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Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool


Photoshop CS6 Essential Training

with Julieanne Kost

Video: Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool

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

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Watch the Online Video Course Photoshop CS6 Essential Training
10h 30m Beginner Apr 26, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Photoshop CS6 Essential Training, Julieanne Kost demonstrates how to produce high-quality images in a short amount of time, using a combination of Adobe Photoshop CS6, Bridge, and Camera Raw.

The course details the Photoshop features and creative options, and shows efficient ways to perform common editing tasks, including noise reduction, shadow and highlight detail recovery, retouching, and combining multiple images. Along the way, the course explores techniques for nondestructive editing and compositing using layers, blending modes, layer masks, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Organizing images in Bridge
  • Adding metadata such as copyrights and keywords
  • Editing in Camera Raw versus in Photoshop
  • Retouching in Camera Raw
  • Batch processing files
  • Customizing the Photoshop workspaces
  • Choosing a file format and resolution
  • Cropping, scaling, and rotating images
  • Working with layers, including merging and flattening layers
  • Creating selections and layer masks
  • Toning and changing the color of images
  • Adjusting shadows and highlights
  • Retouching and cloning
  • Creating panoramas from multiple images
  • Adding filters and sharpening
  • Working with blend modes
  • Adding type
  • Working with video in Photoshop CS6
Julieanne Kost

Removing blemishes with the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool

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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