Use content-aware technology for object removal.

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This sample file is an Adobe Stock asset you can use to practice what you learn in this tutorial. If you want to use the sample file beyond this tutorial, you can purchase a license on Adobe Stock. Check out the ReadMe file in the folder for the terms that apply to your use of this sample file.

What you learned: Use Content-Aware Fill to remove objects and people

When to use Content-Aware Fill

Content-Aware Fill analyzes the image to find the best detail to intelligently replace a selected area, and it gives you controls for fine-tuning the result. This makes it an excellent method for removing large objects and people, even against a complex background.

Begin with a selection

Working with Content-Aware Fill always begins with making a selection. You can use any of the selection tools to create the initial selection. The Object Selection tool is a good choice for selecting a single object when there are multiple objects in a scene.

  1. Select the Object Selection tool in the Toolbar and drag a loose rectangle or lasso around the item you want to remove. The tool automatically identifies the object inside the area you define and shrinks the selection to the object edges.
  2. The Object Selection tool usually makes a tight selection at the edges of an object. Including some of the area around the object in the selection will help Content Aware Fill create a better fill. Choose Select > Modify > Expand and enter a few pixels—just enough to create a thin border between the edge of the object and the selection. In this case, we entered 8 pixels.
  3. Choose Edit > Content-Aware Fill to open the Content-Aware workspace. The view on the left displays a green overlay that identifies the sampling area Photoshop is considering as it chooses source detail to create the fill. The view on the right is a live preview of the fill, which will change as you refine the result using the tools and controls in this workspace.

Experiment with the Sampling area options

If the preview doesn’t display the result you want, experiment with the Sampling area options on the right to control the area from which Photoshop is sampling details to create the fill.

  • The Auto option intelligently determines which areas to sample based on color and texture.
  • The Rectangular option creates a rectangular sampling area around your selection.
  • The Custom option lets you manually specify which areas of the image to sample. Click the Custom button to remove the current green sampling area. Select the Sampling Brush tool in the Toolbar and, in the view on the left, brush over the areas from which you want to sample. In some situations, this option may allow for more control and create a better fill.

With any of these options, you can use the Sampling Brush tool, with its add or subtract option, to further change which image details are used as source material for the fill.

Explore other tools and controls

Explore other options to fine-tune the result:

  • Experiment with the Color Adaptation settings to adapt the brightness and contrast of the fill to the surroundings.
  • Try the Rotation Adaptation controls to rotate the fill when you have a curved pattern, such as a design along the edge of a dinner plate.
  • If there is a repeating pattern with elements of different sizes, such as a brick walkway captured in perspective, use the Scale option to resize the fill to match the pattern.
  • If there are horizontally symmetrical elements in an image, try checking the Mirror option.
  • If you want to add to or subtract from your initial selection, use the Lasso tools in the workspace, with their add or subtract option.

Output and save your work

  • In the Output settings on the right side of the workspace, choose Output to > New Layer for maximum flexibility. Click OK to close the Content-Aware workspace. Your changes appear on a new layer in the Layers panel.
  • Save the document in .PSD or .TIFF format to retain the layer created by Content-Aware Fill. 
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