Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Content-Aware with Color Adaptation, part of Photoshop CC 2014 New Features.
In this movie, I'll introduce you to a new function known as color adaptation that works hand-in-hand with the Content-Aware features, specifically Content-Aware Fill, as well as the Patch and Content-Aware Move tools. And the upshot is that you can achieve smoother color transitions, especially when working with gradient backgrounds. And when I say gradient backgrounds, I mean natural gradients as we're seeing here. So, you can see that we've got a vignetting effect that, of course, is a function of the lighting of the original scene.
So let's say I want to take this square photograph from the Fotolia image library and I want to extend it to create a portrait-style rectangle. So, in other words, I want to make it wider. Well, the first step is to press the D key to instate the default foreground and background colors so that the background color is white. Then, go up to the Image menu and choose the Canvas Size command. And assuming that the Relative check box is turned off and that you're working in pixels, I'm going to go ahead and change the width value to 2,100 pixels to extend the scene.
Notice that the Canvas extension color is set to background so that when I click OK, I'm going to see white around the edges of the original photograph. Now the next step for the sake of demonstration here is to go up to the Image menu and choose Duplicate, and I am going to call this new image, better match. And that way, we can compare these two effects side by side. Now, I'll go ahead and click OK and I'll press Ctrl+0, or Cmd+0, on the Mac in order to center the zoom. And now, I'll go ahead and switch back to the original image.
It doesn't look like anything happened because the two images are identical. And I'll go ahead and click and hold on a quick selection tool, and I'll select the Magic Wand tool. That will allow me to exactly select these white regions on the left and right-hand sides, especially if I go ahead and change the Tolerance value to 0 and turn off the Anti Alias check box. And that way I will select white and only white as soon as I click right there, for example, in order to select the left portion of the scene.
And now, I will go up to the Edit menu and choose the Fill command, and by default, you should see Use set to Content-Aware, and if not, go ahead and select it. For now I'm going to leave Color Adaptation turned off. This is a new check box inside the most recent version of Photoshop CC and with that check box off, you get the old behavior essentially. Now, that doesn't mean that the old behavior is bad, by the way. It's just that we now have two different styles of Content-Aware that we can choose from. So, I'll go and click OK in order to fill in that white region over on the left-hand side.
And then I'll go ahead and click inside the white region on the right side, and I'll press the keyboard shortcut for the Fill command, which is Shift+backspace, that's Shift+Delete on the Mac. Or, of course, you can just use the Fill command from the Edit menu. And again, I'm going to leave Use set to Content-Aware. Color adaptation is turned off, and I'll click OK. And then I'll press Ctrl-D, or Cmd+D on the Mac, in order to deselect the image. And what you'll notice, especially over here on the left-hand side, I'm going to go ahead and zoom in by Ctrl+space bar clicking here, that's Cmd+space bar clicking in a Mac.
You can see that we have some scaling in the lower left region of the image, which is caused by repeated details as you are seeing right here. And we also have some repetition of detail around this region. Notice these sort of bumps that are forming over and over here. All right, now go ahead and zoom back out by pressing Ctrl+0 or Cmd+0 on the Mac. Also, we have some pretty ratty color transitions over here, especially on the left-hand side. Let's compare that to working with Color Adaptation.
So, I'll go ahead and switch over to my duplicate image, and I'll click in this white area on the left, and I'll press Shift+Backspace, or Shift+Delete on the Mac. I'll turn Color Adaptation on this time around, and I'll click OK. And now I'll try the same thing over here on the right-hand side. Click inside that white region, press Shift-Backspace, or Shift-Delete on the Mac. Color Adaptation this time will already be on because we're seeing our last applied settings, at which point I'll click OK. And then press Ctrl+D, or Cmd+D on the Mac, in order to deselect the image.
And notice that we get better, smoother transitions over here on the left and the right-hand side. So, this is a result of the Color Adaptation check box being turned off, which is, of course, the way things have worked inside of Photoshop for years now. And this is the result of turning Color Adaptation on. Now, you don't always want Color Adaptation on. I just want you to know that the check box is there. That's really the important thing. For example, notice this iffy transition right there, and we've got a little bit of repetition of detail.
I'm going to go ahead and zoom in a little bit and space bar drag the image up like that, and then I'll select this region right there. I'll press Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on the Mac, in order to hide the selection edges. Then I'll press Shift+Backspace in order to bring up the Fill dialog box. I'll leave Color Adaptation turned on and I will click OK, and you can see that we get an interesting transition. I am not sure it is exactly what I want. If you run into that effect where it is like well, that's good, but maybe it could be better, then just go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z' on the Mac, in order to undo, and then press Shift+Backspace again, Shift+Delete on the Mac.
Try turning the check box off this time around. Click OK, and you are going to get a different fill effect this time around. Now, things become even more noticeable when we start using the tools. That is to say, the Patch tool and the Content-Aware tool. So, let me show you what that looks like. I'll go ahead and center my zoom, and then I'll switch to my rectangular Marquee tool, which of course I can get by pressing the M key. And I'll just go ahead and select this right-hand region of the image like so.
And then I'll switch from the Spot Healing brush to the Patch tool. And then what you need to do is go up to the Options bar and change the Patch setting from Normal to Content-Aware if you want to take advantage of Content-Aware patching, which was made available to us in CS6. And now, what I'm going to do is drag this selection over while I'm pressing the Shift key so that I'm constraining the angle of my drag to exactly horizontal. And now I'll release, and you can see that we get this effect right here. I'm going to press Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on the Mac, in order to hide my marching ants.
And what's great about Content-Aware patching in Photoshop is that you can change the behavior on the fly by going up to this little gear icon and clicking on it. So, just to the right of the word Adaptation up here in the Options bar. We've got the Structure setting, which allows you to define how strictly the source material is preserved. In our case, things look okay the way they are. He's got kind of this weird shoulder at this point, but that's all right. But we do have some weird color transitions. He's too bright, over in this region right here, for example, which is why we also have this Color Adaptation function.
So it's the same thing we saw inside the Fill dialog box, but instead of having it be a check box that you either turn on or off, you can actually change this value to anything from 0, in which case Color Adaptation is turned off, or you can crank it all the way up to 10. And of course, you have every digit in between as well, and if I crank it up to 10m you can see that Photoshop changes that color adaptation on the fly, so that you end up getting the much more effective transition that we see here.
Now, that's not necessarily what I want where this image is concerned. It's a good demo, but I'm not going to leave it there. So, I'll just go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, or Cmd+Z on the Mac, to undo that change. And let's say what I really want to do is I want to move this guy over to the left a little bit. And so, I'm going to go ahead and switch from the Patch tool to the Content-Aware Move tool right here, and I'm going to zoom out a little bit by pressing Ctrl+minus, or Cmd+minus on the Mac. I'll press Ctrl+D, or Cmd+D on the Mac, just to make sure nothing inside the image is selected, and then I'll press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac.
And what that allows me to do, as long as that key is down, Alt or Option once again, then you can draw a polygonal selection outline around this guy or, of course, any other portion of an image that you'd like, until I've selected the entire thing. Now I'm going to press Ctrl+plus, or Cmd+plus on the Mac, to zoom back in. And I'll go ahead and drag this guy over to the left while pressing the Shift key. I'm not moving him all the way to the left so that he snaps to the edge of the canvas, I'm just moving him to about there. And then, I'll go ahead and release my mouse button in order to move that guy to a new location.
I also press Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on a Mac, in order to hide the marching ants. Now obviously, he's in some very rough shape, which is why it's great that we can adjust the Adaptation settings, again on the fly, just by clicking on that gear and then you can crank that Color value up to anything you want. So, I'll just go ahead and try 5 this time around and I'll press the Tab key in order to invoke that dynamic change so you can dynamically adjust the effect as long as your selection remains active.
Which it does, we're not seeing it, of course, because I pressed Ctrl+H, or Cmd+H on the Mac. That's not quite enough, so I'm going to go ahead and take that Color value up to 8 and press the Tab key. You can set it as high as 10, once again. And then finally, I'm going to adjust the Structure value. I'm going to take it down to 1. Seems to work pretty well for this image, and then I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to invoke that change, and I end up with this final effect here. So again, just to give you a sense for the difference.
This is what things look like if I change the Color value to 0. So, I'm changing it to 0 and pressing the Tab key. Terrible transitions, as you can see, and, of course, we've got these bright haloed edges over here along his left-hand shoulder. Whereas if I take that Color value back up to eight, we end up with this much more acceptable effect right here. And that, friends, is how you take advantage of the new Color Adaptation functions that are associated with Content-Aware Fill, the Patch tool, and the Content-Aware Move tool.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 10/06/2014. What changed?
A: Deke added a new chapter covering the October 2014 changes to Photoshop CC, covering features such as the Flame Generator and Design Libraries.