The Patch Tool
The Patch tool is very, very intuitive. I really do enjoy the Patch tool. It's different, in that, with the Clone Stamp tool, we're trying to find an area that we want to replace, with the Patch tool, we are trying to select the area that we want to replace, and then replace it with an area that we select. So, it's a little bit backwards, all right? And the Patch tool has two different, distinct ways we can use it. We can either use it as the source or the destination. If we use it as the source, if I were to highlight this area, again, it's basically, this Patch tool is using the technology of the Lasso tool, the freeform Lasso tool, so when I make a selection around this area, that is the freeform Lasso essentially that we talk about in Selections. Now, if I go ahead and move this down to here, I'm telling it to fill in that area with gray. If I were to make a new layer here, I could also work on a new layer. So, if I were to ... Wait a second, I don't think I can work on a new layer...
here. No, I can't, yeah. So, if you're thinking that you can use this on a new layer, like I just did, you can't, because if you try to click this and move this over it's gonna say, "You cannot use this on this area "because that area is empty." So, we have to know that the Patch tool is going to be something that is relatively destructive, so that if we do want to work on this image, instead of maybe making a new layer to work on, we could just duplicate this background layer to make sure that we still have all of the data that's there, the original data below it. So, if I were gonna use the Patch tool here and just click around here and move this over to here, it's gonna take a literal selection from that area. So, this Patch tool does use diffusion as well, and, again, keep in mind that diffusion is gonna be one through three for things that are grainy, and five through seven for things that are not so grainy. For this we'll just go ahead and press Control + D and then Control + Z to go back ... Control + Alt +Z to go back in time a little bit. So, if we had this set to destination, what we're saying with destination is that the area that we are selecting we want to replace the area that we're going to put it to. So, if I have this set to destination, when I click and drag on this Patch tool and move this down here, it's actually going to make a duplicate copy of that red, instead of use the area that we want to patch it. So, we can either use the very literal area that we want to patch another area with, in this case we want to patch the rest of the image with those polka dots, so we move that around, or, if we set this to source, to get rid of those, we just do the lasso, move it around, and get rid of those areas. And, again, this is happening on it's own layer now. It's happening on a duplicate of our background layer. This tool, because it is a selection-based tool, can be used with any selection that we have. So, if you were to use something like the Marquee tool, you can marquee this, and then after you marquee it, pop down to the Patch tool, and move it up. So, you can still use something like a Marquee tool, Elliptical Marquee tool, Polygonal Lasso tool, Lasso tool, any tool that can be used to make a selection you can use with the Patch tool. And the Patch tool is pretty darn smart, though. So, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna take this area right here, move it down to here, patch this area up, see what happens. Patch tool is pretty smart. Not only is it going and taking the literal selection from the area I'm telling it to, it's also healing in the process. So, notice how it went from a magenta area here, we moved it down to a blue area, and it filled in that area. So, if I grab this area here, maybe set that diffusion a little bit higher, drop this down, see how it blends it in a little bit better. But, it's smart and it's intuitive in that it's taking the colors around it and it's patching in those areas, even if there's other colors in that area, which, as we saw before with the Clone Stamp tool, it wouldn't do that. The Clone Stamp tool wouldn't do that. The Clone Stamp tool literally takes the area that we select and patches that area. So, the Clone Stamp tool is more than likely closer to what we would look at with something like the Healing Brush, and the Clone Stamp tool is kind of a mixture between ... Or, the Patch tool, is a mixture between the Clone Stamp tool and the Healing Brush or Spot Healing Brush, more than likely the Spot Healing Brush. Lot of technology that's being built into one. So, how this works on an image like this: if I were to move down here and grab, I'm working on the layer now, grab this area here, move this over to here, fill in that spot. It fills in that spot. It tries to pick the best color around it. Sometimes it's not going to be the best, it's kind of unpredictable, again because it's got healing involved in it. So, sometimes you might need to bring the diffusion up just to see if maybe bringing the diffusion up is gonna help, that might not help. Or bring the diffusion down, to get it to patch that area a little bit better. See how, when I move this up and down like this it's trying to automatically connect something for me, if I press the Command or Control key, it allows me to freeform it without it actually making any of those magnetic adjustments for me. So, diffusion sits at 1 there, actually look pretty good. And would this be a really good patch? Not necessarily, but then after I've done the bulk of the work I could go in with the Healing Brush, I could go in with the Clone Stamp tool, I could go in to whatever I want to fix that up with the Patch tool. There are some other healing tools that we have here to heal up our images. Let me go and fix that real quick just so you can see what I'm talking about. So, I'll move from the Patch tool to the Clone Stamp tool, and start working on this area here. So, after I've done the patch, I can then clean up with the Clone Stamp tool. There's a line here that doesn't belong, clean that up. And then zoom out, and that car is now gone. If we look at our before imagine, there's the before, there's the after, removed a couple of them. You can see it would take a long time. Now, this is a downloadable image with this, I highly suggest you take the challenge to remove every one. Take the time to do it, 'cause if you can do that on this image and make it look really good, the next time you need to use the Patch tool, or the Clone Stamp tool, or the Healing tool, try all of them. Try to see what's gonna work best for you on an image like this, and then any image you have from there on out you're gonna be spot-on.