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Deke's Techniques is a collection of short Photoshop and Illustrator projects and creative effects that can be completed in ten minutes or less. The series is taught by computer graphics guru Deke McClelland, and presented in his signature step-by-step style. The intent is to reveal how various Photoshop and Illustrator features can be combined and leveraged in real-world examples so that they can be applied to creative projects right away.
Hey gang, this is Deke McClelland. Welcome to Deke's Techniques! This week I'm going to show you how to heal one eye onto another, so we are going to take the other eye and flip-heal it into that position, and we're going to end up getting just this absolutely terrific result right there. Here, let me show you exactly how it works. Let's set about healing that eye. Now bear in mind we are going to take the right eye, which is his left, and we are going to clone it onto the left eye, being his right, and we'll do so using a combination of the Healing brush and the Clone Source panel.
Here is how it works. Drop down to the tool immediately below the eyedropper, click and hold on it, and choose the Standard Healing brush, not the Spot Healing Brush tool. That won't do us any good. We need the Standard Healing Brush tool. And I'll press the right bracket key a few times in order to expand the size of my cursor. Now most folks know how this tool works, but just in case you don't, you establish a source point which is the area that you want to clone and you paint it onto a destination which is the area that you want to heal. You establish the source point by pressing and holding the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and clicking.
Then when you release Alt or Option notice that you can see a preview of your source point inside the cursor. I'll go ahead and press the right bracket key a few more times in order to increase the size of the cursor further, and then I'll paint over the left eye and I'll release, and then Photoshop goes ahead and performs the heal, by which I mean it takes the texture information from the source point and maps it to the color and luminance information around your brushstroke here in the destination area. Photoshop has done a brilliant job, I must say; however, I've done a lousy job.
Because I just got done painting the right eye into the left area, and so he has two eyes going the same direction, as if there are fish swimming through his head, and that's just wrong. So I'll press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that modification. Now before I go any farther, I should say that the Healing brush is typically a destructive tool. That is, it permanently modifies the pixels inside of an image, unless you paint on an independent layer. So let's go ahead and do so, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+N, or Command+Shift+N on the Mac, in order to bring up the New Layer dialog box and I'll call this new layer "new eye" and click OK.
Then go up to the options bar and change the Sample option from Current Layer to Current & Below, and that way Photoshop will go ahead and sample the image below onto the active layer. Now we can perform a nondestructive modification. Of course we'll still be painting his eye in the same direction. Well, you can flip and rotate the source point as you paint it into a destination by going up to the Window menu and choosing Clone Source, which brings up the Clone Source panel. Notice we have these W and H values which allow you to scale the source point into the destination.
Right next door we have these little icons that allow you to flip. So we've got Flip Horizontal and Flip Vertical. Of course we want to flip the eye horizontally, so I'll go ahead and turn on the Flip Horizontal option, and then I could set about painting if I want to, and I will paint that eye into this new location. I am doing kind of a lousy job here, but it will make my point, which is that eyes are not 100% symmetrical, especially when the person's head is at a little bit of an angle. But eyes are typically at different angles as well. And in our case, the new eye needs to dip down and to the left.
So I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that modification. Notice we have this little Rotate option right there and so you could select the value and dial in a new one. Of course you have no idea what that value should be, so here is how you get a sense for it. Press the Escape key if you've selected the value. Increase the size of your cursor dramatically, maybe not quite that big, but pretty darn big, like so. And then select the Rotate value here inside the Clone Source panel, and you can modify the value in whole-degree increments by pressing Shift+Up Arrow.
I am increasing that value in 1-degree increments, but I'm also rotating the eye in a clockwise direction, which is exactly the opposite of what I want. So I'll press Shift+Down Arrow instead, and I'll keep pressing Shift+Down Arrow until the eye looks like it's oriented properly, and at about -6 degrees it looks right to me. So I'll go ahead and accept that value by pressing the Enter key. Now, just to make sure that I'm aligning the source properly with the destination, I'll change this Overlay option. The overlay is the preview inside of the brush.
I definitely want Show Overlay turned on, but I am going to change the Opacity from 100% to 50%, and then I am going to increase the size of my cursor just slightly more, so it's really whoppingly big. It's too big, of course. And once I get one eye aligned with the other, I'll just go ahead and click in order to establish that point of alignment. The eyes look pretty good. Of course the fact that he's got that source head carving through his destination head doesn't look right at all. So I'll press Ctrl+Z, or Command+Z on the Mac, to undo that change.
I'll go ahead and reinstate the Opacity value to 100%, and I'll close the Clone Source panel. And then I'll reduce the size of my cursor significantly here. Here is the trick. If you want your new brushstroke to absolutely align with your previous brushstroke, which would be that click I applied just a moment ago, you go up to the options bar and you turn on the Aligned check box. And now no matter how you paint, you will align with the previous brushstroke. And notice as I move my cursor around, the image inside the cursor is staying exactly the same.
Now I'll just go ahead and paint over the area that I want to heal, like so, and once I get something that looks reasonably good, I'll go ahead and release my mouse button in order to perform the heal. I may have healed a little more than I would've liked to. For example, I'll press the M key to switch back to my Rectangular Marquee tool so I can point better on screen. I've gone ahead and healed this little scar into this area right there, which is definitely not something I want to do. However, because I'm working on an independent layer, all I have to do to reveal the original image is erase that layer.
Now you could of course create a layer mask if you want to go to that effort. The Eraser tool works just fine for this. So I'll click on the Eraser tool to select it. I'll increase the size of my cursor a little bit by pressing the right bracket key. Now by default the Eraser tool has a hard edge to it. So right-click inside the image window and reduce the Hardness value to 0% and then press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, a couple of times in order to hide that panel, and then you can erase away the stuff that you don't want, like so, in order to reveal the goodness of the original layer.
And if that means revealing a mole that was there before, that's fine. We're not so much worried about the cosmetic issues around his eye as making his eye look good of course and making that cloned eye look at home in its new location, and that looks pretty good to me. I'll go ahead and press the F key a couple of times in order to switch to the Full Screen mode, zoom in on my image as well. This is that original version of the image--from the PhotoSpin Image Library, by the way--and this is the after version, thanks to our ability to paint with the Healing brush on a new layer, so we are performing a nondestructive modification and we're also flipping the source point and rotating it inside the Clone Source panel.
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