Tutorial: How to Content-Aware Fill in After Effects
Updated: Feb 24, 2020
This is a very quick tutorial on how to use After Effect's Content Aware Fill. Unfortunately I won't be going through the basics, this will be literally quick. If you are aware of the Content Aware function in Photoshop, basically this provides the same convenience but for videos.
Before reading further, you MUST know how to use Mocha and the basics of After Effects.
The normal way it's done is:
1. Importing the video or loading composition
2. Accessing the Content Aware Fill > window box. Then Window > Content-Aware Fill
3. On Content-Aware Fill box, Under Fill Method > selecting Surface
4. Then on Range > selecting Work Area. Leaving Alpha Expansion at 0.
5. Create a Mask for your video element > then select the area you want to disappear via pen tool. Basically just like creating a mask around... and so on.
The simple method above does not really do any justice for us when it comes on using Content-Aware Fill alone. It will work if the object you want remove is IF there's less or no camera movement at all. For me, the one that works best is to combine Content-Aware Fill and Mocha.
So basically you use Mocha to track the object you want to disappear and create a mask out of it. Once you have the mask created, use that mask to Generate Fill Layer. We recommend to apply Edge Feathering under Mocha properties to give that smooth transition. Without blurring the edges, you will see sharp floating lines around the removed element.
So it goes like this:
1. Apply Mocha then run it
2. Track the objects / elements you want to remove on your video
3. Save and exit Mocha
4. Under Mocha Properties > set desired Feather (amount is all up to you)
5. Under Mocha Properties > click Create AE Masks (should create a Mask for that video)
6. Select the video on layer (the one you've tracked) on drop-down > select its Mask
7. Mask > drop-down and set to Subtract
8. Then hit Generate Fill Layer under Content-Aware Fill box
9. You will be moving the mask around to generate an even more cleaner Content-Aware Fill until you're satisfied with the result.
You can still see a bit of choppiness on the edges at first but fixable quick. This works for us, might help you as well. If you have a different and better method, please do comment and share!