It wasn’t until about 2015 that Photoshop Content Aware abilities sort of came into their own, but that progress didn’t cease, and it continues to improve to the point where it is indespensible for many. You can use Content aware scale to stretch images, extend backdrops and improve skies, and then of course there’s content aware crop, a feature that allows you to move your crop box as you like, rotating and straightening at your will, and instead of restricting the crop size to fit within the given borders of the image, it will simply let you move those borders and expand the image, filling in the blanks.

But for all it can do it’s no Professor X – it can’t read your mind. However, it can execute directions well, and the tutorial here from Photoshop Training Channel will show you how to be much more precise when you use Photoshop’s content aware fill, in order to get much better results. And no, it’s not a matter of using the pen tool some specific way…For those that aren’t aware it’s truly one of those videos that will provide an ‘a-ha’ moment.

Essentially, when using content aware fill a selection is made and when we select Photoshop to use the tool it analyzes the area around the image to generate pixels to fill our selection. Now, it makes easy work of broad areas without much complication or fuss, but add a few oddities into the mix and the pixels it generates can be less DaVinci and more Picasso.

Many use what is generated as a starting point and try to make the best of it from there, but there’s another way. Simply, you select and thus dictate what areas you want Photoshop to analyze and use to generate the area for you, rather than it making a seemingly arbitrary guess as to what you want. It’s really that simple. It’s the difference between having someone guess what you want and hoping for the best, or stating what you want and getting it.

Check it out below and more from the Photoshop Learning Channel here. Also, check out the following articles on using content aware crop and content aware scale.