Join Chris Orwig for an in-depth discussion in this video Using the Content-Aware Move tool , part of Photoshop CS6 for Photographers New Features.
Here we're going to be working on a few different images in order to understand a brand-new tool. It's called the Content-Aware Move tool. This tool is really powerful. Let's go ahead and take a look at how we can work with this tool. You'll find this in the same area as your other healing tools. If you click on your Patch tool, which we used previously, you can go down to select the Content-Aware Move tool. And it's important to note that this tool is located near these other tools, and the reason is, is because sometimes you're going to use this tool and it's going to work perfectly by itself.
In other situations, you're going to need to use this tool in combination with some of your other retouching or healing tools. Let's go ahead and select the tool. Next let's take a look at the Options bar. Well, here we have the ability to choose two different modes. We can either Move or Extend content. Well, here what I want to do is Move content. I want to move this subject over to the right a little bit, because this image is going to be used for an ad, and I need some space for copy in this area. We also have the ability to choose different Adaptation styles.
If we choose Very Strict, what that means is we want the content to stay the same. Because I'm going to be moving a person, this is paramount that I choose this option. Next we have the ability to sample all layers. And this is great because it allows us to make this move on a new layer. Let's go ahead and create the new layer. We'll do so by clicking on the New layer icon. I'll double-click the layer name and name this hiker. The next step is going to be to use this tool in just to make a rough selection around the subject.
And this tool, well, it works really well when we're working with subjects which are in a pretty similar environment. In other words, we have all of this white snow here. So I can then simply click and drag and then drop the subject into a new location in order to move it. And what it did here was something fascinating. Let's deconstruct what happened. So here I'm going to deselect. To do so, press Command+D or Ctrl+D. Next I'm going to turn off the visibility of my other layers for a moment so we can focus in on this layer.
Well, what you can see here if we zoom in a little bit is that it took this shape and it not only moved the subject into this area, but it analyzed the surrounding area, and then it built this shape here which then covered up the hiker in the Background layer. So if we turn off the visibility of this layer, well, the hiker is still there, he still exists in this location, it's just on this new layer that he is then been moved--and also that this area has been patched over.
And as I mentioned previously, sometimes this tool, well, it's like a miracle worker. It works incredibly well when you have these textures or these areas that are pretty similar. Yet in other situations, it doesn't work so well. Let's take a look at one of those scenarios. In order to do that, I'm going to click on this tab here for this file, annika.jpg. This is a photograph that one of my friends captured of myself and my oldest daughter. I was tossing her up in the air down at the beach, and we're having a lot of fun.
And what I want to do is I want to make it look like she is higher in this frame, like I was throwing her even higher in the air. Well, we may think that we'll use the same strategy as before. We'll create a new layer. We'll go ahead and click on the New layer icon. We'll use our tool in order to make a generous selection around the subject, and then all that we need to do is to use that Adaptation mode--of Very Strict because it's a person--sample all layers, and then click and drag up, and voila! We will be done. Well, it's actually not that easy, and let me explain why.
Here I'm going to go ahead and deselect. Now this may be difficult to see on your monitor, but if you look up close, what you should see is that there is really this distinct difference between the brightness and the color of this area. Let me zoom in even closer there in of the actual background. So it's like she is glowing. There is this halo. It just didn't work for me. What can we do in situations like this where it tried to do a good job but it just didn't bring that in the right way? Well, in situations like that, what we're going to need to do is to take a couple of different steps in order to get this to look good.
For example, one of the things that we could do is to create perhaps a new layer. I'll go ahead and create a new layer and I'm going to double-click this layer name and I'm going to name this remove, because on this layer I'm going to remove the subject, and I'm going to remove the subject using a technique that we looked at previously, which is using the Patch tool, Content-Aware, Very Loose, Sample All Layers, again, make a generous selection around the subject. We could also remove the subject different ways as well, but I just want to use this one because I showed that recently.
I'll select this area over here, and that will then remove the subject from this area. Now let's deselect. Choose Select and Deselect, or the shortcut. Well, now that we've done that, we kind of have this blank canvas so to speak. This layer allowed us to remove the subject from the background. Well, on our layer that we used in order to move the subject, what we now need to do is some masking. So let's go ahead and double-click this layer, name it annika. Here what I'm going to is choose one of my selection tools.
I'll use the Quick Select tool. This allows me to drag across the image, so I'll go ahead and do that, drag across the image, try to build up a nice selection of Annie here, flying up in the air. Next thing I want to do, of course, is to refine this selection a little bit. To do that, we'll go to Refine Edge. In the Refine Edge dialog, you want to turn on Smart Radius. And then here we'll increase that Smart Radius until we have a really good selection of her there in the air. Well, once you've created a nice selection of that, what I'm going to do is click OK, and then I want to turn this selection into a mask.
Well, that's really easy to do. All that we need to do is to click on our Mask icon. Well, now that I've done that, I can now use this particular version of the photograph. In other words, I can select the Move tool, and I can reposition her in different areas, because the background isn't a problem. And so in this case, I kind of had to use this multiple-tiered approach. And the reason why I want to highlight that here is because what you're going see is in a lot of demos, you tend to find the demo files where everything just works perfectly, yet in real life, it just isn't like that.
Yet that doesn't mean that this isn't a really effective tool. Rather, many times you're going to need to combine this tool with your other healing and retouching tools. And then by doing that, well, it can help you come up with some really fun results like we have here of my daughter Annika flying way up in the air.
- Getting familiar with the new interface
- Exploring improvements to Bridge and Mini Bridge
- Recovering highlights and improving exposure with Camera Raw
- Making precise raw adjustments with the Point Tone Curve
- Grouping, filtering, and finding layers
- Correcting distortion with Adaptive Wide Angle controls
- Working with the new Content-Aware tools
- Making better selections
- Performing perspective cropping
- Getting started with video in Photoshop
- Making picture-perfect prints with the Print dialog
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: This course was updated on 12/11/12. What changed?
A: We added an additional chapter, "Creative Cloud Updates December 2012," to cover the new features rolled out with the Creative Cloud subscription model for Photoshop, including the Blur Gallery and Smart Filters' new impact on still images, and the abilities to blur video, change image size and resolution with the Crop tool, and use conditional actions to add watermarks to your images.