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The Spot Healing Brush tool has always been a useful tool when you're retouching a portrait or trying to cover up spots on an image. In Photoshop CS5, the Spot Healing Brush tool has received an upgrade that makes it a great choice in situations that used to be a challenge for the tool, particularly, trying to cover up a thin wire, say a telephone line or a fence wire like the one you see here that crosses over areas of dark and light. As a point of comparison, I'd like to try to cover up this wire using the Spot Healing Brush tool, as I would have in Photoshop CS4.
So I have this Spot Healing Brush tool selected here and I'll leave the default type selected just as it was in the last version of Photoshop, Proximity Match. I'm also going to check Sample All Layers so that the healing pixels are set down on the separate layer, and that gives me more flexibility. Then I'll go down to the Layers panel. There is now a single layer that contains this photo, and rather than do the healing directly on that layer, I'm going to create a new layer. With the new layer selected, I'll move into the image. I want my brush tip to be just slightly wider than the wire that I'm trying to cover up.
I'll click on the wire and I'll drag. I'm going to stop just about there. I really didn't get a result that like here. What's happened is that the Spot Healing Brush tool has picked up the content from the nearby wooden fence post. Now let's see what the same tool does with the new Content-Aware option. I'm going to go over to the Layers panel and get rid of that layer and create a new fresh layer. Then I'll go up to the Options bar for the Spot Healing Brush tool, and I'm going to click on the new Content-Aware option.
Then I'll move back into the image and then I'll click on that wire, and again, I'll drag across the wire and I'm much happier with this result. I can barely see where the wire was. There is a little bit of a blur on the cattle, but I think it's acceptable. It's certainly better than picking up the content of the fence post. So, the next time you're trying to eliminate a telephone wire from the front of a building or you're trying to eliminate an object that's close to some other content, and you're getting smudgy results with the default Proximity Match Type, give the new Content-Aware option for the Spot Healing Brush tool a try.
It uses the same sophisticated technology behind the Content-Aware Fill feature that I showed you in another movie. It really can offer some terrific results.
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