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Photoshop has a variety of tools that were created in order to help fill an area when you're trying to remove something in the image that you don't want. For example, if I want to remove this lamp or if I wanted to remove this area over here, we can use a variety of different tools that are aware or try to be aware of the content surrounding the object. For example, if we select the Spot Healing Brush you notice that its default is set to Content Aware. So every time you use it Photoshop is analyzing the area around the distracting object and trying to fill it based on the content.
Same with the Patch tool here. You'll see that there is an option for Content Aware and under the Edit menu we can actually fill with Content Aware. So let's try that first, but we need to make a selection. So I'm going to tap the L key and that's going to give me the Lasso tool and I want to make a selection, so I'll just make sure that this initial icon is selected. Now remember the hotspot for this tool is at the tip of the arrow. So I'm going to make a rather careful selection around here, just going around the lamp and then down here to the shadow, back up the side of the lamp, back to the beginning.
To fill this we'll go to Edit>Fill, and for Use we'll use Content Aware, click OK, and you can see that Photoshop did a really nice job. In fact if we go to Select and then Deselect you can see that there's really nothing else that we need to change. So a lot of times when I run Content Aware Fill, I think it would get me in 80% to 90% of the way there, but then I might still need to go back in with either the Clone Stamp tool or the Healing Brush, and make some additional changes.
But for now that looks great. So let's move on to this object right here and I'll start right here and just drag with my Lasso tool around the item that I want to remove. I'll come all the way down here and remove that cement foundation as well just because I want to make sure that we get a nice seamless cement foundation and we can see the little shadow here. So I just want to make sure that I capture all of that. And now I can either use the Edit menu and use the Content Aware Fill or we can switch to the Patch tool, which typically within an image like this, I'm not quite sure where Photoshop would grab the information for such a large area to try to fill it.
So by using the Patch tool I'm actually helping Photoshop by telling it where I think the best area is to grab from in order to patch. So it's just kind of helping it a little bit. One of the things you want to make sure is if you look at the foundation down at the bottom you can see as I move my selection here that selection is moving. So I want to make sure that I've aligned that bottom line going across the foundation and this whole time I've had my mouse down so you can't let go of the mouse. Otherwise, it will go ahead and patch it.
So it's important that you make sure that you position the source area where you want Photoshop to grab the information from before you release the mouse. Once you release the mouse Photoshop will calculate that and you can see it's done a very, very good job in patching that area. In fact, if we go to Select>Deselect, it's very, very hard to tell where that original content was. This is what I mean by you might need to go in and fix some small areas like this area right here where I can see the repetition of this brick right over here or maybe right in here where the bricks don't quite line up, but otherwise Photoshop has done a very good job of removing that unwanted area in the image.
Now there's another tool in Photoshop CS6. If we move to the Venice image, this tool is also found nested with the Spot Healing Brush and it's called the Content Aware Move tool and it can help us actually move something in our image to another area and then kind of fill in where we move the object from. So again it has a hotspot at the top of the black arrow. So we can start clicking and dragging and I just want to move this post over, but it's going to look rather silly if I don't also move the reflection of the post.
So let's grab both of those items, and then I'll position my cursor inside the marching ants, just like we did with the Patch tool, and then click-and-drag this over so instead of making a duplicate of this what Photoshop is going to is it's going to try to actually move it. So it will move the contents within the marching ants and it will go back and fill in the area that was moved. So in this case it's going to fill in this area here where the original post was. Again, it was important when I did drag this over that I kept this line straight.
So you see when I scooted over this way I don't want to bring it up or bring it down Photoshop's going have a much more difficult time if I do that. But if I do just want to move an item a little bit, I want to help Photoshop with the alignment as much as I can. So there are three tools that Photoshop has, a Fill command as well as the Patch tool, and the Content Aware Move tool which can all help you with either moving content of your image or replacing unwanted objects. Just remember that the more guidance you can give Photoshop the more successful these tools are going to be.
And if they don't work the first time, don't hesitate to run them again because the algorithm or the mass underneath them will change every time. So the tools might not solve every issue perfectly, but if they get you 80% or 90% of the way there, then you can use your other tools like the Healing Brush of the Clone Stamp tool to perfect the image.
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