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Photoshop 7

The Healing Brush and the Patch tool are new with PS 7. Earlier we had the Clone Stamp tool - which is great too - but these two new features are just awesome!

The Healing Brush works the same way as the Clone Stamp tool, but the healing brush tool also matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels to the source pixels. This means that the repaired pixels blend seamlessly into the rest of the image. And this is what makes this tool so incredible powerful when it comes to restoring and retouching pictures.

It is really easy to learn this tool too - so get those pictures ready! We're gonna deduct ages from your family members - and having lots of fun while doing it!

A tip along the way:
Be sure you always keep a copy of the original file. Either do a "save as" before you start editing the picture - or just drag the original layer down to the Create a new layer tab to create a copy you can work on.


Select the Healing Brush tool and adjust the brush size etc. so it will suit the areas you're going to work on. I started out working on the lines on the forehead using a brush with these settings.
PS! Be sure you have marked the Sampled option to use pixels from the current image.

After you've entered the brush values (or just picked one of the default ones) you have to pick a sampling point by positioning the pointer in an area of the image that has about the same qualities as the area you want to fix.
Click Alt + left click the area you want as source and then click and drag the brush over the part you want healed.
(You can check the Aligned option in the Healing Brush status bar to keep the current samling point. If deselected the sampled pixels are applied from the initial sampling point each time you stop and resume painting).

If you're not happy with the outcome go back - select a new sampling area and drag the brush over the area you want healed all over again. Do this until the lines are gone and the skintones look realistic.

Now - this is REALLY important. Be sure to create a snapshot of your work at this state. You'll soon understand why...
The Create a new Snapshot is found on the History palette - to the left of the "trash can"/Delete current state button.


Time to use the Patch tool .

I wanted to get rid of the dark puffy areas below the eyes - and the Patch tool does this in a few seconds!
Select the Patch tool and be sure the Source option is checked in the tool options bar. Then select the area you want to fix (left click and drag out the selection).

(You can also use the Lasso tool to drag out the selection if you want - just remember to switch to the Patch tool when you're done...)

(Don't find the Patch tool? Click here to see where it's located).



Now drag the selection to an area that has about the same color and texture as the area you want to replace - and just release the mouse button.


The original area below the eye is now automatically replaced!
Deselect the selection and do the same process on the other eye.
(Click here to see my selection below the right eye, here to see where I dragged the selection and here to see what the close up looked like after using the Patch tool).

Deselect again.


In step 6 you can see what my image looked like at this point.
The wrinkles below the eyes are totally gone and the new "skin" blends perfectly.

BUT - it really looks kind of fake.
To make the retouch look more real we can use the History Brush tool to paint some of the old details below the eyes back on.
And this is why I told you to Create a snapshot in step 2.

Before you go any further be sure to create another snapshot.


(I always take a lot of snapshots while doing photo retouch. Makes it so easy to go back and do things all over again if you're not happy with the outcome...).

Select the History Brush tool .
Then go to the History palette and check the box to the left of your first snapshot like shown below:

(If you accidentally activate the Snapshot 1 state just click the Snapshot 2 state - or just go down in the History window and click on the latest action before you continue).

Select a brush that suits the area you're going to work on. Click here to see what kind of brush settings I used for this area. As you can see I lowered the opacity to 21%. That's because I just wanted to paint some of the details back.

Now use the brush below the eyes and carefully "paint" some of the details back!
You see my result after using the History Brush tool to the left.

And now you're on your own!
By now you should be able to handle the healing brush and the patch tool to retouch the rest of your image. Good luck! And remember - practice makes perfect!



Original picture

This is how the picture looked right from the scanner. Before I started using healing brush tool I did and Image - Adjustments - Auto Color to get rid of the magenta color cast on the picture. Then did an Auto Brightness/Contrast and an Auto Levels. That did the trick for this particular picture. To sharpen the picture a little bit I used the Unsharp mask (Filter - Sharpen - Unsharp mask) with these settings. (Note that different pictures need different unsharp mask settings...). Then I added a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and added just a little more color. The rest of the process editing this picture is described in the steps above.

Final image

This is how my picture turned out in the end. I continued working on it just using the Healing Brush tool after the last step. Just working on small skin areas at the time to get rid of the irregularities of the skin. Making the skin look really smooth and flawless.
When I finished working on the face I used the Blur tool to smoothen out the details in the background to make it blend with the rest of the image. I'm really happy about the final result though there's still some flaws that could be worked on some more :)
Hope you got familiar with the Healing Brush tool and the Patch tool going through this tutorial. If you have any questions please post them in the forum.



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