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Sally Jane Photographic Art

Adobe Photoshop Tutorial


Adobe Photoshop cs4 - Content Aware Scaling

Content Aware Scaling is a new feature in cs4 that allows you to resize and image by shrinking the unimportant 'background' information while keeping the subject matter untouched. It will also allow you to push two separate subjects closer together. You are not cropping away information from around the edge nor are you simply reducing the image resolution, it's more that you are re-arranging the information instead.

Say, for instance, you have a landscape shot that needs to be cropped to make it narrower but in so doing you would be cropping out some trees at the sides that provide a natural frame for the view. With content aware scaling you can simply push the sides in, a bit like the Edit>Transform>Distort tool only with this tool the trees will not go all thin and skinny but will maintain their shape.

It is very difficult to explain this feature in words or even with a series of screen shots. For that reason I have created a video tutorial instead. In this video I will be working with this image.

original image

It's not quite centered, there is more blank area to the left than the right, and there is too much foreground. I could simply crop it but that give me the image below.

cropped image

Cropping it makes the blank area in the centre appear more obvious. The trees are too far apart. By using the Content Aware Scaling feature found in the Edit drop down menu on the top menu bar, I can simply push the trees closer together and reduce the extra space on the left. The final image is below.

final image

OK so the difference is subtle but somtimes a subtle change is all that is required. I could have gone further and pushed the trees until they almost touched but that would have looked silly. Check out the video to see how it works.



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