Scaling based on content

Tool Content scaling (Content Aware Scale) is one of the unknown functions of Photoshop. In this lesson, I will explain how this tool works.

Sometimes, you take pictures, suppose a bird is near the drinker (see photo below), and then you realize that the bird is farther than you thought you could fix it by cutting out the bird’s image and gluing it closer, but then there is a question of combining the bird with the background. And with the tool Content scaling (Content Aware Scale), you can avoid complicated work and fix your image in a minute.

This lesson is done in Photoshop CS5, but it is also suitable for CS4 and CS6 versions, since This tool is in both versions, and it works in the same way.

Final result

Step 1

How the tool works Content scaling (Content Aware Scale)?

Simply put, the tool selects areas in the low-resolution image and then automatically compresses them.

Let’s start with a few examples so that you get an idea of ​​the capabilities of this tool.

As an example, I used a photo made by Kyricom, it is called Hummingbird.

This is a beautiful photograph, but what if you want the bird to be closer to the drinker?

You could move the bird closer by creating new layers, but then the question of image restoration would arise. Let’s use the tool Content scaling (Content Aware Scale) and see how this tool will cope with this task.

Step 2

First, open the image in Photoshop, unlock the layer, and then go Editing – Content Scaling (Edit> Content-Aware scale). You will notice that along the contour of the image there will appear 8 small squares, which are marked with yellow circles in the screenshot below.

Step 3

You can use these reference points to reduce the image in any direction. What I do is squeeze the image, first, from the right side.

Step 4

You will notice that the distance between the hummingbird and the pitcher has almost disappeared, and the hummingbird is hanging in the air very close to the pitcher. At the same time, neither the image of a hummingbird nor the image of a jug is distorted.

Step 5

Let’s do the same with the image, the author of which is MnMCarta:

Step 6

In one minute and our dice are already located next to each other, they are even located above each other. In addition, the image is scaled horizontally by almost 50%!

Step 7

Let’s go ahead and do the same thing, but in a vertical direction.

You see that the bones are intact, and we got rid of the excess black space.
The resulting image is 30% of the original image without distorting the dice and cropping the image.


Step 8

Let’s move on to the following example:

The photograph taken by Matka is called “Two Chairs”. The original is on the screenshot below:

Step 9

You will think that the tool Content scaling (Content Aware Scale) will once again cope with the task, but see what happens if we apply left scaling:

What’s going on here?

As explained above, Photoshop uses low resolution on the image and scales it.

In this example, the left chair is not recognized as a high-resolution object.

Step 10

How do we solve this problem?

First, we need the Photoshop program not to scale to 2 chairs, we need to use a layer mask.
It is not as difficult as it seems.

Highlight 2 chairs with the tool Lasso (lasso tool) make sure you select the option Add to selection (add to selection) so you can highlight with the tool Lasso (lasso tool) multiple objects.

Step 11

In the screenshot below, I created a selection using a lasso tool, the selection is made in dark color, along the outline of the selection should be dashed lines.

Step 12

Right-click on the selected area and in the window that appears, select the option Save Selected Area (Save Selection). I called this layer ‘Chairs’.

Step 13

Next, go Editing – Content Scaling (Edit> Content-Aware scale) and in the top settings panel, you will see a drop-down menu window that shows not (none). In this drop-down menu, select the ‘Chairs’ layer you saved.

Step 14

Now, you can proceed to scaling your image based on the content, starting from the left side of the image, getting good results. Photoshop preserves selected areas as they are and applies scaling to everything that surrounds these areas.

It was a short lesson, but I hope at least that you understood how this tool works and you learned something new.

Final result

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