What’s this? Content-aware fill? What sounds like a homeopathic dental procedure is actually a tool in Adobe Photoshop CS5. As many did at NACIS 2010, I watched Alex Tait demo just how excellent this tool can be. If you don’t like the way a cloud shadow is ruining a stand of forest in an air photo, slap down some content-aware fill on that image and… voilà! No more cloud shadow.
Now, if I am going to be honest about my feelings (cartographers have those?) with regard to this tool, I have to say I am torn. Sure, it’s great that you can “fix” images. But, I also think we should be careful about what we are “fixing”. There is a fine (albeit blurry) line between making something look “better” and changing its meaning.
That aside, I have to admit that I have been tempted, whilst making some of my Bogus Art Maps, to use this tool. After all, it sure is faster than the clone tool.
I am sure that will end up using it in some way soon enough, but so far I haven’t caved. I may not be a luddite, but it’s possible that I tend to question the new and the fancy a bit more than your typical cartoblogger.
One easy way to raise questions about new tools is by abusing them. So, without further ado, this is what Photoshop would do to noteworthy paintings if their subject were suddenly missing. Draw whatever conclusions you’d like from these images… or let Photoshop draw them for you.