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How to Stretch Backgrounds using Content-Aware Scale in Photoshop

February 11, 2020

hey this is Aqsa and today I’m going to
show you how to use content aware scale tool in Photoshop now if you’re curious
on what that is basically it’s a way for you to stretch the borders of your image
we’re gonna show you how to make your image larger either right or height and
actually add pixels to the image without disrupting the important
information that’s in the photo now this technique is going to be best when you
have an image with large open space so if you have a sky you would like to make
it larger or you have a desert or a lake you would like to make it wider um
it’s going to perfect and if you got a picture of a very highly detailed object
and you want to stretch it out that’s gonna be a little bit harder so keep
that in mind as you move forward alright so let’s go ahead and jump into our
brilliant Photoshop and see this tool at work so here’s our image for today we
got this from and I like this scale format but I’m thinking you
know what what it would this look like as a landscape or maybe as a panaroma or
suppose you want to make a facebook cover out of this so there are two options
of course you can crop you can crop it from the bottom crop it from the end and
you can make it but you don’t want to crop it you want the whole of the
surface you want all of that so here’s what you need to do you need to stretch
it so first let’s go ahead and stretch the canvas make the canvas in the ratio
of the Facebook cover so what is the ratio of the Facebook cover 820 by 310
so press C first and then change the values here 820 and here 310 but for
now I just really drag it out to the right now you can see it only extended
one side of my image but if I hold the alt or the option key it extends both
sides of my image at the same time so you can see I’m able
to bring my image up to right about there
all right that looks pretty good we are going to go ahead and hit enter so after
we extend it out our borders it’s time to actually extend out our image now I’m
going to show you some of the limitations with a regular transform
tool so let’s go ahead and duplicate our breakdown for this hit ctrl or command J
to duplicate the background now we’re just going to use our move tool and then
I hit ctrl or command T to bring up transform ok so this brings up your
boundaries here now I can stretch this out very easily and if we stretch out a
little bit it’s not going to make that big of a difference but if I start
stretching it out like I want to make the entire with our image we get
something like this we get this tower looks super weird and it basically just
just stretches out the entire image which we don’t want because it’s going
to ruin the part of your image so that’s not what we want now another thing you might
think like oh let’s just grab our like lasso tool and like just you know select
out just the area we want to stretch out and try just doing that we like we have
got an area selected there I’m going to hit ctrl or command T and bring this out
mmm there we go and it works kind of but what you wind
up getting is you wind up getting stuff like this really like your selection
actually moves with everything that you moves with everything so instead of
actually being a smooth transition between the area that you just stretched
out you can see you now have a stretched out area and the regular area underneath it so that doesn’t work either so now we know we want to stretch our
content horizontally but we don’t want to mess with this tower so we’re gonna
use content aware scale so here on my layer we are gonna go to edit and then
down to content aware scale all right now here in the content aware scale we
have got a couple of options we have got options for how we want to move with
left or right or width and height and by how much and then we have options for
protect and then we have a little protect skin which we are going to talk
about that in just a second for now I just want to show you how the Tool Works
so content aware scale now I’m going to hold the alt or the option key and we
are going to click and drag this out from left to right and you are going to
see it’s scaling our entire background its scaling basically anywhere it sees
that there is not a ton of information it’s going to stretch that but
information that should be viral in the image like the star here in the middle
that stays intact that’s what content aware scale does it
finds the content and it scales it appropriately now let’s just see this
other version by the way we are just going to show you the regular scale
version there we go so that’s just stretching it out and this is the
content aware scale version you can see it works much much better now what
happens if you want to isolate just an area you want to make sure you protect a
certain area and don’t scale that area well that’s where the protect comes in
we are going to show you how to use that now so you you remember if you go to
content aware scale you have got these things up here let’s say protect that
now it says none I don’t have any other options and
that we have a one that’s going to protect for skin tones but in the case
we don’t have any skin tone so that’s not going to do anything but I do want
to go ahead and protect something and I’m just like how do I do it
my only option is none here’s what we do we need to make a selection of the
object you actually want to protect so let’s go ahead and make your subject
selection for this you can use the wand tool or quick selection tool it’s
all your choice but now let me just show you another amazing option of selecting
your subject in just one click but before we do I gotta say this object is
only available to Photoshop CC so first of all all you have to do is to select
any selection tool alright so we’re gonna select the wand tool and then
click on the select subject button and then Photoshop does some calculations
take some time it’s loading up some stuff doing some mathematics mmm and
have a look at this it’s automatically selected the complete subject and the
selection is much precise and so great and yes you can also use object selection
tool here it performs the almost same job but only available in brand new Photoshop CC
2020 so now that I have this tower selected I’m going to go ahead and load
this as a channel so we’re going to click here on our channels right now I
have our RGB we have red green and blue now I’m gonna click on this new channel
icon and let’s go ahead and create alpha 1 now you’re like what does that
means it’s basically just a way to get you information in Photoshop that’s
based on light and dark information so alpha 1 is created and it’s black but
this this tower in the center I won’t make sure that that’s filled with white
so I’m gonna hit shift backspace and we are gonna say use right there we go so
now we have a selection of this tower and nothing else on the image right there
that’s all it is okay so we have that in order now it’s time to jump back to a
regular layer and do the content aware scale protecting alpha 1 all right so
let’s get back to our layer here and we’re going to click on our copy all
right now it’s time to do the same thing so edit we’re gonna go down to content
aware scale everything looks exact same but really
it says protect instead of having the only option being none I have the option
for alpha 1 which is just it’s what we just created if you want it to call it
like the tower selection you could do that too it really doesn’t matter but
it’s gonna make sure now to not scale this area it’s because we just said
don’t do that so hopefully listened all right so let’s
go ahead and start bringing this out and I’m gonna hold alt or option key and
pull that out from left to right all right so we have content aware scale
with protecting the tower here in the middle and as you can see the tower
exactly how it was before we have really stretched out both the right side and
the left side but we use the content aware scale it doesn’t look funky it
doesn’t look like you know it looks normal it looks very damn normal
actually which is exactly what we want
and we stretch this out pretty far so let’s go ahead and look at the before
and the after all right here’s the before and here’s the after so you can see
content aware scale is an awesome tool especially when you have blank
areas on either the sides or the top or the bottom of your photos you can
stretch them out and then print it out and beautifully you have a landscape
with no additional work very very cool tool so next time you wanna add some
width or height to your image check out the content aware scale to do
so select an image that has a decent bit of blank space either on the sides or
the top or the bottom next go to edit menu and then down to content aware scale
here you can grab the edges of your image and just stretch out as you
normally would and if you find there’s an area in your photo that you want to
make sure it does not get stretched go ahead and make it into a selection load it
as up and alpha Channel and then use the protect feature in the content aware
scale to make sure it protects that channel and lastly here’s a little tip
that I find works sometimes if you try to scale something like super big it
doesn’t work like it’ll look great so here and then you go a little bit
further and it starts to look bad so just go like halfway and then hit enter
and then hit content aware scale and then just do it again and 99% of the
time that takes care of it so there we go
countet aware scale guys thank you so much for watching today’s video if you
enjoyed learning about the content aware scale be sure to subscribe to our
channel so you can stay up on many more Photoshop updates and share
this with your friends and I’ll see you guys in my next one
till then stay tuned

1 Comment

  • Reply Zubair Fazal February 10, 2020 at 4:26 pm


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