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How to Remove Objects in Photoshop

Published: 13/06/2021

There are instances when we want to remove certain objects in our photos as they seem unwanted and distracting. Depending upon the shape, size, and background of the object, this process can be easy or a bit complicated. Learning how to remove objects in Photoshop in a realistic way will help you manipulate images skillfully.

How to Remove Objects in Photoshop Using Four Tools 

Adobe Photoshop CC is highly advanced software that lets photographers create magic with their photos. Not only can you edit your images to bring out their appeal, but you can also add or remove things or people from them with high precision.

When it comes to getting rid of unwanted objects, Photoshop has some fantastic automatic and manual tools to do the job perfectly. Besides the Spot Healing tool, the Clone Stamp tool, or the Patch tool, there is the ever-popular automated Content Aware fill that sometimes does a remarkable job at removing or replacing an object.

In this article, we will describe the use of all these tools and features to clear away any sort of object and apply some rectifying effects later to make the replacement look as natural as possible.

Removing Objects Using Content Aware Fill

If you are looking for the easiest and quickest way to remove an object in Photoshop, try the Content Aware Fill feature before using any other tool. The Content Aware fill is a highly intuitive feature that provides replacement of a selected area based on the clues you give it for blending. 

Process:

To use this magical feature on an image, follow these steps:

  1. Open the image from which you want to remove an object. Use the File menu in Photoshop and select Open.
  2. Once your image is open, make a duplicate of your background layer for non-destructive editing. Press CTRL + J for a duplicate layer on Windows or CMD + J on Mac.
  3. Depending upon the shape, size, and background of the object, pick a selection tool from the toolbar. Here, we have used the Polygonal Lasso tool for higher precision to select the chair. 
Using the Polygonal Lasso tool in an image
  1. To make a fine selection, we recommend you zoom in on the image and use small strokes to make the selection as accurate as possible. Remember to leave some spaces to let Photoshop analyze what it should replicate.
  2. Once the selection is made, go to the Edit Menu. Select Fill.
  3. In the Fill dialog, choose Content Aware from the contents dropdown menu. Check the box for Color Adaptation and leave Preserve Transparency unchecked. Also, select the normal blending mode and 100% opacity.
  4. Click on Ok. Photoshop will take a few seconds to fill the selection with matching pixels.
Object removed in an image using Content Aware Fill
  1. Most of the time, Content Aware will do a good job. But if the results aren’t satisfactory, use the Clone Stamp tool to give neat touches to the resulting image.

Removing Objects Using the Clone Stamp Tool

When you are looking to get rid of big or small objects from an uneven background, choose the Clone Stamp tool. It extends the background to cover the subject. To use the Clone Stamp Tool, you need to source an area that matches the object’s background and then paint the object with that source.

Process:

  1. Bring your image onto the Photoshop interface.
  2. As recommended earlier, use a layer duplicate rather than the original background layer for non-destructive editing. Drag the background layer and drop it on the Create a New Layer icon below. 
Removing objects in an image using the Clone Stamp Tool
  1. Select the Clone Stamp tool from the toolbar or press S on your keyboard. For images that are highly complicated, you may need to use the clone source option from the Window menu, but we will stick to the basic tool for now,
  2. Remember that to get highly accurate results, you must zoom in on the image and start working on it.
  3. In the tool options bar, you can select an appropriately sized brush. To pick a source area, press the ALT key on Windows or the Option key on Mac and then click on an area. The cursor will now turn into a circular brush with the pixels that you have cloned. 
  4. Now begin painting over the object. You can increase or decrease the brush size and select another source. You will notice the object is now replaced with matching background pixels. 
Edited image using the Clone Stamp Tool

Removing Objects Using the Patch Tool

One more object-removing tool in your arsenal is the Patch Tool which works well with any sort of selection tool. It comes in handy when you need to remove a small object on a uniform background.

Process:

  1. Begin the process by opening your image in Photoshop.
  2. Create a duplicate layer to keep the original image preserved by left-clicking on the background layer and selecting the duplicate layer.
Removing a small frame in an image using the Patch Tool
  1. Pick the Patch tool from the toolbar by clicking on the Spot Healing tool flyout. (Or press J to access it even more quickly.
  2. In the Options bar of the Patch tool, select the patch to Normal, and select Source. You can also select the Content Aware tool for a complex background, as Photoshop will try to replicate the patch that you chose automatically. 
  3. If you choose Content Aware, choose the Structure (level of resemblance with the source) and Color (level of the color blend) value that works best for your image.
  4. Make a selection around the object. Be as precise as possible, especially with interior views in real estate photography where we cannot show a messy image to the clients. 
  5. Drag the cursor to the area that matches the best with the background of the object.
  6. Release the mouse key to replace the patch. 
Image with a replaced patch
  1. Depending upon the scale of the object, you can conduct this method in sections to manage it in an easier way. Keep on moving the selected patch and replace it with something else to remove it altogether.

Removing Objects Using the Spot Heal Tool

The Spot healing tool is one of the most favorite tools of professional editors due to the precision it provides. It is best used to spot-fix areas that match with their surroundings. Also, it is used after the Clone Stamp, or Content Aware Fill options leave morphed, unnatural effects after editing.

Process:

  1. Start the editing process by opening the image in Photoshop.
  2. Once again, keep all the editing non-destructive by taking the most essential step, which is to create a duplicate layer.
  3. Select the layer on which you want to work. 
  4. Choose the Spot Healing tool in the toolbar. 
  5. Choose the brush size and hardness from the options bar of the tool. Choose the mode as Normal and the type as Content Aware.
  6. Also, make sure the option of Sample all Layers is checked.
Editing an image using the Spot Heal Tool
  1. Zoom in to the area where the object is present.
  2. Click on the object and paint over it to remove it from the photo.
  3. Use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Z on Windows or CMD + Z on Mac to undo any accidental strokes. Continue working this way until the object is completely removed.

Conclusion

The methods explained above are a guiding source to remove objects in a refined manner in Photoshop. We recommend practicing these methods in combination with different tools and blend modes to give the desired results. Remember that the key to object removal is to do it in a seamless way, so you need to amp up your retouching skills.

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