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Adobe Photoshop CC - Advanced Training

Removing objects using content aware fill in Photoshop

Daniel Walter Scott

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Hi there, it is time for Content Aware Fill. My second most favorite tool in all of Photoshop, and it's a way to magic away rubbish, say goodbye to windmills, but I use it most for 'magic'ing up new sky that didn't exist before. We look at a couple of other handy ones, where there's text, it's fused to the background, goodbye. And those birds that we wrestled with in the last video. See you later, bye. It's quick, it's easy, let's learn how to do it now in Photoshop. 

To get started let's go to '05 Cropping', and open up 'Content Aware Fill 1', '2', '3', and '4'. I'm going to start at '1', we're going to remove this trash here. For the Content Aware Fill to work, you need to have a selection first. I'm just going to use the Lasso Tool. You can make any sort of selection, and you can be pretty rough with it. Look at this, rough all the way back to the beginning. And they hide this magical tool, my favorite tool in all of Photoshop. Content Aware Scale is my main one, this is a close second. 

So under 'Edit', 'Fill', this is where they hide this magical tool. It will probably default to Contents, Content Aware, so just make sure. Click 'OK', kick back, be amazed. Look at that. 'Deselect', gone. Just so you know - I'm going to undo - it's very similar, well it uses the same technology as your Spot Healing Brush. So there's times where you need to just do a selection, because it's quicker and easier, like in this case, or just grab the Spot Healing Brush. You can see, it's set to Content Aware, and you kind of just paint this out. It depends what is easier for you, but we get to the same position. Kind of randomly grab stuff in the background and pile it all in here. 

Let's jump to 'Content Aware Fill 2'. So I'm going to do a selection here again. I'm going to use my polygonal, I want to say polygonal. Not sure how to say that one. One with the straight lines. Clicking once, clicking once… So I want to get rid of these guys. These guys, these are Windmills, I know what they are. So once you've got your selection, 'Edit'. I use Content Aware Fill so much that I made a shortcut. If you're on a PC you'll have a good shortcut here. Just check what it is, I can't remember. On a Mac it's some random shortcut that on my computer opens up something like iTunes or something silly. So I went through and added my own shortcut by going to 'Keyboard Shortcuts' and making one. You can see I've got shortcuts for Content Aware Scale and Fill, because I use it so often. Command-Shift-C is my one. Click 'OK', and it goes and removes it. And sometimes, can you see? Undo, undo. It randomly grabbed that and stuck it here, and we know, let's put that there. 

Sometimes it does some strange things. To get round that I'm going to undo. If you just kind of like-- I'm going to minus just a little bit of selection out of this, maybe a bit of this. If you have a slightly different selection you'll get a slightly different fill. Click 'OK', hopefully we get rid of our tree, it's not a tree. I guess my main point is that it's-- you might have to do a second selection to get a different result. What I want to show you now though is a tool that is really closely associated. I find that in these courses I have two separate tools out so that, I guess you can see the definition between them, or the different use cases. But there are some tools that have very similar functionalities. They're hidden in different places. 

So the Spot Healing Brush, we just showed you there. We did that in the Essentials course, and we did it-- I showed you here just to remove the trash. Another really similar tool is hiding underneath the Spot Healing Brush. It's called the Patch Tool. We'll do a short explanation here. The Patch Tool has some other perks that we'll do in the retouching section. Later on in this course, I think it's section 10. But this tool here is exactly like the Content Aware, except it's a lot more, what I call intentional, I can click, hold, and drag this, and I can move it around. Instead of trying to grab more trees, like this guy, I can say, actually I want this part, and you can line it up perfect. You can see the sky doesn't work until I let go, and it magics it all in. 'Deselect', I've grabbed that specific bit. It's blended the sky okay, you can see there's this little bit. I guess I just want to show you that the Spot Healing Brush, Patch Tool, Content Aware Fill, all use a similar sort of technology. 

Content Aware Fill though is kind of more randomized. So it really depends on what you need to do. Now what I use it for most is generating kind of new backgrounds. In this case it's going to be sky, might be grass, waves, trees, great for nature. I want to put some text in the sky so I'm going to grab the 'Crop Tool'. Just drag it up. In the past, or in previous classes we used Content Aware Scale. That will probably work, but I want to show you another technique. So I've got a big empty area, grab my 'Marquee Tool'. I'm going to overlap it so make sure it overlaps, otherwise it ends up being a nice little line that joins. So overlapping, 'Edit', 'Content Aware Fill'. Fill it up. And, magic, I've got a new sky. Now I lift this one in here because there’s a little bit of banding. It's just like a perfect sky, so there's a little bit of obvious kind of banding going on. I'll show you how I get round that. 

If it's just one or two pieces you could use the Spot Healing Brush or the Blur Tool, which is there. There's a lot to do in this one. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to select a big chunk of it. Make sure it overlaps quite a bit, copy and paste it. And with that layer selected I'm going to go to, 'Filter', 'Blur', and good old 'Gaussian Blur'. How much? It's up to you. I just want to move it up until the banding, those little kind of rivers stop running. I'm going to click 'OK'. The cool thing about Gaussian Blur is, you can see there, it's added a bit of a fade. It's not going to work on every one, but I want to, I guess show you how I would fix it in this case. Often if it's clouds, it just does a perfect job. 

Let's look at the last one, Content Aware Fill 4, I do this as well. So I'm a Certified Instructor for Photoshop. So we get given marketing material that we get to use. Sometimes it comes through the official Adobe channels. It takes a long time at least. And I see all these cool graphics that they're using, and I want to use it straightaway. Let's say that I want to use this, I'm allowed to, just hasn't come through the official channel yet. So I want to remove this. It might be that you've got sent something from a client, they're like, "Hey, can you do this?" And you're like, the text is fused to it, you can see there's no layers going on. It's actually just jammed on to it. 

The problem is, if I grab the Eyedropper Tool, and pick some part of the blue, and then try and fill it, it's going to be very obvious, right? So I need that gradient, and that's where Content Aware Fill is magic. 'Content Aware Fill', click 'OK', goodbye, text. Content Aware Fill is awesome. Let's have a look-- we did this, remember this one, Content Aware Move? So we move these guys and reshape them. I want to show you this one because you don't have to do them one at a time. I'm going to switch to the other Lasso Tool. You can see, holding down the '+' key, and I'm just drawing a really rough guys around here. Let's say, instead of moving these guys, we want them out, you're like, "You'll ruin my shot, bird," you're out of here. So make lots of selections, Content Aware Fill, kick back, just does an amazing job. 

All right, that's it for Content Aware Fill. What an amazing tool! Super easy to use. It's just hidden under Edit and Fill. We know where it is now though. I'll see you in the next video.