Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video The magic of Content-Aware Fill, Move, and Scale, part of Photoshop CC 2019 Essential Training: The Basics.
- [Instructor] Photoshop has a number of different tools to help remove distracting elements. In this movie, we're going to focus on Content-Aware Fill, Content-Aware Move, and Content-Aware Scale. We're gonna start by removing this light as well as the shadow. You can use any of the selection tools in order to create your initial selection. In this case, I'm just using the lasso tool. I'm gonna drag around both the shadow as well as the light. Once I have it selected, I'll choose edit and then fill, and I'll use the Content-Aware technology within the fill dialog.
I'll be sure to enable the color adaptation, because I want Photoshop, not only to draw from the textures around the selected area, but also be able to adapt the colors when it fills in that area. I'll click okay, and we can see that Photoshop does a very good job of filling in this area. I'll go ahead and use command D in order to deselect. If you see any areas that you don't like, like in this instance, I can see this repeating pattern, I can always select that area and then return to edit, fill, and then fill with Content-Aware.
In fact, if you don't get the results that you want the first time, you can always rerun edit, fill, Content-Aware, because every time Photoshop changes the algorithm. Alright, let's move to this next image. I'll use control tab so that we're looking at the bird file. In this image, I want to remove these two birds as well as move this bird over to this area. I'll use the lasso tool again in order to select these two birds, and then use edit, fill, and then again use the Content-Aware option in the fill dialog box with the color adaptation turned on.
Photoshop has done a good job, so I'll use command D in order to deselect. Then in order to move the bird and fill in the area where the bird is now, I'll switch to my Content-Aware Move tool. I can use this tool in order to make my selection around the bird and then click inside the marching ants and reposition it. When I release my cursor, Photoshop automatically displays the transformation handles in case I wanted to scale up or down the size of the bird.
Once I've got it scaled, I'll tap enter or return to apply the transformation. But if I hide the edges by using the keyboard shortcut command H on Mac or control H on Windows, I get this dialog box the first time I hide my edges. I don't want to hide Photoshop, I want to hide extras. But if I zoom in, we can see that I don't have a very good match between the blues. In order to change this, before you drop the selection, in other words, before you deselect, you can change both the structure and the color options.
We'll use the structure option in order to blend texture. If I set the structure down to one, Photoshop alters the content within the selection. If I move the selection all the way up to seven, then it's going to try to mimic the original information as best as possible. I'm gonna set the structure to three or four right about in the middle. In order to adapt the color, I'll use the color option. When it's set to zero, Photoshop won't try to blend the color at all.
But as I move the slider over to the right, Photoshop is going to do a better job at adjusting the colors in order to match the original with the area that we've just moved. Once I've got a match, I can go ahead and deselect using command D, and I wanna point out that Photoshop has also filled in the area where the bird originally was. Alright, let's move to this next image of the horse, and here I want to Content-Aware Fill a much larger area, this whole area of the haystack.
So I'll use the lasso tool and just drag in order to make a selection around the hay. And then instead of choosing edit fill, I'm gonna use the new Content-Aware Fill workspace. I'm gonna zoom out using command minus and then hold down the space bar in order to temporarily access the hand tool. So on the left hand side, we see this green mask, which is representing the areas which can be used as a source to sample from in order to fill the area.
So we're sampling from too much of the foreground area here. So in order to remove it, I'm going to increase the size of my sample brush by using the right bracket key. And I'm just going to paint out this foreground area, telling Photoshop that it cannot use this area to fill in the Content-Aware Fill area. We can see that that's been re-rendered, and I'm seeing some repeating patterns here. So I might wanna find those areas in my source area and just delete them.
So I'm going to use the left bracket key to get a smaller brush, and I'm just going to remove those two areas there that I think are creating that repeating pattern. So Photoshop has re-rendered it again. I see it's picking up some of these white flowers, so I could remove those. And it also seems to be picking up some of the area, either over here in this mountain, or maybe in the rocks. So I'll get a bit of a larger brush and just paint those areas out and let Photoshop recalculate the Content-Aware Fill area again.
Alright, that's looking better. I can also add to the source area if I want to by just clicking on the plus icon here, or I can keep with the same minus icon, the remove from, but just hold down the option key in order to add additional areas. So I just might want to paint a little on the left hand side in order to add these areas so that Photoshop has more information to use as its source in order to repair that really large area.
I'm also noticing that there is another horse over here on the very far right side. So instead of having to back out and redo my selection, I'll just change to the lasso tool and click and drag in order to include that in my original selection. Now Photoshop has made a big change. It's added all this area to the image. So I'm just going to switch back, get a larger brush, and then again just quickly paint over that area so that Photoshop can no longer sample from it.
Alright, there are a number of different fill settings on the right hand side. The color adaptation is allowing Photoshop to modify the colors. If I don't want it to do that, I can click on none, and Photoshop won't be able to modify the colors, but it was doing a much better job on default, but we can also try either the high value or the very high value. Let's see what that looks like when it fully renders. I think it's a little bit too soft, so I'm gonna go back to the default values. I'm not sure if you can see it on your screen, but I'm seeing a lot of long grass right here that just doesn't fit in.
And I'm noticing that it's probably taking that information from here, that area that I just added in. So let's go ahead and subtract that back out again and see if it can render a better Content-Aware Fill. Still seems to be getting a little bit too much of that grass, so I'll go ahead and just delete that area. You should know that if you delete too much, Photoshop will actually tell you that it can't do the fill. But in this case, it looks much better when we subtract all of that information from the foreground.
Alright, at this point, I have a number of different output settings, including the ability to output to the current layer, to a new layer, or a duplicate layer. I'm gonna choose new layer and then click okay. I'll use command D in order to deselect, and then command zero to zoom to 100%, and we can quickly toggle on and off the visibility of before and then after. So in this case, I think that Content-Aware Fill got me to about 90% of the way. You might still need to go in and use the clone stamp tool or the healing brush to make additional adjustments, but I think it saved me a ton of time in this instance.
Alright, let's move to this image of the snail. Here, the snail's shell has a little bit of an odd striation in it that I want to remove. So I'm going to make my initial selection here just using my lasso tool. I'll select a rather generous portion there and then return to edit and Content-Aware Fill. Again, I'll zoom out using command minus and then use the space bar in order to reposition the image on the left hand side.
And we can see that Photoshop hasn't done a really great job, because by default, it doesn't allow the pixels to rotate. So they always stay in the same orientation. But there's a new option for rotation adaptation. If I move this all the way up to full, I'm telling Photoshop that it can go ahead and rotate all of those pixels in order to make the best match. So it's doing a much better job. The only problem I see is this repeating little dot here. So on the left hand side, I'm gonna get a really small brush.
I'll find that problem area in the source, and I'll just click on it in order to subtract it, and that will remove it from the destination here. We can also use the scale option if I want to allow Photoshop to scale the source information. And if I ever find myself in the situation where I have something that is mirrored, like say butterfly wings, and there's something that is odd on one side of the wing, then I could turn on the mirror option.
But for now, I'll leave that off, click okay, use command D in order to deselect, and we can toggle the visibility of before and after. Now, let's move to our last image where we can use Content-Aware Scale. So in this example, I want to scale the image so that it's a little bit closer to a one by one aspect ratio, or to a square. I'm gonna convert the background into a layer by clicking on the lock icon. I'm not going to convert it to a smart object, because Content-Aware Scale doesn't work with smart objects.
But I'll choose edit and then Content-Aware Scale. Then I'll hold down the shift key and use the anchor point on the right hand side in order to scale this image. And we can see that the house isn't getting nearly as distorted as if I were using free transform. In fact, if I want to compare Content-Aware Scale with free transform, I can use the amount slider. So with the amount slider set at 100%, it's using 100% of the Content-Aware Scale. As I move that down to the left, we can see that this would be the result at 0% if I were using free transform.
So let's move the amount slider back up to 100%. I'll hold down the shift key again. And if I continue scaling this, eventually we'll get to a point where Photoshop does have to scale down the house. But if there were ever an instance where you needed to protect an element in an image, for example the house, we can cancel out of this, and then we can create a selection around the house using something like the lasso tool. And I'm gonna make a fairly large selection there, rather loose around the house, and then choose select and save this selection.
I'll save the selection as house, deselect by just clicking outside of the selection, and return to edit and then Content-Aware Scale. Again, I'll hold the shift key, I'll start dragging this to the left. We can see the house starting to get distorted, but I can choose to protect the house using that save selection under the protect menu. Now the clouds are looking a little bit odd, because we've told Photoshop to scale this so dramatically that it's had to throw away so much information from that area that they're looking a little bit pixelated.
So again, with the shift key held down, I'll just drag this out over to the right a little bit until I no longer see that. In order to apply the Content-Aware Scale, I'll just tap enter or return. So as you can see, Photoshop has several different tools, all using the Content-Aware technology, that can help you to get rid of distracting elements in your images.
- Opening documents in Photoshop
- Opening files from Bridge and Lightroom
- Working with multiple documents
- Panning and zooming documents
- Customizing the Photoshop interface
- Modifying keyboard shortcuts for speed
- Understanding file formats
- Choosing color modes, bit depth, and color space
- Cropping and transforming images
- Working with layers and layer masks
- Making selections
- Removing distracting elements
- Getting to know the blend modes
- Working with adjustment layers
- Applying nondestructive filters