Is there a difference between Photoshop Generative Fill and Content Aware?

Is there a difference between Photoshop Generative Fill and Content Aware?

What is the difference between Adobe Photoshop Generative Fill and Content Aware Fill? We explain both of them and show you how they differ.

What is Photoshop Generative Fill?

Adobe included Glowworm (AI generated art app) to Photoshop (Beta) 12.4.6. It allows you to add, remove and expand your image by typing text prompts. Or even don’t use it, in which case it works more similarly to Content Aware Fill. Kind of.

Generative fill attempts to match the perspective, lighting, and style of the original scene. In other words, it tries to create an image that also has the right shadows, reflections, lighting, and perspective.

What is Photoshop Content Aware Fill?

Content Aware Fill has been around for a few years. When it first came out, it seemed absolutely miraculous. Content Aware Fill analyzes a selection area and attempts to reconstruct the missing areas using the surrounding pixels. It guesses at the color, brightness, texture, and other details. However, Content Aware does not include Firefly. That’s why it didn’t analyze any other photos from Adobe Stock to inform its decision-making process. And of course you can’t enter key prompts to add an element to your image. In other words, you can’t use Content Aware Fill to add a gorilla wearing a tutu to your image.

Compare generative fill with content-aware fill in an image

I used both methods with a long exposure night shot of an old abandoned car. Another vehicle’s rear window reflected a lot of light from a nearby house’s LED light. I found this distracting.

How would these two methods fare when attempting to remove the clear window and lens flare?

Content-aware filling.

Use Content Aware Fill to remove the clear window

As you can see it took nearby elements and processed them in the selected area. Look closer. The lens flare of the light does not look realistic. Even worse, it “grabbed” part of the weather vane and made it part of the selection. Twice. And it didn’t “rebuild” the window. It just took elements around the selected area and tried to understand it.

If I had used Content Aware Fill using the drop-down menu and selected the areas I wanted Content Aware Fill to inform about, I could have prevented things like the weather vane from appearing in the selected area.

Generative filling

Use generative fill to remove the clear window

As you can see, the flare looks more realistic. It also “rebuilt” the rear window. Best of all, it doesn’t look blotchy or have a few weather vanes in the selected area.

Because Generative Fill is informed by many other photos from Adobe Stock, it knows how to complete the flare and window. It does this even if those elements aren’t present in your photo. Consequently, it looks much more satisfying and realistic.

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You should know that as part of Adobe’s Content data feature, AI images created in Photoshop are encoded with an invisible digital signature that indicates whether they are human-made or the product of AI.

The last photo with generative fill with the weather vane removed

Opinions on generative filling with AI?

Generative Fill and AI in general are hot button topics right now. Even though it’s new, everyone seems to have an opinion on it.

I wrote an article with scenarios for when you could use Generative Fill when adding, removing, or expanding without creating something overtly ‘fake’. Read it and let us know what you think about this young technology.