Friday, March 15, 2013

Using Photoshop CS6: The "Content Aware" Feature

Recently, I had the pleasure of capturing some of my Panama Mama friends for my next book, the Mamatography™ Capture Calendar.
This colorful pic was just so full of life and joy! BUT WAIT! There's a pole in Olga's head : (

A common question that I get asked is "How do I remove a ________ from a photo?". How you ask? With the NIFTY Content Aware feature available in Photoshop CS6!

If you have just a little bit of know how about Photoshop (using it's tools, and specifically it's Selection Tools) then you can manage to remove an unwanted object by means of Content Aware deletion.

So first off, open up your picture file and duplicate the original layer by dragging it to the little page icon on the bottom right of the layers pallet. ALWAYS DO THIS! With any project.

Next, I used the Polygonal lasso tool to make a general selection of the pole behind her head. You will see "Marching Ants" where you have made your selection.

I prefer to add a bit of "feathering" to my selection areas for a more natural result. I feathered my selection by a radius of 20 pixels. Click OK.

With the area selected, simply click delete and the below option will appear. Click OK.

See the "Marching Ants" in the image below.

Next, it's time to perfect your retouching skills by adding some reality to the deleted area.

What I noticed about my background is that it had a TON of bokeh (that lit, circular effect that is a result of shallow depth of field by using a WIDE aperture on your lens).

This was going to make my life SOMEWHAT easy. To start, I decided to brush the remaining outline area w/ the colors making up the area around it.

For this, I used my "Go To" retouching tools, the Eyedropper and the Brush.

So I brushed in the green areas and then proceeded to FAKE the bokeh sampling different yellow, green, blue and red areas of the background.

I adjusted the hardness of my brush where it was needed as I went along.

Once the general background was complete, I repeated all of these steps for the area underneath and between them where the poll remained. Minor adjustment was due to how much I feathered the selection.

And that 's the gist of Content Aware Fill (and deletion).

If you enjoyed this tutorial but NEED to learn more, leave a comment below or sign up for a  webinar with me! The full menu of classes can me found here on the Mamatography site:

Happy Snapping, Vicky