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Photoshop CS5 Essential Training
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Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling


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Photoshop CS5 Essential Training

with Michael Ninness

Video: Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling

So every once in a while, you're going to run into a composition where you want to make a certain edit or correction where your standard tools aren't going to really do the job for you. So, things like free transform for scaling and rotating and perspective transformations and whatnot aren't really going to be appropriate to fix the problem that you're trying to address. So, in this particular example, I don't like the fact that there's this big gap between this group of people and this person here. This girl is actually a part of this group, but she looks too far away and isolated there. So we want to try to address that if we can. In this other example over here, in this layer, I'm going to go ahead and turn the second layer on and turn the first layer off by clicking on the Eye there.
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  1. 6m 10s
    1. Welcome
      1m 47s
    2. What is Photoshop?
      2m 49s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 34s
  2. 28m 29s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      1m 54s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      3m 39s
    3. A tour of the different workspaces in Adobe Bridge
      4m 58s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      3m 35s
    5. Changing obscure camera file names with the Batch Rename command
      2m 36s
    6. Adding basic metadata to every image with metadata templates
      3m 36s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      4m 6s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      4m 5s
  3. 23m 4s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejects
      5m 27s
    2. Protecting the keepers by saving them in collections
      3m 18s
    3. Rating images
      3m 15s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      4m 43s
    5. Viewing final choices in a slideshow
      2m 12s
    6. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      4m 9s
  4. 30m 50s
    1. Raw vs. JPEG files
      5m 13s
    2. Why you should start in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      5m 9s
    3. A tour of the Camera Raw user interface
      6m 44s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      4m 2s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      2m 37s
    6. Choosing output settings
      2m 45s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      4m 20s
  5. 41m 34s
    1. Eliminating red-eye with the Red Eye Removal tool
      1m 13s
    2. Improving composition with the non-destructive Crop tool
      3m 33s
    3. Correcting a rotated horizon line with the Straighten tool
      3m 5s
    4. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      2m 13s
    5. Fixing blown-out highlights with Recovery
      2m 36s
    6. Revealing hidden shadow detail with Fill Light
      1m 47s
    7. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 37s
    8. Removing color fringes with Chromatic Aberration
      2m 36s
    9. Sharpening the details
      8m 59s
    10. End to end: Taking a so-so photo and making it great
      9m 55s
  6. 39m 5s
    1. Fixing blown-out skies with the Graduated Filter tool
      4m 34s
    2. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      5m 41s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustments Brush
      4m 28s
    4. Quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      4m 33s
    5. Converting to black and white
      3m 36s
    6. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustments tool
      4m 18s
    7. Easy sepia and split tone effects
      2m 35s
    8. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 46s
    9. Adding vignettes and border effects
      2m 13s
    10. Saving variations within a single file with Snapshots
      4m 21s
  7. 15m 48s
    1. Copying settings from one file and pasting across another in Adobe Bridge
      3m 7s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      2m 28s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 33s
    4. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      4m 40s
  8. 30m 39s
    1. Opening files from Adobe Bridge
      3m 1s
    2. Opening files from Mini Bridge
      3m 28s
    3. Customizing the Mini Bridge panel
      2m 57s
    4. Changing Mini Bridge so it auto-collapses
      1m 20s
    5. The Application frame
      2m 16s
    6. The Application bar
      1m 16s
    7. Switching and saving workspaces
      4m 23s
    8. Panel management
      5m 31s
    9. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 18s
    10. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      3m 9s
  9. 16m 12s
    1. Tabbed documents
      2m 1s
    2. The Arrange Documents widget
      1m 38s
    3. How to stop Photoshop from tabbing documents
      3m 34s
    4. Pan and zoom
      5m 21s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 38s
  10. 36m 59s
    1. File formats
      13m 6s
    2. What resolution does your image need to be?
      10m 15s
    3. Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      3m 58s
  11. 42m 17s
    1. Crop options
      4m 12s
    2. Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 30s
    3. Bringing back hidden pixels with Reveal All
      1m 34s
    4. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      6m 1s
    5. Making the canvas bigger by a specific amount with Relative Canvas Size
      1m 39s
    6. Correcting perspective with the Crop tool
      3m 5s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      50s
    8. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      4m 12s
    9. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects
      4m 2s
    10. Warping images
      3m 40s
    11. Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling
      9m 32s
  12. 54m 42s
    1. The Background layer
      5m 14s
    2. Using a layer mask instead of deleting pixels
      4m 12s
    3. Loading multiple images into a single Photoshop document as layers
      1m 30s
    4. Naming, hiding, creating, and deleting layers
      4m 18s
    5. Changing the stacking order of layers
      2m 51s
    6. Selecting layers without using the Layers panel
      6m 28s
    7. Transforming layers
      7m 16s
    8. Aligning and distributing layers
      3m 51s
    9. Changing the opacity of layers
      2m 57s
    10. Organizing layers into groups
      2m 55s
    11. Saving variations with layer comps
      5m 3s
    12. When to merge and rasterize layers
      5m 0s
    13. Flatten vs. Save As (a Copy)
      3m 7s
  13. 1h 4m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      7m 23s
    2. Transform selections
      2m 40s
    3. Quick Mask is your friend
      4m 31s
    4. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      6m 33s
    5. Using the Quick Selection tool
      3m 1s
    6. Re-selecting a previous selection
      1m 35s
    7. Improving a selection with Refine Edge
      4m 21s
    8. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      12m 7s
    9. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      2m 59s
    10. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 53s
    11. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      3m 53s
    12. Combining multiple exposures with the Blend If sliders
      6m 26s
    13. Replacing the sky in an image
      4m 19s
  14. 1h 1m
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      7m 57s
    2. Starting with a preset
      4m 25s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      10m 28s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 4s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      5m 56s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      2m 55s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      9m 0s
    8. Making washed out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 46s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      5m 49s
    10. Controlling which layers are affected by an Adjustment Layer
      7m 28s
  15. 11m 32s
    1. Shadow/Highlight
      9m 3s
    2. Matching color across multiple images
      2m 29s
  16. 34m 12s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing brush
      6m 21s
    2. Quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      8m 23s
    3. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 47s
    4. Making teeth bright and white
      1m 43s
    5. De-emphasizing wrinkles
      4m 41s
    6. Removing unwanted details with Content Aware Fill
      4m 26s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify
      3m 51s
  17. 21m 6s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      7m 20s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      8m 30s
    3. Combining group shots with Auto-Align
      5m 16s
  18. 25m 36s
    1. Overview of filters
      4m 6s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters
      4m 45s
    3. Giving an image a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      4m 41s
    4. Adding noise to an image with the Add Noise filter
      3m 34s
    5. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask
      4m 12s
    6. Giving an image more texture with the Texturizer
      1m 17s
    7. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      3m 1s
  19. 30m 44s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      4m 43s
    2. Three blending modes you must know
      6m 41s
    3. Adding a lens flare effect with Screen
      3m 33s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      4m 33s
    5. Creating a diffused contrast glow effect with Overlay
      6m 2s
    6. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      5m 12s
  20. 21m 39s
    1. Character (point) type
      8m 19s
    2. Paragraph (area) type
      4m 42s
    3. Type on a path
      2m 54s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      2m 24s
    5. Warping type
      3m 20s
  21. 20m 35s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      4m 43s
    2. Adding an outer glow effect
      3m 13s
    3. Adding a border around an image
      2m 53s
    4. Copying layer effects and applying them to other layers
      2m 3s
    5. Saving layer styles and applying them in other documents
      2m 42s
    6. How (and when) to scale layer effects
      5m 1s
  22. 16m 6s
    1. Creating PDF contact sheets
      6m 41s
    2. Exporting web photo galleries
      6m 8s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 17s
  23. 1m 19s
    1. Goodbye
      1m 19s

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Photoshop CS5 Essential Training
11h 15m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS5 Essential Training, author Michael Ninness demonstrates how to produce the highest quality images with fantastic detail in the shortest amount of time, using a combination of Photoshop CS5, Adobe Bridge, and Camera Raw. This course shows the most efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, Michael shares the secrets of non-destructive editing, utilizing and mastering Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw, layers, adjustment layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Automating image adjustments with Camera Raw
  • Adding keywords, ratings, and other metadata to images
  • Filtering a large collection of images down to the "keepers"
  • Cropping, correcting perspective, and straightening images
  • Creating, naming, hiding, and deleting layers
  • How to make selections and masks quickly
  • Improving mask quality with Refine Edge
  • Techniques for combining multiple images
  • Non-destructive editing techniques with adjustment layers and Smart Filters
  • Retouching essentials, such as blemish removal and body sculpting
  • Color correcting images
  • Using the essential blend modes, layer effects, and styles
  • Creating contact sheets and web photo galleries
Subjects:
Design Photography
Software:
Photoshop
Author:
Michael Ninness

Preserving the important elements with Content-Aware Scaling

So every once in a while, you're going to run into a composition where you want to make a certain edit or correction where your standard tools aren't going to really do the job for you. So, things like free transform for scaling and rotating and perspective transformations and whatnot aren't really going to be appropriate to fix the problem that you're trying to address. So, in this particular example, I don't like the fact that there's this big gap between this group of people and this person here. This girl is actually a part of this group, but she looks too far away and isolated there. So we want to try to address that if we can. In this other example over here, in this layer, I'm going to go ahead and turn the second layer on and turn the first layer off by clicking on the Eye there.

In this particular example, what I want is a 4x4 inch crop of this image. Now, I've created some guides in this file already, so I'm going to turn them on under the View menu. I'm going to go ahead and say Show > Guides. You can see that if I were to try to crop this 4-inch rectangle between these two blue guys, I'm going to be chopping him off on the right hand side there. So that's not going to work. So I need to address that. So, we'll come back to that image in just a minute. Let's go ahead and turn the Guides back off, View > Show > Guides, and then let's turn the second layer off and the first layer back on and we're going to target that first layer by clicking on the word Without Help.

It's the name of that layer there. Okay, so before this feature Content- Aware Scale that I'm going to show you, in the old days, what would you do to try to fix this problem, well, if I make my selection by switching to the Marquee tool by pressing the letter M and just simply select this side of the image here by pressing and dragging and then switching to the Move tool by pressing the letter V on my keyword and then just start clicking-and-dragging to move these pixels over, I'm holding the Shift key down so that it doesn't shift vertically as I move it horizontally. So there, I'm going to just move that over and let's see what kind of a job that did.

We'll go ahead and deselect by pressing Command+D or Ctrl+D. You can say yeah, that's not so good, because we now have this visible vertical seam and we're going to have to go do a lot of retouching to get rid of that seam. So obviously, that's not what we wanted. I'm going to go back over here to my History panel by clicking on the History panel icon. That will open it up. This is a visual way to do multiple undo. I'm going to click on the word Open just to take us back to where we started from. Okay, so just a simple moving the pixels over wasn't going to cut it. Obviously, a scale is probably not going to do it either. Just run that through real quick, we'll make a selection.

Press M for Marquee Selection tool. We'll go ahead and drag out a selection. If I do Command+T or Ctrl+T to bring up the Free Transform mode, you see I get a bounding box around my selection. As I scale that, you can see that just causes another problem, where it's actually transforming and distorting those pixels and making her just slimmer. So, now what we're trying to address there. Let's go ahead and undo that by hitting the Escape key to cancel that Free Transform. I'll go ahead and deselect, Command+D. So, what to do? Well, that's where Content-Aware Scale comes in handy.

So we're going to go to the Edit menu and choose Content-Aware Scale. Now, at first glance, it looks exactly like Free Transform in terms of putting a bounding box around the pixels on this layer, but watch what happens when I start dragging the middle handle here towards the left. You can see that it is shifting pixels over and attempting to preserve the important content. Now you need to pay attention as you do, as it does a phenomenal job just out of the gate, but you need to look for things going haywire. Pay attention to her hand right here on the left hand side.

You can see if I take the resize handle too far to the left, her hand starts to get dismembered there a little bit. So I want to back off there a little bit. It's okay to use Content-Aware Scale in multiple passes. Do it once, fix it a little bit, apply it, and then maybe work it from the other side to see if you can get some better result. So, that's what I'm going to do here. I'm going to stop right about there and hit Enter to apply that. Then I'm going to go to Edit > Content-Aware Scale again and this time do it from the left-hand side and bring her closer to the group that way.

Again, you just want to make sure you're not chopping off hand. So, one thing you might take a look for is to see if there are some tools to help you out here, and this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to hit Escape. It's okay to give Content-Aware Scale a little guidance. If I don't have a selection started before I actually use Content-Aware Scale, then it's working on the whole layer. But if I make a selection and just say Hey! I want you to focus on this region here as I'm using Content-Aware Scale. That's perfectly legal to do.

So I'm going to make my selection. I'm going to go back to Edit > Content-Aware Scale. These marching ants might get in the way. They're kind of distracting, so you can hide them under the View menu, you can say Show > Selection Edges and turn that off. It's currently checked, so I'm going to turn that off. It's still selected, but we just don't get the distraction of those marching ants. That's a Command+H keyboard shortcut as well, Command+H, Command+H to toggle that on and off. In that case, it actually hid the Free Transform bounding box or the Content-Aware Scale bounding box as well. All right! So before I do this, there's a little button up here in the top that says Protect skin tones, and this is just some smart logic to help tell Photoshop that Hey! When you see what looks like a person identified by skin tones, try to do a better job of preserving that person's integrity there.

So watch the hand here. I'm going to turn that option on and I'm going to drag that to the right now and you can see her hand isn't getting twisted off from her wrist there. So, here, it's doing a much better job by giving it a little bit of guidance just by clicking a single button. When I'm done, I'm going to press Enter. You can see I've done a much better job of fixing the composition of this portrait, of these people walking down the beach, so they look like they're all part of the same group now. Just to kind of compare the before and after, we'll go back to our History panel, here's what it looked like before by clicking on the word Open.

There is where we started and here is by using two passes of Content-Aware Scale and taking advantage of that Protect skin tones button. So you get some pretty decent result with just a few clicks and drags. All right! Let's move on to the second scenario. So let's turn off that top layer. We'll turn on the second layer, the With Help there and click on that to select it. I said we had some Guides here, so let's go turn those Guides back on, Command+Semicolon will turn those on, or you can go back to View > Show > Guides in the menu command there. So, let's go use Content-Aware Scale and see if that will fix the problem for us.

Under Edit > Content Aware Scale, I'm going to go ahead and click on that right hand handle and start dragging it to left. You can see right away it is not doing what we were hoping it was going to do. It's making them look very strange and cartoonish. So, I'm going to hit the Escape key on my keyboard to cancel that. It turns out that sometimes Content-Aware Scale just needs a little bit more guidance, a little bit more help on what is important in the image. It does a pretty good job a lot of time of guessing, but every once in while, you need to give it a little nudge. To do that, we're going to make a selection of the areas that we think are really important.

There is a great selection tool that does a quick work of that. It's called the Quick Selection tool, good name. I'm going to press the letter W on my keyboard to switch to that tool. It's the fourth one from the top here. I'm just going to very quickly drag through the areas of the image that I think are important. I don't have to be all that precise, just a very Quick Selection tool and you get some extra area that you don't care about. I'm going to hold down the Option key or the Alt key and just drag out those outside areas there. To subtract them from that selection, I'm going to go let go the modifier key now. Let's click through her face and her shirt here.

It does a good job there. We'll add her hair. I don't have to hold any modifier keys down as I drag into a new area. It automatically is going to add to my current selection. So very quick tool here, if I accidentally dragged too far, no worries, I can fix that. Now hold down the Option key to subtract the area between those two. Great! We'll subtract a little bit off to the left of his head here. Okay, that's a good enough selection for what we're trying to accomplish. The trick here is we need to save this selection so that we can call upon it during the Content-Aware Scale operation.

So to do that, we'll go to the Select menu, pull down to Save Selection. We'll give it a name. I want to call it Scale for the lack of a better name here. All right, we'll go ahead and click OK and we're going to use that selection elsewhere, so I'm going to go ahead and deselect it here and invoke the Content-Aware Scale command again on that layer. Now before we start dragging the handle, as we saw before, it wasn't going to give us what we wanted, so I'm going to take advantage of this Protect feature. I'm going to go ahead and make sure this skin tones button is turned off, because we don't need it for this particular image, because we've already saved the people.

So under the Protect menu where it says None, I'm going to hold down and choose Scale. That's that selection that we saved earlier. Now when I drag the handle and start dragging it to the left, you'll see it does a much better job of preserving that content and just squeezing the space in between. So that's looking pretty good. He is within the guide on the right-hand side. It's still kind of a Free Transform of sort, so I can just click in the middle to reposition it within those guides. If I want to squeeze him a little bit over from the left hand side, I'll go ahead and drag that handle until I get the result I'm looking for.

So, that's pretty good. I might have some retouching cleanup to do on some edges here, but that's a quick, easy job with something like the Healing Brush or the Clone Stamp tool. All in all though, this was a pretty quick job. I'm going to go ahead and hit the Enter key and we'll see the final results. I'll press the C key for the Crop tool and drag out our crop between those guides that I had created earlier, the 4x4 crop, hit Enter. And you can see there is my final composition without a lot of fuss or muss and it just was pretty cool.

Content-Aware Scale, it's your friend, just remember, sometimes, you might need to give it a little guidance.

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