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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.
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