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Cloning, Patching, and Content Aware

Lesson 2 of 8

The Patch Tool in Photoshop

Dave Cross

Cloning, Patching, and Content Aware

Dave Cross

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Lesson Info

2. The Patch Tool in Photoshop
Find out why the Patch Tool is so useful and how the Spot Healing brush speeds up retouching.

Lesson Info

The Patch Tool in Photoshop

so on a day to day basis, the tools that I use the most are the healing type tools and the patch tool. The patch tool has been around for quite a long time, but for a while it was sort of an okay tool. And then it took a major leap forward because of two important things. It had an option called content aware, And we'll talk a lot in this class about content aware and how that's the best thing ever invented. And also, it suddenly had an option to say Sample all heirs because the original patch tool on Lee worked on the existing layer you were on didn't work anywhere else. I'm gonna put this back to normal and go on, get the patch tool. So actually, let me start. I should talk the other way. Let me start with the healing spot healing brush instead. So if I wanted to attempt to get rid of this item again, But this time, using the spot healing brushes get a little closer this time. I still want to see how this case is only one. Check boxes sample all layers, and there's an option called c...

ontent aware With very few exceptions, I would suggest ignore everything else if there's options, content aware, run and click on that as quickly as humanly possible. All the other settings air have other purposes, but content aware is the best. One content aware is a technology Adobe came up with. That said, Instead of just saying copy and paste pixels, I will say copy and paste. But pay attention to existing color tones and texture and blended in better. And usually it's like almost a night and day difference between times where you're like you have to be so careful where you clone. Whereas when used these tools, it pretty much does it for you. So there's two tools here. The spot healing brush is the one that, honestly, I usually start with because all you do is paint with it. You don't have to click anywhere a reference point, you say. I'd like to try and cover that up, and then it thinks about it, and it does it for you often like in this case, there's a very specific brick wall pattern, and in here it's on an OK job. Look really closely. That brick didn't quite line up because it's good, but it doesn't go. Oh, I see. It's a brick wall. Let me just ensure that those bricks lined up perfectly for you. It just wouldn't do that. However, it is on a separate layer. This is one thing that I forgot to turn off. So let me get back to this rotate scream thing. Hate this thing. Okay, All right. So let's that one more time. Now, In that case, it actually some of it looks better. So lesson learned. A very important one is that the healing brush is somewhat random. Like it'll say, I'll use this area over here and sign pounds. You kind of go not so much. So you undo and try exactly the same thing again. And it might look better because this time it looked use a slightly different area. It's not like it's learned that there was a brick wall there just happened that time. It did a picked a better area that blended and better. I will get your question One second. I would look at this. It's a but I can still see this area. So I do a little more work on the same thing and sometimes just going over the same area two or three times like okay, that did it so I wouldn't go with the expectations off. This will be perfect, the first shot because it might, but it's more likely that close. But I want to do a little more work on it. And one of the expressions I always find myself thinking and reminding myself is, if you look at it, use a a fairly automatic tool like this one, the spot healing brush and you're not entirely happy with the results. Think of the alternative of you cloning for 27 minutes, so inflict. Even if the healing brush gets you close, it's still better than the alternative. And we have to remind ourselves sometimes we're like, Gosh, that automatic patching tooled It wasn't perfect. Okay, you know, a few years ago you've been like, let me just clone that for the next hour And CNN that didn't work undo. So if you think that's still got me closer than I can continue work on that and I might switch to the clone stamp tool into a little bit of cloning to get that little lying in the bricks to make sure it looks better. It's that any different from selecting the area and then using fill content aware well, it will get to that. The difference is you can't do content aware fill on a blank layer so that that in itself is the main reason why now, content aware fill don't get me wrong is awesome, but it doesn't work with blank layers. So that worked pretty well if you find that the spot healing brush didn't work because it's just picking the wrong area, particularly, I use this piling brushed often when I'm say we touching someone's face and averaged a bunch of little small blemishes. I'll disco opted to did it with my spot healing brush because it's quick, but sometimes it picks an area, which is an ideal. So if that's the case, then you have the option using the healing brush, and the difference is it takes an extra step. The spot healing brush is simply paint done. The healing brush is like the clone stamp tool, but does more mixing in. So that means you have to start off by picking a reference area option or all click to pick the reference area then you use the healing brush. Sorry I forgot to change it to all layers was bad, so it looks at first like it's cloning. But then, when you let go, it takes an extra step in. Just let me try and blend that. It'll better so any time using the clone stamp tool. If you want 100% satisfied with it changed to the healing brush. Use exactly the same principle of optional click to pick a reference point because that way you can line up the bricks and everything else, and at first it will literally look like you're cloning. But then, when you let go, instead of just being finished, you'll see the little hold on a second. While it goes, Let me try and blend that in with the surroundings better. Okay, so everyone has a different approach. My personal feeling is for many things, its just little specks of dust. Spot healing, brush bang, bang, bang, bang bang. If it's something where there's a texture, like a brick wall where you want to make sure it lines up, then I'll either use the healing brush or the patch tool because both of them will allow you to line it up and then also try and blend in with the surroundings. Okay, so let's take a look at this patch tool because it's the one that I use more than any other in original days. It only was just called infected names say normal because there was no other alternative. But so my advice to you is if you're looking any kind of retouching type tool and you don't see the word content aware somewhere, go and find it. And if it doesn't exist, don't use that tool. He used a different with the exception of Kohnstamm because it doesn't have content aware but healing spot healing patch tool. Those all should say content aware somewhere because the concept of content aware is again. I will do the work that you're asking me to, and I will try to be aware of the surroundings and use those to blend in better. Same idea. I would use sample all layers. Make sure that's turned on if you didn't do that. Well, first off with the blank layer, nothing. What happened? Okay, but all you do is you make a selection using this tool, I personally end up, usually selecting a little more than I need. If you select too close to the edges, you might notice that edge when it tries to blend in. So I usually try toe take a little more than I need. I've got sample all layers turned up on, and I have a blank layer. The reason I like the pastoral problem or any other is it's the one tool where you can clearly see a preview of what you're going to get. So if I were to drag this over here and say, Use this area, there should be alarming my head going off. Probably not because there's a big pipe there, so maybe an area over here would be better. But even there, I know how well you can see that. But on my twin, I can see I'm too high up because the bricks aren't lining up. So I haven't let go yet. I'm moving around. You could move around two right there. So now all the bricks are lining up when I let go. Then it tries to blend in. The last couple of versions of the patch tool have one extra step, and this is very interesting to me, because for as long as I can remember, I was always telling people before you go to use a tool, set the options in the options bar because it supporting to that before use the tool. The patch tool is one of a rare exception we're after used the tool. You can still do one more level of tweaking if this is a rarity, because most of them, like the clone stamp tool. If you don't like it, undo and try again. In this case, I moved the patch and I can see it's hard to see their on my screen. I can see one little area where something went a little funky with part of the color in the brick. It's right there. You can you see that or not. But right there, I can see didn't quite work Now. Haven't done anything. Yeah, I moved. The passion let go. It's very important. Don't do anything else yet, because then I have access to these numbers here. So if there's a problem where the colors don't seem to be matching, you move this little slider and all of a sudden it's fixed. So this is a rare exception of photo shop, where once you've used the tool and it's still in the active process of doing something, even though it stopped until I do any other operation, I can adjust. The structure are the color of the structure, will doom or with the edges and the color will try and match better the colors that are there and I have yet to find any formula, it says. I use a structure of three in a color of seven. It depends entirely on what you're doing. But just the fact that they're even there with the option of changing them is huge, because what people used to do is that passed, didn't work, undo, let me try a different patch, and sometimes that will still happen. But most the time I find I've moved to pass it looks pretty good. So then I tweak one of those numbers been Go by Rio. That worked, and you know, someone more geeky than me would say. Well, that's because structure takes the interpolation of the pixels in the store. I've no idea how it works, nor do I care. It's awesome. Sometimes you just need to sit back and go. Thank you, Adobe. I don't know how that works, but I'm sure glad it does. So the patch tool has moved from sort of the okay toe right at the top for me now. Someone you mentioned about content aware fill. Let's talk about that for a second content aware fill was this New technology was the first content aware thing that came out. And if you ever want toe blow someone away who knows a little bit about Photoshopped? Used content aware fill more like How did you do that? That's amazing. But with one little problem and that is content aware Fill can't be put onto a blank layer. So, like in this case, I could look at this box and say, I just want that to be gone permanently. No question about it. I'm on the background layer, have no extra layer if you have the background layer and it's not let me start again if you're on the background layer and the back earlier is still locked as it is right now, because that little lock symbol if I press the delete key, it becomes a shortcut for the fill command. Otherwise, you'd have to go edit Phil or press some other shortcut. If the back when there was unlocked, that wouldn't work. So if he ever pressed, delete and your layer goes away, that's not the shortcut anymore. So it's a dangerous shortcut, so tend to use other ones. But you'll see in the past, Phil was always wanna fill with black or white or something else. Now one of the options is content aware. I hoping someday very soon there will be little button that says Use all layers and I'll be so happy because I would love if I could do that But right now you can't. So you click OK, and it says, Done. So I don't have to pick any a ride and at the drag a path. So that's when content aware fill works. It's pretty amazing because it just looks at surrounding areas and often does a pretty darn good job. Having said that, one out of three times will kind of go. Really, you're going to use that as your fill because you just look it. It's like a brick wall in this, like let me use his face and then you see, like an eyeball or something that's kind of like, really, But if that happens, you undo and try it again. So if you don't like it, you know, that didn't work very well. Undo and try it again. And maybe the second time, it'll be better. The main reason that I don't use content aware fill as much was because right here in this case, I'm looking at it. There is a part of the brick wall. Something was right, and it's up here where it should be down there. I can't just pick it up and move it because it's part of the background layer. Whereas if I used the patch tool that patches floating on a layer and I can go and just shove it up like a couple of pixels till it lines up. So content aware fill is one of those things where it's the big wow factor. But I use other tools that have a content aware option, because that way is giving you the best of both worlds. Okay, so let's revisit this for one second at a new layer, and let's use our friend the patch tool again. I'm gonna try to make it so it doesn't work quite as well. That's a little off. You can see that that the hope you can see. I can see the brick wall doesn't quite line up. So now I could take the move tool and start to nudge it. I'm just using the arrow key in there. OK, now. So now things are lined up. Sometimes when used the patch tool, it takes what should be. You know in your mind should be like taken one brick and replace it right beside that brick and then another brick. And all of a sudden, one brick is a little weird because it's not again. It's not looking, is not. Seeing those air bricks is just seeing pixels and texture as best it can. So anytime you have something on a layer by itself like this, that means it is on the layer by itself. So therefore, you could edit it in some way. For example, I find quite often it's really, really close to what I want, but I need to tweak it a little bit further and rather spending forever starting all over again with the patch tool again. I just think of it as well. There's pixels there. So what if I use free transform and hold down the commander control key, and that lets me tweak it up or down? Or I could even use free transform. And then this war option, which allows me to just sort of push and pull on it to make sure things are matching better again. This is only possible because that tool gave me the opportunity or the option of saying Use all layers. So whenever you see use all layers, think to yourself that saying, Put the results of this tool on a blank layer. That's what that means. He was a sample all layers or use all airs. It means you put a blank layer and you put the results of that tool onto that blank layer, which means you can change it. You can edit, you can refine it, or you can throw it away if you don't like it at all. That's why I start off saying I'd like to do as much as I can on that layer, not just for reasons off if I need to change my mind, but like in this case, when you tweak it a little further to make it match or because the results are a little too. I see a repeating pattern of bricks look a little too obvious. I'm gonna play around with that layer to make sure it's not quite so straightforward obvious.

Class Description

Learn more about Photoshop’s three most indispensable tools in Cloning, Patching, and Content-Aware with Dave Cross.

In this class, you’ll explore and compare common retouching techniques. Dave will share important tips for getting the most out of the Cloning, Patching and Content-Aware tools. You’ll develop the skills to tackle nearly every retouching challenge that comes across your screen using just these tools.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2014.2.2

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Dave Cross - Cloning, Patching, and Content Aware - Reference Guide.pdf

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Great job! I'm a beginner at this and it was very simple to understand. Thanks!