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FTA: The “TextureSynthesis” method is based on the algorithm described in “Image Texture Tools,”[1] a PhD thesis by P. Harrison. This algorithm is an enhanced best-fit approach introduced in 1981 by D. Garber in “Computational Models for Texture Analysis and Texture Synthesis.”[2]

[1] http://www.logarithmic.net/pfh-files/thesis/dissertation.pdf

[2] http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=910609

is Garber's thesis (or better yet, a paper summarizing it) available online?

There have been lots of advances since, under the term "content-aware fill". Lots of links from here https://www.adobe.com/technology/projects/content-aware-fill...

There's an oldish plugin for the GIMP called Resynthesizer, but there are better algorithms out now. G'MIC has one called "inpainting". http://gmic.eu/repository.shtml

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