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By example:

Is there a tool or a way to fill the white X shape so that the colors and patterns around it will blend into it as automatically as possible?

http://snag.gy/PPOR2.jpg

I.e., I want to remove the X as close to the picture as possible.

I'm working with GIMP, but I welcome answers in any software.

I know of the clone tool, but it's tedius. A pattern isn't good, since it needs to be adjusted by the colors and shades of the nearby pixels.

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In Photoshop, the tool to do this is called Content-Aware:

Content Aware

To use it, I selected a box around the X, did a Fill (Shift+F5), and selected Content-Aware from the Use dropdown.

A similar tool exists for GIMP, however I have never used it so your results may vary. Search for tutorials on the Resynthesizer tool.

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