The Content-Aware Patch Workflow
The Content-Aware Patch workflow is fairly simple. All you need to do is choose the mode, select your object, and then drag the marquee to the area you want to use as the replacement texture. For this shot I started with the corner by selecting the bridge, and then clicking inside the selection and dragging to the left, covering an area of open water (Figure 11). As you move the selection the original area will preview what the change will look like using the current cursor location. (Note that if you prefer it, the Patch tool retains its traditional “Normal mode” workflow.)
Figure 11: The Content-Aware Patch selection process works just like Content-Aware Move, by dragging the selection to the target area.
Once you release the selection, Photoshop will pause for a few seconds and then replace the original selected area with newly generated pixels. Here I chose an area at the bottom of the frame because the water is slightly darker and more choppy, which is consistent with the area near the corner of the frame. The resulting correction is shown in Figure 12.
Figure 12: The initial Patch correction.
The next step is to deselect the corner of the image, and then extend the turbulent water that extends behind the sailboat, all the way to the edge of the frame. This adds an element of realism. We can do this by going back to the Content-Aware Move tool, switching to Extend mode, then drawing a partial selection around the turbulent water and dragging it to the edge of the frame, as seen in Figure 13. (You can see from the new transform display that I’ve moved the center of the selection 416 pixels toward the right edge of the frame and 136 pixels toward the bottom edge.)
Figure 13: Use the Content-Aware Move tool’s “Extend mode” to stretch or create an extension of a selected texture, in this case to cover another area.
Using the same tool, we can then relocate the seagull by going back to the Move mode, selecting the bird, and moving it back slightly and higher in the frame, again being mindful of any obvious scale references we might be creating. I also used a Loose Adaptation to ensure the texture around the bird matched the water at its new location. I removed the upper buoy with one final Content-Aware Patch, following the same process as before. Figure 14 shows the final corrected image. Note that I also used the Patch tool to remove the small buoy near the top of the frame.
Figure 14: Combining Content-Aware Move and the Patch tool’s new Content-Aware mode can yield rapid, accurate results.