Photoshop background stretching problem

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880
Name
Lee
Edit My Images
No
Hi guys. I'm posting about stretching backgrounds on images. I've watched loads of tutorials which all basically teach the same thing but I can't get it to work properly. If I want to stretch a background, I can do it by using the rectangular marquee tool and content aware fill and after a few seconds it fills in the blank chequered canvas area I created. Then I use the spot healing brush to clean up any areas that don't look right.

But when trying to manually stretch, it stretches in all directions including distorting the image that of course I don't want stretched. I start with the crop tool and pull horizontally to however much area I want. I then select content aware scale and as I pull, instead of it stretching the background horizontally and leaving the subject alone, it's pulling in all directions like in my second screenshot. Where am I going wrong?


Content aware scale selected

Stretch 1.jpg

Stretching it from the right side

Stretch 2.jpg
 
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OP
Merlin5
Messages
880
Name
Lee
Edit My Images
No
First of all lets start with the easy bit. When you stretch the image you need to press and hold the SHIFT key, that will stop the image expanding in all directions.

Now for the harder bit.
To stop the snowman distorting you have to make a selection around it.
Then you need to go to the CHANNELS pallet and click on the icon that looks like a grey square with a hole in it (second from the left).
Now go back to the LAYERS pallet and deselect the selection.
Then go to the EDIT menu and select CONTENT-AWARE SCALE.
In the OPTIONS BAR at the top of the screen change “PROTECT” to ALPHA-1.
Now press SHIFT+DRAG on one of the handles of the bounding box to stretch the image.
Thanks, followed your instructions to the letter. Once I let go of the shift key after dragging it to the right, the result is my last screenshot. Still stretching everything in all directions.

:thinking:

Stretch 1.jpg Stretch 2.jpg Stretch 3.jpg Stretch 4.jpg
 
OP
Merlin5
Messages
880
Name
Lee
Edit My Images
No
What happens if you let go of the MOUSE first?
Ah yes, that works! Thank you. I was also able to stretch a photo without stretching the subject, without the selection tool and alpha 1. Just crop and content aware scale. :)

Another question. When I first open a new photo in photoshop and it's sitting on the dark canvas background, I can only move the photo around the canvas with the hand tool after I've used the magnifier to make it quite large. Then I can sweep it all around the canvas. I then reduce the size and I can still move it around. Once I do something such as crop, I can't move it again until I use the magnifier again. I'm doing something else wrong, right? I sometimes want to be able to freely move or position a newly imported photo around before doing anything.
 
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