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In Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac Essential Training, Ted LoCascio teaches casual photographers how to organize, edit, and share their digital image libraries using this powerful software package from Adobe. He tours the included Adobe Bridge application, used for importing and organizing photographs, and explores every feature of Elements itself. He demonstrates how to navigate the Elements workspace, which is used to correct and improve images, combine them into projects, and produce slideshows, photo books, web galleries, and more. Ted also explains how to get the most out of each editing mode, and shares tips for correcting, retouching, and sharpening photographs. Example files accompany the course.
With this movie I would like to show you how to retouch an image using the Healing Brush and the Spot Healing Brush tools. I'm currently in the Bridge application and I'm viewing out exercise files folders. I'm going to go ahead and scroll down here in the Content panel and I'm going to access the Chapter 11 folder, Retouching. Double-click on that and then we will double-click on the healing tools folder and here we have retouching_2.jpg, let's double-click that image to open it up here in the Elements' Editing workspace. So what I would like to do is show you how to use the Healing tools in order to clean up some of the areas along the face and on the hands. Let's take a look at those tools. They are over here in the Tools palette, click over here and hold down. You can see we have actually two tools. We have the Spot Healing Brush Tool and the Healing Brush Tool. Now these are two similar things but they work slightly differently. I would like to start with the Healing Brush, let's start there.
Now the way the Healing Brush works is you need to sample from an area in the image that you would like to draw from as your source, and then click and drag over the area that you would like to fix. What it does is it refers to that source area and blends into the image so that things look smooth. That's the beauty of the tool. So this is great for retouching areas of skin, removing wrinkles, crows' feet and those kind of things. So let's go ahead and zoom in some. I'm going to go ahead and hold down on the Command key and the Spacebar key and then click and drag right over Evelyn's face here.
So now what I would like to do is go ahead and draw from an area in the image as my source, but you know what? Before I do, I want to mention something. If I were to go ahead and start using the tool on this background layer in the Layers palette, we will be affecting the pixels in this image permanently. Yes, we could undo, but rather work that way I think I would like to work nondestructively and apply all of my retouching on a separate layer so that the original layer, the background, remains untouched. That means should I make a mistake, I could always throw away the layer and start all over again, rather than having to rely on Undo or saving in million different versions of this image so that we always have an original. So the better thing to do is just create a new layer, let's do that first.
Click the Create New Layer button, double-click on this here and name it, let's name it retouch, press Return to apply that name. Then up here, in the Tool options notice we have this one at the end that says All Layers, Samples source data from composite data so we will click on that. That's going to allow us to sample our source from the background layer underneath, but then apply the Retouching on the Retouch layer because that's what we have selected in the Layers palette. So this is a nice nondestructive way to work. Let's zoom in a little more, Command+Plus, Command+Plus. I'm going to go ahead and now I'm going to hold down the Option key and click right around here in a neighboring smooth skin area, hold down that key and click in order to target my source area. Then I'm going to hover over the area that I want to remove or heal, and click and drag down to remove that wrinkle.
You see what happened, and it did this now on the Retouch layer. I can turn off the visibility for that layer; you can see the background layer has remained untouched. So that's a nice nondestructive way to work. We can continue to do this to clean up our image, let's go ahead and resize the brush again, this time we can use the left bracket key, just like we have been with any of our tools that use a brush. Hold down the Option key again to sample this area above and then click and drag over at this slight wrinkle there. Let's see what else we can do here.
We have got some more on the other side. Evelyn actually has very good skin so we don't have to do too much here actually. I'm going to hold down the Option key, sample just above and then click and drag down. So something else to keep in mind here is that you don't want to overdo it. I'm not kind of going here and fix every little tiny, tiny wrinkle on her face because then this would appear unnatural. So we want to be sort of true to the subject. We don't want to do anything unrealistic, we just want to kind of help out a little bit here and that's what we're doing.
I'm going to remove some of the lines down here above her lip, let's do that, Option-click next to it in order to target the source and we will remove that there as well. I'm going to Option- click here, click and drag. You see what it's doing, all on a separate layer too. Option-click and then click and drag, Option-click, click and drag. Now notice that as I do this, I'm going to do one more time, Option-click and then click and drag. As I'm clicking and dragging you can see the target, the Source Target icon moving along with the brush. That's showing us where it's sampling the pixels from. So sometimes it's good to keep an eye on that, because if you sample on a weird location and then you keep dragging, it may drag into an area that you actually don't want to sample from. That will change the way things appear when you finish with the tool. All right, so be careful with that.
So that's looking pretty good to me. You can see the before, the after. Let's zoom out a little bit and take a look at of all that. Before, after. That's not entirely unrealistic either and if we wanted to we could also reduce the opacity of the layer, and let a little bit of the original image show through. So we're sort of softening the effect. So there it is, it's 66%. There is the before and there is the after. It gives you a lot more control over the effect overall. Let's go ahead and bring that back up.
Next thing I want to do is show you how to use the Spot Healing Brush Tool, that's this one here. Now this one you don't have to sample anywhere inside of the image. All you need to do is to size the brush over the spot that you want to heal and then click. I have to also click on the All Layers option up here in order for that to work. There we go, clicking, removing blemishes. It's really only meant for that. Anything larger than that that you need to heal, you should use the Healing Brush or if it's really, really intricate maybe the Clone Tool, which we're going to discuss in a different movie. See now there the brush was a little too large and so it sampled from a neighboring edge and that's not what we want.
So I'm going to click Undo up here or press Command+Z, resize the brush making it a little smaller and then click right on it. Then we don't have that problem. So the size of the brush really does matter. We don't want it to be too large otherwise it's going to reach too far end of your image and sample from somewhere that you don't want it to. So you can do that and then let's go down to the hand, so couple of spots down here we can maybe fix up; nothing major, just a couple of small things. So what we have done here is use the Healing Brush Tool and the Spot Healing Brush in order to remove some blemishes and some wrinkles. We have done so on a separate layer that we named retouch. That gives us a little more control because we could lower the opacity if we would like in order to blend in the effect with the original image. And we have done all of this non-destructively.
Before and after.
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