turned on. So that I'm able to sample based on the background image layer, but place the resulting work onto my cleanup layer. Then all I need to do is click inside the selection. And drag upward you'll notice that Photoshop shows me a preview based on the actually selection that I have created. So it's as though I'm copying these pixels initially. But once I release the mouse you'll see that Photoshoip will process that area. Essentially erasing the original boat and duplicatign it in a enw area of the image and also blending those pixels in to the surrounding area.

I'll press Ctrl+D on Windows or Cmd+D on Macintosh in order to deselect that selection. And you can see that we've now moved this boat upward into the image. I'll turn off my clean-up layer and then turn it back on and you can see the boat has been moved quite simply. You might also notice that we have a little bit of a blending problem along the edges of the work that we've conducted here. And that's just an indication that the blending was done a little less than perfectly. Adjusting the adaptation would have certainly helped, but that relates mostly to the shape of objects in the image. We can fix this very easily using the Spot Healing Brush tool. I'll go ahead and choose that tool, make sure that the Content-Aware option and Sample All Layers options are selected.

And then I will paint along the edge of these problem areas and you can see that produces a very good transition, a very good blending for my corrections. The other option that's available is to extend an object. I'll go ahead and turn off my cleanup layer and then I'll create a new layer. This time I'll call it Extend since we're going to explore the extension option for the Content-Aware Move tool. I will then choose that content to where move tool from the tool box once again but this time I'll set the mode to obtains.

I'm also going to going to set the adaptation to medium so that Photoshop has a little bit more flexibility in refining the image. And I'm go to create a selection of just the top hat of the boat approxiamately and I'll just loop around here and then I'm going to drag that upward. And what I'm essentially doing is trying to create a taller boat. So I'm using the Extend mode in order to stretch. So rather than moving the boat, I'm actually stretching the boat or in this case a portion of the boat. I'll release the mouse there.

And once Photoshop finishes, I'll deselect with a Ctrl+D key on windows, or a Cmd+D key on Macintosh. And you can see I'll turn off the extend layer and turn it back on again. Photoshop has done a reasonably good job of extending this boat, to make the boat larger. I could certainly use a different adaptation method, depending on the subject and how much I wanted to preserve the original shapes. I could also use other image clean up tools in order to clean up the results here. But obviously, in most cases your probably not going to be extending subject too much. Usually you'll be using this option if anything to move an object within the frame, as we saw with our original clean up layer. So, as you can see, the new Content-Aware Move tool is rather powerful. It essentially allows us to remove an object from an image. And place it somewhere else entirely within that image with a pretty good amount of flexibility along the way.

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Photoshop CS6 Image Cleanup Workshop

30 video lessons · 1612 viewers

Tim Grey
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