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Let's face it. Nothing and nobody is perfect. That is why there are retouching tools in Photoshop Elements 10. Retouching doesn't have to be about beautifying everyone in your photos. It can be as simple as removing a logo from a shirt or hat, or a pimple on somebody's face. Retouching tools certainly have their place, and in this video, you'll see some examples of how they can be used. I'm beginning this video in the Elements 10 Organizer, and I'm going to scroll down to find an image that I want to use for the retouching examples.
Now, I'm going to be using a file, and it's called _MG _1348.jpg. And in my example, that image is found within a version set. So, if yours is in a version set, make sure you're using the original version and not one of the edited versions. With the file selected, I'm going to come up here to the Fixed tab, click on the right of the Fixed tab, and choose Full Photo Edit. And that'll open up my image in the Elements Editor. Now, the first thing I want to do is I want to get rid of these spots that you see in the sky here. Now, these smudges here are from my camera sensor on my camera, and it's because I changed the lens in less that ideal conditions. But what I want to do is remove those smudges from my photo. So, let's go ahead and Zoom In on this photo to 100%. So, I can do that by clicking on the percent key in the lower left corner and typing 100.
And now, if I hold down the spacebar on my keyboard, I can move to the upper left corner of my photo to see those smudges. Now, the tool that I'm going to use for this example is what's called the Spot Healing Brush tool. So you'll notice in my toolbox, on the left hand side here, I have a bandaid icon, and that's my regular Healing Brush tool. I'm going to click and hold on it and choose the Spot Healing Brush tool. Now, the Spot Healing Brush tool works based off of a brush size.
So, I'm going to use the left and right bracket keys on my keyboard to reduce or enlarge the size of my brush. And then, in my Options bar at the top of the screen, I have three different options to choose as my healing options. So, I have Proximity Match, which is going to try to match things that are in close proximity to this shape. I can use Create Texture, which is going to to try match the texture of where I'm painting. And I can also use Content Aware, which is a new feature that was added in the previous version of Photoshop Elements. So, I'm going to go with Content Aware in this example. And what I'm going to do is I'm just going to paint over that area. And I don't want to paint over anymore than I have to. But when I release the mouse button, you'll see that it simply removes that smudge.
The Smart Healing Brush tool is quite intelligent, when you use it. And I'm going to continue painting just over those areas. Now, you can see I got a little bit of a artifact in there and you want to be careful about that. So, you can just kind of paint over that one more time, to try to get that to heal properly. And if it doesn't heal exactly as you'd like, what you could do is switch over to the Healing Brush tool. So with the Healing Brush tool, I define an area that I want to pick up from. And then, I paint it to where I want to heal.
So, the way that I'm going to do this is I'm going to hold down the Option key on Mac or the Alt key on Windows. And I'm going to click with my mouse and release. And then, I'm going to move my cursor over to the area that needs healing. And I'm just going to paint over it. And when you first do this, it's not going to look very good. But when you let go of your mouse, you're going to notice that it heals that area quite nicely. So, I'm going to move around here, here's another one. So, I think I'll go back to the Spot Healing Brush tool for this.
I'll go ahead and paint over this one. We'll go ahead and paint over this one. And any smudges that you see, just feel free to fix them using this tool. Those look pretty good. Let's Zoom Out a little bit. I'm going to use Cmnd+Minus on Mac, or Ctrl+Minus on Windows. Here again, I have another smudge, so let's just try to fix that. That looks pretty good. And it looks like I have one here that I want to be careful of because these cloud are there.
So, I'm going to go back to the Healing Brush tool. And I'm going to Option click on Mac, Alt click on Windows, and paint over that area. And that looks pretty good. So, I'm going to Zoom Out by pressing Cmd+Minus. And that definitely improved the sky there. So now, what I want to do is I want to Zoom In on the background here. So I'm going to use my Zoom tool, and I'm going to click and drag to Zoom In on this area, because we've got the houses in the background.
Which I'm not really too upset about, but the trash cans, I could really do without, because those are distracting. And maybe I'll even try to get rid of this box over here. So, to do this, I think I'm going to use my regular Clone Stamp tool. Now, that tool is found right here, and the Clone Stamp tool doesn't heal your image, but what it does do is pick up from one area and paints to another area. And I'm using this tool because, in a case where you have one texture that meets up with another, the Healing Brush tools, generally don't do a very good job.
Because it tries to blend them together and creates kind of an unrealistic effect. Now, what I'm going to do is, reduce the size of my brush a little bit. And see mine is set to about 50 in this example. And I'm going to hold down the Option key on Mac, the Alt key on Windows, and I'm going to click in the foreground, where this sand is. And then, I'm going to let of the Option or Alt key, and I'm just going to paint where these trash cans are. And you can see that I'm removing those trash cans. Now, one of the things you want to try to avoid, and this is a sure sign of a rookie mistake, is repeat patterns.
And if you look closely, I've got one here and one here. So, you really want to watch that, but with a texture of sand, like we have here, it shouldn't be too hard to remove. So, what I usually do is I'll just Optional or Alt key in one area. And then, click over top of that to just break up that pattern. Same thing here, I've got one here and one here. So, I'm just going to click, paint on one of them. And you'll never pick that up when you're looking at it. So, let's go ahead and paint another area. I'm going to click right about here, and I'm going to try to get rid of some more of these trash cans. Now, what I'm going to do is I want to try to remove the top portion of these trash cans.
Now, nobody really knows what this photo did look like. So, I have a little bit of creative liberty that I can take here. What I'm going to do is follow this line, this beach line where the dune meets the sand. And what I'm going to do is I'm going to Option click right where the two meet, I'll click on Windows. And then, I'm going to move my cursor over it and I'm just going to start painting, trying to carry that line over.
And I essentially just want to get rid of those cans. Now, you can see right there, I went a little to far. I'm going to go ahead and Undo that, I'm going to press Cmd+Z on Mac or CTRL+Z on Windows. Let's try that again. I'm going to pick up from here. I'm just going to try to paint that in. And once I get to about here, I'm going to let go. And then, I'm just going to click again and continue painting. And with any luck, I should be able to create a fairly smooth transition there, where you would never know that, that even existed in the first place. And we can continue going through, remember that repeat pattern, definitely a no, no.
So, I'm going to click here, paint over there. And you might need to pick up a couple times until you can truly remove that repeat pattern. Just want to be careful not to get any of those patterns. And we just kind of look along this line, that doesn't look bad. If you want to, you could try to remove some of this shadow in the foreground. I might want to reduce the brush size a little bit. You can never do everything with one fell swoop.
You have to really take your time and make small edits until you're satisfied. So, if I press Cmd+0 on Mac or Ctrl+0 on Windows, we can see that now, I have this background that's virtually unnoticeable to most people. Because this is really our subject matter. And even if this is not perfect, people are going to be focused on this front portion here. And what I might want to do is also get rid of that box. So, I'm just going to go ahead and Zoom In on that box, click and drag. And then, we'll go back to our Clone Stamp tool, and I'm just going to pick up here.
And we'll really just going to paint. Basically, I'm just painting right over that box. And we're basically giving it the illusion that it was never there. I'm going to let go. And then, click and drag again because I can only paint so far before I start getting these repeat patterns. I'm going to pick up some area here, maybe pick up some area here. Once again, just to break it up enough, that we're not going to notice that repeat pattern. So again, Cmd+Zero on Mac, Ctrl+Zero on Windows and you can see that now we can see that we've really improved upon this photo.
And if we want to see what this looked like before and after, one way we can do this is we can come up to our Window menu, and choose Undo History. And what I'm going to do is I'm just going to open up this panel a bit. And the Undo History panel, basically keeps track of all the clicks that you've made to a certain point. So, we could see if we scroll down to the bottom, the last thing I did was this Clone Stamp. But what I'm going to do, is I'm going to click on this option, right here, which is my original state. And when I do that, it's going to show me all of those things that were there in the very beginning.
And then, to see the after version, I can come all the way down to the last item that I did, click on it and that will apply all of the changes. So, I'm going to go ahead and go to the File menu, and choose Save As. And I'm going to go ahead and save it in the version set with the original. This one, I'm going to name retouched. Click the Save button. Keep the JPEG options at their maximum, click OK. And as you've seen here, retouching doesn't have to be difficult.
Tastefully done, it can turn your photos into true masterpieces.
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