Content-Aware Scale


Adobe® Photoshop®: Retouching and Collage


Lesson Info

Content-Aware Scale

We've been using a feature in a couple different tools that had the word content where attached to it we had the, uh, spot healing brush had a setting called content aware it's what we're using you into the edit menu and we said phil, we could fill with content aware there are other features and photoshopped use content aware but there are some we have uncovered yet so I thought we'd take a look ah, one of them I find to be useful whenever I have a photograph where I originally shot it as let's say a horizontal but a magazine wants to use it and a magazine usually the cover is vertical and so I need to do something to crop the image into a vertical but I don't have any stuff that I can get rid of in the picture meaning I just need to somehow ad space and make it a vertical photo so let's see what we might be able to d'oh ah here I have a simple image that I shot and I think southeast asia it's just ah, you know what you call them if it's a prayer flagler of its why but I just want to m...

ake it a vertical or um or square image you know, the first thing I'm going to do is change the name of the background just by double clicking on it and giving it any other name that way, if I add any space to this document instead of getting white space I'll get empty space, then I'm going to go to the image menu and choose canvas size and with canvas size I'm gonna tell photoshopped that I'd like to get this image to be let's see center to percentages and may be told to make it two hundred percent in the height and they wanted just a little bit wider one thirty when I do that this down here says, where do you want to put the old information within that new, larger document and I'll say it put it in the upper left so you see the extra space if I zoom out there's our excess space somehow I want to fill the majority of that extra space and I want photo shop you just figure it out for me so let's see if we can to accomplish it I'm going to go to the edit menu and that's where going to find a choice called content aware scale content where scale when I use that photo shop is going to try to figure out what it thinks is important detail and whatever it thinks is important detail it's not going to scale but whatever it thinks is not overly important instead it's stuff like grass or blue sky or something else that you could easily extend it will attempt to onley extend that area so let's see what happens when I grabbed the corner here and I just start pulling it out do you notice that the contents of what's in there the detailed part is not really changing it will eventually to try to fill some of the space but the way it extends it is not by equally scaling everything instead it realizes that there are these little tassel like details within the image and those look like a little pieces that maybe shouldn't be generically stretched it's the fabric in between them that looks more generic that maybe it would be safe to stretch and so it's going to try to figure out how to extend that across that area if I bring the bottom portion down it's going to see if it can just start extending things and if you look at the way it's scaling it usually if you just scale it up in one direction he would look all distorted in that direction it would start getting a little softer and everything but here if you look it has like little lines like these lines here you see a lot of focus that back here and it's finding the white space that was in between it and that's the main area where it's trying to add the space in not trying to distort those lines themselves as much let's see how much we could get away with its out certain point I'll start falling apart but we can get it to be quite a bit bigger in still usable press return to say I'm done let's see how much we've done before after and it did change the shape of bet and things, but there are other things we can do to get more control over this, but this isn't the most exciting image, so let's, go work on some others. Here is a vertical image. Darn, I wish I would have shot it. Horizontal. Well, let's see if we can do anything about it. I'll change the name of the background layer and that's on lee. So when I ad space to my document, the space that has added his empty instead of being full of white, go to the image menu, choose canvas size and you don't have to use canvas size. By the way you could instead just grab the crop tool. If you're more of a visual person and with the crop tool, just pull out the side press, return a renter when you're done. Same thing is candace, size is just more of a visual way of doing it. Had I not changed the name of the layer of this would have been full of white. And when I went up here to the edit menu and chose content aware scale, it would think the white part is part of that layer and therefore part of what I want to scale also content where scale I don't believe works on the background layer, you either have to make a selection to tell it which area would like to scale or work on a layer that's not called background so content where scale now I'm going to start pulling this out, innit? Notices that there's blue sky in there and the blue sky doesn't contain much details so thinks it's ok to extend it there, but there will be a limit to how far a bill to pull this if I continue pulling it, watch what happens eventually to the largest balloon I think well, maybe not, maybe he'll be able to get away with it. I was assuming that it was going toe mega distorted but it's doing pretty good at that, but you notice how it's figuring out where important detail is versus detail it considers to be something generic. Now if I try to keep going, I hope it there do you see the large balloon watch what happens to it? There is starting to mess up if I keep going a couple things about that the first is if it does start messing up just before find the furthest you could extend it without it messing up press return or enter to say you're done with your scaling and just tried a second time content aware scale because now instead of thinking from the original picture which it's limited and how much you can scale it thinks this is the original now and it has no idea you've already extended it at all and I find that oftentimes it's going to be able to go much further like way off the edge of the screen and still not distort you just have to do it in more than one pass so if you want to see it I can go over here and grab my crop tool again add some more space to this image and then go back to content where scale and eventually I think that balloon is going to start distorting again I'm amazed at how far I'm able to go come on I'm sorry it won't mess up eso anyway this used to be a vertical image and limits use undue enough times to try to get back we had so we just went from this to this was it hard right so content aware scale now it's not just for extending space I could also go back up here to content where scale and now I had this panorama shot of the balloons and somebody wants it they really wish the balloons be closer together all right, fine. I'll start doing this and I'll see if any of them start distorting if they do I'll find the furthest I can move it without the distortion I just applied as a separate step but come on cheese all right, thanks a little bit of time because it's a big image we're looking at it only six point two five percent you know it's a high res picture um and I was able to do that the mega mats but now this thing has such a simple sky though that's the problem people don't know this and they show it with the simplest things like let's find a picture that has these overly isolated elements on a surrounding that you wouldn't be able to tell if you blurred the heck outta for something but let me show you with a more complex image you see what it does look at this guy I thought I had already adjusted this something tells me that my ex mp file didn't come over that's just do a quick little see who's in there not the most professional shot but it will be good enough let's see what it does with mohr busy looking detail this isn't just a blue sky double click on the background again change its name and content where scale look what's happening to me it's kind of ridiculous though that it still looks like me considering have taken over half the the hideout now there is a setting in here that attempts to protect skin tones, so if you had people in your photograph, it will attempt not to distort them. The problem in this particular photograph is, I don't think it's going to help that much because the background is so similar to a skin tone and color, then I think it's going to help, but I'll turn it on just in case, and that is at the top of your screen. You see that little person if you click on that it's going to try to protect skin tones, so I'll turn it on and it might take a moment to calculate, but I don't think it's gonna help because my skin, I think the rocks and surroundings look closer to a skin tone than my actual skin tone, just so you know, that's, what that's supposed to do but let's, see how we could get more control over this and just do other things with it? Here's a shot I took when I was in africa bunch of lions and you see all the space between them. But here it's a little bit more busy when it comes to the space so I can double click on this again to change its name content where scale and let's see what happens with this one. The space in between them is disappearing all right but watch the trees it thinks the green part of the trees air fine to kind of get together but eventually those trees air just going to start doing weird stuff but look at how close the lions are getting to be together so we could always do this to a copy of the original and then just used the original trees from that section of the photograph you know no need to take all the trees and compress them it's the lions that are more important so if you're a news photographer don't do this you will get fired um but it's pretty darn amazing that it can do it right now that's not the only thing we can do uh this one of course I could extend you know, compress and expand and if I compressed it these zebras we get closer to the others if I extended it this space between them would get bigger but it wouldn't just look like a generic stretching where it looks almost blurry when it's done instead it would really try to repeat the the content well there's another new tool related to this if you go to the same slot where we've been using the healing brush in the spot healing brush and the patch tool there's thie content aware move tool content where move with the content of where move tool you can draw shape around whatever it is you would like to reposition and then you can click within that and drag it to where you wanted to go and when you let go it's going to do two things it's going to do content where phil where the old area wass to fill it in with something new so it looks as if the zebra wasn't there but then it's going to do another content aware operation around the edge of where you put it to try to take it match its surroundings so when I let go let's see what it does in this image so you see how we can move things around it will fill in the old gaps and it also works around this edge now I'm gonna take command age so you can see it without the edge of the selection there and uh we can choose undo if you'd like to see before and after moving it over now there's more to this uh at the top there is a choice called adaptation and this means how strict should it be on what's going on on the edge did you make a selection exactly of a building and then move it over and if so the edges overly important like that it stays really close to where it was originally therefore you consented to very strict or where you really generic going around that thing where you just made a selection that you know it's like a drunkard going around or something nowhere close then you could say very loose and as you change it it will re calculate you don't have to like move it again or anything like that at least recalculated and we'll see the edges will look different when I said it very loose compared to when I said it very strict if you don't have an accurate selection will very strict you might be able to start seeing around the edge but around the edge I can see just a little bit more of the shape that I drew there because it wasn't all that precise s o it's a matter of choosing between this most of time I seem to have it on loose for most of my stuff and it's not absolutely perfect when you're done I usually come in and I think like I don't know what that is was that in the original yeah that's his others hoof I missed this but nice but it it decided to move it over anyway did you see it? It moved it over but there's a piece left so what I'm done you know check out the image don't leave little you know pieces so this is the um what the heck do you call the spot healing brush? This part here looks a little odd uh that's not seen why so been well we're the body starts around think will is wondering whether you could do content where phil, between documents in order, replace heads in portrait who content aware, filled between documents? I don't believe so because I'd have to try to drag to the other document, but let's, just have another document open and see if when I did the continent where move that any time I ever demo something answered question it means, I don't know, but I'll tell you in a moment, it looks like you can, um so let's go put a lion in here, let's, see if this works. Come on, all right, let's, grab this deed or is it a do that? Yeah. That's, right. And let's see if it will put it there. That's not going to do anything to make it match, though, between doc, you, but you can drag between documents using that tool. I just hadn't tried that before. I'm ready to go now with complex backgrounds. I mean, the the tool works best with rather generic surroundings. If it's gravel where the gravel's pretty darn consistent all over the place it's sky if it's something else like that that's pretty consistent it does a pretty good job, but when you get into mohr exacting backgrounds like tile in your bathroom let's say, or in this case grass where you can tell if the grass is broken up, that we usually won't do quite a cz well, but let's say, I want to just recompose this photograph I want to take this guy and move them over here, although I don't want to cover up the other one and then I'm gonna move the other one over so he's actually looking at the er at the other one, we'll see what it looks like, but as you work with mohr exacting backgrounds, it'll be more important what you choose up here for your adaptation all type command asian, hide the edges at least to my initial either didn't look too bad. Um, let's, try moving the other one but know that you can change the adaptation afterwards, I would usually type command age, and then I would experiment with it to see which one's going to give me the best surroundings in the transition into those surroundings, because it's going to give you quite a difference, especially when you're going all the way from very strict I don't think see how very strict does not look very good here I can see more or less the old background sitting there, but very loose that's a little better, but I can see it I mean, it just doesn't look like the right kind of grass. It might be an all right way to do your initial move over there and then afterwards going and just to retouching around it until those edges look good, but I can still see that a bit. So you got to be careful. Other things are when you are trying to stretch things with the content aware there is a little bit more control you can gain ah here's, our light painting that I created a while ago, this was a joshua tree national park, and I would like to have more space around it. Maybe I want to put a headline and some text on this for an advertisement, that type of thing. So as usual, I'll change the name of my background layer, and I'll grab the crop tool. And when I extend this let's, see if we can learn a little bit more about how to use that content where scale that might help us. So when I end up coming in here and I use content where scale, uh, if I dragged this eventually watch what happens to the top of the tree, do you see the top of the tree kind of getting distorted a bit, I think I can get away with going out this way quite a ways tree doesn't look like it's getting distorted much tiny bit of extra space between things we get away with quite a bit going this way but it's when I try to go this way that you see the tree just I wish it would just add sky or something again instead the top of that trees starting to look like somebody with hair that's you know, sticking way up you know well here's what you could do about it I'm gonna hit the escape key to abort that and I'm going to select the area of this image that is important the area that contains the most important detail doesn't have to be an overly precise selection, but I'm just going to let it know that this general area is the good stuff that you shouldn't mess with all that much then I'll go to the select menu and I'm going to say save that selection and I'll say save it then I'll get rid of that selection and let's try it again and see if we get attacked any differently so edit content where scale was mainly when I was going vertical and let's look at what point the tree starts to get distorted in a way that I don't like to appear and right thirty seats starting to kind of extend a little bit here starting to get too tall well, there is a choice of here the top called protect and if I've saved a selection in the past, if I click here, I should find the name of all my safe selection so that I can use it by doing this I'm educating photoshopped to tell it that the area had selected was more important than the rest of the picture, and so when I choose leave me alone, man, then it's not going to distort that areas much, so it decided instead that hey, if you need add space, we might as well take it from the rocks now, because that wasn't part of the selection, so it thinks it's ok to do that and let's see now how much I can get away with stretching that vertically before the tree gets too much? I think the tree is it starting? Yeah, the trees getting a little bit tall, I think, but I can still pull up sides if you ever pull one of these sides when you're doing any kind of transformation, if you hold on the option key ultima windows, it means pull the other side of the same time, so if I don't have option held down, I'm just pulling out the right side if I do it's pulling the left side and equal amount that's true of any kind of transformation, but when you're done, always look at the end result and be critical of it and possibly come in with any retouching tools like your spot healing brush or anything else to touch up any areas that might look a little odd. But if you look at how much space I was able to add to that picture, it's kind of ridiculous. So if I ever need something to be used in a magazine and it's, not quite the right proportions, this is where I might end up going. Just want to make sure you knew how to do that. You can also just say no. When you save something, you save a selection like that, it saves it into the channels panel. If you happen to be comfortable with channels, what it looks like in there is it looks like this in an area that is white, means very important. An area that is black means not important at all to do with what you want. But you can also put in shades of gray so I could put in fifty percent grace somewhere to say this one's semi important, that kind of stuff. So you could have more influence over if you need to question and yes for these years doing it on us of renamed background layer, rather than adding a layer on top on using the adjustments there. Why? Because if I do it on a layer on top can you do in around? I can't really do it on later, the topic is how is it supposed to match up with what's underneath? So I would simply work on a duplicate document where I keep the original document on my hard drive and after I'm done scaling it up and save it under a different name. But that way, my way of getting back to the original is just opening the original file instead of this one, right? But because they're going to be scaled up so much, it doesn't really make sense to doing a duplicate player. So if you've done that, you found the extreme of how far you can go and you want to get rid of this empty space, just go to the image menu. There's, a choice called trim and trim, will contribute weigh all the transparent parts. So then all that stuff would be done, and I got my image so that is content aware. Just remember that the other command that uses content aware is the content aware phil tool, that you can select objects in one thing about the content of where phil, you go to the edit menu to find it content where is it works great on the edges of documents where the normal healing brushes would remember what used to be on the edge and try to blend with it. But content aware doesn't. And so that's. The one time when it's, overly useful to use content aware, is whenever whatever it is, you're trying to remove or fill in bumps ins into the edge of the document. I would use that. And then, when it's done, I would use other tools to touch up the end result. Like here, that little line might not be appropriate, so I might grab the spot healing brush or something else. Teo, touch it up to say that line might not belong there, saying, with that and so on. But just keep that in mind as far as other spot healing or content where technology.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

Learn how to retouch any image, whether it be the simplest problem or the most complex and seemingly impossible task. Understand the difference between all the retouching tools and then learn how to supplement them with other Adobe® Photoshop® features. See how multiple images can be combined into a seamless composite that is much more than the sum of its parts.

  • Learn the difference between all the retouching tools and when to use each one
  • See how the Clone Source panel can help with difficult retouching jobs
  • Rid your images of telephone poles, power lines and pedestrians, even if they overlap complex backgrounds like trees
  • Discover how Layer Masks, Blending Sliders and Vector Masks are best implemented
  • Learn how Smart Objects can allow you to make almost infinite changes to your design without having to rework your image

  • This course is also part of the Photoshop tutorials series

    Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6