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Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools

From: Photoshop CC Essential Training

Video: Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools

Throughout these lessons on retouching, we're going to focus on removing the distracting elements in a photograph, so that the viewer can focus in on the person in the image. We want to be subtle in our retouching, so that we enhance the portraits without compromising the character of the person. In this lesson we are going to take a look at the variety of tools that are available to remove things like acne or blemishes, including the Clone Tool, the Spot Healing Tool, and the Spot Healing Brush. So we'll start with the Clone Stamp Tool, and I'll also want to zoom in. So I'll use Cmd+1 on the Mac or Ctrl+1 on Windows in order to the zoom into 100%.

Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools

Throughout these lessons on retouching, we're going to focus on removing the distracting elements in a photograph, so that the viewer can focus in on the person in the image. We want to be subtle in our retouching, so that we enhance the portraits without compromising the character of the person. In this lesson we are going to take a look at the variety of tools that are available to remove things like acne or blemishes, including the Clone Tool, the Spot Healing Tool, and the Spot Healing Brush. So we'll start with the Clone Stamp Tool, and I'll also want to zoom in. So I'll use Cmd+1 on the Mac or Ctrl+1 on Windows in order to the zoom into 100%.

Now the Clone Stamp Tool was one of the first tools in Photoshop, and the Clone Stamp Tool is an excellent tool, but it makes an exact duplicate of one area and another area. So although its great for somethings its not always the best tool for retouching an let me show you why. I'll use the right bracket key in order to get a larger brush, just to make sure that we can see this. An then you have to tell Photoshop, where you want it to sample from. So I'll just sample from the cheek area here.

So I'll hold down the Option key or the Alt key on Windows and click on the cheek. And then I let go of the Alt or the Option key, and then I can move my cursor to replace a blemish. But as you can see in the center of this tool, it's showing me the content that it's going to clone stamp. So when I click and drag in order to get rid of the blemish, you can see that I've actually made it worse, and that's because the tonal values change quite significantly between the sample point and the point where I clicked.

And I'll just place my cursor there again and click you can see up in the cheek there's those little cross hairs, and as I move around those cross hairs follow exactly where I'm painting. So what Photoshop is doing is its making an exact duplicate. Of one area in another area, and obviously we don't want that so we can use Cmd+z, that will take us back one step, and then we can use Cmd+Opt+Z on the Mac or Ctrl+Alt+Z on Windows. Of course we could always just use the Edit menu in order to set backwards if we wanted to. So instead of using the Clone Stamp Tool, I am going to switch to the Spot Healing Brush.

Now there is a Spot Healing Brush and the Healing Brush. The difference between this two is that the Healing Brush needs you to tell it where to sample the information from to heal, so its similar to the Clone Stamp Tool. The Spot Healing Brush Tool you don't need to tell Photoshop where the sample point is. Photoshop is going to do it's best guess by analyzing the image, and then gives you the best option for replacing that information. So we'll start with the spot healing brush. And one other thing is you might want to make sure, is that you've got the Content Aware Option turned on. This technology is available in the Spot Healing Brush, but it's not available in the regular Healing Brush.

The one where you have to Option or Alt click to set the source point. Alright so with Content Aware oOption turned on, all I need to do is click and drag over the area that I want Photoshop to fix. And it will try to not only grab information from a source area that has the same texture and the same content, but it's also going to try to heal or blend in the edges where you paint with the cursor. If we use a Cmd+z and undo and redo, we can see that there's a little bit of a discrepancy there. So what I'll do is I'm going to zoom in once more time, and then I'll hold down the space bar to get my hand tool.

That way we can pan around the image. You can see I was using a rather large brush, so let's just get a little bit smaller of a brush. And, this brush that I'm using, it can even be smaller than the size of the blemish, because I can click and drag with the brush, and then have Photoshop correct that whole area. So now I did a much better job in my opinion. Just because of the area that I sampled it was a little smaller. And we can see how easy it is to move through our image, and just correct all of these little blemishes and obviously wouldn't be there all the time.

So I'm going to to hold down the space bar, and that way I can navigate to another area. Now I see this little piece of fuzz over here on the left-hand side. This kind of correction. I'm actually better off using the Clone Stamp Tool. So I'll tap the s key. That gives me the Clone Stamp Tool. And you can see it's giving me that preview from when I option clicked before in order to set my sample point. But I'm just going to use a little bit smaller of a brush, and then I'm going to hold down my Option or my Alt key in the hair area and click Release the Option or the Alt key and just kind of match up that hair right up here. And then click in order to make an exact duplicate of it. So the reason that I haven't used the Healing Brush, let's go ahead and return back to it by tapping the j key.

The reason I didn't use it is because, if I'm in an area that has a lot of contrast or there are a lot of variations of shades, sometimes when I use this tool, it doesn't always do a great job blending the edges. It seems to have done an okay job there, but I'm still going to use Command or Ctrl+z to undo that. So that's just the reason I went to the Stamp Tool. Alright now with the Spot Healing Brush selected again, we can just move around the image and just remove any of the little blemishes that I know aren't always there.

Alright and I'll use the space bar again in order to temporarily access the Hand Tool. And we'll just scoot around. Now, you'll notice that I'm not removing any freckles or any moles. Obviously, that is going to be up to you, whether or not you decide to remove those. If something is really distracting, then what I would recommend instead of removing it, is we will just kind of tone it down in a minute. So I'm just looking at, she's got a few little teeny blemishes here.

She's just a darling girl, but she just has a few little pieces of acne. So that's all I'm really concerned about right now. We're going to go back in a minute and we will work on those moles there. Just keep going right here, where the moles or the little freckles. And just a minute more, and we'll have this done. So here I'm actually going to skip over this for a minute, and we'll come back to that. And just really quickly, a few little rough spots on her cheek. Alright. Excellent.

So this little area right down here, let's see if we can get it right away with the Spot Healing Brush. Or if I need to move to another tool, look at that, it's a really a nice job. So this is what I am talking about with the contrasting areas. Sometimes we'll get a little bit of bleeding, meaning that this pink area here of her lips we go over into the skin tone, in which case I might want to actually go in and set the Healing Brush tool. Set down the source for it to clone from. But it seemed to have done just a great job.

So we'll return back to the Spot Healing Brush. Just give this one more check. I think this might actually be a little blemish, so we'll get rid of that. And other than that, I think she is looking great. All right, so I'm going to use the keyboard shortcut Cmd+minus to just zoom out one level. And you'll notice that this entire time, when I've been removing the blemishes. Because they are blemishes, I know that I want to remove them like a 100%. I don't want to just tone them back a bit. Now you might have noticed that I've been doing all the retouching on a background layer, and that's because I wanted to remove the blemishes 100%, I didn't want them at all in the image. Now if you're not comfortable working on a background layer. Because obviously what I've been doing was destructive, you can actually create a new layer and you can use the Healing Brush to clone to that new layer. So let me show you how you would do that.

I'm going to click the New Layer icon in the bottom of the Layers Panel, and that just adds a blank layer. Now if I start trying to use the Spot Healing Brush right now nothing's going to happen, and that's because I'm on this blank layer and I'm telling Photoshop to heal nothing, basically, because there's nothing on that layer. What I need to do is come up to the top here and tell Photoshop to sample all of the layers and then heal those layers. So, let's just say that maybe this is a blemish and not a freckle, so I will paint over that and we'll paint over this, and here, and here, and maybe even this one too, to make it obvious. So if I decided that I've made a mistake you can see that I can toggle on and off the opacity of that layer to hide and reveal what I've just changed. And in fact, if we toggle on the layer and I hide the background those are the changes that Photoshop has made.

So it's used the Spot Healing Brush with the Content Aware Option to sample all of the layers including the background. And then it places its results on the top layer, the layer that we were working on. Alright, since those were freckles and not blemishes, I'm going to tap the Delete key in order to delete that layer. If you realize at any point in time when you are working on the background layer that you made a mistake, and you want to undo that, I think the first thought would be to go to the History Panel, and then see if you could go back in time far enough in order to undo that mistake. The problem with that, of course, is that then you're going to lose all the rest of these other states.

So here's a little shortcut. Instead of going back in time, I'll go ahead and close that panel. What you can do is you can select say with like the Lasso Tool an area of your image where you might have made that initial mistake. And then you can go underneath the Edit menu and you can actually fill that area with history. When you fill with history Photoshop's going to fill with the initial snapshot that it created when you first opened the document. So, if I click OK it would fill this area from the original image.

Now, I don't actually want to do that so, I'm going to use Cmd+z or Ctrl+z to undo that and then I'll use Cmd+d or Ctrl+d to deselect but, I just wanted you to know that that option was there. So, as you can see, not only the Spot Healing Brush, but also the regular Healing Brush, and the Clone Stamp Tool can be quite helpful when retouching blemishes and other distracting elements in Photoshop.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop CC Essential Training
Photoshop CC Essential Training

164 video lessons · 49434 viewers

Julieanne Kost
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 42s
    1. What is Photoshop?
      1m 42s
  2. 4m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      25s
    3. Installing Adobe Bridge
      1m 23s
    4. What's new NEW
      1m 26s
  3. 40m 58s
    1. What is Adobe Bridge?
      3m 3s
    2. Getting photos from a camera
      6m 0s
    3. A tour of workspaces in Bridge
      8m 30s
    4. Customizing how thumbnails are displayed
      4m 42s
    5. Changing file names and batch renaming
      4m 39s
    6. Adding basic metadata with metadata templates
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and applying keywords to images
      7m 1s
    8. Viewing images in Full Screen Preview mode
      2m 17s
  4. 27m 23s
    1. Using Review mode to filter out rejected images
      5m 32s
    2. Saving images in collections
      3m 52s
    3. Rating and labeling images
      4m 31s
    4. Using the Filter panel to view different subsets
      3m 7s
    5. Using smart collections
      3m 39s
    6. Viewing final selects in a slideshow
      2m 50s
    7. Organizing groups of images into stacks
      3m 52s
  5. 29m 57s
    1. Comparing raw and JPEG files
      5m 5s
    2. Starting in Camera Raw instead of Photoshop
      4m 1s
    3. Touring the Camera Raw user interface
      5m 29s
    4. Previewing before and after adjustments
      3m 18s
    5. Toggling onscreen Shadow/Highlight clipping warnings
      4m 44s
    6. Choosing output settings
      3m 34s
    7. Saving a copy without going to Photoshop
      3m 46s
  6. 56m 7s
    1. Using the nondestructive Crop tool: Door and window with ramp
      3m 42s
    2. Correcting a tilted horizon line with the Straighten tool
      4m 12s
    3. Fixing color casts with the White Balance tool
      3m 52s
    4. Fixing blown-out highlights UPDATED
      5m 42s
    5. Revealing hidden shadow detail
      4m 36s
    6. Reducing distracting color noise with Noise Reduction
      5m 55s
    7. Correcting lens distortion
      5m 17s
    8. Making perspective corrections to images
      5m 51s
    9. Removing chromatic aberration
      3m 32s
    10. Sharpening details
      7m 23s
    11. Making an average photo great
      6m 5s
  7. 1h 3m
    1. Using the Graduated Filter tool
      5m 39s
    2. Adding a radial gradient
      6m 35s
    3. Making local adjustments with the Adjustment Brush
      11m 19s
    4. Retouching blemishes with the Spot Removal tool
      4m 35s
    5. A quick portrait retouching technique using Clarity
      7m 49s
    6. Converting to black and white
      3m 17s
    7. Editing images directly with the Targeted Adjustment tool
      3m 56s
    8. Selective coloring effects with the Adjustment Brush
      5m 56s
    9. Easy sepia and split-tone effects
      4m 11s
    10. Adding digital film grain texture effects
      2m 27s
    11. Adding vignettes and border effects
      4m 24s
    12. Saving variations within a single file with the Snapshot command
      3m 27s
  8. 19m 16s
    1. Copying and pasting settings across files
      1m 52s
    2. Processing multiple files in Camera Raw
      4m 22s
    3. Saving and using a library of Camera Raw presets
      5m 47s
    4. Saving multiple files in Camera Raw
      3m 36s
    5. Using Image Processor to batch process multiple files
      3m 39s
  9. 27m 6s
    1. Opening files from Bridge
      3m 9s
    2. Customizing the interface in Photoshop UPDATED
      5m 16s
    3. Managing panels
      5m 1s
    4. Switching and saving workspaces
      3m 45s
    5. Switching tools using the keyboard
      3m 21s
    6. Customizing the keyboard shortcuts
      6m 34s
  10. 22m 49s
    1. Working with tabbed documents
      2m 51s
    2. Arranging documents
      3m 37s
    3. Stopping Photoshop from tabbing documents
      2m 49s
    4. Panning, zooming, and using the Rotate View tool
      9m 51s
    5. Cycling through the different screen modes
      3m 41s
  11. 26m 19s
    1. Understanding file formats
      8m 26s
    2. Choosing the resolution you need
      5m 15s
    3. Understanding Resize vs. Resample
      9m 40s
    4. How big a print can you make with your image?
      2m 58s
  12. 59m 15s
    1. Using Undo and the History panel
      6m 40s
    2. Using crop options
      4m 20s
    3. Understanding Hide vs. Delete for the Crop tool
      3m 52s
    4. Cropping to the perfect print size
      3m 51s
    5. Making the canvas bigger with the Crop tool
      5m 2s
    6. Making the canvas bigger using the Canvas Size command
      4m 57s
    7. Straightening a crooked image
      4m 21s
    8. Removing keystoning from buildings
      2m 6s
    9. Using the Perspective Crop tool
      2m 4s
    10. Scaling, skewing, and rotating with Free Transform
      8m 29s
    11. Nondestructive transformations with Smart Objects UPDATED
      3m 56s
    12. Warping images UPDATED
      4m 48s
    13. Preserving important elements with Content-Aware Scale
      4m 49s
  13. 41m 55s
    1. Exploring layer basics UPDATED
      13m 25s
    2. Loading, selecting, and transforming layers UPDATED
      9m 28s
    3. Organizing layers into layer groups
      8m 47s
    4. Merging, rasterizing, and flattening layers
      10m 15s
  14. 1h 15m
    1. Using the Marquee and Lasso tools
      11m 41s
    2. Combining selections
      6m 40s
    3. Converting a selection into a layer mask
      7m 40s
    4. Using the Quick Selection tool and Refine Edge
      7m 12s
    5. Selecting soft-edged objects using Refine Edge
      9m 28s
    6. Touching up a layer mask with the Brush tool
      5m 42s
    7. Changing the opacity, size, and hardness of the painting tools
      9m 9s
    8. Blending images with a gradient layer mask
      4m 55s
    9. Combining multiple exposures with layer masks
      5m 5s
    10. Making selections with Color Range NEW
      5m 17s
    11. Selecting with Focus Mask NEW
      3m 10s
  15. 42m 5s
    1. Introducing adjustment layers
      3m 29s
    2. Starting with a preset
      2m 36s
    3. Improving tonal quality with Levels
      7m 32s
    4. Increasing midtone contrast with Curves
      5m 7s
    5. Removing a color cast with Auto Color
      2m 37s
    6. Changing the color temperature with Photo Filter
      1m 56s
    7. Shifting colors with Hue/Saturation
      5m 39s
    8. Making washed-out colors pop with Vibrance
      2m 7s
    9. Converting color to black and white
      3m 32s
    10. Creating traditional darkroom toning effects
      2m 51s
    11. Controlling which layers are affected by an adjustment layer
      3m 49s
    12. Three different ways to add an adjustment layer
      50s
  16. 24m 41s
    1. Adjusting shadows and highlights
      5m 49s
    2. Replacing color using Selective Color
      5m 39s
    3. Using fill layers to create a hand-painted look
      7m 18s
    4. Using a gradient fill layer to add a color wash
      5m 55s
  17. 40m 53s
    1. Removing blemishes with the Healing Brush and Patch tools
      10m 21s
    2. A quick technique for smoothing skin and pores
      3m 4s
    3. Making teeth bright and white
      2m 47s
    4. Brightening eyes, to make a person appear more alert
      6m 31s
    5. Taming flyaway hair
      4m 53s
    6. De-emphasizing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      1m 53s
    7. Body sculpting with Liquify UPDATED
      5m 6s
    8. Removing unwanted details with Content-Aware Fill UPDATED
      6m 18s
  18. 22m 47s
    1. Creating panoramas with Photomerge and Auto-Blend
      5m 50s
    2. Combining multiple frames of an action sequence
      6m 21s
    3. Swapping heads in a family portrait
      4m 3s
    4. Working with bracketed exposures (HDR)
      6m 33s
  19. 1h 0m
    1. Overview of filters UPDATED
      3m 3s
    2. Applying filters nondestructively with Smart Filters UPDATED
      5m 56s
    3. Straightening images using the Adaptive Wide Angle filter
      5m 28s
    4. Creating a soft glow with the Gaussian Blur filter
      3m 23s
    5. Creating an infrared look with Diffuse Glow
      5m 4s
    6. Adding noise with the Add Noise filter
      7m 7s
    7. Sharpening an image with Unsharp Mask and Smart Sharpen
      7m 22s
    8. Giving an image texture with the Texturizer filter
      1m 53s
    9. Using the Field, Iris, and Tilt-Shift Blurs UPDATED
      6m 9s
    10. Using the Spin and Path Blurs NEW
      7m 38s
    11. Applying the Camera Raw filter
      2m 48s
    12. Applying a filter to multiple layers
      4m 11s
  20. 24m 3s
    1. Cycling through the blending modes
      5m 24s
    2. Scanning or photographing paper to add a deckled edge
      4m 55s
    3. Adding texture with blend modes
      1m 58s
    4. Making a cast shadow more realistic with Multiply
      5m 57s
    5. Sharpening an image with High Pass and Overlay
      2m 49s
    6. Adding a realistic off-center vignette
      3m 0s
  21. 35m 37s
    1. Exploring character (point) type UPDATED
      11m 58s
    2. Adding paragraph (area) type
      4m 7s
    3. Adding type on a path
      7m 3s
    4. Clipping an image inside type
      3m 41s
    5. Warping type
      2m 36s
    6. Defining character and paragraph styles
      6m 12s
  22. 24m 13s
    1. Using the shape tools
      13m 45s
    2. Custom shape layers
      6m 15s
    3. Adding a keyline to an image
      4m 13s
  23. 24m 48s
    1. Adding a drop shadow effect
      8m 57s
    2. Adding edges, textures, and color overlays using styles
      5m 11s
    3. Creating a transparent logo or watermark
      4m 46s
    4. Knowing how and when to scale layer effects
      5m 54s
  24. 11m 43s
    1. Creating contact sheets
      4m 29s
    2. Creating PDF presentations
      3m 25s
    3. Saving for the web
      3m 49s
  25. 23m 9s
    1. Working with video clips
      12m 14s
    2. Adding special effects to video files
      5m 56s
    3. Adding pans and zooms to still images
      4m 59s
  26. 1m 4s
    1. Next steps
      1m 4s

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