Laura Shoe's Lightroom (and Occasionally Photoshop) Blog for Digital Photographers

Photoshop CS4 Content Aware Scaling

In Uncategorized on February 24, 2009 at 12:10 am

For me there were not alot of exciting additions to Photoshop CS4,  but I have to say that the new Content Aware Scaling is quite impressive.

Here’s an image that I like, but I feel that there is too much empty space between the photographer and the subjects:

Original Photograph

Original Photograph

Here’s how to easily eliminate some of this empty space:

In the layers palette,  double click on the background layer and hit OK to convert it to a regular layer that can be transformed.

Go to Edit>Content Aware Scaling.  Drag in on the right hand center square of the transform bounding box, to shrink the empty space.

Scaling with Content Aware Scaling

Scaling with Content Aware Scaling

Hit enter to commit the change, and then crop the image with the crop tool (C) to eliminate the now empty canvas on the right.

With no guidance from me,  CAS has detected most of the important content, and protected it as it threw out information in unimportant areas.   The only area that it has distorted perhaps unacceptably is the shadow of the center woman.   So let’s let Photoshop know that this is an area that it should protect:

Undo the content aware scaling you have done, with Ctl/Cmd Z.

With the Lasso tool (L),  circle the shadow and the clamming tube:

Select area to protect

Select area to protect

Then up in the Lasso tool options bar,  select Refine Edge and soften the selection by increasing Feathering to 10.

Save the selection as a new channel by going to Select> Save Selection, and naming it Area to Protect.

Deselect the selection, Ctl/Cmd D.

Now go back to Edit>Content Aware Scaling, and in the options bar, click the drop down next to “Protect” and specify the new channel “Area to Protect”.

Specifying channel with information on area to protect

Specifying channel with information on area to protect

Pull in the right side of the image again, hit enter, and crop.

Not bad!  What we come to take for granted in 2009 is actually pretty impressive.


After Guided Content Aware Scaling


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