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In most cases, it's probably safe to assume that you want to remove blemishes in your images completely, not just partially. But sometimes you actually do just want to tone down a blemish rather than remove it all together. In this image, there are certainly some blemishes that I would like to completely remove, such as some of the spots on the wall in the background. And for that I would certainly make use of the Spot Healing Brush tool. I'll go ahead and choose the Spot Healing Brush tool and then adjust my brush size as needed with the left and right square bracket keys. Left square bracket to reduce the brush size and right square bracket to increase the brush size.
And I'll simply click and drag over any of the blemishes that I would like to get rid of. In this case just the dark or light blemishes that are appearing in the wall behind the subject. I can even increase the brush size and get rid of this large chunk of the walls that seems to have broken free. And then adjust the brush size again and clean up any of the other blimishes throughout the image. But let's assume that I also want to tone down these dimples or laugh lines on the face here. If I want to tone those down rather than remove them, I need to work a little bit differently.
Specifically, I need to work on a separate layer so that I can reduce the effect of my adjustment later. I'll go ahead and click on the Create New Layer button on the bottom of Layers panel that's the blank sheet of paper icon. And that will create a new empty layer that I can paint on. I'll make sure that my Spot Healing Brush tool is set to the content aware option and that sample all layers is turned on so that I can work across multiple layers within the image. I'll go ahead and click and drag after adjusting my brush size here. I'll paint across that dimple and once Photoshop Elements cleans up that area you can see the result is not that good.
It seems to have blended some more facial hair in the area where there wasn't any. And that's not working out all that well. This is an example of a situation where the Spot Healing Brush tool is not necessarily the best choice. It's great that it's blending the pixels into the destination. But because it is choosing a source of pixels for you automatically. Sometimes it doesn't produce the best results. I'll go ahead and click the Undo button to undo that last stroke. And then instead of working with the Spot Healing Brush tool I'll click and hold my mouse on the Spot Healing Brush tools button on the toolbox.
And then choose Healing Brush tool from the Flyout menu. The Healing Brush tool is very similar to the Spot Healing Brush tool except that you need to set the source of pixels. I'll make sure again that sample all layers is turned on and now I can hold the Alt key on Windows or Option key on Macintosh and click on an area of the skin that seems to be a good source. I'll then adjust my brush size as needed and then click and drag across the dimple this time sampling from a specific area of the image.
That eliminates the dimple all together. I'll go ahead and sample an additional area of the image and remove the other dimple as well, and you can see again the dimple is removed completely. My intention was just to tone down the dimple, but I don't have the ability to tone down when using the Spot Healing Brush or the Healing Brush tools. That's the reason I'm working on a separate layer. By placing my clean up pixel on to a separate layer when I know I only want to tone down a blemish rather than remove it.
I can simply reduce the opacity in order to reduce the effect of that cleamup. If I set the opacity at zero percent it will be as though I had never cleaned up the image at all. And at 100% the blemishes will be removed completely so I can dial in to the degree of adjustment I want to apply. In this case, I think somewhere around about 50% will produce a nice effect where those dimples are toned down but not removed. Once I am finished with that adjustment, i can choose Layer > Flatten Image in order to flatten the image than to a single layer.
I can then save the image, and my work here is done.
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