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Go beyond the automatic editing features in Adobe Photoshop Elements and find out how to make sophisticated edits using the program's Expert Edit mode. In this course, author, teacher, and photographer Jan Kabili explores the core features of the Expert Edit mode, from making exposure adjustments, retouching, and compositing images, to adding text. The course also takes a close look at adjusting photos with Adobe Camera Raw, included with Elements 11.
Reducing under-eye circles and wrinkles can make your subjects look younger and fresher. The trick is to keep the subject looking natural rather than perfectly airbrushed. Let's see how to do that using the Healing Brush Tool and the Clone Stamp Tool in the Expert edit workspace. I'm going to start with the Healing Brush Tool. To select that tool I'll click on the Spot Healing Brush Tool in the Toolbar and then I'll go down to the Options and there I'll click on the icon for the Healing Brush Tool, that's the icon without the little dots. The Healing Brush Tool is similar to the Spot Healing Brush Tool that we saw in the last movie except that the Healing Brush Tool lets you choose the good pixels that you'll use to retouch an area.
The Spot Healing Brush Tool chooses the good pixels for you. As I explained in the last movie I like to do retouching on a separate layer whenever possible, so that I have the most editing flexibility. So I'll make a new layer in the Layers Panel by clicking the Create New Layer icon, and double-clicking its default name, and calling it heal, and pressing Enter or Return on the keyboard. I'll make sure the heal layer is selected. In order to make use of both the empty heal layer and the photo on the background below, I'll go down to the Options Bar for the Healing Brush Tool and I'll check Sample All Layers.
In the Options Bar I'll also make sure that the Aligned is checked, so that the sampling point tracks my cursor. And I'll click on Brush Settings, and I'll make sure that I have a relatively hard-edged brush, maybe I'll put this at about 90%. I'll check the size of the brush tip. I want it to be just a little bit bigger than the area that I want to cover. I think that the default size is pretty good in this case. Then, I'll move into the image and I'm going to hold down the Alt key, that's the Option key on the Mac, as I click in an area of good or unblemished skin to sample from just under that target icon that appears. Then I'll move over the under-eye circle that I want to reduce, and I'll click and drag.
The Plus symbol that's moving along with me indicates the area from which the tool is sampling good pixels, and the brush tip shows me where it's laying those pixels down. I'll often have to sample and drag more than one time, for example over here and down here. So I'll hold down the Alt or Option key again and sample some good pixels and click and drag over this area, and I'll do that again right here and right here. And then I'll do the same thing over the laugh lines over here on the right. I'm going to make my brush tip even smaller by pressing the left bracket key on the keyboard, and then I'll hold the Alt or Option key and click on some more good pixels and run my cursor over this line, and this line, and this line.
Now I don't like a result that looks too perfect, because I really think that looks unnatural, but because I added my healing pixels on a separate layer, I have the opportunity to lower the opacity of that layer to bring back a bit of the circles and wrinkles to make the model look more real. So I'll go up to the Opacity label at the top of the Layers Panel and I'll click and drag slightly to the left, keeping my eye on the image as I go. Maybe I'll put it about there. And I see there is a little more work to do here, so I'll Option+click or Alt+click one more time, and I'm going to click over this area right here.
Now sometimes when you're retouching with the Healing Brush Tool, you get a result like this, a little dark smudge. Let me zoom in to show you that more closely. Here I see a little smudge right under her eye. A quick way to remove that is to get another tool, the Clone Stamp Tool, right here, and set its mode in the Options Bar from Normal to Lighten. Then I'll make my brush tip smaller and I'll Alt+click, that's Option+click on the Mac, to sample some pixels with this tool, and then I'll just drag them over that dark area right here to lighten it just a bit.
The Clone Stamp Tool differs from the Healing Brush Tool in that the Healing Brush Tool tries to blend the good pixels that it lays down with the color, the lighting, and the texture of the surrounding photo. The Clone Stamp Tool doesn't do that, it just lays down the pixels without doing any blending. Although the mode that I chose is giving me a nice blended result with the Clone Stamp Tool. Just reducing the under-eye circles and some of the laugh lines around the subject's eyes have made her look a lot better. There's a lot more to enhancing a model's eyes. I'll show you some more tips and tricks for doing that in the next movie.
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