The Content-Aware Fill feature in After Effects helps you remove unwanted objects in your video footage. Removal is quick and easy!
Simply mask the area you want to remove. Create keyframes for your mask positions if the areas are moving in your video. Set the mask to the Subtract mode so you have a hole in your footage, known as a transparent alpha channel area. You can place a small, and I mean small, amount of feathering on your masks as well.
Then, use the Content-Aware Fill tool to automatically generate the missing areas by analyzing the surrounding area of the frames over time.
There are three different fill methods available in the Content-Aware Fill tool. Object mode is the go-to choice for removing objects, obviously. Surface mode is good for removing things from a smooth surface, such as a logo on a building or a sticker on the back of a laptop. The Edge Blend mode is a faster method for use on any lower detailed surfaces you may have.
If the result isn’t to your satisfaction, you can create a reference frame. When you select this option, After Effects will automatically export a video frame and open it in Photoshop. This allows you to use the clone stamp to cover over the areas you wish to remove. Once you save the file and exit Photoshop, you’ll see the reference frame you created in the composition as a separate layer. When you run the Content-Aware Fill tool now, it will use your reference frame to help its analysis and new frame rendering.
Watch my short video tutorial below to see Content-Aware Fill in action on a video clip.