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The Spot Healing Brush tool in Photoshop is really quite remarkable. Not only is it arguably the easiest image clean up tool to use, but in many ways it's also the most powerful. Let's take a look at the great results you can get with this powerful tool. I'm going to start off by creating a new image layer to paint my image clean up work onto. I'll go ahead and click the Create New Layer button, the blank sheet of paper icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will add a new layer above my Background Image layer. I'll go ahead and double-click on the name of that layer and type a new name for the layer.
Pressing Enter or Return to accept the change, in this case just calling this layer Cleanup. So that I know that it was added here just to clean up some blemishes in the image. I'll then choose the Spot Healing Brush tool from the menu, and I can take a look at the settings on the Options bar. I'll use a hard edged brush, so I'll make sure the hardness is at 100%. So, I'll be giving Photoshop very crisp edged details, so that it can work faster and more accurately with the Spot Healing Brush tool. I'll make sure the blend mode is set to normal, and I want for the type setting to use the Content Aware option.
This is a relatively new feature and one that really provides excellent results in terms of image clean up. Because I'm working on a separate layer, my cleanup layer, I also want to make sure that the sample all layers checkbox is turned on. That way I can copy pixels from my Background Image layer onto my cleanup layer, thus preserving the original pixel values in the image. With those handful of settings established, I'm ready to get to work. And that's the easiest part. I'll move my mouse out over the image. I can adjust the brush size as needed: the left square bracket key will reduce the brush size, and the right square bracket key will increase the brush size. I can then Click and as needed Drag a little bit over the area that I want to clean up.
Notice that initially you'll see just a dark overlay on top of the area that you've painted, so that you can see exactly where in the image you've painted. You can then release the mouse and Photoshop will process that area. Choosing a source of pixels automatically and blending the result into the surrounding area. Because of this capability, and because of the quality of the results it provides in most cases. You can work very, very quickly with the Spot Healing Brush tool. For example if I want to remove most of the buoys from the water I can simply click. And paint over each of them and you'll see that the results are very quick and of great quality. I'm able to get a very good result with just a few clicks. Turning the Clean Up layer off, so that I can see the original image. And then turning it's visibility back on, I can see that I've got a great clean up result with very, very little effort thanks to that spot healing brush.
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