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Using the Content-Aware Move tool


Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate

with Deke McClelland

Video: Using the Content-Aware Move tool

Photoshop offers another content-aware tool known as the content-aware move tool, and what it lets you do is move a selected region of an image, such as this woman right here, to a different location and then it goes ahead and automatically fills in the gap. Now I've graded the selection outline in advance and it saved as part of the image. To get to it, go up to the Select menu and choose the Load Selection command. And then you'll want to set the Channel option right here to lasso selection.
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  1. 2m 4s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      2m 4s
  2. 1h 1m
    1. The best of Photoshop automation
    2. Content-Aware Fill and Color Adaptation (CC 2014)
      7m 44s
    3. Combining two layers with a layer mask (CC 2014)
      5m 37s
    4. Content-aware healing (CC 2014)
      10m 17s
    5. Introducing the Patch tool
      3m 43s
    6. Using Content-Aware Patch
      7m 17s
    7. Retouching with Content-Aware Patch
      3m 45s
    8. Using the Content-Aware Move tool
      7m 41s
    9. Using Content-Aware Extend
      2m 4s
    10. The Content-Aware Scale command
      6m 35s
    11. Scaling in multiple passes
      2m 22s
    12. Protecting skin tones
      3m 31s
  3. 32m 55s
    1. Editing the histogram
      1m 50s
    2. The new automatic Levels adjustment
      4m 33s
    3. Customizing a Levels adjustment
      4m 53s
    4. Understanding the Gamma value
      2m 7s
    5. Opening up the shadows
      2m 48s
    6. Previewing clipped pixels
      3m 40s
    7. Retouching with Output Levels
      4m 25s
    8. Making channel-by-channel adjustments
      2m 19s
    9. Faking a gray card in post
      2m 51s
    10. Assigning shortcuts to adjustment layers
      3m 29s
  4. 57m 43s
    1. How sharpening works
      1m 38s
    2. Introducing the Smart Sharpen filter
      6m 56s
    3. Understanding the Radius value
      5m 20s
    4. Gauging the best sharpening settings
      5m 45s
    5. Addressing color artifacts and clipping
      5m 49s
    6. The Remove and Reduce Noise options
      4m 22s
    7. The Shadows/Highlights options
      7m 36s
    8. Correcting for camera shake
      6m 47s
    9. Sharpening with the Emboss filter
      5m 45s
    10. Sharpening with the High Pass filter
      4m 44s
    11. Painting in sharpness
      3m 1s
  5. 1h 12m
    1. Vector-based type
      1m 35s
    2. Creating and editing point text
      8m 8s
    3. Font and type style tricks
      7m 58s
    4. Type size and color tricks
      6m 42s
    5. Kerning and tracking characters
      8m 9s
    6. Creating and editing area text
      3m 50s
    7. Selecting and formatting paragraphs
      6m 50s
    8. Setting text inside a custom path
      5m 34s
    9. Creating text along a path
      6m 12s
    10. Adjusting baseline shift
      4m 45s
    11. Creating and stylizing a logo
      6m 49s
    12. Masking text into image elements
      6m 14s
  6. 1h 9m
    1. The other vector-based layer
      1m 39s
    2. Dotted borders and corner roundness
      8m 14s
    3. Drawing and aligning custom shapes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating your own repeatable custom shape
      5m 43s
    5. Selecting and modifying path outlines (CC 2014)
      6m 5s
    6. Isolating selected layers (CC 2014)
      6m 39s
    7. Combining simple shapes to make complex ones
      6m 31s
    8. Cropping, adjusting, and merging shapes
      8m 49s
    9. Creating a soft, synthetic sparkle
      6m 22s
    10. Saving a resolution-independent PDF file
      6m 42s
    11. Turning a small image into a huge one
      8m 38s
  7. 1h 14m
    1. Depth, contour, and texture
      1m 28s
    2. Imparting depth with a layer effect
      9m 9s
    3. The power of the drop shadow
      7m 37s
    4. Modifying a layer and its effects
      6m 21s
    5. Saving custom default settings
      4m 12s
    6. Creating a custom contour
      8m 5s
    7. Introducing Bevel and Emboss
      8m 8s
    8. Multiple effects and multiple layers
      7m 45s
    9. Global Light and rasterizing effects
      8m 5s
    10. Gloss and surface contour
      6m 4s
    11. Adding texture to Bevel and Emboss
      7m 21s
  8. 34m 48s
    1. Styles store settings
      1m 38s
    2. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      3m 41s
    3. Redefining a style and styling a word
      5m 38s
    4. Creating and styling a placeholder style
      5m 43s
    5. Applying and creating layer styles
      5m 45s
    6. Loading and customizing layer styles
      5m 42s
    7. Merging and saving layer styles
      6m 41s
  9. 56m 48s
    1. Meet the transformations
      1m 55s
    2. Transformations and Smart Objects
      5m 46s
    3. Adjusting the interpolation setting
      5m 10s
    4. Rotating a layer with Free Transform
      5m 22s
    5. Scale, duplicate, and repeat
      4m 30s
    6. Creating a synthetic star field
      5m 20s
    7. Warping a logo with Arc and Flag
      5m 34s
    8. Distort, perspective, and skew
      4m 15s
    9. Using transformations to draw and correct
      7m 0s
    10. Bolstering text with layer effects
      5m 43s
    11. Adding highlights with Lens Flare
      6m 13s
  10. 43m 36s
    1. Removing the weight that the camera adds
      1m 7s
    2. The Warp and Reconstruct tools
      6m 44s
    3. Brush size, hardness, and opacity
      4m 29s
    4. The Pucker, Bloat, Push, and Twirl tools
      7m 12s
    5. Saving and reapplying Liquify settings
      4m 9s
    6. Lifting and slimming details
      9m 42s
    7. Warping legs, arms, and fabric
      5m 33s
    8. Improving a model's posture
      4m 40s
  11. 58m 46s
    1. Shoot in color, convert to black and white
      1m 55s
    2. Three ways to grayscale
      5m 36s
    3. Mixing a custom black-and-white image
      7m 31s
    4. Simulating an infrared photograph
      6m 39s
    5. Creating a sienna-infused sepia tone
      5m 38s
    6. Creating a hyper-saturated image
      5m 26s
    7. Introducing the Black & White command
      3m 16s
    8. Customizing the Black & White settings
      4m 50s
    9. Black & White meets the Channel Mixer
      7m 29s
    10. Infusing an image with tint and color
      5m 9s
    11. Grayscale and Split Tone in Camera Raw
      5m 17s
  12. 41m 34s
    1. The many ways to print
      1m 41s
    2. Using the test document
      3m 18s
    3. Print, position, and size
      5m 57s
    4. Description and printing marks
      3m 3s
    5. Establishing a bleed
      3m 44s
    6. Getting reliable color
      5m 54s
    7. Special printing options
      5m 1s
    8. Previewing an image at print size
      4m 16s
    9. Creating contact sheets
      4m 49s
    10. Creating a multipage PDF
      3m 51s
  13. 31m 9s
    1. Making Internet imagery
      1m 6s
    2. Introducing Save for Web
      4m 39s
    3. Creating the perfect JPEG image
      5m 14s
    4. Creating a high-contrast GIF image
      6m 23s
    5. The two varieties of PNG
      3m 57s
    6. Downsampling for the web
      5m 59s
    7. Adding copyright and contact info
      3m 51s
  14. 1m 3s
    1. Until next time
      1m 3s

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate
10h 37m Intermediate Aug 19, 2013 Updated Sep 18, 2014

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Photoshop CC One-on-One is back, and this installment teaches you how to build on your basic knowledge and achieve next-level effects with this premiere image-editing program. Industry pro Deke McClelland shows you how to seamlessly move and patch areas of a photo with the Content-Aware toolset; stretch the brightness of a scene with automatic and custom Levels adjustments; create intricate designs with text and shapes; and morph an image with layer effects and transformations. Deke also shares his techniques for sharpening details, whether addressing noise and highlight/shadow clipping or camera shake, and converting a full-color image to black and white. The final chapters show you how to best print and save images for the web, making sure all your hard work pays off in the final output.

Topics include:
  • Performing automatic retouch, scaling, and more with the Content-Aware tools
  • Editing the histogram
  • Customizing a Levels adjustment
  • Making channel-by-channel Levels adjustments
  • Sharpening with the Smart Sharpen, Emboss, and High Pass filters
  • Working with vector-based type
  • Kerning and tracking characters
  • Creating text on a path
  • Drawing and customizing shapes
  • Creating depth, contour, and texture with layer effects
  • Liquifying an image
  • Simulating an infrared photo
  • Adjusting print position, size, and color
  • Creating the perfect JPEG image
  • Downsampling for the web
Design Photography
Deke McClelland

Using the Content-Aware Move tool

Photoshop offers another content-aware tool known as the content-aware move tool, and what it lets you do is move a selected region of an image, such as this woman right here, to a different location and then it goes ahead and automatically fills in the gap. Now I've graded the selection outline in advance and it saved as part of the image. To get to it, go up to the Select menu and choose the Load Selection command. And then you'll want to set the Channel option right here to lasso selection.

That's the way it should be set by default, and then click OK. And you can see that I've created a pretty tight selection outline around the woman however, I have left a little bit of a margin as well. So you don't want to exactly select the image. And in fact, as we'll see before this movie is out, it's oftentimes useful to select the image extremely generally. Now let's start with the standard Move tool, which is the very first tool in the toolbox. And notice if I drag the selection with the Move tool, then I end up leaving a hole where the selection used to be.

And when you're working in a flat image as I am, then the hole appears in the background color, which happens to be white. If you're working on an independent layer, then the hole will be transparent. But in any case this is not what we want. Now, often times what you do instead, I'll go ahead and press Control Z, or CommandZ on the Mac, is you duplicate the selection by Alt or Option dragging it, but of course, while that does a good job of moving the selection, it leaves a copy of the woman behind. And also, if I press Control H, or Command H on a Mac, in order to hide the selection outline, you can see that we get these harsh transitions.

So Photoshop has made no attempt to heal the edges around the selected region. So, what I'm going to do is zoom back out here, and then I'll press Control Z, or Command Z on a Mac, to undo that move. And I'll press Control H, or Command H on a Mac, to bring back my marching ants. Let's compare that behavior to the behavior of this guy right here. Go ahead and click and hold on the Healing Brush or the Patch Tool or what have you, and you'll see in the fly out menu, Content-Aware Move Tool.

And it also, by the way, offers an adaptation option complete with structure and color, just as we saw with content-aware patch. And so now notice, if I go ahead and drag this woman to a new location, such as, let's say, right about here, pretty high in the image. Photoshop is making a calculation, a very quick one, in this case and its gone ahead and filled the previously elected area with a bunch of flowers so that there's no hole left over, and if I zoom in, you can see that its done a pretty good job of retaining the detail inside the image as well.

We've got this repeated knee down here, but otherwise, inside of her dress, for example, things look good. Her leg is a big mes though. Once you start sort of closely inspecting the image, it kind of falls apart. We've got this weird knee action and the shin just kind of bends unfortunately here. And then her arm, something horrible has happened to her arm and her thumb has kind of moved into her eye. Now, that kind of thing is going to happen and if it does, then what you want to do is go up here to this little gear icon, next to the word adaptation, and if you want more of a loose interpretation, why then you would take the structure value down.

For example, I'll go ahead and take it down to one. And that goes ahead and stretches her head, and cuts a hole in her top hand, and does some weird stuff to her shoulder, and we probably have, yeah, tons of problems in her legs, and one of her feet just kind of disappears, and we lose her heel as well. Whereas, if you go up to this icon and change the structure value to its maximum of 5, and of course, we can make these modifications dynamically on the fly, totally awesome, Photoshop's going to update immediately, and things are looking a lot better. Her face looks pretty good. This rear hand looks fine.

But, in my case I'm seeing a duplication of the elbow and we have an extra knuckle as well over here in the forward hand. I think the legs, well no, the legs don't look too hot either. And then we have a little bit of a duplication of the dress down here at the bottom of the selection outline. Now, you may also want to toy with the color setting right here, the Color Adaptation setting. Let's say I take it up to its maximum of 10. And press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, to accept that change. Notice that the colors inside of her change a little bit. So she becomes a little greener, a little more yellow actually because, what appears green inside of an image is frequently considered by Photoshop to be yellow.

But you also see the formerly selected area that got filled in is also turning red and that's because Photoshop is trying to accommodate the colors that were formerly at work inside the selection. So, in any event, you can fool around with these settings a little more if you like but, I'm going to tell you that the problem is not so much with the settings, but rather with our initial selection outline. So I'm going to zoom out here, and I'm going to press Control Z, or Command Z on the Mac, to undo the movement of this young woman, and I'll Control D, or Command D on the Mac, to deselect the image.

And this time I'm going to select her very generally using the rectangular marquee tool, and I'll draw a big selection around her that leaves a lot of room above her head and around her arms and above her knee, and down below her dress and outside the feet as well. So all kinds of room available to us. And now, I'll go ahead select that Content-Aware Move tool once again. And I'll drag the selection, and this time I'm not going to drag her so far up. And, this is the kind of stuff you can get away with.

You can actually move the selection on top of itself and still get decent results. And then a few moments later we'll end up seeing a much better version of this young woman. Notice that her legs are fine, her arm and her head are fine as well, and that's in part because the structure value's cranked up so high. So structure 5 is going to work quite well. But, if I want to get some better resolution around the edges of this rectangular marquee, I might take the structure value down to its minimum of 1. And I'll just cross my fingers and hope that our model survives in good shape.

And she does. And we get some great transitions as well. And then I'm just going to go ahead and take that color adaptation down to 0, and press the Enter key, or the Return key on a Mac, in order to apply that change. And now I'll press Control D, or Command D on a Mac to deselect the image. I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the full-screen mode. And just to get a sense of a before and after here, I'll press the F12 key. That's where she used to be, down here at the bottom of the image, and then I'll press Control Z, or Command Z on a Mac to move her back up.

And as you can see, we're got some very dinky flowers that are showing up down here in the forward portion of the image that are getting mixed in with the larger foreground flowers, and so that's not necessarily the most realistic effect on earth but, given how little time and effort this takes, it's a remarkable modification. Which is why content-aware move and patch and fill are such extraordinary tools, especially when you're on a deadline and you don't have much time to spare.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Photoshop CC One-on-One: Intermediate .

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Q: This course was updated on 09/18/2014. What changed?
A: Deke updated the course to reflect changes in the 2014 version of Photoshop CC. The updates are concentrated in "The Content-Aware Collection" and "Creating and Formatting Text" chapters, but there are new movies sprinkled throughout the course as well.
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