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  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Extend a Background in Photoshop

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Today, I'm going to show you a few simple and effective ways to extend background in Photoshop. Before we start, I would like to recommend a product from Envato Elements, which can help you to extend a background in Photoshop a few simple clicks:

Image Extend: Clipping & Expansion Kit (ZXP)

Image Extend is an addon which will help you to make your images larger by extending their edges. It will keep the quality of your image and help you to avoid any blurred areas, because this addon creates new pixel data and fills the areas base on the existing contents. This panel will be really handy if you need to extend a background in Photoshop for a series of images.

Image Extend - Clipping and Expansion KitImage Extend - Clipping and Expansion KitImage Extend - Clipping and Expansion Kit

Tutorial Assets

Before we start learning how to extend background in Photoshop, I want to show you which assets were used during the production of the tutorial:

What You'll Learn in This Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to extend an image with a solid background in Photoshop 
  • How to extend an image in Photoshop using the Content-Aware Scale option
  • How to extend a background in Photoshop with the Image Extend addon

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube Channel:

1. How to Extend an Image With a Solid Background in Photoshop

Step 1

Let's start by opening our first image. Hit Control-O and select the picture.

Opening an image in PhotoshopOpening an image in PhotoshopOpening an image in Photoshop

Step 2

To extend the background of an image with a solid background in Photoshop, all you need to do is hit Alt-Control-C and change the Weight to 8500 px, and then change the Canvas Extension Color to the color of your background using the Color Picker Tool.

Extending the background in PhotoshopExtending the background in PhotoshopExtending the background in Photoshop

Here's how our image should look now:

image with extended backgroundimage with extended backgroundimage with extended background

Step 3

If you have lines where the colors don't match, you can fix them with the Spot Healing Brush Tool (J). Just paint over these lines with this tool.

using spot healing toolusing spot healing toolusing spot healing tool

2. How to Extend an Image in Photoshop Using the Content-Aware Scale Option

Step 1

Let's try another method. Open your image and Double-Click on the Background layer to rasterize the layer. 

Rasterizing the backgroundRasterizing the backgroundRasterizing the background

Step 2

Then hit C to activate the Crop Tool.

activating the crop toolactivating the crop toolactivating the crop tool

Step 3

Drag the lines of the crop tool to extend the background as you need.

extending background in Photoshop with a crop toolextending background in Photoshop with a crop toolextending background in Photoshop with a crop tool

Step 4

Now press Alt-Shift-Control-C to activate the Content-Aware Scale tool. Hold Shift and drag the lines to extend the background of the Photoshop image.

extending a background with content aware scale toolextending a background with content aware scale toolextending a background with content aware scale tool

This is how your image will look:

extended image resultextended image resultextended image result

Step 5

Content Aware Scale is a great tool when you're working with landscape images, as it's okay if some natural elements such as water, grass, and bushes get stretched or squashed a bit, but I don't recommend using this method with portraits, as this can affect the facial proportions and give you results like this one:

why you should not use content aware with portraitswhy you should not use content aware with portraitswhy you should not use content aware with portraits

3. How to Extend a Background in Photoshop With the Image Extend Addon

Step 1

The previous technique can make some areas of your image look blurry, and you can lose the quality of your image. To avoid this, let's try the Image Extend addon. Open the image you want to use, and then go to Window > Extensions > Image Extend to open the addon.

opening the extend image addonopening the extend image addonopening the extend image addon

Step 2

Here you can choose which side of the background you want to extend and how many pixels you want to add. Let's put a tick on Content-Aware and then set all the sides to 200 px.

setting up the extend image addonsetting up the extend image addonsetting up the extend image addon

Step 3

After that, just hit Extend and wait a little.

extended image result with addonextended image result with addonextended image result with addon

Awesome Work, You're Now Done!

Here is our final result! Using these simple methods, you can extend the background of almost any image. Don't forget to try the Image Extend addon as this is a really handy tool with great options and good results.

final resultfinal resultfinal result

If you want to learn more Photoshop tips and tricks, check out these amazing tutorials:

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