Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Optical Illusion and Adobe Photoshop CS5 "Content Aware Fill"

There’s a term in art called “Trompe-l’oeil” , meaning to fool the eye. You see it in paintings where the artist has painted am image of a tackle box or shelves with books and curios looking very realistic. Today’s image looks pretty simple at first glance, but upon further inspection you might start to question what you’re seeing. The two pots of red flowers are the dominate feature of this image. Look at them and you’ll see they’re not quite the mirror image of one another. Some flowers found on one are missing from the other. The same goes for the purple flowers above and below the hanging baskets. The window on the right appears to have a light on inside and the window on the left has a reflection of the plants. There’s enough different from one side to the other to make you question if it is an image that was folded back on itself or not. It actually is an image cut in half and reassembled, but using Adobe Photoshop CS5’s Content Aware Fill allows for the seamless removal of pieces of both sides. It could be an alcove in the fa├žade of a florist shop and putting an eye on certain small pieces adds to the illusion that it might be what it looks to be. There is more to today’s image than “Content Aware Fill”. To find out more about what else was done, hit the “read more”.
One of the masks used in today’s image started out as a selection based on “Color Range” (Select/Color Range). The white walls of the building had a distinct blue cast to them. Selecting the colors that make up the white walls and using the Fuzziness slider picked up more of the wall components. It also selected a few non-wall areas. Eliminating the stray picks was an easy matter of using the Lasso (L) Tool while holding down the ALT key to remove parts of the selection. As is usual here at the gallery, the selection was right clicked on and Save Selection was chosen. The reason for saving the selection as an Alpha Channel is to have it available for use on latter Layers. You can have many Alpha Channels, so why not keep anything you select “just in case”. Once the selection was made it was applied to a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. The Saturation was lower to remove the blue cast from the walls.

The Content Aware Fill in CS5 makes easy work of removing most of the flowers and stains on the wall. The heavily textured nature of today’s image plays right into CAF’s hands. It’s going to look for nearby patterns and make a judgment from what it finds. The more texture in the general area of what you’re trying to fill the better it works. Was it perfect? No, but it was darn close.


Levonne said...

I need a course in Photoshop! I am way underutilizing it. Tom, You're invited to stop by A Camp Host Housewife's Meanderings and Levonne's Pretty Pics when you have a few minutes! I'd love to hear what you think.