Adobe Photoshop CS4 Content Aware Scale: Magical Transformations!

- by Jori Curry

One of the slickest new features of Adobe Photoshop CS4 is Content Aware Scale. If you’ve ever wanted to turn a horizontal image into a vertical, without damaging key parts of the image, this is for you!

Step 1: Open your image and double-click on Background layer to turn it into Layer 0.

Step 2: Go to Image > Canvas Size to add space where you want to scale to. 
Step 2: Adjust the Canvas Size

Step 3: Go to Edit > Content Aware Scale and transform the image into the empty space.

When skintones become distorted, you need to choose Protect Skintones from the Control Panel (formerly the Options Bar)

When skintones become distorted, you need to choose Protect Skintones from the Control Panel (formerly the Options Bar)

Step 4: You may notice that some areas aren’t working well, so Undo (or press ESC) and go back to Edit > Content Aware Scale. Now  on the Control Panel (formerly the Options Bar) click on the icon that looks like a Mens’ room icon picture-21 and now transform your image. 

Step 5: If this still isn’t giving you the results you’re looking for, you can take it a step further by creating an Alpha Channel. Make a selection out of the area you don’t want scaled. Go to Select > Save Selection, which will give us an Alpha Channel we can use to protect this area.

The Alpha Channel allows you to designate specific areas not to be transformed.

The Alpha Channel allows you to designate specific areas not to be transformed.

Step 6: Choose Edit > Content Aware Scale, and from the “Protect” pull down menu on the Control Panel, select the Alpha Channel you just made.

Step 6: The "Protect" pull down menu allows you to use an Alpha Channel to keep areas from being transformed.

Step 6: The "Protect" pull down menu allows you to use an Alpha Channel to keep areas from being transformed.

Step 7: Drag the handles, and decide if you need to go back to the Alpha Channel and add more white (the protected area) to that channel.

 

Finished Product

Finished Product

And voilà ! Photoshop transforms the areas that aren’t part of the channel! Not every photo works well with this technique, but when it works, it’s a lot of fun! 

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