Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Replacing backgrounds with Content-Aware Fill, part of Photoshop and Bridge CS5 for Photographers New Features.
Here, I want to take a look at a revolutionary new tool inside of Photoshop CS5. It's called Content-Aware Fill. Now, I described this tool as revolutionary because it really will change the way that you retouch and clean up your photographs. Like, let's say with this image here that the client really likes this environmental portrait of Shawn Stussy, yet one of the problems is the car. They say, 'You know what Chris? The car just has to go. We need some more space for some copy for this ad that we are going to be running.' Well, in this case we think to our self, 'Oh gosh! That's going to be incredibly difficult re-creating the concrete and the wall' underneath this area.' But then perhaps we think again and we remember this new feature, which is called Content-Aware Fill.
Let's take a look at how we can use that. What I am going to do is go ahead and copy my background layer. I'll press Command+J or Ctrl+J in order to do that. I'll go ahead and name this new layer clean up. Next step is going to be to press the L key to select the Lasso tool. Now, with the Lasso tool selected, what I am going to do is go ahead and make a selection around the perimeter of this car. I want to get close, but not too close in order to have a nice selection there around this portion of the image. Well, the next thing that I want to do is open up my Fill dialog.
There are three ways that we can do this. We can press Shift+Delete. That will then open up Fill, or we can navigate to our Edit pulldown menu and select Fill, or we can press Shift+F5. Whatever your preference, go ahead and use one of those techniques in order to open up the Fill dialog. In my case, I am going to navigate to the Edit menu and here just simply click on Fill. Now, in this dialog, what we want to do is we want to use Content-Aware. We'll simply click OK. At this juncture, we are going to kind of cross our fingers and hope that this works.
Well, for the most part this did a pretty amazing job. The one problematic area, in this case, is this area right here. It was problematic simply because I think my selection wasn't wide enough. So, here is how we are going to fix that. Let's press Command+Z on a Mac or Ctrl+Z on a PC. Then with our Lasso tool still selected, I am going to go ahead and hold down the Shift key, and this time, I am going to simply make my selection a little bit bigger around this area of the car. Well, now that I have a bigger area selected I'll press Shift+Delete and then click OK in order to try this again.
Now in this case, this worked much better. It's a little bit more of a clean removal of that area of the car. I just want to illustrate that that what you can do is if this ever doesn't work on the first time, don't dismay. You can always undo this, try a different selection or selecting a different area and many times, this will lead to some pretty stunning results. All right. Well, let's go ahead and deselect. We can do so by navigating to Select and then choosing Deselect. Well, of course, I still have this problem area right here. No big deal. Let's select our Marquee tool, and then we'll go ahead and make a selection of this area.
Then once we have done that, we'll go ahead and press Shift+Delete and click OK in order to heal out this portion of the image. So, again, we can apply this to one area multiple times. Now for that matter, if we want to remove other areas like this line, simply make the selection, press Shift+Delete, click OK, and you will be able to remove that area as well. All right. Well, the last thing that I want to highlight here is that if we navigate to Select and Deselect, we may notice that there are some repeating patterns. You want to be really wary and careful of this.
For example, if you look closely, there are two red dots that are repeated here. If ever you see a repeating pattern, simply choose one of your other retouching tools like, for example, the Healing Brush. Then go ahead and hold down the Option key on a Mac, Alt key on a PC, sample a little area and then retouch out that repeating pattern. Try to interrupt the pattern so that this looks a little bit more realistic. Here, all that I am doing is simply cleaning up some of the small blemishes. As long as I have the Healing Brush, I'll go ahead and do that in order to make this area look that much better.
Just work my way through here, making sure that this looks nice. We are almost done with this. Not a lot of effort considering how much we've actually done to the photograph some pretty phenomenal removal of that area and also rebuilding the wall. Let's take a look at the before and after. Here we have it, the before and then the final image, after.
- Browsing and opening files from Mini Bridge
- Adding custom watermarks to photos
- Performing content-aware healing
- Sharpening, reducing noise, and adding film grain in Adobe Camera Raw
- Editing styles and effects on multiple layers at once
- Selecting with a smart radius
- Applying the HDR Toning adjustment
- Making lens corrections to adjust for distortion
- Auto straightening a photograph