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Photoshop Tutorial CS5 Content- Aware Fill

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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This tutorial will look at one of the new features in Photoshop CS5 called content aware-fill

What Is It & What Does It Do?

Have you ever taken a photo and thought to yourself, gosh this would be so much better if that person wasn’t in it or that object wasn’t there. Well gone are the days when you would have to spend ages with the patch tool or the clone stamp tool. This tutorial will look at one of the new features in Photoshop CS5 called content aware-fill which is a mysterious and amazing tool that analyses the pixel contents surrounding your selection (unwanted object), figures out what the photo would look like if it wasn’t there and subsequently replaces it. Although it doesn’t always work perfectly, it sure as hec saves you a lot of time with post editing and gets you off to a great start which is why it is one of my favorite features of CS5.

So Let’s Give It A Go

Step 1: Open Your Image in Photoshop, or import it into your Photoshop workspace by going to file and “place”

We Love Short Cuts = Ctrl + O to open a new file.

Select chosen photo and click open. Next unlock your background layer by double clicking on the layer in the layers panel. The dialog box will pop up, just click OK.

Select the Lasso Tool or the Polygonal Lasso Tool from your Tools Panel on the left hand side  to make your selection (unwanted object).


Right Click after completing the selection – and select “fill” option or if you prefer using keyboard shortcodes. Shift and Backspace on a PC or shift+del on a Mac will bring up the fill dialog box. In the drop down box, select content aware fill and press ok.

Let Photoshop and this wonderful algorithm work its magic.

Et-Voila Your unwanted object has vanished. You may need to do some retouching again using the content aware fill tool again, the spot healing brush or the burn/dodge tools to smooth the shadows depending on the complexity of the photograph you are trying to edit.

In this tutorial example you can see the peoples shadow is still visible. So once again I make the selection around the shadow using the Lasso Tool, hit ctrl + backspace or right click and select ‘fill’ to get the fill dialogue box up and select content aware fill from the drop down menu.

Et-Voila I have my final Image, in literally less than 2 minutes. This is why the Content Aware-Fill Feature is one of my favorite features of Adobe Photoshop CS5.

If you like this and want to learn more about Adobe Photoshop and the world of possibilities it offers sign up to our Private Photoshop Course here.

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