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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to reshape images without distorting in Photoshop content aware scale

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hello my friends, and welcome to my most favorite Photoshop feature of all time. We want to make this bigger without distorting, look at it. Magically grows bigger. So we're going to resize things without distorting them, and if things distort, like our poor man here, I'll show you how to protect them in. So handsome surfer dude, doesn't get stretched, we're going to go to some more advanced uses as well, but we just want more surf because we need to add some text, or stretch it for a banner ad. Maybe a double page spread. It's all using the magical Content Aware Scale. Let's get going in Photoshop. 

So we have got exercise files from a new folder. This one is 05 Cropping, Aligning, Distorting. If you can open up all of the Content Aware Scale 1-7, there's quite a-- there's quite a little tips and tricks we can learn with Content Aware Scale. First tip is, I can't see 1, see this little double Chevron here, you can click on this and it shows you everything that's open. Content Aware Scale 1. Let's say that we've got this image, but we just need it to be square for some unknown reason. Instagram, we just need to be taller because there needs to be text in here. You need to stretch it this way because it needs to be kind of the right size for maybe a double page spread for a magazine. So first thing we need to do is we need to unlock the background. So double click background, give it a name. Don't tell anybody that I never do, but you should. 

The next thing I want to do is generate some space up here. You could use 'Image', 'Canvas Size', and just can type in a size that's square. I just like to grab the Crop Tool. Grab it, hold it, and just drag it to the size I want, want to be about there. Hit 'Return'. Now the magic tool, so it's under 'Edit', this one here 'Content Aware Scale'. It's unlike Transform, right? Transform's just going to do this, that's not what we want. We want this magic one here, Content Aware Scale. Get ready, steady. Holy Molly, just invented more background. Hit 'Return' when you're finished, and that is the magic tool that's been in there for a long time. And if you're like a lot of advanced users like I know, there'll be shocking all on your face. I love it. I kind of picked an easy one, but in all honesty, it kind of works like that without any help. Only about 30% of the time. But 30% of the time's good rather than the Clone Tool stamp madness, we will have to do to try and fix it all up. But don't worry, the other 70% there are tricks to kind of make it work for that as well. 

Let's look at Content Aware Scale 2, this one's just the same. Just a little one for you to practice with. Let's do it together. First thing, let's rename the background layer. Let's double click the word 'Background'. I've got my Crop Tool, clicking once. I'm holding down the 'Alt' key and dragging the corners, and just goes from all sides. Just to give myself, like how far can this go out here? Now I'm going to use my 'Edit', 'Content Aware Scale'. Now you'll see I've got a shortcut here, that's not there by default. I added it, I went to 'Keyboard Shortcuts', and I made my own one because I use it so much. And so much, I gave like the world's most terrible shortcut. I know it anyway, it's my shortcut. My shortcut, leave me alone. 

What we're going to do now is just see how far this goes. Look at this, this one's particularly good as well. It works really well when there's small unique high contrast images, amongst kind of more generic stuff. Where I find something like this really useful is, if you've ever done like, I do a lot of advertising banners, I've got a course on HTML5 Banner Ad Making, and this is perfect for it, because you get these kind of weird leader boards. Leader boards are a pain, right? Because they are that shape, but look what we can do with Content Aware Scale. All the skyscrapers are the long limbed thin guys along here. Maybe not resizing like that, maybe just invent more background, this way. 

Let's look at another use case. This one here, cool image, I just need space over here to add text. And if I-- let's name our layer, grab my 'Crop Tool'. I want some spacing over here, please. But if I try and just fill it with a color, there's this kind of subtle gradient in the background. I'll show you a little trick, so if I wanted to fill it, I can make a new layer, put it underneath, we're going to grab my 'Eyedropper Tool'. I can click on this color. Then I want to fill this layer with it. A cool little trick is holding down the 'Option' key on a Mac, the 'Alt' key on a PC, and just hitting your backspace or delete key, one just next to the '+'. It fills with your foreground color. Handy trick. 

You can see there, it's kind of blended in a couple of parts but not over there. But what if we could use our Dan's crazy shortcut? We're still using 'Edit', 'Content Aware Scale', watch this. Magic! And say I want it over here, I'm just going to keep on like using this poor image till I get this giant area for my, come by my orange flyer. Or double page spread, and I've got this kind of cool thing spanning across. Cool, huh? I'm going to say cool huh loads in this course, I love showing people Content Aware Scale, but let's say you've used it before and you run into trouble, let's look at Content Aware Scale 4. Let's look at this handsome man. Remember, name the background, I'm going to stand out my background a bit. And now I want to resize it, we're going to run into a couple of problems. Or one big problem, watch this. And our man got all stretchy, it's done a pretty good job of everything else though. 

So how do we fix stretchy man? Basically we just need to protect him. So we can select up-- I'm going to -- the cool thing about it is protecting a person with a selection. Can be as blunt and as quick as using the Rectangle Marquee Tool, and say that bit there, I want you to be protected. So once you've got a selection, this little tip is a little hard to remember, so you might want to write this one down. So go to 'Select', 'Save' the selection. I'm going to call this one 'Man'. Click 'OK'. 'Deselect' it, don't need it anymore. So you save your selection, that's the important bit. 

Now when we go to 'Edit', 'Content Aware Scale', there's this option, it says 'Protect'. Man, now it's just looking at my selection. Now when I drag it out it protects the man. Hit 'Return'. Cool, huh? Now let's look at one that kind of almost works. I feel like I need to show you this because if I end it there, you'll be like, "Hey, it's not working on my one." So I'm going to go through that same process, super quick. I'm just making it bigger. I use my Content Aware Scale. So we're going to run into problems with the bottle here. Can you see, it just starts getting a bit too tall. You might actually find that that's fine. Who knows how big the bottle is anyway, but you know. 

So let's say we want to protect that. So what we need to do is do a selection. You can use the Quick Selection Tool or the Magic Wand tool, or the Lasso Tool, any tool you like. I'm just using the Rectangle Marquee Tool. Remember, 'Save Selection'. Give it a name, 'Deselect'. And it's going to work to a degree. Let's watch this, zoom in a little bit. So it works, works, works, works a lot better than it did before, but eventually it just gives up and goes, "I can't keep doing it." "I can't keep protecting that area." It's better than it was but there are times when it just won't work. I felt like I need to keep that in the class because sometimes doesn't work. What you might do in that case is-- we looked at Content Aware Fill in the last video, so I'm just going to kind of settle in here, and use my Content Aware Scale, which we've already done. The side-to-side worked all right, it's this height that didn't. 

So instead of kind of dragging this up to get the top, I'm going to grab my 'Rectangle Marquee Tool'. Grab all of this, and I'm going to say, please go to 'Edit', 'Fill', and use 'Content Aware Fill'. Let's get a look at the document and try and fill this background. 'Deselect', and it's done a pretty good job. So kind of a combo deal, the stuff we learned in the Essentials course, Content Aware Fill, plus some of the newer stuff with Content Aware Scale. Now we kind of worked around this one to make it work. They're just images that are too busy, too noisy. There's no small part of our more generic background. There's just lots of high contrast areas. So let's have a look at this one, and I'll show you, sometimes there's no fixing it. 

Go 'Content Aware Scale'. It's cool, like it's pretty amazing what it's done, like it's done some interesting things. So the most generic stuff it found was in this coffee cup. This coffee in the middle here, the plate, it's tried to duplicate that, it's done an okay job, but I wouldn't know where to start with this image, and I guess I want you to know that, if you need to extend this one it's tough, it's really cropped in. What I probably do is I'd mask out all of these guys separately, find a new wood background to stick it on. That was bigger than what I had, then I can separate them all out manually. It did take a lot longer but I can't think of a better way for that one. Let's go to the Chevrons and find the last one. 

The other little tip I want to give you is, sometimes, say this one here I need some-- I need more waves because I need to put the text for the banner ad that I'm doing. So again I'm going to name that layer, grab my Crop Tool, I'm going to make some space up here. And if I just use the whole thing which we've been doing up until now, it's fine but it's not what I want. It's given me more sand and more waves. What I want to do is just use my Rectangle Marquee Tool, drag a box around the stuff you want, and then transform just that part. Most people try and do the whole image, where you can just do a part, maybe the sky. Do you need a bigger sky for logos and stuff to go into? 

So just make a selection, I'm going to go to Content Aware Scale, and check out these people down here, that's the cool thing about it, is that the people will stay the same. The waves get bigger and believable, the waves get a little taller, but the people stay fine. Awesome, huh? You can tell I love Content Aware Scale, enough that I gave it the world's worst shortcut. All right my friends, let's get into the next video.