In the lull between the last few weeks of craze before the next few weeks of insanity kicks in, I’ve taken advantage of some down time to backup, defrag and upgrade — including Adobe CS5. If you missed the live debut of Photoshop’s content-aware fill, this is what all the hype is about:
To test, I took a recent SOOC (straight out of the camera) original image:
I used CS5 to enhance the digital file as part of my usual workflow. Then I added a layer of texture to make the grunge wall behind my subject even more interesting:
Then I called my kids over to watch what they call “Stupid Photoshop Tricks.” I do this for two reasons: 1.) because it’s fun and 2.) because I think it’s important for kids to see how much manipulation goes into the images that bombard them. It’s just a healthy dose of realism.
I selected my subject:
And to my daughter’s horror (and her brother’s delight,) I hit the “delete” key:
The dialog box that came up had “content-aware” selected as default. I hit okay. And whereas my previous version of CS3 would have left the area inside the selection a blank, erased field of white for me to painstakingly recreate, CS5 took less than a minute to process a suggested fill for me:
Granted, it isn’t perfect; the lines in the brick walkway don’t exactly add up, for example. But as I selected the clone tool to fix them, I was surprised and thrilled to find in CS5, the clone tool shows me a mirror image of what I’m about to stamp — invaluable hours saved trying to blindly line-up matching pixels!
I did a little bit more to clean up the content aware, but very quickly and without spending too much thought:
And then, of course, I hit open apple-Z to step backward and reinsert my beautiful sunshine, this time within an altered, content-aware filled format:
A trained eye could easily spot the hurried indifference, but all told the whole process took us a little over three minutes. Amazing!