Photoshop content aware

by Design Workshop Sydney

The Content Aware function of Adobe Photoshop allows you edit images with greater ease than ever before. We demonstrate how in our Photoshop training courses.photoshop-content-aware
This handy feature was first introduced in the CS5 version a few years ago, but has been enhanced and added to more contexts with each new release. One example is where you wish to move an object or a person from one part of the image to another.
In the example here we want to move the Highland Cow across the image to give a more interested asymmetrical composition.
First of all use the Quick Selection tool (stacked alongside the Magic Wand tool) to select the cow. Note it’s best to keep your brush size small and try not to get too close to the edges of the object. You can also add to the selection and subtract from the selection by clicking on the icons on the top left of the Control panel, or by pressing Shift to add and Alt (Mac:Option) to subtract from the selection.
When you are basically happy with the selection click on the Refine Edge button on the top Control panel. In Photoshop CS5 there was added the new Refine tool – this is very useful for selecting around fine edges like hair and fur. Note the various viewing modes which help you to see your selection. When you are happy with the result choose to Output to: New Layer and hit OK.
Note that you now have two layers. Hide the new layer by clicking on the eyeball icon on the layer – this is the visibility icon. Then select the original layer below, making it the active layer. Now choose the standard Lasso tool with a Feather value of around 5 pixels – this will give your selection a softer edge and is preferable when editing images. And create a wide selection around the cow.
Then simply hit the Delete key on your keyboard and the Edit/Fill dialog box will appear. Note that the default is to Fill with: Content Aware. This means that your selected pixels (ie. the cow) will disappear and Photoshop fills the gap with elements of the surrounding scene, in this case the landscape. Sometimes you have to tidy it up by selecting smaller areas and repeating the Delete/Fill step. Generally Photoshop makes good choices as to what to fill the area with. This is a good technique for getting rid of junk like litter or telephone cables in a photo.
We now turn on the visibility of the cow layer again, and using the Move tool simply move the cow across the landscape.
Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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