Healing and Spot Healing Brush
The Healing brush and the Spot Healing brush are very similar to what you would see in Adobe Camera Raw, with the Spot Removal tool. They just work in a slightly different way, in that the regular Healing brush, the Spot Healing brush, I should say, is a lot like what you would see in Adobe Camera Raw. When you click it, it will find a spot that looks like it based on what you're telling it to look like and it will replace it. And what we have with that is we have a couple different options here. Breaking down any one of our tools that we click on is always a good habit to see exactly what it's giving you. We look up here, we can see that the Healing brush is technically a brush. Not a brush like a paintbrush, but it is a brush that has a selection ability to it that also has hardness in it, as well as size. So any brushes that you see in Photoshop are gonna give you that option to make it a hard-edged brush or a soft-edged brush. We have our blend modes here. There's actually blend mo...
des that can be applied with these tools as well. I don't use them that often. I pretty much just stick to normal. And then, if we go to Content-Aware, Create Texture, or Proximity Match, we can see exactly what this Healing tool is going to do, based on Content-Aware, meaning Content-Aware fill, so it'll find another spot that looks like it and fill it in. It'll create a texture, where it actually puts a texture in that healing spot. Or it uses what's called Proximity Match technology, which is pixels around the area that you tell it to to source what it's going to do to that. Another thing here is the Sample All Layers. I like to make sure that that's checked. And anytime I'm doing any blemish or spot removal on my images, I check that Sample All Layers and I do everything on a new layer. So on that new layer, after I've clicked that new layer, I can call this Spot Heal. So by default, over here on my toolbar, here is my Spot Heal and then, I have my regular Healing brush. The Spot Healing brush is unique in that when you click, it will replace what it finds in the image. If I'm saying Sample All Layers and doing Content-Aware, it will go ahead and fill in that spot, that cyan spot that we saw on this area. That's based on Content-Aware. If we say Create Texture, when we fill it in, it's going to fill it in and also, add a little bit of texture to that area as well. Not always something that I would consider doing. I tend to stay with things like Proximity Match or Content-Aware. Again, if at any time you need to step back in history, you can go up to your History palette, click one step back, or press Command or Ctrl-Z and step back a little bit. And now, we'll do Proximity Match. With an area like this, where it's all gray that we see in this test swatch, it's not really gonna make that big of a difference at all, because it's gray, it's one solid color. So Proximity Match and Content-Aware are gonna look very similar. But when we do something like this on a textured layer and we go ahead and click here with Proximity Match, you can see how it starts to fill in that area by what it is around it. Content-Aware will be a little bit smarter and find that texture that's around it and fill it in. One of the things that we do have here, if we go into Proximity Match is this thing called Diffusion. You see how that popped up over here when we went to Proximity Match? With Proximity Match set and with Diffusion set, Diffusion is how it's going to blend when you use that Healing tool. So if we change that to one and we click around here, it fills it in pretty well. What the Diffusion is doing there is that anything that is really gritty or grainy, use something between one and three. If it's not quite gritty, not quite grainy, but not quite a solid fill, use something between four and five. And then, if it's something that is really, that needs to be really smooth, use something like six or seven. So if I zoom over here to this side and I change this Diffusion over to seven and then, I click and drag around here, it should be a little bit smoother than what we see over here. It's a little bit harder-edged. And that's a little bit smoother. If we were to go over here on this side and really test it out. If we were to just paint around on this area, the Diffusion set to seven. And then, go over here, Diffusion set to one. It's gonna be a lot more difficult for this tool to find that. That's why certain tools are better than others. And if we have a patterned area like this, this is not something that I would suggest using the regular Spot Healing for. Because when set that to Proximity Match and have that Diffusion set at one, the settings there, it's trying to find something that's very similar to that and fill it in, it doesn't really work out very well with the Proximity Match. We could try this, however, if we go back, press Ctrl-Alt-Z and keep going back. If we change this to Content-Aware and did the same thing, brushed in around here, it's probably gonna be a little bit smarter at finding this and filling that area a little bit better, even though that's a pattern back there. These brushes are pretty smart. Now, just that brush by itself at this size is not gonna help us very much. If we make that brush a little bit bigger and then, click in there, it'll grab the area around it and even fills in that pattern pretty darn well. Now if you see here, there's no two layers here. There's no layer magic happening here. This is Photoshop looking at that pattern, assessing the area around it, and filling in that area with that Healing brush. Spot Healing brush, I should say, sorry about that. Let's go ahead and delete this and let's take a look at something called the Healing brush. Now the Healing brush is a little bit different. The Healing brush is gonna give you a couple different options for what you want it to do. Do you want it to be the current layer, the current and below layers, or all layers? Here's the really tricky thing about using this tool in conjunction with all layers. If you are doing your spot removal somewhere in the middle of your layer stack and you say All Layers and there's dark things happening up here on the top of the layer stack, and you use All Layers in the middle somewhere, it's gonna make that thing look really funky. So what you wanna do is you wanna set this to either Current Layer or Current and Below. Current and Below is probably the best thing to use for this because when we make a layer on top of this, it's going to be the one we heal. It will sample anything below that to then fill in that area. And then, anything we do on top of it will still remain dark but because those things might be things like curves adjustment layers, then you'll see how we can mimic that here in a second. So if I were to go ahead and add a curves adjustment layer on here. And do something like this. And then go here and add a layer that says Sample All Layers and then, with this tool, the Healing Brush is a little bit different. You press Alt or Option to make a selection of a different area on the image and then, you paint over it. So if I press Alt or Option and click here and then, paint over here, that might actually come up a little bit darker. And of course, it's not doing what I want it to do. The thing here is, is you wanna make sure this is set to Current and Below. 'Cause if there's other things that are happening above this layer that could alter, it could alter and grab all of the stuff that's happening within the layer stack within this area and then, it doesn't blend as well as it should. So I'm gonna just go ahead and delete this and I'm gonna change that to... Go back in my history and change that to Current and Below. And I'm gonna add a new layer here. So the way this works, I press Alt or Option and I click somewhere else on the photograph and then, I paint in. Alt or Option and then, I paint in. If I were to just try to click on here, it would give me an error saying, you haven't selected an area for me to patch, to use, to heal yet. And if you're familiar with something like the Clone Stamp tool, which we'll work with in the next segment, the Clone Stamp tool will assess an area when you Alt and click it. And as you move that brush, it will simultaneously move with you as you brush, selecting everything as you brush, it'll select from that area. The difference between the Healing brush and the Clone Stamp tool, they aren't the exact same thing. With the Healing brush, when I select this area and I start to click and paint around, it is laser-focused on this area. So I know that I want that gray to always be constant. It laser-focuses on this gray and allows me to blot out the spots that I want. So if I were to do that with the Clone Stamp tool, it'll be selecting different areas as I moved around. And we'll see how that works in a second. So if I press Alt or Option and click right here to fill in this gray, you see how it's starting to fill in those areas and it's all on its own layer. So I'm not destroying anything while I do this. Again, the Diffusion is still the same thing here. The Diffusion is set to four at this point. But it works the same way as the Spot Healing brush. If you have something that's a grainy, gritty texture, use something from like one to three. If it's kinda moderate, it's got a little bit of detail on it, do something like four or five. And if it's really smooth like skin, do something like six or seven. So I'll bring this down a little bit. If I zoom in here, press Alt or Option and click on something like this. and then, go over here, you start to see how this is affecting the image. And it's sourcing this data from right here and filling in the area on the photograph. So much so that it's almost an exact clone replica and it's not doing a whole lot of healing in the process. So if I were to also, the brush size here is set to a hardness that is really high. If I were to drop that brush size, the brush hardness down a little bit, we get a more feathered edge, 'cause these are really hard edges at this point. So it's always good to keep that in mind too. Again, unlike the Healing brush, which as we select in this area, it finds the pattern around it, fills it in. This, we have to literally click somewhere and then, as we go over here, we can see what we're grabbing and then, we have to be the ones that kind of fills that area in. And it might not be quite as smart or intuitive. So if we drop that down, again, 'cause it's up to us and what we select. Paint in. The pattern might be a little, little funky. We'll see. Looks like it's not doing so, it's not doing too bad there. If we had this set to Pattern, it would fill in that area with that pattern. So with whatever pattern we choose that's within Photoshop. A lot of times, I don't see a whole lotta use for that unless the object that you are cloning happens to have a pattern in it that looks similar to that. So we'll go ahead and delete that. And we'll look at this in a little bit of a practical application here. So if we look at this photograph, there are some things that I don't like that are happening way in the back of the image. So if I zoom in here to the back of this photograph. I don't like the signs that are put up around this schoolhouse. And I can very easily get rid of those signs. It doesn't seem like it's that big of a deal. But me, as a viewer, when I'm looking at this and I'm looking at the intricate details that are happening here, I see that little white spot there, I don't really like it. I don't really like this trail here, because I don't know where it goes or where it came from. So those are things that I would consider removing. Also, when we have things like telephone poles, especially near an old one-room schoolhouse. If I'm trying to make this look really old and maybe in the environment that it was built in, having modern-day signage and modern-day telephone poles around it, isn't gonna really help the mood and feel of the image that I'm trying to go for. So I'm gonna go ahead and zoom in right back here. Pretty close. I'm gonna make a new layer and I'm gonna go ahead and use the Spot Healing tool. Make this a little bit smaller. And just show you what the Spot Healing tool looks like on this area. If I use the Spot Healing tool, replaces it, makes it a little bit fuzzy, probably not the best thing to do. If I were to change that though. Go back up and change that, 'cause it's set to Content-Aware. Change it to Proximity Match. Drop that down a little bit, 'cause now I get access to Diffusion, right. Maybe I could click and drag on here a little bit. And modify that Diffusion, 'cause this was a gritty area. So when that Diffusion is set to one, it worked out pretty well. But if I set that Diffusion to something like seven and then, click on it and move it around, it might be a little bit fuzzier. It's actually not looking that bad there. Looks like we have a little bit of a spot right here that it's kind of dragged along with it and that's not that big of a deal. Go back into that Spot Healing brush, move this down a little bit, our brush size down a little bit and then, go ahead and brush back in there. Also, this rock pile back here, I just don't want it there. I'm sure the owner doesn't want it there either, but it's a lot harder to move than using something like the Spot Healing tool. And then, if I go over here, get rid of this signage by doing something like that. Brush that in. And then, this area right here maybe. These are all very nitpicky things, but they will make a difference in your image when you're done. Clone out that area, that area, that area. And by default, this tool actually works pretty well by itself and that's just the Spot Healing tool. It's automatically finding those areas for me. So if I zoom out, there's the after. Here's the before, here's the after. Here's the before, here's the after. You see what's happening there? There are three points on this image that are kind of drawing your focus into it and you're kind of bouncing around like a ping pong ball between them and you don't know that until you turn this off and you don't see them anymore. It's like we've given that area, we don't have this imaginary triangle surrounding that schoolhouse anymore. It was an imaginary triangle built from things that just feel like they didn't belong. And now that we've removed them, it gives more air around that object. So if I were to delete that and then, go to something like the Healing brush tool. This tool, again, is gonna do very similar, but I have to select the spot that I want it to select from. So I'm gonna go ahead and make a new layer. And I'm gonna drop this down a little bit. Press Alt or Option. And click, let's go to Sampled instead of Pattern. Alt or Option and click here. Now I can find different areas in here for it to Clone from. And I have to be the one to do that. Now if I click on this area right here again, it's gonna source all of that from that one spot right there. It's not quite as intuitive as something like the Clone Stamp tool, where it takes a literal selection, because what it's doing is it's not cloning. Just like in Adobe Camera Raw, this is healing. So when you heal something, it wants to find other areas around it and it wants to blend it in for you. It's not taking a literal selection from that. So that's one important thing to understand. So if we move over here to this side, I'm just gonna show you what bad kind of cloning looks like here and the wrong tool for the job. Then we zoom out. See that spot right there? Once you know it's there, you can't stop looking at it. It's fuzzy and doesn't look right. So there's certain tools that work a lot better than others. In this case, the Healing brush worked better than the Spot Healing brush.