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Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool

From: Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

Video: Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool

In the last movie, I showed you how to use the Spot Healing Brush tool to remove small spots or blemishes from a subject's face. The Healing Brush tool is very similar to the Spot Healing Brush tool. But it gives you a little more control over the process, so you can give the Healing Brush tool a try if you're not getting a result that you like from the Spot Healing Brush. The Healing Brush tool is located here in the toolbox. I will click and hold and select the Healing Brush tool from the flyout menu. The Healing Brush tool can be useful for removing wrinkles or under eye bags or healing other imperfections in the skin.

Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool

In the last movie, I showed you how to use the Spot Healing Brush tool to remove small spots or blemishes from a subject's face. The Healing Brush tool is very similar to the Spot Healing Brush tool. But it gives you a little more control over the process, so you can give the Healing Brush tool a try if you're not getting a result that you like from the Spot Healing Brush. The Healing Brush tool is located here in the toolbox. I will click and hold and select the Healing Brush tool from the flyout menu. The Healing Brush tool can be useful for removing wrinkles or under eye bags or healing other imperfections in the skin.

I would like to try to use it to reduce this hotspot that was caused by the flash on the camera when this picture was taken. First I will setup some options for the tool. Up in the Options Bar, I'm going to leave Source set to Sampled, so that I can sample good pixels from the image to use as a patch over this hotspot. I will check Aligned so that the spot from which I sample will move with me as I move around the image to try to fix various parts of the skin. That will give me a more natural look than if the source is always fastened to one spot in the image.

And I'm also going to check Sample All layers. And make a new layer on which to place the patch, by going down to the bottom of the Layers panel, clicking the Create New layer icon, naming my new layer skin, and making sure the skin layer is selected. Sample All layers in the Options bar, means that the Healing Brush tool is going to sample good pixels from all the layers, including the Background layer, but it will place the healing pixels down on the selected layer, the skin layer. That will give me more flexibility over the healing pixels, than if the patch is replaced right down on the actual photo on the Background layer.

Now I'm going to move into the image, and I am going to size my brush to be a little bigger than the hotspot that I want to cover, by pressing the Right Bracket key on my keyboard a few times. Then I'm going to move my cursor off of the hotspot and onto what I consider good clean pixels that are similar in color and texture to the area that I want to fix. I will hold down the Alt key on my keyboard, that's the Option key on a Mac keyboard, and then I will click. Notice that the cursor turns to a target indicating that I'm sampling these good pixels.

Then I will release the Alt or Option key and I get my plain round cursor back. I will move that cursor over the hotspot and inside of the brush tip I can see a preview of the good pixels that I've sampled. They are not blended in yet, so it doesn't matter that they don't look perfect. I'll click to apply those pixels, and then I will move away, and that's done a pretty good job of covering that hotspot and blending the patch in with the color, texture and lighting of this subject's cheek. Another thing I like to use the Healing Brush tool for is to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and under-eye bags.

I am going to make another layer for that purpose, going to the Layers panel, clicking the Add New layer icon and I'll call this layer eyes, and press Enter or Return. With the eyes layer selected, I will move into the image and I'm going to make my cursor a little smaller this time so that it's just a little bigger than the crow's feet that I see at the edge of her eyes. I will press the Left Bracket key to do that, and then I will move just under the crow's feet over a good clean portion of the skin. I will hold down the Alt or Option key again to sample some pixels from there, and then I will click and drag over that small wrinkle.

And when I release my mouse it's pretty much gone. I will repeat that to try to reduce this under-eye bag here. I think I will make my cursor a little bit bigger for that purpose by pressing the Right Bracket key. I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click on some good pixels, and then I'll click and drag over part of this under-eye bag. Now I'm not going to try to do this all in one go. To get a more natural result, I will click and release and drag, click and release and drag, and if necessary, I will sample from a different area.

So over here, I'll Alt+Click or Option+Click again to sample some different good pixels, and then I will click and drag in this direction, release, click and drag and release. I will sample one more time and I will click, drag and release here. So that's a pretty good result. But sometimes when you do this, the subject can look so perfect that it's almost unnatural. And that's why I like to put the patches down on separate layers, because now, with the eyes layer selected, I can go over to the Layers panel, go to the Opacity field and drag slightly to the left to reduce the opacity of the eyes layer.

And that brings back a little bit of the crow's feet and a little bit of the dark circles under her eyes, so she just looks natural. Now let's do a before and after by clicking the eye icon to the left of the eyes layer. That's how she looked a moment ago and here's how she looks with this application of the Healing Brush tool. There are times when the Healing Brush tool or the Spot Healing Brush tool can create a kind of a black splotchy appearance in the image. And that's because those tools are trying to blend the patch in with the skin.

So if I'm working right next to a dark area or if I'm over near the edge of a photo, I can get that kind of a dark splotch. So if I go into the image and make my brush a little bit bigger by pressing the Right Bracket key, and try to cover up these hairs at her hairline, by Alt+Clicking or Option+Clicking here to select some good pixels and then dragging over these hairs here, you can see that I just get a black splotch. I don't really get a nice patch. I'm going to undo by pressing Ctrl+Z on my keyboard or Command+Z on a Mac keyboard.

So what's the solution in this case? Well one thing you can try is to use a different tool, the Clone Stamp tool which is very similar to the Healing Brush tool, except that the Clone Stamp tool doesn't try to blend its patches in with the surrounding image. I'll show you how to use that tool to avoid the black smudge problem in the next movie.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training
Photoshop Elements 10 Essential Training

140 video lessons · 9221 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 23m 48s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Getting around Elements
      6m 9s
    3. Exploring the differences in Mac versions of Elements
      5m 41s
    4. Working with Organizer catalogs
      6m 16s
    5. Using the exercise files
      4m 44s
  2. 21m 39s
    1. Touring the Organizer
      5m 35s
    2. Importing photos from a camera
      4m 44s
    3. Importing photos from a computer
      3m 1s
    4. Importing photos from an iPhoto library
      5m 27s
    5. Importing photos from external drives
      2m 52s
  3. 31m 24s
    1. Working in Thumbnail view
      4m 10s
    2. Working in Folder Location view
      4m 33s
    3. Reviewing photos in Full Screen view
      4m 55s
    4. Editing and organizing in Full Screen view
      7m 20s
    5. Comparing photos in Side by Side view
      4m 10s
    6. Displaying photos in Date view
      2m 40s
    7. Viewing photo information
      3m 36s
  4. 47m 47s
    1. Using keyword tags to categorize photos
      6m 42s
    2. Organizing keyword tags
      4m 25s
    3. Finding photos by keyword tag
      3m 39s
    4. Automatically tagging people
      8m 21s
    5. Using automatic smart tagging
      5m 36s
    6. Assigning ratings to photos
      4m 9s
    7. Creating albums to organize photos
      5m 7s
    8. Creating smart albums
      5m 52s
    9. Stacking photos to reduce thumbnail clutter
      3m 56s
  5. 24m 35s
    1. Finding photos that are visually similar to each other
      4m 3s
    2. Searching for an object in a photo
      3m 45s
    3. Finding duplicate photos
      4m 50s
    4. Searching by text
      5m 59s
    5. Exploring the Find menu
      4m 27s
    6. Finding photos in the Timeline
      1m 31s
  6. 22m 41s
    1. Deleting photos
      4m 30s
    2. Renaming photos
      2m 24s
    3. Moving photos
      3m 58s
    4. Reconnecting missing files
      4m 37s
    5. Changing photo dates
      4m 29s
    6. Backing up
      2m 43s
  7. 16m 14s
    1. Choosing an editing workspace
      4m 37s
    2. Autocorrecting with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      3m 47s
    3. Photo finishing with the Organizer's Photo Fix options
      4m 2s
    4. Changing a Photo Fix adjustment
      3m 48s
  8. 22m 10s
    1. Editing with assistance: the Guided Edit workspace
      6m 27s
    2. Retouching a photo the step-by-step way
      7m 55s
    3. Creating a dreamlike Orton effect
      1m 8s
    4. Simulating shallow depth of field
      4m 11s
    5. Creating a collage using Picture Stack
      2m 29s
  9. 29m 26s
    1. Quick improvements: introducing the Quick Edit workspace
      3m 28s
    2. Applying Quick Edit corrections
      4m 8s
    3. Adjusting lighting
      4m 0s
    4. Correcting color
      4m 20s
    5. Fixing red-eye, improving skies, and touching up photos
      6m 28s
    6. Sharpening images
      3m 10s
    7. Saving in Quick Edit
      3m 52s
  10. 41m 16s
    1. Full control: introducing the Full Edit workspace
      5m 19s
    2. Tips for using the editing tools
      3m 50s
    3. Customizing panels
      5m 10s
    4. Undoing your work
      6m 22s
    5. Zooming and navigating
      4m 41s
    6. Saving images and examining file formats
      4m 50s
    7. Working with multiple documents
      4m 0s
    8. Creating a file from scratch
      2m 57s
    9. Customizing Editor preferences
      4m 7s
  11. 25m 42s
    1. Understanding layers
      7m 3s
    2. Managing layers in the Layers panel
      7m 19s
    3. Tips for working with layers
      4m 25s
    4. Understanding layer masks
      6m 55s
  12. 29m 59s
    1. Understanding selections
      6m 49s
    2. Using manual selection tools
      4m 42s
    3. Modifying selections
      4m 20s
    4. Using the automatic selection tools
      7m 11s
    5. Refining selections
      4m 50s
    6. Saving selections
      2m 7s
  13. 23m 52s
    1. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush tool
      2m 50s
    2. Retouching skin with the Healing Brush tool
      6m 7s
    3. Retouching with the Clone Stamp tool
      1m 58s
    4. Using the Content-Aware option in the Spot Healing Brush to remove content
      3m 13s
    5. Touching up photos with the Smart Brush tools
      7m 22s
    6. Using the Dodge, Burn, and Sponge tools
      2m 22s
  14. 1h 0m
    1. Understanding color management
      7m 23s
    2. Understanding adjustment layers
      6m 49s
    3. Adjusting part of a photo
      6m 16s
    4. Correcting contrast and brightness using Levels controls
      5m 6s
    5. Enhancing color with Hue/Saturation
      4m 32s
    6. Improving shadow and highlights using Shadow/Highlight
      2m 36s
    7. Adjusting lighting and color using Color Curves
      3m 53s
    8. Removing a color cast
      2m 11s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 15s
    10. Reducing noise
      3m 53s
    11. Sharpening images
      6m 43s
    12. Processing multiple photos
      8m 19s
  15. 23m 6s
    1. Resizing and changing photo resolution
      7m 1s
    2. Cropping photos
      5m 35s
    3. Straightening photos
      2m 35s
    4. Adding canvas around photos
      2m 43s
    5. Changing a photos orientation using the Recompose tool
      5m 12s
  16. 23m 50s
    1. Combining photos using the Place command
      5m 21s
    2. Using a layer mask to hide a background
      6m 26s
    3. Blending images using a gradient
      8m 18s
    4. Blending images using Blend modes
      3m 45s
  17. 24m 2s
    1. Creating text
      6m 22s
    2. Editing text
      3m 49s
    3. Creating text on a selection
      6m 1s
    4. Creating text around a shape
      3m 51s
    5. Creating text on a custom path
      3m 59s
  18. 22m 43s
    1. Applying filters
      5m 24s
    2. Adding effects
      2m 6s
    3. Adding layer styles
      7m 38s
    4. Making shapes
      5m 17s
    5. Using the Cookie Cutter tool
      2m 18s
  19. 42m 14s
    1. Understanding Camera Raw
      3m 35s
    2. The Camera Raw interface
      5m 16s
    3. Adjusting color using the white balance controls
      4m 41s
    4. Controlling lighting and contrast
      6m 26s
    5. Enhancing photos with the Clarity, Vibrance, and Saturation controls
      2m 39s
    6. Cropping and straightening
      2m 12s
    7. Reducing Noise
      2m 24s
    8. Sharpening
      6m 46s
    9. Outputting from Camera Raw
      4m 43s
    10. Processing multiple photos in Camera Raw
      3m 32s
  20. 56m 43s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 50s
    2. Completing the photo book
      10m 5s
    3. Creating a photo calendar
      8m 19s
    4. Creating a photo greeting card
      5m 17s
    5. Making other photo creations in the Create workspace
      2m 8s
    6. Outputting photo creations from the Create workspace
      2m 50s
    7. Creating a photo slideshow in Windows
      8m 45s
    8. Completing the photo slideshow
      3m 31s
    9. Making a scrapbook page from scratch in Full Edit
      8m 58s
  21. 41m 34s
    1. Printing photos
      8m 30s
    2. Printing contact sheets and picture packages in Windows
      5m 23s
    3. Printing contact sheets and picture packages on a Mac
      8m 33s
    4. Ordering prints from the Organizer
      4m 22s
    5. Sharing photos by email from the Organizer
      3m 46s
    6. Sharing photos with Photo Mail in Windows
      5m 3s
    7. Sharing photos on Facebook from the Organizer
      3m 42s
    8. Sharing photos on Flickr from the Organizer
      2m 15s
  22. 7m 34s
    1. Signing up for an Adobe ID
      2m 20s
    2. Sharing online albums from the Organizer to Photoshop.com
      5m 14s
  23. 40s
    1. Goodbye
      40s

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