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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

How to use Content Aware extend in Adobe Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, this video is all about Content Aware Extend. It's brilliant for things like this where I just need more grass, but it needs to be kind of random. I don't want to see any repeating patterns, or spend ages kind of Masking, or Clone Tool stamping. This one here, I need more grass. Magic. More grass, the blend is pretty seamless. Removed any kind of repeating patterns. Thank You Photoshop, and thank you, Content Aware Extend. Let's jump in and learn the ins and outs. 

From '05 Cropping and Aligning' folder, open up 'Content Aware Extend 1', '2' and '3'. Let's start with the first one. So Content Aware Extend has two uses. It's hidden under the Spot Healing Brush, grab the 'Content Aware Move Tool'. It's weird, it's kind of tied in with the Move Tool. And at the top here, by default it's set to 'Move'. Let's switch it to 'Extend'. Now to use it like a pro you need to have a layer. Then say this one, 'Sample All Layers', because then it's going to pick them up and put them on their own layer. So let's have 'Transform on Drop' selected as well. 

So the first way of using it is basically just like a Move Tool. Like we saw in the previous video. So we drag it here, we get it to the position we want. We can rotate it around, we can scale it in. The difference is, when I hit 'return', that's the original guy, he just doesn't disappear. So we use it the same way we do use the Move Tool, but in this case we just don't want to delete the birds. We want to leave that guy there but we want another version of him down here. Hit 'return', he stays, this guy stays. 

The other nice thing is that I get to play around with structure and color. Right now, I don't need to now because it's come out nicely. I'll zoom in a little bit even. You can adjust this depending how good or bad-- you can see, I'm moving a little bit there, your selection was. So that's one way of using him, let's look at another way And it really lends itself to this kind of, not repeating pattern, but this really flat perspective, it doesn't have to be. Experiment with it, but where I found it the most useful, is in situations like this. So let's say that I've got a leader board banner ad to make, which is the really long skinny banner ad. And I need this grass to go all the way along. This is where Extend is super useful. 

So what am I going to do? First of all I'm going to extend the background. I'm going to grab the 'Crop Tool', just kind of randomly pick a leader board size. Hit 'Enter'. Now I'm going to make a selection using my Rectangle Marquee Tool. I just tapped 'M' on the keyboard, I'm going to grab it all. Can overlap it, that's fine. So once you've got your selection go to the 'Content Aware Move Tool'. Make sure it's set to 'Extend'. Don't worry about the structure and color at the moment, we can adjust it. What we need to do is make sure there's another layer, remember, we're professionals. 'Sample all Layers' is selected. And we're going to click, hold, and drag at this one. I'm holding 'Shift', it kind of slides perfectly to the right. 

Now what I want to do is, I don't want to kind of just join it up there, I want a bit of an overlap. The more overlap, the better. Just some sort of overlap, when you let go, what I want you to do is-- actually I'm just going to zoom in. So I've got that Transform going. So what I want you to do, before I hit return I want you to watch this side, and this side. The difference between using this and lots of other tools is that it's actually going to reach back to the original, and try and blend it all the way across. So watch some of these tall grass bits change. Hit 'Return', kick back. Watch, watch, watch. Still watching. You see that? I'm going to 'Deselect'. And can you see, it not only did the selection that I had, it actually reached back over here and tried to do some adjustments.

Now it wasn't very exciting, so I'm going to go back, do it again. Make sure it overlaps a chunk, hit 'Return'. And I'm going to play around with this, because like the Move Tool, the Extend Tool, we can actually make adjustments. We can say, actually I want to play around with this structure, and watch this side here, watching, watching, it's freaking out a little bit. It's a big enough document. Can you see, it went back to this side, and made a different adjustment. Same with colors, I can go this side, and say, I want it to be higher or lower. You're just trying to find this nice balance. Wait for it, 'Deselect'. There's a little bit of grass, I probably wouldn't even worry about it. Should probably fix that bit of grass up, but it's an amazing way of extending things out, and getting them to blend nicely.

Another pro trick is, if I go undo again, we got the selection, okay? And what I want to do is use 'Content Aware Move', 'Extend'. Everything's the same, except when I drag it across I've got that Transform on Drop. So that check box is still selected. What I can do, instead of just leaving it like this, I can right click and say, actually flip it horizontally, please. So that at least the repetition is not going to be as bad. Hit 'Enter', keep an eye on the join. Keep an eye. Wow, did a big join, and went way back over here and started rejigging it. So structure here, turn it up, watch it do it again. So that's the cool thing about this tool. You can get it, and if it's wrong you can slide these up and down. Playing with both color and structure, they'll give you different results. 'Deselect'. I'm happy with it, it's done a convincing job. 

Last option, let's go to 'Content Aware Extend 3'. We want this to be, we need it to be a portrait. We can flip it over, that will be too easy. I just want more grass up here though. I'm going to grab my 'Crop Tool', which is 'C' on my keyboard. I'm going to make this bigger, hit 'Return'. So in the previous tutorials we used Content Aware Scale, right? So 'Edit', 'Content Aware Scale', and it's going to not work, right? Not particularly believable, but if I make a selection of this, I could use my Rectangle Marquee Tool, or if we hold down the 'Command' key and click on this 'Layer', you see, it put a selection right around it. Let's grab our 'Content Aware Move', make sure it's at set to 'Extend'. Let's be fancy, on its own layer, 'Sample all Layers'. 'Transform on Drop', and I'm going to extend this up. Make sure there's a bit of overlap. 

Again, I'm going to right click it so it's not-- can you see, there's some areas here that are symmetrical. So I'm going to 'Flip Vertical' this time. And it's for horizontal as well-- I could have rotated it. Actually I should rotate it. Here you go, now they're offset, but for me, the darken on that side is not quite working, so I'll show you another trick. But we get there, we zoom in because we want to see the blend happen. I'm not sure why it's so important for me to see the-- you know what it is. Click here, wait, wait, wait for the join. It will reach both sides, that's what freaks me out about Photoshop. Super clever. I'm happy with that, you could adjust the structure and the color. 

What I'm going to do is 'Deselect', and be very happy. Now what I do is I go through and try and find any kind of repeating pattern. See this one here? He repeats, I feel like that's an obvious giveaway. So what tool do I use? Probably just the Patch Tool. Set to 'Source', I'm going to be on the right layer, and I'm going to grab this guy. Drag it over here, and let go. 'Deselect'. You can see, cool, huh? Just work your way around, I feel like that is another problem spot. Very vague selections, 'Deselect'. Thank you, Photoshop. You are super helpful. All right, zoom out. And that is Content Aware Extend. 

Before you rush off though, just so you know, I found it works perfect on these flat plains. This kind of stuff where that side is almost the same as the other side. Same with this one here, that side is almost the same as that side. It's very similar in texture and tone, does a brilliant job. Kind of randomizing things, gives you a bit of control of that randomization. And we can tweak it a little bit using the Patch Tool. 

All right, friends, go forth. Sorry, Content Aware Move, Content Aware Extend is my favorite. Enough of that, let's get on to the next video.