Using Content-Aware Fill To Remove Unwanted Objects From Photographs

Jennifer Farley
Jennifer Farley
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Content-Aware Fill lets you repair or replace large, complex areas from photographs by firstly drawing selections around them and then letting Photoshop work its magic. Using Content-Aware Fill is not the same as cloning. You are not copying one part of an image to another part as you do with the Clone tool. You can fill any selection with content similar to the content around it to remove objects and people. It is incredibly fast and easy.

  1. Open your image in Photoshop. I’m using a photograph I took earlier this year in England. There is a man jumping in the air on the jetty, and a small red boat that I would like to remove from the picture. OriginalPicture
  2. It’s always a good idea to make changes on a separate layer (just in case of accidents), so press Ctrl + J / Cmd + J to duplicate your original layer. The original photo is now safe on the background and you can edit on the new layer.
  3. Draw a selection around the object that you want to remove. In this instance, I used the Lasso Tool (L) and drew a loose Selection around the man.2-SelectionAroundMan
  4. Choose Edit > Fill.
  5. In the Fill dialog box, choose Content-Aware from the Use menu, and click OK. The selection changes to match the area around it.3-FillAnd as if by magic … he’s gone. 4-ManGone
  6. Choose Select > Deselect or press Ctrl + D.
  7. Now to get rid of the small boat. Use the Lasso tool to draw a loose selection around it.5-RedBoat
  8. Choose Edit > Fill, choose Content-Aware from the Use menu, and click OK.6-BoatGone
  9. Choose Select > Deselect or press Ctrl + D. And voila! The retouched photograph sans jumping man and red boat.7-FinalRetouch
And there you have it. Fast and very easy. The Content Aware Fill does not replace the Clone, Healing Brush or Patch tools. It’s just a great addition to the existing retouching arsenal in Photoshop.

Frequently Asked Questions on Using Content-Aware Fill to Remove Unwanted Objects from Photographs

What is the Content-Aware Fill tool in Photoshop?

The Content-Aware Fill tool in Photoshop is a powerful feature that allows you to remove unwanted objects or details in an image. It works by analyzing the surrounding pixels and using this information to recreate the area you want to fill. This tool is particularly useful for removing distractions in your photos, such as unwanted people, objects, or even blemishes, without leaving a noticeable trace.

How does the Content-Aware Fill tool differ from the Clone Stamp tool?

While both tools are used for similar purposes, they work in different ways. The Clone Stamp tool requires you to manually select a source point to clone from, then paint over the area you want to replace. On the other hand, the Content-Aware Fill tool automatically analyzes the surrounding pixels and uses this information to fill the selected area, making it a more efficient and accurate tool for removing unwanted objects.

Can I use the Content-Aware Fill tool on any image?

Yes, you can use the Content-Aware Fill tool on any image. However, the effectiveness of the tool can vary depending on the complexity of the image and the object you want to remove. For best results, it’s recommended to use it on images with a consistent background.

What are the steps to use the Content-Aware Fill tool?

To use the Content-Aware Fill tool, first, open the image in Photoshop. Then, select the object you want to remove using any selection tool. Once the object is selected, go to the ‘Edit’ menu and choose ‘Content-Aware Fill’. A new window will open where you can adjust the settings and preview the result. Once you’re satisfied, click ‘OK’ to apply the changes.

Can I adjust the settings of the Content-Aware Fill tool?

Yes, you can adjust the settings of the Content-Aware Fill tool to achieve the desired result. In the Content-Aware Fill window, you can adjust the opacity, color adaptation, rotation adaptation, scale, and mirror settings. You can also choose whether to output the result to a new layer, duplicate layer, or the current layer.

What should I do if the Content-Aware Fill tool doesn’t remove the object completely?

If the Content-Aware Fill tool doesn’t remove the object completely, you can try using the tool again on the remaining part of the object. Alternatively, you can use other tools like the Clone Stamp tool or the Healing Brush tool to remove the remaining part.

Can I use the Content-Aware Fill tool in Adobe Illustrator?

No, the Content-Aware Fill tool is not available in Adobe Illustrator. This tool is exclusive to Adobe Photoshop.

Is the Content-Aware Fill tool available in all versions of Photoshop?

The Content-Aware Fill tool was introduced in Photoshop CS5 and is available in all subsequent versions. However, the tool has been improved and expanded in later versions, so the functionality may vary depending on the version of Photoshop you’re using.

Can I undo the changes made by the Content-Aware Fill tool?

Yes, you can undo the changes made by the Content-Aware Fill tool by going to the ‘Edit’ menu and choosing ‘Undo’. Alternatively, you can press ‘Ctrl+Z’ (or ‘Command+Z’ on a Mac) to undo the last action.

Can I use the Content-Aware Fill tool to add objects to an image?

No, the Content-Aware Fill tool is designed to remove objects from an image, not to add them. If you want to add objects to an image, you can use other tools like the Clone Stamp tool or the Brush tool.