Content Aware Magic in Photoshop CC 2015

Content Aware Magic in Photoshop CC 2015

Content Aware Fill is not something totally new in Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 release, but it is one of the proves of dominance and power of this software. Actually, there is a new feature: the Photomerge dialog now has a Content Aware Fill Transparent Areas option. In this post I want to present you one small part of the magic and encourage you to use this option more often even in situations when it seems that Content Aware just can't work.

The magic

In this section I will present you Edit > Fill > Content-Aware command, although the same feature (option) is also present with retouching tools: Spot Healing Brush, Patch Tool (with its non-destructive option) and Content-Aware Move Tool. Let's see a problem that I recently had. There are preview images on my hard drive which I already have and I want to use again. The problem is that preview images are smaller of what I need and unfortunately I wasn't enough clever to save layered PSD files.
start image

It is not a big deal to enlarge the canvas from Image > Canvas Size (Ctrl/Cmd + Alt/Opt + C) and to make a preview image with dimensions that I need. The problem is to find a matching pattern which is in the background and to manage to perfectly match existing. From the first look it seems that Content-Aware just won't work without masking and several tries. It just does not have clear areas with pattern that needs to be copied. Imagine doing this job manually using the Clone Stamp Tool. It would be difficult and time consuming, right? So how can one automated option figure out that I want only pattern to fill without to copy leave in the middle. Can it be so clever and to read my mind without any additional help by masking leave? Let's give it a try, although I was suspicious in the beginning.
canvas enlarged

In order to use Edit > Fill > Content-Aware command I created a selection of the area that I want to fill because you must say to Photoshop which area you want to patch. Selection is done using Rectangular Marquee Tool (M). I have selected just a bit inside of area with actual image.
initial selection

The next step is to invert selection using Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + I keyboard shortcut (Select > Inverse). Note: I am working with the Background layer only and keep in mind that Fill > Content-Aware cannot be used with Smart Object layers nor on the blank new layer (non-destructively so you can turn on/off visibility or to delete that layer).
selection inverted

Final step is to use Edit > Fill > Content-Aware. It reads my mind and it knows exactly what to do. Magic! What else to say? By the way, algorithm is so clever that it does not reproduce exact same results each and every time, so you can repeat command in order to enhance the final result in case you are not totally satisfied.
result of content aware

You can also continue enhancing final product by selecting only certain portions and re-using same command.
select portion after using content aware

You will see and Color Adaptation option  in Edit > Fill dialog when using Content-Aware from Contents drop-down. I will provide you a link to tutorial by Julieanne Kost which perfectly explains what this option does, when and how to use it.
color adaptation

Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Photoshop CC 2015

Fix photos with Content-Aware
Retouch photos


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