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Getting The Elephant Out Of The Room
Friday, May 18, 2012
Mark Underhill

Here at the Platformic blog it's a pretty loose forum.   While I don't really think that anyone is going to post a blog about their cats (well, maybe Eric might ...) we post about a range of stuff that might be of interest to a client of a CMS or someone looking to work on websites and although Platformic does not provide graphic design services we do work with a host of people who might be interested in graphics and for certain who at some times might use Photoshop so I wanted to share something that I learned today which blew me away (and I have been using Photoshop for 15 years now!)

Of note toward the point of my arrival at this knowledge, I recently upgraded my Adobe and I did a few searches with the term "Adobe" in them and now probably 30% of the banners on any website that I visit are for Adobe - I have to say this bothers me a bit.  It's a discussion for a completely different blog but let's say I know and understand that they don't know that I as a person by name (Mark Underhill) are the person who was looking for Adobe a month ago but it still bothers me that I am bombed with ads because I performed a search.  Anyhow ... onto the better part.

So, I kept seeing all of the adobe banners and they keep mentioning "NEW - Content Aware Fill" ... promoting the hell out of this new feature and finally I thin - "Hey, I should at least look and see what that is".   So, I do some YouTubing and I find out that the "Content Aware Fill" is supposed to be something like an amazing Clone tool that lets you for instance remove a road from a picture of a dessert with one click or remove a tree from a golf course - again - with one click.

If you have used PS for any time you know that you can work to replace things like this but it takes a bit of nuance and sometimes it's really difficult to get a good result and can take hours for really meticulous good job.  I had to test it out.

Well, I thought what's a good way to use this - how about to perform the age old task of getting that elephant out of the room?   so I took a picture with an elephant and with literal maybe 4 clicks of the mouse (selected a square around the elephant, selected fill->content aware fill, hit the button)

Boom!  NO ELEPHANT!  check it out.  Of course it's not 100% perfect but with a little tiny bit of clean up it would be.   Yes, if you look closely you will see the tree looks a little funky but again, this exercise took maybe 30 second as opposed to a clone job which for me (and I know I'm not that good at this) but it would take me an hour.

I have to say I have always been impressed with Adobe products but this was quite an "Oh Wow" moment for me and I thought I would share - maybe you might need to get someone "out of the picture" ....   Well, maybe when you are editing your website content and your image  just has a little extra that you want removed quickly

well, now it's as easy as this.....  re-explained with actual steps after the images



Step 1: Use any selection tool to select the area you want to remove.   My first try was seen above was just a regular rectangle around the big elephant.

Step 2: Open the Edit->Fill menu.

Step 3: Select "content aware fill" if it isn't pre-selected.

Step 4: Hit the button and let the machine process.

That's all!    I did try a few other selection tools like the lasso after the fact with similar results - seems like you might give it a different selection if the first one doesn't work as well.