How to extend the background of an image?


I have an image with a woman, and I need to make an ad (size 260mmx125mm). I want to put the woman to the left side, but then right side becomes empty. So, how I should solve the problem? I have picked the color from image, but it is definitely different than in the actual picture.

Should I use the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop, or there is a better way to do this?

By the way, it will be used in print, so I need a good quality.

enter image description here

11/4/2015 2:04:00 AM

Accepted Answer

A professional technique is to simply add a layer mask with a gradient on one side to soften the edge and duplicate the color or texture on a layer below it. See screenshot of layers below.

It's especially useful if you don't have much texture to copy from or when you need to expand a big part of the background. You can use this technique to duplicate small parts of texture and merge them together without any seam. It's recommended to avoid distorting pixels when possible, especially for print projects since printing often amplifies these distortions.

how to expand a background color or texture in Photoshop layer mask

image layers

This way, the image will:

  • Not have "stretched" or "deformed" pixels (see image below)
  • Will not have a straight cut between the 2 zones, which is not always obvious on screen but visible when printed or on big size projects
  • Can be used with textured backgrounds

  • Can be used for any length/width background without pixel distortion

why I can't use free transform to expand or stretch a background with color or texture in Adobe Photoshop

11/3/2015 9:50:00 AM

  • Marquee select a portion of the background
  • Copy/Paste it so its on its' own layer.
  • Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal
  • Align the left edge of the copy to the right edge of the existing background.
  • Edit > Free Transform and stretch the copy to fill the extra area.
  • Then, on additional layers, use clone or healing tools to repair any portions that are out of place (like the slight "glow" around the figure or the edge if needed)

enter image description here

I selected a bit too much background and got more of the glow than I'd really want. If I made the marquee selection thinner and tried to avoid that glow, the end results would be better.

Photoshop will interpolate the stretched pixels so they appear high quality (and won't appear as "stretched" in most cases). However, be aware, this technique only works when the background is primarily a solid color - it won't work well with busy or patterned backgrounds.