I create a lot of collages that become banners for web pages. For example, one of my clients—a radio station—has a banner on its home page that rotates every 10-15 seconds. I create new banners for the radio station all the time, but each must be the exact same size. Sometimes the backgrounds of the photos I use don't fill the designated space, so I have to force them to do so. My favorite way to do this is using the Smudge tool.
Figure 8-18 The image I found to use for this banner needed more added to the background.
Figure 8-18 shows an example where I needed to create a banner to advertise the morning DJ, who goes on the air at 5 A.M. I found a great photo of an alarm clock that is already set to 5 A.M., but its background isn't wide enough to fill the entire size of the banner. I can't resize the photo because then the clock wouldn't fit in the banner, so the Smudge tool is my preferred method of adding to the background. Figure 8-19 shows the final result after smudging the background to make the image large enough to fit the banner's dimensions.
TRY IT To use the Smudge tool to enlarge an image's canvas size, first make sure the image is open in Photoshop and the layer in question is selected in the Layers palette. Select the Smudge tool from the toolbox by clicking and holding on the Blur tool or pressing SHIFT-R several hannei'.psd @ 100°. (Clock, RGB)
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Figure 8-19 The Smudge tool worked quite well to provide the needed addition to the background.
If you have a pressure-sensitive drawing tablet and pen, set your options to adjust the strength of the smudge according to your pen's pressure for more control over the smudged area.
times until the Smudge tool is displayed. Then, choose a large, soft, round brush if you need to smudge a large area like I did in Figure 8-19.
Click just within the edges of the image and drag the cursor away from the edge toward the area you need to fill. Repeat this process as many times as needed to create the desired effect. The following illustration shows how I started working at the bottom of the image, where I was most concerned about keeping the reflections from the alarm clock.
Because the top portion of the image doesn't really contain any textures I need reproduced in the added background, I can speed up the process by doing something we all loved as a kid—finger painting. Click the box in the Options bar to activate Finger Painting for the Smudge tool.
Then, use the Eyedropper tool to pick up a color from the image and place it in your foreground color swatch. To help understand why this is important, consider this analogy—Finger Painting with the Smudge tool is like putting a dab of the color paint in the foreground color swatch onto your finger and then using it to smear part of a canvas already wet with oil paints. By contrast, normal use of the Smudge tool smudges the wet colors already on the canvas with a clean finger.
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