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How to use Content-Aware tools

by Adam Smith. 8 Feb 2013

Leverage the power of Content-Aware technology to speed up your photo retouching

Before

How to use Content-Aware tools

After

How to use Content-Aware tools

Bench removal

The goal in this project is to clean up the scene by removing the benches from the pier and the boats from the water. Begin by creating a copy of the background layer to work on. Roughly select the pier pavement and add a layer mask, this will ensure that only the pavement pixels are resampled. Create a new selection around one of the benches, being careful to include the shadows and bench edges. Then go to Edit>Fill and select Content-Aware for the use. Repeat the process for the other benches.

How to use Content-Aware tools

A little filter help

Delete the layer mask and evaluate the new bench-less pavement. The Content-Aware algorithm struggles to match the perspective pattern of the bricks on the pier. To help things match up, go to Filter>Vanishing Point. Draw out a plane to match up with the pier, then grab the Clone tool within the vanishing point window. Hold down Opt/Alt to set a source point and watch the cursor overlay to help align the Clone brush. Use this to clone out the pavement areas that are obviously out of perspective.

How to use Content-Aware tools

Boats be gone

Zoom in on the background area to get a close look at the boats and buoys. The small buoys are an easy task for the Spot Healing brush when set to Content-Aware. Use a brush radius slightly larger than the dark dots and a single click will remove each of them. The boats can be easily removed using the Patch tool with its Content-Aware option. Select a boat outline and then drag the selection to another area of the horizon to define a sample point. When released, the boat will seamlessly disappear.

How to use Content-Aware tools

Download the image used in this tutorial to experiment with techniques learned.

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