Skip to main content

Content Aware Scale

Lesson 3 from: Advanced Content Aware and Cloning

Lisa Carney

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

3. Content Aware Scale

Next Lesson: Content Aware Crop

Lesson Info

Content Aware Scale

Now this is more of a compare and contrast and I want to show you what to look for and I've got a very strong feeling about talking about this and that is, I find, I'm gonna tell you a little story. I've been learning After Effects, trying to learn After Effects. And I'm not a motion girl and it's incredibly painful for me so I really got a awareness of how hard it can be when you're starting out something or if you don't understand the complexity of what's going on. And it really resonated with me that we talk about content aware fill and what it's doing and how it treats things differently not because I think you should use the content aware trans crop versus transform versus scale. I want you to start looking 'cause I don't know what you're working on. Do you have this picture with all these little lines? Do you have a sunset? Do you have some gal on a beach? I have no clue what you're working on so how am I supposed to teach this? What I can teach is that you can look for things an...

d I'm gonna point out what you wanna see. Fair enough? Alright so let's talk about this. This is an image that needed to get extended because it needed more canvas for an advert. We talk about this in other classes about different file formats and you know, Linked In versus what size something in be or Square Space if how big can your file be? Or Facebook. So if you were to do a full image transform, that's what you're gonna get. Full image transform. What am I saying? Command J, make a copy, command T. Full image transform. That's what you get. Okay? Not super sexy. Full, regular transform but side selection. What? Side selection. Often times when we do a job, we will stretch the image but not the whole image. So let me find my channels where are in my beauties? Hiding, hiding. Hiding, hiding. You said you're out. No, they lied to me. Alright they are hiding under here somewhere. There we go. I do not use the application frames so forgive me for stuttering but there we go. There we go. Alright so channels. So what I did with this and this is very common for image extension is you will make a selection like the right hand side. I made a selection. I'm gonna make a copy. I always make a copy. And I'm gonna command T that. And I'm gonna pull it out. So that's a standard transform only using a selection because you guys seem to be attentive and listening to me. I'm gonna tell you, do you remember I say it all the time, when you have a minute, can you do this on off site jobs? That means you're practicing. So if you're practicing, when you do this at home because I know you guys are all inspired, what you wanna do is when you make a selection, please save it in your channels so you can do a test and you can repeat it. So had I just grabbed that corner with a marquee tool and pulled it out, well where did I pull it out? Did I pull it out at this point? Did I pull it out at that point? I don't know so how am I gonna make a comparison? How are you gonna know is you're gonna save it in channels. So when you need to redo it, you can see it. So maybe this side selection will be okay for you. Do you see what's happening? Horizontal lines are gonna move. And the size is gonna move. Okay? Is that okay? I'm not sure. I'm not sure if that's okay. So why don't we try another one. There is something in here and in all honesty I wanna tell you I rarely rarely rarely use this. Content aware scale. So I'm not making a selection. I'm just gonna say hey, Photoshop figure out what the most important thing is and let me scale it. And see what you can do. Well that looks like cack. Can we say cack? That didn't do a very good job. So hey Photoshop, do you remember I said you wanna do comparison? Do a comparison. Grab the same right side, left side. And do a content aware scale. And what it's gonna try to do it's gonna try as best as possible to leave things the way it thinks you want them. Left side. Not command T but content aware scale. It's gotta quick key but I don't even know it 'cause I so rarely use this. And I think it's important with Creative Live that we talk about professional tactics and when you're gonna use something and not. This is not my go to. And I wanna tell you that 'cause I don't want you waste a ton of time. So that's content aware scale and there's a full image transform. Now what if you combine 'em. Maybe you're gonna want to combine a little bit of pull it out with regular transform and content aware scale. One of the things you're gonna notice and I want you to look when you do this experiment, look at the difference. So this is content aware scale. And that's regular transform. And maybe you don't care. I would care. That doesn't look good to me so, and I'm sorry I know these are pixels but this is important. I live or die by this kind of thing. So this is a regular transform and it looks pretty good. Look at the stretch on the content aware. Do you see the stretch? Not so bueno. Now let's look at the size of the trees. That's a transform. That's a content aware scale. It might matter for your client. It might matter for you that those trees don't get fatter. I don't know. These are decisions you have to make but this is the stuff I want you to watch out for. So if you're in your notes and when you're looking at this stuff say great content aware scale seems to stretch things in high density areas. Seems to stretch things in high density areas. High density, a lot of detail in there. People call this the lo-fi area. Lo-fi, I hate that word. I kinda consider it like not a lot of detail. You know frequency separation the blur layer in the bottom that's considered lo-fi the gray detail image considered hi-fi. So you will see in that when there's lo-fi and hi-fi next to each other, that's when content aware scale is actually doing it's job. It's trying to keep the detail from moving and it'll just move the lo-fi. This is gonna get clearer later. Keep this in your mind. Hang in there. Don't walk away. Stay with me. This is what you're gonna look for. It's why I circled down here and circled up there. Two entirely different results with the exact same tool. Okay? So the bad news for you guys is I have no answer on this particular file. What might be a good sample. I don't, you need to decide. But I'm showing you that content aware scale, it does something a little different. If I could have the, wow they're good. A million dollars, I would like a million dollars. Okay so content aware scale versus transform, just command T, free transform. And what you wanna look at is you wanna look at those lines that I said that you look at. And there's nothing new here. So let me go to the next slide. I have to be very careful. If I double click I get in trouble. Alright so let's talk about a job and talk about using content aware scale and how we might be able to get it to work for you. So this happens to me all the time. I do love doing book covers. It's rather fun. And with social media, I get request after the fact that they need changing. So and it happens all the time, makes me nuts. And sometimes I pick my materials exactly for the border I have and what I mean by that is if I find this stock shot that I wanna use, I don't have any extra to get to. Or I'm gonna admit to something, I travel a lot. And often times, I will get jobs (laughs). They come back and I don't have all my originals. I don't have my fully layered files. So occasionally (gasps) I have to work on a flight file. So I'm gonna show you some stuff. Alright so what we're gonna talk about is the one way that I think content aware scale might help you. So here's what id like to do if you want to bear with me for just a second. I'm gonna show you the changes and I'm gonna show you how I got there. Okay so, there is something with content aware scale that is incredibly important. And it's so teeny tiny. Have you noticed this in photoshop there is a gazillion little million buttons underneath and you don't know what they do. This ever so tiny little button might change your life. Protect. What? Protect. So what that allows you to do is make selections. A loose selection, a tight selection, a wide selection. And then do your content aware fill using a protected area. (gasps) It's very exciting. Selections oh my heavens. So I have made channels that are selections that are pre-made. So that I can do this demo. I'd rather not go through the channel selection if I can avoid it. I mean the masking. But let's see. So I'm gonna do a quick demo to show you what I'm talking about and then we're gonna go through how it works. So let's say I have my Halloween haunted house copy and I'm gonna call this demo. If I say I would like to content aware scale. But I would like to use some protection. I have already made pre-made out a loose selection of a house, a tight selection of the house and a wide selection of the house. And this be possibly difficult for you all to see on the screen. The wide selection is just two pixels and it is two pixels. Two pixels wider, that's all. That's the difference. Okay so what I'm gonna show is let's try both and let's see what content aware scale is gonna do for you. So on the demo, we're gonna go content aware scale. Let's pick tight. It's gonna try to keep that house as safe as possible. Okay it's protecting the house. The house is very important. House is very important. Okay so that's the idea. I'm gonna run through, I'm gonna show you them and show you the differences. So... I made a loose selection and that's the move it did. Now listen this is content aware. It is trying to fill as best it can. Do you remember on the lasso i said it never does it the same way. So you're gonna see the house jumping. Okay it's not pinpoint precision. So when you do content aware scale protected, you're gonna have to move the house back. If it had to be in that exact spot. But we're not scared of that 'cause we have the move tool. Pull all the corners tight. That means I pulled all the way to the edge. Tight, content aware tight. That means I used the tight mask. Wide, I just pulled it wide. I use the selection wide and I just pulled it wide. Look at that. That is pulled wide. That's all corners. Do you see the mouse move, mouse, the house moved. It's the same selection. It's just one of them I pulled all four corners and one of them I just did one and then just to really mess with your head. If you do it in stages, pull one, okay. Go back and redo content aware scale and pull again, do you remember I said the word lo-fi? When you've stretched it, you'd now made it even more lo-fi. In the stretch area and it will now fill the content aware differently. I'll say that one more time. I really want you to hear me. Content aware scale with a protection. You will scale it, say okay, stop, rescale it and do the other direction and it will be different then if you pull all four corners. Because you blurred the background a bit already. You've made more lo-fi. Got it? There's a huge difference so please please please practice it and you wanna know the bear about it? That tight mask you made? You can't use it after you've transformed. Alright don't be afraid. You wanna know why you shouldn't be afraid? Have you met my little friend? Select subject. Not bad. Lasso tool lasso tool plus you don't have to be super set, you do not have to be super tight with content aware scale. It's filling in. And you can contract this or expand it. Contract or expand. Select, modify, expand or contract. So if you start your expansion and you use this tight mask. Okay make a loose mask for the next one. Wait what? Alright let's do this. Throw all this away. Content aware fill. Tight. Lo-fi better than hi-fi, Lo-fi better than hi-fi. It should do a better job here than it will here. More detail, less detail. I can live with this though, it's a book cover. I'm not gonna kill myself. Alright I just hit return. Make sure you're in the magic wand or select or lasso tool quick select. I'm gonna go to the lasso tool now. I'm gonna take out all that. I'm gonna be loosey goosey here. Now, lets go ahead and have that. Make it protect, please please please remember you must make it protect. Let's call that alpha one, deselect. Content aware scale, protect alpha one. Ah sorry my fault. Not bad huh? Kinda close. So I love this, content aware scale with the protect. I only love content aware scale with the protect. Okay do so. Do I wanna talk about anything else about that? I do not. Here's the big thing I wanna talk about, you gotta have a mask. You gotta label your channels, otherwise you're gonna get confused. You wanna label anyway. That is lame. What that is is protect skin tone. So let's say you wanna content aware scale me. My coat is not skin tone. It's gonna be wacky. I think it's lame, don't use it. I love Photoshop, I can say lame. Alright so let's talk about combination real quickly. It's the same idea. I don't wanna beat the dead horse. You gotta love the pun, don't you? So content aware protect. I'd already did that right? Content aware protect, do you see this? I made mask and I did it with a content just like the same last one. And then what I ended up doing (laughs) I'm gonna jump ahead a little but I think this is kind of important is I grabbed a bit of this. And it works different every single time. And I dropped it over here. It doesn't do anything until you hit the return key. I'm gonna cover this tool in just a second. And I selected the mountains and I shouldn't have so I apologize for that. But what that is is a combination. Now in Photoshop's fashion of all things. And turn this off and on. Off and on. It's a non linear program. So I'm trying to show you all six of the content aware fills but I can't show 'em to you in order because the one that worked best for this particular image is actually number six. So what I did is I did that scale. I protected it and then I heal extended to just fill in this area. Now when I did that demo real quickly. I accidentally selected part of the Alabama hills. I didn't want the hills so what you wanna do when you select it is make sure you're just under something like that. And then you drop it in. I do need to call attention to a small detail this kind of extension. What it has a very very hard time with are these lines. So I would have to make the barbed wire right there but that's a quick fix. A little brush and you can make it. It's worth the wait of doing extension.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Advanced Content-Aware Companion Handout
Clone Heal Tool Cheat Sheet
Content Aware Fill Action

Ratings and Reviews

Audrey Agin

Her Action for Content aware fill is the Bomb- great for photo restoration. I learned something in each lesson. I Will have to re-watch a few. She is good at what she knows. Her teaching style, she jumps around a lot, but I felt like she slowed down and explained things better in this course, than in other courses I have watched. I happened to watch Jesus Ramirez “Power tips and Tricks” – great course- it also had Content-aware scale and crop. So by watching both instructors, I now have a better understanding of this tool. Thank you both.

Amy Vaughn

Content aware was one of the best things to happen to Photoshop and this is a great comparison of the different tools that use it. I've been using the content aware fill action regularly since taking this class and now I want to go find a project that uses the vanishing point tool. Thanks Lisa!

Mary Villanueva

I thought the workflow tips were invaluable especially for someone as picky as I am. I would have preferred more demonstration over describing a process which I may or not be able to visualize. I realize, however, that time was of the essence which necessitated the need to rush through so I would probably skip the PowerPoint presentation to save a bit of time and just get to it. The technical details which are necessary to understand can be explained along the way. That said, I thought the class was good. It gave me quite a few tips that I can use. I'm a long-time Photoshop user who is always looking to improve my skill set and understanding of the program.

Student Work