Content-Aware Fill is a powerful Photoshop tool that has been getting better and better as the software evolves. On the first version, this tool was very basic (yet powerful) allowing you to simply replace a part of an image with the surrounding pixels in a snap. But these days, Content Aware Fill has more options, and you can control tons of aspects of this tool in order to work faster and get better results.
The use of this tool is almost unlimited, we can use it on almost anything we want, from replacing a single spot to an entire person with incredibly good results saving us valuable work time.
Let´s take a look at the features of the Content-Aware Fill available in the latest Photoshop version while we work on an image and see how powerful this tool has become. But first, if you want to follow this tutorial exactly as described, please download the following image from Pexels: Download.
Open the image in Photoshop.
Select the Lasso Tool (L) and make a selection of the person in the middle. Do not worry to be precise because we can adjust that selection in the Content-Aware tool panels.
Go to Edit > Content-Aware Fill.
Select the Sampling Brush Tool (B). Be sure to have the mode set to “Substract” in the top toolbar and set a brush size that you feel comfortable with.
Using the Sampling Brush Tool (B), paint over those areas that you do not want to Photoshop to sample in the area we will replace. In this case, I will just substract the other 2 persons in the image so we can be sure that no pixels will be sampled from these areas.
In the Content-Aware Fill panel expand the Fill Settings controls and set the “Color Adaptation” to Default, the Rotation to None and leave the Scale and Mirror unchecked.
Under “Output Settings” you may choose to output the end result to the Current Layer, to a New Layer or in a Duplicated Layer. In this case, as we still have to remove the shadow in the sand, we will simply pick the “Current Layer” and click OK.
Press Ctrl+D on your keyboard to deselect the current area. As you may see, we have almost nothing more to do because the tool has made a very good job replacing the person with the surrounding area.
To replace the shadow, we will follow the same procedure. First, make a selection of the shadow using the Lasso Tool or any other selection tool that you feel comfortable with.
Go to Edit > Content-Aware Fill.
As the selection we have made is a bit smaller than the selection we need, we will adjust it with the Lasso Tool inside the Content-Aware Panel. Select the Lasso Tool (L) in the Content-Aware toolbar and draw a selection around those areas we missed from the shadow.
Using the Sampling Brush Tool (B) with the mode set to “Substract”, paint the areas that we do not want to Photoshop to sample to fill our selected area.
In the Content-Aware Fill panel expand the Fill Settings controls and set the Color Adaptation to “None”, the Rotation Adaptation to “Medium”, leave the Scale and Mirror unchecked, set the Output to “Current Layer” and click OK.
Now, simply press Ctrl+D on your keyboard to deselect the current area.
Although the new Content-Aware Fill has been improved with more controls to adjust our selection and sampling areas, sometimes you will have to make minor adjustments after you apply the Content-Aware Fill to your image to make it just perfect. But the hard work for sure will be much easier to do with all the new features that the tool received on the last update.