So this post is going to be more about technique than design, if you couldn’t tell by the photo above. The topic today is Content Aware Scale. Now if you’ve ever had the problem of having a photo that doesn’t quite meet the dimensions, you might think of just stretching the photo. However, that usually doesn’t end up well for the photo, especially if it has people in it.
The picture/collage above is a perfect example of what you might try to get a picture to meet the correct the dimensions. The top left picture is the base picture that I used for the three options. The one right next to it is an example of a basic stretch to get the picture to the correct dimensions. As you can see, it distorts the flower quite a bit.
The second row flower is stretched using Edit > Content Aware Scale. This option works well with images that have pretty monotonous backgrounds like this daisy. However, the petals begin to stretch after a while and it can only go so far. The second half of the green background for that row is created using the Rectangular Marquee Tool to select the stretched green background. Then with that selected I copied the selected section into another layer, flipped it and stretched it out to make it look mirrored.
The last row, and the one I prefer, is used also using the Content Aware Scale. However, this time I selected the daisy with the Quick Select Tool and saved the selection by going up to Select > Save Selection… Then I deselected the daisy and went to Content Aware Scale again. Before I began stretching the flower, I went to top ribbon and went to “Protect” and clicked the down arrow, pulling up the previously saved selection. With the Daisy saved selection protected, I stretched the image out, this time it took much more of a stretch to get the petals to distort. However, the center of the flower didn’t distort like the first option and the green background was much smoother than in the previous row, making this option my favorite.
Now onto a little simpler of a Content Aware topic: Content Aware Move Tool. The sheep/goats in the picture above weren’t always in their current formation. In fact, they were originally more in the bushes in the center. You can probably see this in the edges around the sheep.
For this, I used the Lasso Tool to select an area of the sheep and a little around it. With the sheep selected, I went to the Content Aware Move Tool and simply moved over the sheep to where I thought they would look better. Then click Enter and it’s all fixed.