Nature Notes

January 30, 2009

Photoshop CS4 – Content Aware Scaling

Filed under: Photoshop Tutorial — Tags: , , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Before

Before

Adobe always manages to get me to upgrade to their latest version. Often I need to when I get a new Camera body and discover my version of Photoshop doesn’t recognize the RAW files. However I often find they have a great new feature. The great new feature to upgrade to Photoshop CS4 is Content-Aware Scaling. Here’s how it works.

In the above image, I liked the winter atmosphere of this Mallard pair swimming in a snowstorm but I felt they were a bit lost in it. In particular I wished they were closer together.

With the new Content-Aware feature, this is no problem. As always, it is suggested that you work with a copy of your file and work in a layer.

Hitting Edit>Content-Aware Scale brings up a selection, and as usual, grabbing and moving the edge boxes with your mouse, changes the selection.

After clicking on the selection to finalize the change, we notice that the size and proportions of the two Mallards is still the same. Photoshop has “recognized” that they were the important elements in the image and preserved then, while reducing the rest of the image.

The final step is to use the Image>Trim Command (Make sure “Transparent Pixels” is checked).

Incidentally, this new feature is also useful at increasing areas in the image.

After

After


In a straight forward situation like this, Photoshop has done a great job in deciding what can and cannot be changed.  However, if there is any confusion, we have additional commands to fine tune the process. If we make a selection, and save it, we will have the option of protecting that selection when we open the Content-Aware Scale command. There are also other useful options like Protecting Skin Tones so you won’t squish your kids.

Index to Photoshop Tutorials.

This tutorial is a part of the Photoshop Workflow Series

All Images are Available for Licensing at Singular Video&Pix

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