Adobe’s content-aware technology, as found in Photoshop and Elements, has a rival. Perfect Photo Suite 8 now has a Perfect Eraser tool in its Perfect Layers module. It works just like its Adobe equivalent – you paint over the object you want to remove and it magically vanishes, replaced by surrounding details and textures.

Adobe’s version is pretty fickle. On the right sort of area, it works like a charm. On the wrong sort, it’s terrible. So will OnOne Software’s version be any better?

Usually I start with the ‘start’ shot and apply an effect, but this time I’m starting with the ‘end’ shot, and I want you to find the seven objects which have been removed from this picture. You can click on it (and all the others in this tutorial) to see a larger version.

Perfect Layers 8 Perfect Eraser

I think you’ll find four without too much trouble, but I think there are three other ‘fixed’ areas you’re going to find hard to spot.

So to find out how well the Perfect Layers Perfect Eraser works, and whether you’re right about which areas in this picture have been fixed, keep reading…

01 How the Perfect Eraser works

Perfect Layers 8 Perfect Eraser

I’ve circled the Perfect Eraser tool in the Perfect Layers tool panel on the left of the screen. You use it like a brush, changing the size of the brush to suit the size of the object you want to erase, then simply painting over it.

A red overlay shows the areas you’re painting over – I’m erasing a rather ugly light fitting on the wall in the background. You don’t release the mouse button until you’ve painted over the whole of the object.

Perfect Layers 8 Perfect Eraser

When you do release the mouse button, Perfect Layers starts the object removal process, and you see a progress bar – but don’t worry, it only takes a few seconds.

Perfect Layers 8 Perfect Eraser

And here’s the result. The light fitting is gone, with only some leftover shadowing on the wall to show it was ever there. If you didn’t know it had been removed, this would look quite natural. It’s an impressive first result, but objects surrounded by uniform areas of texture are easy for content aware tools like this. My next test is more demanding…