Content-Aware Fill and Content-Aware Spot Healing are new features in Photoshop CS5 that dramatically simplify the process of removing objects from an image or even expanding the boundaries of a cropped image. The hole filling method is based on Space-Time Video Completion that was developed externally at the Weizmann Institute. The speed of Content-Aware Fill comes from a new image search algorithm called PatchMatch that runs 20-100x faster than previous approaches. PatchMatch was developed as a joint research project with Princeton University. This technology is now also part of Photoshop Elements 9. In Photoshop CS6 we did some quality improvements as well as removed memory limitations for filling large images (e.g. panorama boundaries).
Content-Aware Fill was awarded a Technical Excellence Award for 2010 by the PC Magazine!
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Related features: Content-Aware Move and Patch tools in Photoshop CS6
Barnes, C., Shechtman, E., Finkelstein, A., and Goldman, D. B.
ACM Transactions on Graphics (Proc. SIGGRAPH), 28(3), 2009.