If you need to scale an image to fill different specs, content aware scale is a great tool. For instance I want this image to fill the white areas on the left and right, rather than scaling the whole thing up and lose foreground and and sky.
So to do that I will use the content aware scale tool. With the layer selected, click Edit> Content-Aware Scale. You will see the transform handles on that layer. On one side grab and drag while holding Option to scale to both sides evenly to fill the white areas. As you can see that worked pretty well, but the snowboarder and the sun got stretched some. There is a way to prevent that.
Undo the Content-Aware Scale.Now make a rough selection around the things you want to protect from stretching.
Click Select> Save Selection. Name it and choose New Channel.
As you can see it made a new channel in your channels palette.
Now hit command+d to deselect the selection. Click Edit> Content-Aware Scale. In the top bar in the Protect drop down, choose the channel you made with the selection, in my case “protect this.”
Now scale horizontally holding option, see the sun and the snowboarder stay protected.
Content-Aware Fill/Patch/Quick Selection tools
Now say you want the same scene with no snowboarder, or maybe for my case I want to put the snowboarder on it’s own layer so i can animate him. First make a rough selection around the snowboarder. Click command+J and that will copy your selection to its own layer. Hide the new layer of the rough selection of the snowboarder you just made.
Make sure you are on the original layer with the snowboarder and the mountain. Remake a rough selection around the snowboarder.Click the layer with the Now click Edit>Fill…Contents:Content-Aware Fill. OK.
As you can see it did a pretty good job. Now some minor touch up is needed using the Patch Tool. Select the Patch Tool from your tools palette.
At the top choose Source.
Select the area you want to fix.
Drag to an area similar in color and let go. It will fill that area with a similar color texture that you dragged to. Now go through and touch up any other areas that need to be fixed.
Now make a selection of just the foreground snow. Hit command+J to put the foreground on its own level.
In the layer palette click the lock icon with the white and gray squares to disregard the transparent pixels of the layer. Now make a rough selection around the shadow in the foreground snow. Click Edit>Fill>Content-Aware Fill. That will fill that area with similar snow on that layer.
Now go to the snowboarder layer. We need to cut out that snow boarder layer a little better. I will show how to use the Quick Selection Tool. Select that tool in the Tool Palette.
Now just paint holding shift to add to your selection, and option to subtract. Make your brush smaller to get into tight areas and larger to cover big areas faster. After you tune the selection in, hit command+J to put it on it’s own layer. ***The Quick Selection Tool is just what it says it is. It’s to make quick selections, these are not selections you would want to use if you want great detail. Use the pen tool or the refine mask tool for that (maybe my next post).
Now drag the snowboarder layer below the foreground snow layer in the layer palette. With the snowboarder layer selected and the move tool, move him around. You can see he can go behind the foreground snow now. Now we can make him move through the scene.
I will just make layer comps to show you but you might want to look into using the animation timeline. Start with him below the foreground snow. Click on the layer comps palette, create an new layer comp, name it. Then move the snow boarder up and to the right and create another layer comp and repeat as many times as you like. Once you are done you can click the arrows at the bottom of that palette to go through the layer comps.