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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.
Here is an example of another common problem that you want to learn how to deal with, and that's getting rid of unwanted objects or details in a particular image to improve the overall composition. So, in this particular example, maybe you don't really want to see this person's knee in the bottom right-hand corner, and maybe you want to get rid of the arm or maybe even these people here on the right-hand side. Let's learn how easy that can be using Content-Aware Fill inside Photoshop CS5. To begin, we typically want to make our retouching end up on a duplicate, or additional layer. So, we are going to duplicate the background layer so we don't damage the original pixels.
We can do that by dragging the thumbnail down to the New icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. It will call it Background copy. You can always do Command or Ctrl+J as well if you are a keyboard shortcut junkie. I am going to go ahead and double- click on the word Background copy to rename this, and we'll just call it After. So, that's where our retouching is going to occur. It's real simple. We are going to use the Lasso tool. I am going to press L for the Lasso tool on my keyboard. And I am simply going to start selecting the area that I want to remove from my image. So, it doesn't have to be all that complicated, just a loose selection around that particular area.
And then, what I want to do is bring up the Fill command. You can either go to the Edit menu and choose Edit > Fill, or you can press Shift+Delete or Shift+ Backspace to bring up the dialog. For Contents, the default is probably Foreground Color. You want to change it to this new option here called Content-Aware. I want to go ahead and click OK. Just like that, that knee is gone. Let's go ahead and make some other selections. We'll select this arm and the water splash and this shirt detail there. Go ahead and make that selection.
Again, I am going to bring up the Fill command, Shift+Delete or Shift+Backspace. It remembers the last setting you used. So, Content-Aware is already chosen. When I click OK again, bam! Just like that, that subject is gone. Go ahead and deselect, Command+D or Ctrl+D. How long has this taken? Just a couple of seconds. So, let's keep working. Let's get this head of this little boy selected, and we'll get his boogie board selected as well. We'll go around this very quickly and easily, using the Lasso tool again. Again, we'll bring up that Fill command under Edit > Fill or Shift+Backspace or Delete, click OK. Voila! It's gone.
It even replicated the shadow of these people here. We'll go ahead and just click somewhere to deselect. Now, let's get really aggressive. Let's decide to get rid of this whole section of image as well. We'll select around that reflection. Don't forget that. Sometimes people get rid of the subject, but then they forget that there's a shadow or reflection left over. So, I am just going to loosely go around and get rid of that person there as well. Come around here with the Lasso tool. Let's bring up that Fill command again, Edit > Fill > Content-Aware. Click OK. Bam! Look at that.
We'll go ahead and deselect: Command+D or Ctrl+D. Here's where you might need to give Content-Aware Fill a little bit of help. You can see there is a little bit of an edge. It did the phenomenal job though. It gets us about 80-90% of the way there. Then we can switch to our old friend the Spot Healing Brush tool. I just clicked on the little Band-Aid icon over here. I can press the letter J. I am going to use Content-Aware for that Spot Healing Brush tool as well, making sure Sample All Layers is turned on. And then, we are just going to quickly paint over the areas that need a little additional help.
So, we got rid of those rocks there. We will get rid of that. We'll come across those vertical seams, and we'll just very quickly touch-up the rest of the image that we want to retouch a little bit. You don't have to spend a lot of time fighting the details here. It's really kind of up to you. Don't forget this little residue water splash. We'll get rid of those little details there with just a very quick couple of paintbrush strokes there. And maybe we want to get rid of this person here, over on that side. You can see how easy this really is. It's kind of scary how easy this stuff is now. We'll go ahead and go through there.
We'll get rid of that, and maybe get rid of that as well. And then, I'll even come real close to the hair here and get that rock away from her hair and her ear. We might have to come back in an additional swipe there. You can see it did a really good job of that. So, let's compare where we started, one more. It's actually so easy that you kind of sometimes just get lost in painting and painting and painting. Let's turn off that After layer. There is before and here's after, by turning that layer back on. You can see retouching like this really doesn't have to be a lot work any more. It's pretty phenomenal what you can do with Content-Aware Fill.
It's under the Edit > Fill command. Make sure you choose your option Content-Aware. When you are retouching with the Spot Healing Brush, make sure you choose Content-Aware there as well to get much better results.
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