Now we're going to dive right in and start on the most monotonous part of restoration, those little specks and spots--and this image has a lot of them. What you do next depends on what tool you start with. For the sake of argument, let's just combine all our layers to make a new image layer. If we were just going to use our Clone Stamp tool, we could work on a blank layer, but we may use other things, like the Patch tool and the Healing Brush tool. So let's combine all of our previous layers using Shift+Ctrl+Alt+E, or Shift+Command+Option+E on a Mac, and we'll start with our Patch tool.
Get some of these larger areas. When you have so much damage, this, and even the ones that are worse, you want to start working on making clean areas that you can source from for the rest of your work. You just start chipping away at it little by little. If you do use your Clone Stamp, make a new blank layer. It's just easier to go back if you need to, and if you can, you might as well. Adjust your brush size if you need to, open and close bracket keys.
And just start working away. If possible keep your Clone Stamp tool work to the end of your cleanup, because if you go back now and say you want to go back to this layer, and you're going to use your Patch again, or one of your Healing brush tools--I use the Spot Healing Brush tool with Content Aware--and you get behind your Clone Stamp layer, you won't be able to see it.
So if you leave your Clone Stamp layer to the end, you won't have that problem. Then you'll be working on top of your others, and that's just a little tip, in case you get into your restoration and you start to wonder why you're not seeing any of your work; it could be behind a Clone Stamp layer. I do it all the time. And just keep working away and get as much of the damage done as you can. Don't worry about getting every little piece. You'll be going back throughout your restoration and cleaning up more.
You just want to get mostly the bigger stuff and as many of the little spots as you can. So it's very--it can be very monotonous work. Be careful on your edges, like this. You don't want to lose your edges. And then pretty soon, hopefully, you'll have a cleaner area. We still have our stains-- left those--and some other damage. Next, we're going to tackle something really small and really easy, and let's go with this torn corner here.
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