Every graphic artist has likely been at the same crossroads at some point: is it worth paying for an Adobe Photoshop subscription to edit my images, or can I get away with using the free open-source software provided by GIMP. Photoshop proponents laud the content aware fill feature that allows artists to remove large sections of the foreground to enhance editing. Does GIMP have this same content aware fill feature?
GIMP does not have content aware fill. However, the Resynthesizer Plugin that can be added to GIMP has many of the same features, namely the ability to remove foreground images when editing backgrounds, that can be accessed on content aware fill.
The resynthesizer plugin is so good that many graphic artists argue that it is better than content aware fill. If this is surprising news for you, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about GIMP resynthesizer and how you can use it with your Placeit templates to optimize your graphic design business!
Does GIMP Have Content Aware Fill?
GIMP does not have content aware fill. However, it does have a plugin called resynthesizer that has many of the same features of content aware fill.
Is Resynthesizer the Same As Content Aware Fill?
Resynthesizer is ostensibly the same as content aware fill because it allows you to edit images in the software. Namely, its chief calling card is that it allows the user to remove foreground images to perform work on the background without distraction or threat of muddling the foreground image.
The one difference is that while content aware fill comes loaded in photoshop (simply select the image area, press shift + F5, and click okay to start using it), resynthesizer must be added as a plugin to your GIMP software.
What Can You Do With GIMP Resynthesizer?
Once you have successfully installed the resynthesizer plugin, there are a host of features that the plugin unlocks.
To access these features, you can click on “Filters” and then “Enhance,” “Filters” and then “Map,” or “Filters” and then “Render” for a variety of tools that work similarly to the built-in content aware fill in Photoshop.
So let’s break down exactly what each of these features allows you to do.
Heal Selection Tool
As mentioned, one of the chief features of both content aware fill and resynthesizer is to remove unwanted aspects of an image while you edit more specific parts. Usually, this means removing a foreground image to perform work on the background.
In resynthesizer, you will use the heal selection tool to accomplish this.
To access heal selection, take the following steps:
- Click on “Filters”
- Click on “Enhance”
- Click on “Heal Selection”
It is one of the most used features of the resynthesizer plugin and gives you great organization and control over the photo editing process.
Heal Transparency Tool
This is another useful resynthesizer tool that is intuitive for most users. To access the heal transparency tool, you will need to add an alpha channel to the image and then:
- Click on “Filters”
- Click on “Enhance”
- Click on “Heal Transparency”
Using this feature, graphic artists can adjust defective areas, heal transparent pixels, and fix broken pitches in images. It is extremely useful in getting distorted and low quality photos looking like new again.
Enlarge and Sharpen Tool
Nothing is quite as frustrating as enlarging an image and seeing it lose its quality. Therefore, as its name implies, the resynthesizer enlarge and sharpen tool helps users make their photos bigger without sacrificing image quality.
The feature uses a scale from 1-32 to help users find the ideal amount they want to enlarge and sharpen their photo. As the photo is enlarged, the sharpen tool gathers information from surrounding pixels to enhance contrast. As the image is zoomed, the tool enhances clarity and produces a more striking view of the photo.
Don’t be fooled by the name. The uncrop tool doesn’t simply reverse a crop to an image–it actually helps enlarge the image borders.
If you have an image that you want accentuated with a larger canvas frame, the uncrop tool is extremely helpful. It can match the colors of the photo’s borders to expand the boundaries of the image. Similar to the enlarge and sharpen tool, this feature operates on a sliding scale to help the user decide on the percentage increase they want to see in the border size.
The style tool is a nuts and bolts feature of any photo editing software and is another of resynthesizer’s most used features. To access the style tool:
- Click on “Filters”
- Click on “Map”
- Click on “Style”
Using this tool, graphic artists can transfer certain aspects from one image to another. So if artists loved the surface or color on a specific image they had edited in the past, they would not have to try and manually recreate it on another image and can use the style tool to transfer it in. Pretty handy!
The texture tool operates on a similar precept to the style tool and allows graphic artists to transfer the texture from one image to a new one without having to recreate it. To access the texture tool in resynthesizer:
- Click on “Features”
- Click on “Render”
- Click on “Texture”
In addition to adding texture to the image, this feature allows the user to adjust the ratio and size of the image and decide whether or not to make new image edges for tiling.
How to Add the Resynthesizer Plugin
As mentioned, resynthesizer does not come preloaded on GIMP software and must be added as a plugin. Fortunately, it is a rather straightforward installation on both Windows and Mac that can be accomplished in about 5 steps:
- Locate the resynthesizer plugin for your operating system
- Download and extract the resynthesizer file
- Open your GIMP plugins folder
- Install the resynthesizer plugin
- Finish plugin installation
Once installed, you should have access to all of the aforementioned resynthesizer tools listed above for an experience similar to–some graphic artists would argue better than–Photoshop’s content aware fill feature.
The Bottom Line: Does GIMP Have Content Aware Fill?
GIMP does not have content aware fill. However, by adding the resynthesizer plugin, you can get the same (if not better) tools when using GIMP. So if you have been feeling a bit limited by your photo editing using GIMP, download the resynthesizer plugin today and take your Placeit mockups to the next level!