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Here I want to share with you how you can use a powerful technique which is called Content-Aware Fill in order to clean up your images in some really fascinating ways. Well, you can work with this technique either on the Background layer or a duplicate layer and you use this technique by making a selection and then by opening up the Fill dialog. Let me show you how this works. Well, for on a Background layer, we can choose say our Lasso tool. We can go ahead and select a little problem area like this blemish on this wall. Next, if you're on the Background, press delete on a Mac or Backspace on Windows that will open up the Fill dialog.
Here we are going to delete or fill this with Content-Aware, by doing that it will then build this texture and remove that problem. We can also do this on a duplicate layer. Click and drag this to the new layer icon, make a selection with any of your Selection tools. Yet here on this duplicate layer, rather than pressing Delete or Backspace, you want to press Shift+F5. That opens up the dialog, choose Content-Aware and then click OK and it will remove that small blemish.
I also want to point out that you can select multiple blemishes at once. Here I'll hold down the Shift key and I'll continue to make selections. Whenever you use the Shift key with any of your Selection tools, it allows you to add to the selection. So here I am just adding more little selection areas and by doing this, I can then Content-Aware Fill all of these areas at once. Go ahead to make my way through here and then pressed Shift+F5 key and then click OK.
And what we'll see is some Photoshop magic; it will retouch or remove all of the problems in this area. If ever it doesn't look perfect, well just press Shift+F5 again and reapply this, because essentially what it's doing is it's selecting from these random textures in order to try to cover up those areas and by pressing it multiple times, sometimes it can just help you find a better source in order to select those areas. If we choose Deselect for a moment we can see that before and after, here is before and now after.
Well, this image was pretty easy. It was easy because the texture background wasn't that complicated. Yet, what about a situation with an image like this. Let's say that we show this portrait to the client and they say I love it. I love the mood, the feel, the back alley kind of thing, except I don't like the car. I need you to get rid of the car because I want to include some copy or something over here. And in Photoshop we'll see if we can't use Content-Aware Fill to remove the entire car.
We'll duplicate that Background layer. Click and drag that to the new layer icon. Let's name this top layer clean up just to be organized here. Next, with our Lasso tool still selected we'll go ahead and make a nice lasso selection around this car. When you're removing something as we're trying to do here what you will want to do is make the selection a little bit bigger than the area that you're actually removing. In that way, it will give Photoshop some breathing room in regards to how to blend this in.
Now at this point what we do is we typically hold our breath, cross our fingers and press Shift+F5 and then click OK and see how this works. And sometimes what will happen is that just won't do much for us at all. If ever you see that there are a couple of options. You can either undo by pressing Command+Z or Ctrl+Z and then you can try modifying your selection. Here if you hold down the Option or Alt key, you can subtract from the selection. Sometimes by changing your selection or by adding to it, it can give Photoshop a little bit more area to work with and sometimes that can make all the difference in the world in regards to the area that it's going to sample from.
So again try either to add or subtract your selection, hold down the Shift key to add, hold down Option or Alt to subtract. And then press Shift+F5 once again and click OK. And by changing the selection say in this case, that car is magically gone. The next step is going to be perhaps to remove some other elements, so I might select this little paint drip here or chip or cracker whatever that is, again press Shift+F5 in order to clean that up.
If you notice that there are areas that didn't quite work well, you can always just select that smaller area and by doing that that can then help you to retouch that. Press Shift+F5 and then try to clean up that little area or on the other hand choose Select and Deselect and then go back to one of your other retouching tools, say like the Spot Healing Brush and here you could use this to retouch anything that may look like a repeating pattern. If you notice that on the back there, you just want to get rid of that because this tool, it works incredibly well, but it's not perfect.
So here we may need to just clean that up or touch up some of those little areas or perhaps do some cloning in order to fix up the little line that we have here. We could use that Clone Stamp tool in order to kind of change some of the texture that we're noticing. So as you need to do that of course by all means use these tools in order to start blending or in order to start cloning or healing some of this in. Now that we've seen that this is absolutely magic and we can see our before and after, well, you have now discovered that this is definitely one of those techniques that you'll want to integrate into your overall cleanup and retouching workflow.
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