Photoshop: Content Aware Fill - Option to open it with blank sampling area

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  • Updated 1 month ago
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Premise - I am running Ps on an XPS 9370, so with no dedicated graphics; but aside from this one issue, all of my Adobe programs run beautifully.

I was thinking - why isn't there a way to start the Content Aware Fill tool with a completely blank sampling area, to then just add to? This would be especially useful for those who wish to save time and resources when they have to fill with a relatively small sample area (like, repetitive patterns that are especially hard to tackle manually). It could be implemented as an option with the omnipresent shift + click on the menu entry.

I am currently working on a rather complex project at the moment - I have to remove stickers from a curved, reflective carbon fibre surface on a sports car - and every time I try to shave off the excess sampling area, Photoshop ends up stalling, and I have to force quit via Task Manager.
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Gabriele Correddu

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  • mildly annoyed

Posted 1 month ago

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David Tristram, Employee

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Hi Gabriele.  Your idea makes sense, especially since there is no way to do something like, [invert selection, clear, invert selection] since content aware fill is a modal workspace and the menus are greyed.  Of course you can make the brush big, subtract everything by painting, and then get back to work adding selection pixels, but, obviously, that's not super convenient.  I would guess the workspace starts with a non-empty selection since content aware fill will fail if someone just hits "okay" in that state.  

About the stalling, do you happen to be using a stylus/pen?  We've discovered a problem using the stylus in the CAF workspace.  Fortunately, I figured out what was going wrong and have checked in a fix that should be available in an upcoming release.  In the meantime, you should be able to get Ps going again by tapping with the stylus or using the mouse to complete any selection change you may have started the stylus.  Let me know how that works.  
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Gabriele Correddu

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Hi David! Thanks a lot for the super quick reply.

Tbh, I normally do use a stylus (btw, since the last update the cursor seems to slow down to the point of being unusable when using my Wacom in the Clone Stamp and Healing Brush tools - while we're talking about it!) - but I haven't noticed whether the stalling occurs only  when using the stylus, or if it's just dependent on my comparatively low specs (although, not so low :^) the little thing packs a punch!) for the size files I'm handling. I'll try to check that out when I get back to editing tomorrow morning.

And, as for the CAF failing if someone were to hit "OK" with an empty sample area - I would think that a warning message akin to the one you get when a selection fails ("No pixels were selected") would be enough to prompt users to either go back and stay on the workspace, or exit without applying changes - say, something like "Not enough pixels selected for CAF", or "no pixels sampled", or what have you!

Here's a crop of one of the photos the prompted me to write this post:



The sampling area is a very small portion of the image, but once I managed to narrow it down (after the program stalling 3-4 times), I got some acceptable results (more useful as a starting point for further manual intervention):



Having a blank starting point for the CAF's mask would've probably saved me some time!