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Using the Healing Brush

From: Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

Video: Using the Healing Brush

The Healing Brush is very much like the Clone Stamp tool and that it borrows pixels from the surrounding area to repair damaged areas. But it goes one step further and that it blends the new pixels it's borrowing into the newly healed area. Begin by duplicating your original photo by using keyboard shortcut; Ctrl on a PC or Command on a Mac plus J. Double-click on your layer name to rename it. We will name this happy, and click next to it to accept the change.

Using the Healing Brush

The Healing Brush is very much like the Clone Stamp tool and that it borrows pixels from the surrounding area to repair damaged areas. But it goes one step further and that it blends the new pixels it's borrowing into the newly healed area. Begin by duplicating your original photo by using keyboard shortcut; Ctrl on a PC or Command on a Mac plus J. Double-click on your layer name to rename it. We will name this happy, and click next to it to accept the change.

Go to the toolbar and click the Healing Brush tool; this icon that looks like a band aid. There are actually two Healing Brush tools; the Healing Brush and the Spot Healing Brush. The difference in these two tools is the simplicity of use. We will see that in a minute. We will select Healing Brush tool for right now. I want a smaller brush because I'm going to zoom-in close. So I will need to go back and adjust the diameter again. To zoom-in your screen, use Ctrl on a PC, Command on a Mac, plus the Plus key; zoom-in nice and tight so you can see all the damage up close and personal.

You want it really, really close. Now see how big the brush is relative to the screen. So go back up to your Brush Engine and change the Diameter slider, bringing that Brush down to about 7 pixels. We'll try that. Click here; don't click in your screen, if you do, you're going to get this pop up, because you have to Alt+Click on the Healing Brush. The Healing Brush like the Clone Stamp tool requires an Alt+Click or an Option+Click to select the area of pixels you want to heal with.

Choosing an area as close as you can to the area you are healing will help ensure a good match. So get as close as you can to the area you're going to heal. I am going to hold down the Alt button once to click the reference area and click in it. Change your reference point often; you want a randomness. You don't want to click in the same area all the time or it will be too repetitive and they'll be a pattern. The Spot Healing Brush tool doesn't require you to Alt or Option+Click on the surrounding area to set a source area from.

Again, we want to adjust our brush size and this time we'll do so with our Left and Right-bracket keys. Hit your Left-bracket key to lower the diameter of your brush, go up a little more, and let's keep this one at about 5. A huge advantage to the Spot Healing Brush tool is the Content-Aware setting; new in Photoshop Elements 9. This setting automatically uses pixels from the surrounding area based on the content of the area you're healing.

So make sure this Radio button is selected. With the Spot Healing Brush, you can just click to heal without selecting your reference point. This does a good job most of the time, but it won't all the time, and if you find an area that doesn't look very good, you can always go back to your Healing Brush tool to select your reference point. Content-Aware is a wonderful high powered tool that does a great job most of the time.

For the best result, keep your brush size slightly larger than the area you're healing. If the area of damage is smaller, simply lower the size of your brush. If you need it a little bigger, adjust the size accordingly. When working on a large or long area of damage, don't try to fix it all at once. Let's go over here to this area of damage that's a long line. Keep your work area small; healing just a small portion of the damage at a time.

If you try to do too much damage at once and bring this sliding down like this, it could come up blurry. Sometimes it'll work and sometimes it won't.If you do find it getting a little blurry around the edges, simply click to blend the areas better or go back to your Healing Brush tool so you can select your point of reference.

Click around the edges as well as on the damage to get a good blend. Let's just see a before and after of the areas we've just healed, so you can see how well the Content-Aware Spot Healing Brush can work for you. Often running second to the Clone Stamp tool, the healing brushes especially the new Content-Aware feature in the Spot Healing Brush will make your exacting detail spot removal work much easier, faster, and better than ever.

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This video is part of

Image for Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos
Photoshop Elements 9: Scanning and Restoring Photos

40 video lessons · 6056 viewers

Janine Smith
Author

 
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  1. 1m 40s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 13m 20s
    1. Identifying your media
      2m 45s
    2. Determining your equipment needs
      2m 24s
    3. Setting your scanner
      3m 26s
    4. Scanning negatives, slides, and film
      1m 11s
    5. Digitizing damaged and delicate photos
      3m 34s
  3. 10m 51s
    1. Importing photos into the Organizer
      3m 34s
    2. Adding captions and notes
      2m 47s
    3. Adding keyword and smart tags
      4m 30s
  4. 25m 11s
    1. Using Levels
      4m 7s
    2. Fixing fades with Threshold
      3m 22s
    3. Adjusting contrast using Color Curves
      4m 18s
    4. Darkening images with blend modes
      2m 12s
    5. Adjusting brightness and contrast
      2m 2s
    6. Using Quick Fix for lighting
      4m 12s
    7. Fixing automatically with Guided Edit
      4m 58s
  5. 18m 59s
    1. Using Levels to fix color
      3m 29s
    2. Correcting color automatically with Enhance
      3m 39s
    3. Correcting color with complementary colors
      5m 19s
    4. Using Color Variations
      3m 28s
    5. Using Quick Fix for color
      3m 4s
  6. 22m 37s
    1. Using the Clone Stamp tool
      5m 24s
    2. Using the Healing Brush
      5m 5s
    3. Working with newspaper and magazine images
      3m 12s
    4. Softening paper texture
      4m 40s
    5. Taming fingerprints
      4m 16s
  7. 42m 52s
    1. Repairing small rips and creases
      4m 22s
    2. Repairing large tears
      8m 22s
    3. Filling in missing pieces
      5m 36s
    4. Reassembling a photo from pieces
      10m 12s
    5. Fixing and replacing backgrounds
      5m 0s
    6. Using Photomerge with panoramas
      3m 59s
    7. Repairing documents
      5m 21s
  8. 22m 48s
    1. Creating a photo book
      6m 1s
    2. Making a calendar
      3m 52s
    3. Creating a personalized greeting card
      4m 26s
    4. Making a slideshow (Windows only)
      4m 22s
    5. Creating a flyer
      4m 7s
  9. 25s
    1. Final thoughts
      25s

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