When the amazing content-aware fill feature was announced a little while before CS5’s impending launch the first thought that came to mind was, “Am I going to be able to remove watermarks from iStockPhoto images with it?” So when a copy of Photoshop CS5 recently fell into my lap, I decided to test this theory out.
Below are images with both the watermark and watermarks removed from the images, no more than 3 or so minutes was spent on the images. I’m sure with a little bit of time spent on using the tool carefully, you would get a much better result.
Test 1: Remove a watermark from a strawberry
Test 2: Remove a watermark from a cartoon forest
Test 3: Remove a watermark from a paper duck hunter
Test 4: Remove a watermark from 2 business men with buckets on their heads in a field
Yes, you can remove watermarks from iStockPhoto images and I assume a few others. BigStockPhoto seems to be the hardest of them all in my opinion, most image watermarks on BigStockPhoto images I attempted to remove failed miserably.
It appears as though Content-Aware fill struggles on small resolution images with complex textured backgrounds (like the paper duck hunters eccentric t-shirt). But as you can see, most of the images came out looking pretty good, although some artefacts are still visible, you can probably clean them up. This tool does most of the work for you, but isn’t the definitive solution for complex removals.
I suggest spending a little more time to remove watermarks, and you’ll get a better result. Although it appears the small size of the iStockPhoto composition images seems to make Content-Aware fill less useful, larger watermarked images might be easier.