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Throughout these lessons on retouching we're going to focus on removing the distracting elements in a photograph, so the viewer can focus on the person and the image. We want to be subtle in our retouching, so that we enhance the portrait without compromising the character of the person. In this lesson we're going to take a look at the variety of tools that are available to remove acne and blemishes including the Clone tool, the Spot Healing and the Healing Brush. So let's go ahead and start. I am going to tap the S key, that's going to give me the Clone Stamp tool. Now the Clone Stamp tool was one of the first tools in Photoshop that could help copy information from one area of the image and paste it to another without actually using the Copy and Paste commands.
But it does make an exact duplicate of the area that you're trying to copy. Let's go ahead and zoom in and I'll even go to 200% here. I am going to press down the Spacebar, which will give me temporary access to the Hand tool so that I can scroll down here to the button on the blouse. In order to tell Photoshop what information I want it to load the brush with or copy, I need to hold down the Option key on the Mac or the Alt key on Windows. You can see when I do that the cursor changes, so it's this icon right here that's going to sample the area when I click.
So I'll go ahead and click right here again with the Option or Alt key down in the middle of a button and then I'll let go of the keyboard modifier and I'll reposition my cursor. You can actually see inside the cursor I have a preview of that area that I am copying, so that when I click and drag, I'll get an exact duplicate of that area. The only thing about the Clone Stamp tool as far as retouching goes is that it's going to make an exact duplicate and it's not going to try to blend in any of the edges.
So, we have a better tool, in my opinion, to use in order to do this and these are the Healing tools. So let me just undo that duplicate of the button by using Cmd+ or Ctrl+Z on Windows to undo. And then again I'll hold down the Spacebar and we'll just move up to the forehead area here, where we can see that there are some blemishes. I'll tap the J key; the J key is going to toggle me to the first of the Healing Brush tools, the Spot Healing Brush. And the great thing about the Spot Healing Brush is that you don't need to even click to set a sample point.
You just click directly on top of the bad information or the blemish or the area that you want to heal and Photoshop will heal it for you. Now I need a little bit smaller of a brush, so I can use my left bracket key ( [) to get a smaller brush and then I'll just paint over this spot and when I release the cursor, Photoshop not only grabs information from outside of that area, but it will also help to adjust the tones, so that the correction is seamless.] I am going to Option+Click or Alt+ Click from an area right up here and then position my cursor down on top of this blemish.
But when I click and let go, you can see that there was a difference in tonality between the area that I sampled from and the area that I cloned to. So, it doesn't really work, it's just made kind of a different blemish on the forehead. So I'll undo that using Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. Tap the J key again to return back to the Spot Healing Brush and this time when I paint over, you can see that it quickly removes that blemish. And we can go ahead and move throughout the entire image, just quickly taking away any of the blemishes.
Again, I'll hold down the Spacebar and just move down in the image a little bit. If you wanted more control, we could switch over to the Healing Brush tool. Now the Healing Brush tool is a little bit more like the Clone Stamp tool in that you have to tell Photoshop where you want to sample from, and you use the same keyboard shortcut as well. So I would hold down the Option or the Alt key, click to set my sample point, then let go of the Option or Alt key. Move my cursor on top of my blemish, and this time I'm also going to get a smaller brush by using the bracket key and then we'll just paint right on top of there.
So this method actually allows you to have a little bit more control over where the sample or where the information is picked up from in order to cover up the blemish. Because there might be times when the Spot Healing Brush doesn't work, because may be it doesn't see that you're trying to sample down may be the nose and there might be kind of a difference in the left side and the right side of the nose as far as their brightness values, and it might not catch the right value. So for the ultimate control, you just use the Option or the Alt key again, set your sample point, and you can see and I'm doing it right on top of the blemish or a little bit higher up I should say, than the blemish, so that when I paint over the blemish it will sample from the values that have the same tonality, because of the way that the light is coming across the image and coming across the nose.
We can go ahead and remove this one and this one here. But the thing is, so far I have actually been working on the background layer and that's not the most flexible way of doing things. What we would rather do is work either on an empty layer or at the least on a copy of the background. So I am going to quickly return back to where we started, by using the History panel, I'll click and drag all the way to the top and click on this first snapshot in order to return back to the original state of the document.
Then we'll go ahead and start at the top again, at the forehead and I am going to switch back to the Spot Healing Brush, but this time before I start using it, I am going to click the option to Sample All layers in the Options bar and I'm going to create a new blank layer. Now I'll click on top of all of these little blemishes to remove them, but I'm not actually changing anything on the background. You can see here I have layer 1 and if I hide and show that, you can see that all those blemishes come back.
Let's go ahead and rename that layer as well. I'll call this blemishes and hit Enter to apply that and then we'll use the Spacebar, just holding it down in order to access the Hand tool to move down into the image, use a little bit smaller of a brush here by using the left bracket key ([) and then we'll just paint over these areas.] Again if I wanted more control, I could switch to the Healing Brush, but for now I think this will work just fine, moving down to the chin, to the neck and just removing any blemishes that you know shouldn't be there.
Looks like I've got a little dust here on my sensor, so I'll remove that as well. And now if we zoom out by using Command+ Minus (-) or Ctrl+Minus (-) on Windows, we can see there's the before and there's after. Another really great advantage of using these tools on an empty layer is it then gives you the ability, if for example you've taken something away that shouldn't have been removed, like this mole right here, and I'm holding down the Spacebar and the Command key or the Spacebar and the Ctrl key and I am just going to click and drag in to this area.
And you can see that I actually removed, on my blemishes layer, I removed that mole and I shouldn't have. So I'll go ahead and turn on the blemish layer again. But this time I'm going to select my Eraser and if I need to reference where that is again, I can just toggle on and off the eye icon, and then I'll erase the correction that I made on that blemishes layer. Because remember, all we're trying to do here is we're just trying to remove the distracting elements, and the things like acne and blemishes that aren't permanent.
So we don't really want to remove that mole, because that mole is part of that person. So before I wrap up this lesson, I do want to zoom in to one more area and that is the earring. So I am going to hold down the Spacebar and the Command key and click and drag to the right to zoom into that area. There are times when using the Spot Healing Brush and the Healing Brush just don't quite work. And a lot of times that's when you're around an area or an edge that has contrast.
So for example, if I try to use the Spot Healing Brush or the Healing Brush here, I think what's going to happen is Photoshop's going to have a difficult time trying to blend the ear area with this background darker hair area. Let's give it a try; I'll select the Spot Healing Brush here in order to try to remove the earring. So I'll go ahead and just click and drag on top of it, but you can see what happens is because I was so close to that edge, Photoshop is trying to sample from around the ear and it's pulling in that hair information.
So let's undo that using Command+Z or Ctrl+Z and what I'll use instead is another tool called the Patch tool. The Patch tool is going to allow me to create a selection and the hotspot on the Patch tool is at the tip of that black arrow. Of course, we can always turn on the Caps Locks key in our keyboard and that will give us our precise cursors, the crosshairs there, in which case the hotspot is that centered dot. But for now I'll leave that off, so I'll tap the Caps Locks to turn it off again.
And I will drag a selection around the earring. Now the area that I have selected is going to be my source area here. This is the area that I want to fix. But before I can fix it, we'll notice that this tool does not have an option to use all layers. So I need to go back down to the background layer in order to make this change with this tool. Then I'll position my cursor inside of the selection and I'll click and drag up to a good area of the ear, the area that I want to grab the information from, and Photoshop will take that information and when I release the mouse, it will move that information into the ear area, into that bad area, covering up that earring, but limiting it to the area within the selection, so that you don't get that other darkening happening with this tool.
Let's deselect that using Command+D or Ctrl+D and then we'll zoom out to 100% using Command+Zero (0) or Ctrl+Zero (0). So again we can see a little before and after, just turning on and off the blemish layer and at this point I want to show you a really great little shortcut. If you do happen to remove something like this earring or like a mole and it is on your background layer, we can use our Lasso tool or any of the Selection tools and select the area that we made the mistake in, in this case I want to bring back the earring, but since I made the change on the background layer, certainly I could use the History panel to go back in time.
But what if I had done maybe 20 other things to the image and now I just realize, oh, I need to actually grab the original source information, I want that earring back? Then I can use the Edit > Fill command and I can fill this with history. I'll click OK and what Photoshop has done is it's filled this area with the information that's on that snapshot. If you ever find that you've may be zoomed in and you've been retouching for like 10 or 15 minutes, and you realize that maybe five minutes ago you made a mistake in an area, you can always select that area and then fill that area with History in order to kind of go back in time without losing all of that retouching that you did in just the past five minutes.
Well, there are a variety of tools that you can use. If you need to actually duplicate an area, you can use the Clone tool. If you want to remove a blemish, you can use the Spot Healing or the Healing Brush. And if you want to remove something like a blemish that's close to an area of high contrast, like the edge of an ear or may be a lip, then switch over to the Patch tool and remove it. Just remember, you'll either have to do it on the background layer where the actual content is, where the photograph is, or you can make a duplicate of that if you're not sure.
Of course, if you do change that background layer, you can use that nifty trick that Fill with History, in order to fix that area.
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