August 10, 2011

Quick tips for improving Content-Aware Fill results

Photoshop PM Bryan O’Neil Hughes has posted a pair of 1-minute tips on how to work with Photoshop CS5’s new technology:

Using the Pen to guide the Spot Healing Brush:

Using smaller selections to improve results:

Posted by John Nack at 8:12 AM on August 10, 2011


  • ValkyrieStudio — 10:22 PM on August 10, 2011

    For some reason it didn’t occur to me that the Spot Healing Brush could be used along a path just like any other painting tool. Good tip!

    More than that, I like the look of these videos: The lighting and camera angles are very different than your usual ‘technology tip’ videos – it makes them feel kind of… warm and fuzzy? I’m not sure of the proper terms, but whatever it is, I like it.

  • imajez — 2:50 AM on August 11, 2011

    Another long time PS user who learnt something new with that trick of using pen tool combined with spot healing brush. Very useful. Thanks for posting.

    The nice looking videos are to my mind, sadly spoilt by the lack of decent follow focus on the subjects eyes. Way too many people are using large sensor video devices with wide apertures and trying to pass off this bad focus technique as a stylistic decision. Very, very rarely does it ever work.
    Shallow depth of field looks cinematic/good when focus hits the right spot, otherwise it simply looks amateurish/cheap/badly done. Sorry for rant, but this is a pet hate of mine. It grates on me like the bevel effect used to after it first appeared in Photoshop. It was also overused horribly when all the wannabe graphic [non] designers added a tacky bevel to every piece of headline text or web button. Shudder!

  • kirk3d — 6:18 AM on August 11, 2011

    Another great Content Aware trick is to mask the layer first. Content Aware will only reference the visible pixels, so if you don’t want it to duplicate certain pixels (like the faces) mask those out first. then afterwards, throw away the mask.

  • imajez — 9:34 AM on August 11, 2011

    Another hidden gem, cheers kirk3d.

  • Andrew — 11:30 AM on August 11, 2011

    Is there any reason why Content Aware Fill doesn’t under-the-hood segment large selections into smaller ones in order to prevent problems like that shown in the second video? I suppose there are times where one would want to Fill a large area in one go, but maybe there’s a heuristic to get it to do the right thing automatically?

  • Bryan O'Neil Hughes — 1:57 PM on August 11, 2011

    Kirk3d, that’s one of my favorites and another video coming soon; until then, here are a few more:

  • Regi F — 4:03 PM on February 17, 2012

    we are unable to pull down the pen tool once the end points and point number 3 are set. how did you do that? (you just said: “pull down the line” – it is impossible, it only distorts the straight line between the end points, therefore never covering the curved line we want to take out.
    please explaind,
    thanks,\Regi F

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