Content-Aware Fill Sneak Peek

Posted by Scott

Update: The Real Uqbar has a post discussing GIMP resynthesis and how it makes this particular feature completely possible. Via Kevchenko

This is absolutely insane. In the video, Photoshop product manager Bryan O’neil Hughes walks us through a new feature they’re working on: “Content-Aware Fill Sneak Peek”. I can’t tell you how much time this would have saved me. To be honest I thought this might be an early April Fools joke (a’la Google’s hoaxes) but this appears to be legit.

Bryan doesn’t say when/if this new feature will show up in the product, but judging from it’s performance in the video I wouldn’t be surprised if it shows up in CS5 at some point (coming April 12th, 2010). Let’s just hope it works as well in the real world as it does in the lab because that’s downright incredible.

Video Link

52 Comments Leave A Comment


Nicklas Pape says:

March 25, 2010 at 2:24 pm

This must be fake. The last example where “Content-Aware” is creating freaking mountains in the sides. I don’t think that it’s that much aware. :) I guess we will see about that. I might look a bit stupid in april.


Catalin says:

March 25, 2010 at 2:48 pm

The last one is soooo clearly fake. If you look at the “filled” areas, there’s stuff there that can’t possibly come from other areas of the image. No way!


Alphonse says:

March 25, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I’m with the conspiracy theorists on this one. Having done a lot of retouching work, this seems far too good to be true. I’d love to be proven wrong though.

Here’s hoping the rest of the programs in the suite get worthwhile upgrades too.


Peter Ellis says:

March 25, 2010 at 3:47 pm

>Not fake according to this:

OK, so not only can GIMP resynthesize do the same magic trick, it also makes up the exact same freaking bit of imaginary desert to fill in the deleted road? Pull the other one. The original video’s fake, and so is the claimed resynthesize page.


Vilhelm says:

March 25, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I’m also having a hard time wrapping my head around how this can be possibe. One click ‘remove road, insert desert here’. They must have perfected the ‘CSI Zoom in on crappy security cam footage and ID the bad guy filter’ if they’re already developing this kinda wizardry. It’s a very cool concept tho. If it is possible, my job is gonna get a lot easier.

I want to believe.


WH says:

March 25, 2010 at 5:39 pm

It’s real, your computer just has to sell its cybersoul to the devil before you can use it.


Christof says:

March 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

I don’t see anything that leads to definitively conclude that the above content-aware fill preview is a fake. Even in the zoomed out view that we have in the video, you can see that there are subtle flaws (i.e. the tool is not perfect and, in my opinion, very believable). I have to disagree with the comment that identical results were produced with the GIMP-resynthesize plugin. The desert fill produced by the photoshop plugin preview appeared to have much more shrubbery than the GIMP-resynthesize desert fill, and in fact looked quite different when compared side-to-side.

I’m still marvelling at CS4’s merge-to-panorama function and it’s ability seamlessly stitch images taken without a tripod, on auto-exposure and with intense varying lens flares! I imagine that content-aware fill is well within Adobe’s abilities. If only they would release this amazing tool as a CS4 update!


Chris says:

March 25, 2010 at 8:04 pm

I’m sorry but I can’t take this seriously. I would rather be pleasantly surprised that I’m wrong when CS5 comes out, but I’m going to go with and April fools joke on this one.

If this is true then I’ll spend $50 on Scott’s merch if I’m proven wrong. How bout them apples, you can hold me to it.


Chad says:

March 25, 2010 at 9:50 pm

If this is an April fools joke it is a cruel one. This could help a lot of people and lead to some AMAZING art!


Scott says:

March 26, 2010 at 2:11 am

I share that philosophy on software in general, but Photoshop CS4 runs rock solid on Windows 7, I’ve never crashed it once. So I say bring on the bells and whistles at this point. Although I have a few functionality enhancements I’d like to see (multi-layer masking channels tops that list), I think a feature like this will have a more widespread effect on Photoshop users as a whole.

All that, if this isn’t bs. I sure hope not and as Christof said, there’s nothing specific here to dissuade me at this point. The results are seemingly incredible but are definitely based on currently existing technologies, it’s only an incremental extension of their previous applications.

And if the Uqbar story is true (I don’t have Linux/GIMP to verify) then this whole thing is certainly well within the realm of feasibility.


James says:

March 26, 2010 at 3:45 am

Look at the last iamge, top left corner; there is a bird in the sky. Where did the bird come from? Fake.


T. says:

March 26, 2010 at 9:00 am

Maaaan. Yeah I saw this on another site somewhere and just sat in my chair in disbelief, repeating “wtf” over and over. And damn I didn’t think of it being an April fools joke. If it’s fake, I got totally got. If not, then WOW. Still can’t wrap my head around how it even works, and how, in a way, almost feels like cheating. We’ll see though.


Joaquim Marquès Nielsen says:

March 26, 2010 at 9:40 am

I believe it. Why else would Principal Product Manager on Adobe Photoshop be posting it? Another feature that I’m really REALLY looking forward to, is the natural media implementation on the brushes. It’s SO cool to be able to blend colors Corel Painter style! CS5 now please!


adam says:

March 26, 2010 at 1:00 pm

I saw this video the other day too. The new feature looks really helpful and will save a huge amount of time for retouching. Can’t Wait..


Christof says:

March 26, 2010 at 1:08 pm

Haha the bird thing is hillarious! And it really does look like a bird (however, at such a low resolution it could be many things). If you look carefully in the “bird” area at about 4:10 into the video, however, you’ll find that the “bird” form is much more likely to be the mouse cursor. Many other viewers out there seem to agree with this observation.


Tyler says:

March 26, 2010 at 3:04 pm

Scott, why not just download Gimp and install the Resynthesizer extension to get a test drive of the technology. Gimp is really quite user intuitive and in many ways similar to Photoshop. I’ve been a strong Gimp user on Windows 7 for a while now. I’ll be trying this out myself soon when I get a chance. Thanks for the update!


mp says:

March 26, 2010 at 5:50 pm

I saw this video and thought – wow, that’s almost like magic… and how people think retouching works… well, it appears like it will soon. However it’s not something that I do regularly in my workflow. I use photoshop primarily for web design work.

The second thing I thought was, wow – I purchased CS4 Design Premium to the tune of $2000+ and Adobe hasn’t bothered to do a SINGLE update to photoshop since its release. No bugfix, no patch release, nothing! This is infuriating! When I use photoshop CS4 for a full day, working on large projects, it will crash (poof) at least once for no reason. I’m on a macbook pro OSX 10.5.8.

I’ve been using photoshop for about 13 years now, and this is probably the worst version of Photoshop to date. Because of this utter lack of concern for the consumer, I’ve sworn that CS4 is the last Adobe product I buy.


For-W-Art says:

March 27, 2010 at 6:00 am

Almost too good to be true. Not gonna go into the whoe true or false discussion. I’ll wait for the release of it, but it looks insane.


fr says:

March 27, 2010 at 10:01 am

I’m I the only one who thinks those weren’t particularly challenging retouching examples? He went on and on about removing that tree, but it wasn’t even touching anything else. It was just sitting against flat blue sky. He could have copied a big chunk of the sky on the right, pasted it on top, and feathered out the edges with the eraser in about 30 seconds. I’m hoping this is actually useful, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will end up in the ever growing list of gimmicky photoshop features that I never use.


Rich says:

March 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Agree with ‘fr’ … and as for the third example … looks like it’s just generating a fairly random cloud pattern for the sky, while regards the foreground, it’s so dark you can’t really see anything. Bet it looks crap close-up!

I’d have been more impressed if the demo had said ‘we took this desert road scene and were asked to adapt the image to show a hotel complex (logo to be designed and placed within image) with adjoining golf course, pool complex, helcopter landing on a helipad, limo drawing up at front of hotel with a couple being greeted by the doorman … at sunset … all to blend in convincingly with the existing desert image so that the original location is still apparent. … We simply selected ‘Content Aware Fill and …… ;)


Rich says:

March 28, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Seriously though, … the damage is being done … the message being sent out is that professional retouching is easy and can be done in a few minutes … in fact anyone can do it! Consequently, it becomes of little value, … certainly nobody’s going to be earning a decent living from doing this kind of work.

Assuming this is for real, I’d say it’s a great shame Adobe have gone for mass appeal gimmickry, … ultimately I think they’re cannibalising their own professional market.


Rich says:

March 28, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Has anybody actually taken a closer look at the demo sample? I just zoomed in on the ‘retouched’ desert road … my eye was immediately drawn to the same sampled clump of bushes which I could see appearing at least three times adjacent to the original sample.
I can see other multiple repeats in there too! From this, I’m not that impressed, it’s way too obvious as to what has been worked on the image.
… It sure is amazing! ;)


Paul Pichugin says:

March 29, 2010 at 11:31 am

If this tool is real, they have not only killed their main *paying* customers line of business.. they have basically killed the stock photography websites and any other website that depends on watermarks to protect their images..

An amazing technology.. but hasn’t been well thought out in terms of consequences.

– paul


Rich says:

March 29, 2010 at 12:46 pm

@Paul Pichugin You’re spot on with your comments about the effect on the pro business … it’s just a shame that from what I can see at the moment it’s all gimmick and no substance! It’s actually not doing a particularly good job! Think of it as a glorified clone tool but with Photoshop this time trying to convince us that the software has the ability to think about what it’s doing … which of course it hasn’t!
When I look at an image, I don’t expect to even see subtle repeats in pixel data let alone blatantly obvious ones where quite large areas have been duped … to me it looks like a pattern fill … might be good enough for the masses though … who wouldn’t know good work from bad!


Slim says:

March 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm

is a tragically cool desk with its ridiculous price tag..

I would buy it in a second if I had that kinda loot. :)