Photoshop CS6 Content Aware

Photoshop CS6 Content Aware
The Content Aware tool in PhotoshopR CS6 can be a great help in fixing a problem image. Most of the time, this tool is used by photographers to remove or correct a problem area in a photo. But, I have used it many times in my digital art. The Photoshop CS6 fill technology has been greatly improved and we have two new features: Content-Aware mode and the Content-Aware Move tool.

Content-Aware Move Tool

Open the submenu for the Spot Healing Brush tool and you will see a new tool added to the list called the Content-Aware Move tool. When you select this new tool, you will see that the Options Bar has several settings. On the right, we have the Selection icons and when you first activate the tool, the Move tool acts like the Lasso tool for free selection. As in previous versions, when you select the area to be moved, you will want to select some of the surrounding background area as well.

To the right, there is the Adaptation drop-down menu with your choice of Very Strict, Strict, Medium, Loose and Very Loose. Medium is set by default. These settings vary how the program will maintain the selected area when it is moved. The Very Strict setting will keep the moved area intact and the Very Loose will be less so.

Also on the Options Bar, we have the Mode drop-down menu with the choice of Move and Extend mode. The Move mode will allow you to drag your selected item to another area of the image and the program will replace the empty space, matching pixels from the surrounding area. This is great for when you want to move an object within a photo.

The Extend mode will allow you to "stretch" an object or a part of an object. As an example, we have just drawn wall paneling that will be the background for a still life of candles. But when we decide to use a group of candles in a larger size our paneling is too short. In the past, aside from drawing the paneling again, we would use the Free Transform tool to increase the height. Of course, when working with raster graphics, this causes problems in the image quality. Now, we can use the new Extend mode to select a section of the paneling and move that section to the top to make the paneling taller. Photoshop will duplicate the pixels in the selected area, add them to the top area and blend the edges.

Content-Aware Fill with Patch Tool

The Patch tool now has two options in the Options Bar - Patch menu - Normal and the new Content Aware. The Content Aware option can give better results when using the Patch tool. Select the area to be removed as usual and drag the selected area to move it underneath the rest of the photo until the object you wish to remove is hidden behind the photo. As you move the section behind the photo, the empty space is filled with the surrounding area. When you release your mouse button, Photoshop evaluates the image, fills the empty space and blends the edges.

*Adobe provided a copy of this software to me for review purposes.

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