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Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 38 of 58

How to Use Content-Aware Fill


Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 38 of 58

How to Use Content-Aware Fill


Lesson Info

How to Use Content-Aware Fill

Not every image needs something. Sometimes people just like to fiddle and it's like what can I do? What can I do to this image? So in this case, I was thinking how can I find some way to show you how Content Aware Fill works. And the reality is, sometimes when you've got an image and you were envisioning it a certain way in your mind, and then the reality didn't quite line up. Maybe you were framing your shot and just as you went to take the picture a person walks into the frame. Or a bird flies through the corner. Or something funny happens. Those are all little things that aren't really blemishes, they're not imperfections, but it's something that you could, if you wanted to, you could go ahead and re-touch that. So in this example, we're gonna just pretend that maybe we don't want to see this bird over here. Maybe we just wanna get rid of this little one sittin' down here and we want all the focus to be on this bird that has his wings extended. I've been working with a brand new rel...

ease of Elements and I think when I installed one of the updates that my Preferences file got a little bit messed up. If you are ever working with Photoshop or Elements or any of the products, the different Adobe products, if it ever starts not responding, or acting weird, or being really super slow, and just all around a pain in the you-know-what, one of the best things that you can do to try to fix that is to trash your Preferences file. For whatever reason when it acts silly a lot, it seems like the problems are related to your preferences. So what we did to fix the problem in this case was we re-booted the computer, closed all the software and everything, and then the way that you can easily trash your preferences, even if your computer is not being entirely cooperative, is with the software closed, I went down to my dock, my taskbar down here, and the software was closed, and I held down Command, Option and Shift. Or Control, Alt, Delete I guess on a--or, Control, Alt, Shift on a PC. And I held all of that down while I launched the program, and it opened and then a little message came up and said do you wanna re-set all of your preferences or re-set your Photoshop Elements? And I clicked yes. And then it instantly got a lot faster. So that's what you need to do, or at least try that if you find yourself in a similar situation. So we'll give this another go. We're gonna try to re-touch this bird over here. So I'm gonna zoom in, Control or Command, Space bar. Draw a box around it and zoom on in so we can see what we're doing. There's a lot of different ways that you can approach these retouching projects. And in this case what I'm gonna show you is something called Content Aware Fill. So you have to evaluate the image that you're working on to get an idea about which approach might work best. In this case, removing this bird is not something that we're gonna do with the Eraser tool. If I grab the Eraser tool and try to erase this bird, essentially what I'm doing is painting with this background swatch, right? Because I'm erasing the picture and I'm revealing the background, or if you think of it in the real world, I would be like revealing the paper backing. And in this case it's white because that's what's over here in my Swatches panel. So that's obviously not gonna work. I can't just erase this because then we're left with a hole and Photoshop doesn't know what to put here, and that's not the approach that we wanna take. So instead I'm gonna grab the Lasso tool. There's three members of this family. We saw this the other day. We're gonna stick with this Freehand Lasso and I'm just gonna draw a not-very-careful selection around this bird. Just something like that. So I'm selecting the bird but I'm also getting some of this background. And what we're gonna do is tell Photoshop to replace the contents of this selection with whatever it thinks belongs there. So we're gonna let Photoshop do the work for us. So if I come up to the Edit menu and I choose Fill, so Edit Fill, and I get the option here to fill, fill the layer or fill this selection with a number of different things. So this is a great way if you wanna just do a quick fill with a foreground color or a background color and you can't remember the keyboard shortcuts, this is one place that you can accomplish the same thing. You'll notice then that one of the options is Content Aware. So we'll leave it set to that. I'm gonna ignore everything else and just click okay. And this is when you do like a little cross your fingers move, and you think, you ask Photoshop please work, please work, please do it. And look at that. It's filled it in with this mossy, grassy pattern, and I think it actually did a great job. I'm gonna get rid of the marching ants so we can see by pressing Command or Control D to deselect. You could also deselect by coming up to the menu up here, the Select menu, and choosing Deselect. So that's pretty awesome. I mean, where was that bird again? He's gone. He is so outta there. So now we're left with this image, which I like, that we just have the one bird.

Class Description

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Understand How Elements Works
  3. Importing Images
  4. Workspace Basics: Organizer
  5. Workspace Basics: Editor
  6. Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
  7. Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
  8. Apply Black & White Filters
  9. Sharpen an Image
  10. Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
  11. Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
  12. Explanation of Photoshop Elements
  13. Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
  14. Guided Edit Overview
  15. Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
  16. Ways to Save Files
  17. Layers & Simple Selections
  18. Combine Images with Layers
  19. How to Use Layer Styles
  20. Make Selections with Layers
  21. Make Selection with Lasso
  22. Compositing with Multiple Images
  23. Refine Edge Selection on Image
  24. Use Refine Edge on Images
  25. Create Gradient in Image
  26. Gradient Map Differences
  27. Options for Saving
  28. Brushes Overview
  29. Creatively Use Brushes
  30. How to Change Brush Settings
  31. Use Shape Tool with Brushes
  32. Work with Multiple Shape Layers
  33. Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
  34. How to Load Brushes into Elements
  35. Add Layer Style to Image
  36. Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
  37. Retouching Overview
  38. How to Use Content-Aware Fill
  39. How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
  40. Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
  41. Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
  42. How to Remove Tattoos
  43. Remove a Gap in Teeth
  44. How to Whiten Teeth
  45. Adjust Facial Features
  46. Working with Type Overview
  47. Match Type for Image
  48. How to Manipulate Type Layers
  49. Create Postcard with Type
  50. Add Type on a Path
  51. Organizing Images in Elements
  52. Add Keywords to Images
  53. Smart Tags Overview
  54. Using Albums in Elements
  55. Places Workspace Overview
  56. Use Event Tags on Images
  57. Timeline for Image Organization
  58. Recommended Workflow


a Creativelive Student

Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.


I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!

Ven S

Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.