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Preserving fabric texture in photos

SkipperlangeSkipperlange Member
edited November 2015 in post-processing


I am wondering how best to try to cover of the white of this girl's bra showing through her sweater. The trick is keeping the texture of the knit fabric. Cloning and healing brush mush up the fabric and make a mess. Changing the color of a selected area looks like I painted over it with paint or a Magic Marker, no texture. Darkening does nothing. I wonder if I have to borrow fabric from elsewhere in photo and graft it in there? 

In my instructions to high school seniors I do cover and emphasize making sure clothes fit, are ironed and do not reveal undergarments like bra straps. So I will probably charge this client for this fix if it can even be done and unless it's a quick fix. Not sure if I noticed this during shooting or not and I wonder if that makes it my fault. 

Thank you! See attached.  


  • Thinking back on this, I probably did notice it but knew that she did not have a camisole handy (may've already asked with earlier outfit) therefore nothing could be done, short of limiting poses to shots where the top wasn't stretched out. I should probably bring camisoles with me to senior shoots for this reason. 
  • Hi,
    I've found that context aware fill can do a good job of preserving or creating texture.  This is the shift F5, not the other tools.  In the sample above, it didn't take too long to first create a new layer, do some context aware filling and then set it to darken (80-85% opacity).  It wasn't perfect but it did preserve a lot of texture. 

  • Holy cow. Fabulous. Thank you blndcat. Now, if you could just swing by say in an hour ..... :-) Ok! I'll give it a try. Haven't used Content Aware before. Where do you find it in PS 6? I've seen references to it but don't think I've found it yet. 
  • Is this where you find content aware? Not sure as it says content aware move tool. 

    Thank you.
  • In PS6, after you select an area (freehand lasso tool) and hit shift F5, a fill dialog box comes up, and in the top down drop (Contents> Use) you can select Content-Aware. 

    Here's a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhaao6PwrRM but watch at least until the 2.30 mark. 

    I should mention that when I said "create a new layer", I meant duplicate the original background layer.  Also I did the Content Aware fill in multiple small areas not in one big area.
  • Thanks very much blndcat! I'll try that.
  • I tried that and it worked pretty well except that the area still lost a lot of sweater texture. I did it multiple times at 20-40 percent of 'fill.' In normal mode in the box under the box where content aware is selected. 

    I did not make a new layer as you did. I don't think the video guy used a new layer and I'm not very fluent with layers. Why do you recommend new layer? I'll try doing it that way. Thanks again. 
  • Hi,
    I think you're almost there.  The reason I used a new layer is that after doing the content aware fill I then changed the blending mode to Darken and changed the opacity to 86%.  The effect of this of Darken blend mode is only pixels underneath lighter are replaced, so in effect the only the white parts take the wine red.  This also helps preserve the texture.

    I've attached a screengrab of the layers palette.  I would attach the PSD file but it is 5.3MB in size. 

    Hope that helps
  • Ok thanks bldncat. That extra step is probably what gives your version a more realistic look. I will add that step. Thanks for your help! 
  • Ben Willmore has some great classes on CreativeLive.com about the various blending modes with a new layer. i wish i could remember it all.
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