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Advanced Photo Retouching in Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 4 of 7

Replace a Repeating Pattern

Ben Willmore

Advanced Photo Retouching in Adobe Photoshop

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

4. Replace a Repeating Pattern

Lesson Info

Replace a Repeating Pattern

Whenever you use the spot healing brush, which is the tool that I just used, if you have any regularly repeating content, that's usually gonna be a man-made thing, it's gonna be something like tile work, you're gonna find that the spot healing brush usually doesn't do a great job. So here, if I wanna get rid of the sign that is found here, I can come in here and attempt to use the spot healing brush. When you use the spot healing brush, or any tool that has the word healing in its name, you usually wanna paint across the entirety of what you want to retouch out. The reason why you need to go across the entire thing, is because it's similar to the content of where our fill feature and that as it's gonna look all the way around the edge of where I've painted, right exactly on that edge and that's where it's gonna pick up the color and brightness to match. And so, if I only painted halfway across the thing that I want to get rid of, it assumes it should blend in and match the color of tha...

t thing I'm trying to get rid of. And so it won't look right, so I paint over the whole thing and I doubt it'll do a good job. Nope. (laughs) And so when it comes to manmade stuff that has regularly repeating patterns, you'll usually have to do a lot manually. Well, I wanna show you how you can have more control when you're copying. So I'm gonna come in here and use the clone stamp tool. The clone stamp tool just does straightforward copying and putting it somewhere else and what I'm going to do is come up here to where a grout line is, I'm going to option + click to indicate that's where I'd like to copy and then I'm gonna guesstimate exactly where it should go down here. If I compare the edge of the grout line here to what is there, you notice the one on the right is higher. So here I see a grout line, I'm gonna go a bit higher and I'm gonna guesstimate it to be right about here that it should end up. I'm gonna click there and I start to put in my grout line. Now, I wasn't careful with how far left to right I should be, so when I get to here, I doubt this grout line is going to line up. If it is, It's just by chance. And it looks like it's not too bad. But I'm just trying to break this up and put the content that I think would be best in there. Now, if I come up here, you notice how this blue doesn't match up? If I zoom up here, do you see how it's too far to the right? Well, watch this. If I end up having my mouse there where I haven't clicked yet, but I'm getting a preview inside of my brush. And, by the way, to get that preview where it stays fixed like that after you apply things, you need to have a checkbox turned on up here at the top. I always have this checkbox called align turned on. If that wasn't turned on then when you move around in here, we would see the original area I copied from and it would be moving with my brush. It wouldn't be fixed within that circle. Now, watch what happens inside of that circle when I use the magical little keyboard shortcut. Do you see how I just was able to move it left or right and I'm not using my mouse to do it, I'm using my keyboard and I can move it up and down, as well. So I can come in here and decide exactly where I need to be there using special keyboard shortcuts. Well, are you interested in knowing what those shortcuts might be? Let me show them to you. So let's just say I needed to use the healing brush, so I'll switch over to the healing brush because I want things to blend in with its surroundings and any time I need it to match their surroundings, I need to use the healing brush. I'm gonna come up here to this area, I'm gonna option + click and then I'm gonna come down here to where I need to apply it. And let's just say when I clicked, I was off a little bit. There I was off. Well, I need to turn on a checkbox at the top of my screen. For all my retouching tools and it's called aligned. If aligned is not turned on then you're gonna see the original area you told it to copy from and it's gonna be moving around with your brush. When you turned aligned on, if you've ever applied your adjustment anywhere then this will stay aligned with it and I had clicked down here, so it was. So I'm gonna come up here and see the grout line doesn't completely line up. I think it needs to be moved to the left a little bit. So I'm gonna use a special keyboard shortcut and move it over a bit. I'll come down here and see if it aligns with this and I'm like no, it's a little too high compared to what was in there, so I'm gonna move it down. See, now I have it pretty closely aligned and I'll then come up here and apply it. Although, I shouldn't go that high 'cause it hit this material above. Think I'm still gonna hit that material, but... So let's look at what the keyboard shortcuts are that allow me to move something as I copy it after I've already applied it. So I'm gonna option + click here, I'll come down here to apply and I'm gonna be just a little bit off. Let's just say that happened by chance. Now, in order to move that I'm going to hold down the following keys. Shift and option on a Macintosh. That would be shift and alt in Windows. With those two keys held down and I'll just keep them held down, then I use the arrow keys on my keyboard and then I can arrow this down and left. Be up until it matches up with the surrounding contents and I think it is now, but that was shift and option and then using your arrow keys. There are other things we can do when we're in here. We're not limited to simply moving. We can also scale and rotate. So let me show you the keyboard shortcuts for scaling and for rotating. If you'd like to scale, you still hold down shift and option, for all these things you hold down shift and option. Then I'm gonna use the square looking bracket keys. It's right above the return key on my keyboard. It looks like half squares that are in there. So shift + option and then right bracket and watch what happens on my screen here. Do you see it getting larger? Or I'm gonna do the left bracket and you'll see it getting smaller. And that can be useful if there is a wall that's at an angle where part of it is further away from the camera than another. Oftentimes you'll need to scale. The last thing we can do is rotate and to rotate, again you hold down shift and option. That's shift and alt in Windows and this time you use the greater than and less than symbols. That means the ones that look like sideways letter Vs and that will allow me to rotate this clockwise with one of them or counter-clockwise with the other. And, therefore, it becomes much more versatile when retouching.

Class Description


  • Retouch in perspective using Vanishing Point
  • Separate fine detail from overall tone/color using Frequency Separation
  • Eliminate telephone lines that cross intricate trees
  • Swap heads, closed eyes, and smiles in group photos
  • Get rid of whiskers without affecting skin texture and tone
  • Remove stains from clothing while retaining fabric detail


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)

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a Creativelive Student

Cannot recommend too strongly. Each lesson is filled with gems clearly and smoothly explained. Techniques I use frequently will become much more powerful using the expanded tools that Willmore illustrates. This is one of those courses that is worth full price, and more