Skill Level Intermediate
- [Instructor] Among the most amazing tools added to Creative Cloud in recent years has been Content-Aware Fill. This feature which first appeared in Photoshop lets you simply delete an object from a scene and it just fills in the background, often seamlessly using pixel analysis. Content-Aware Fill is now directly part of After Effects. Let's take a look at how we can use it to completely remove the footage of a horse being ridden across a beach despite that the horse and rider cast a shadow and travel between light and shadow areas of the beach right between the water and the trees. If I pause the footage and show my masks, you can see that I've created a moving mask with just a few keyframes. Now, I didn't need to track this which might have been difficult given how much moving detail there is here because the drone is just directly following that horse. So I got off easy and what I'm going to do is change this to be a subtract mask. So now I've created a hole that needs to be filled and obviously, to do this by hand would be somewhere between difficult and impossible given the amount of changes to the contour and detail of the beach. So that's where we open up Content-Aware Fill. You'll see this in your panels over here on the right in Default View. I'm in the Default workspace and if you don't see it, you can go to Content-Aware Fill and toggle it on or off over here. And I have my alpha expansion set to just a few pixels. I have it set to five. This just gives me a little bit of breathing room and flexibility to feather the mask if I want to do that and doesn't cost me much in terms of computation. You don't need to do this. I'm going to fill an object into this area and I'm going to use the work area which happens to be the duration of this comp. So I click on Generate Fill Layer and some things start to happen. You see a progress bar down here. That indicates it's analyzing the scene and then in my timeline, I see a sequence and so what's happening here is After Effects is actually going to write out a PNG sequence directly to disk and this will be saved effectively as actual pixel data image by image and it'll be stored with your other source files for the scene. So you can see I've got a preliminary result and now it is done and let's preview how that looks. Wow. They are really just gone, aren't they? The only indication that I see that there was ever anything else in this scene is a slight ripple in the footprints in the sand and you may not even be able to see it right now. Content-Aware Fill is especially good at a case like this. We have a moving object that was removed with a mask and the background being replaced in is natural and varied. So this is one case where it does a surprisingly good job. This isn't the only option. So there are others that we'll look at separately.