Let's talk about the wonderful world of retouching, which to me, means getting rid of stuff you don't want, fixing things, anything of that nature. We'll start off with a simple example. I really like this photo, but I don't know that it really needs to have a big thing that says Open on the door, so I might want to remove that. In terminology of non-Photoshop users, they would say, "Just take out the word, 'open.'" I have to think, interpret that as make it look like that wasn't there, which is a big difference. When someone says cut it out or remove it, we have to think make it look like it wasn't there naturally. There are a variety of retouching tools, but the ones we're gonna focus on are some of the ones in this area like the spot healing brush. The spot healing brush is one of my favorite tools because A, it's fast, and B, it allows me to do the results on its own layer. Now, in this particular instance, I supposed I could take this brush and paint right over the word Open and h...
opefully it would fix it, and I would do it right on the background layer, but that's presupposing I'm 147% convinced I never want that word again. Even then, I say that, but that's probably not the best way to word it because it's not just about would you ever want it back in, but it's also accuracy because if you do the retouching, whatever that is, on its own layer, you might find that it looks great if I just nudge it up a couple of pixels. You can't do that if it's painted directly on the background layer. As we talked about early on in this course, when I add a blank layer, and I go to use any tool, like a retouching tool, one of the first things I look is does it have an option like this that says Sample All Layers? Sample all layers probably could be worded differently, like sample from the layer and put the results on the blank layer, but then it would go off the edge of the Photoshop screen, but that's really what it means. It's saying, "Look at the underlying photo, "take whatever it is you wanna fix, "and put the results on the blank layer, "so it looks, to the naked eye, "like you've adjusted it right on that "bottom photo, but it's that sheet of plastic, again, "where we're doing the healing "or the cloning, or whatever it is, "on its own layer." Without exception, if I'm doing retouching, even for things like, things that I don't think I'll ever change my mind about, I still initially do it on its own layer. I'm not gonna do it in this class, I years ago took a photo of my son, and he happened to have a large blemish on his chin, and nothing made him happier to know that every class, I was opening the photograph of him with a huge zit to show people how to get rid of it. He's like, "Thanks, Dad, for sharing that with everyone." I was like, "You're welcome, son. My pleasure." I stopped doing that after a while, but that's an example where you'd say, "Well, why would you do zit removal on its own layer, 'cause they know the person who has that is not gonna want it back again, but it's also about, now that I look at it, I don't really like it, I think I did a bad job. I wanna delete that and start again. Any permanent work, that's one of the problems. In this case, let's get a little closer here, I've got a blank layer, I've got the healing brush, the beauty of the spot healing brush is that it's a painting tool. There's no other settings. You don't have to do anything else. You don't have to click something, you just paint. All I have to really worry about is the size of the brush. I wanna make it small, I'm using the left bracket key to make the brush smaller, instead of going back up here, but it's the same thing. Oh, the only other thing that's important to note is we're gonna talk in this segment a little bit about a function in Photoshop, several functions, that start with the words Content-Aware. This is a technology that came out a little while ago, and the bottom line is if you have any tool or any command that has an option that says Content-Aware, use it, because, compared to any other method, it's better. The healing brush, before it had Content-Aware, it did an okay job of looking at surrounding pixels. Content-Aware is much better because it does a better job of being aware of the surroundings and making better choices for you. It's more intelligent. In the case of the healing brush, you'll see there is an option that says Content-Aware. I have not clicked on either one of these other options in, I probably have never, because they just don't work as well. Someone once asked me, "Well, what does this do?" I said, "You know what? I don't really care, "'cause it doesn't help." I mean, there's probably a reason why it's there still, maybe, I haven't found one. Anyway, so you just basically paint over, and sometimes that happens, but we'll keep going and come back 'cause remember it's end up with, so I'm just painting over all of these. Now, I can go back in and get all these little bits and pieces that didn't get the first time, like that, so you see, I'm not doing anything else except just kinda painting around, trying to make it (mumbles). Oh, it looks pretty good. I would also remind you that one of the things we have to always keep in mind, I've zoomed in fairly far to do this, but most people are gonna look at the photograph this big, so if there's a couple little dots you're like, "Oh, I missed that part," well, okay. My concern was it was more distracting that there was a word there. Now it doesn't look as distracting. The results of the spot healing brush, if I hide the background layer, it creates clones, copies, whatever you want, it creates pixels based on surrounding pixels that look natural, so the only thing on that layer is the results of the spot healing brush. Part of the reason for doing this on its own layer is also now so I can move it around, maybe later on I decide I don't really like it, so I could delete it, or even sometimes lower the opacity, where maybe it's okay to have the words there, you just don't want them to be in people's face quite as much, so if I lower the opacity of that healing layer, see how the word Open is kinda starting to appear, but not as much as it was before, so that's only possible because the results of the spot healing brush is on that layer. It's not easy at all to say, "Let me kind of half cover it up "directly on the back (mumbles)." That would be almost impossible. 'Kay? This method is also how people do a lot of retouching of portraits, for example, if someone has wrinkles under their eyes, you don't wanna remove them completely 'cause it looks artificial. If put the healing on its own layer and then lower the opacity, you kind of see their wrinkles, but they're not as obvious, and that's a much better technique than completely removing, 'cause it just looks artificial. 'Kay? This is gonna be a recurring theme for us, is put things on its own layer, so we have more control over it, okay? Now, I almost always start with the spot healing brush 'cause I don't do anything else except paint. If, for some reason, you are trying to use, let's just go up here somewhere, I was trying to use the spot healing brush on this, and it probably will still work, actually, it'll work pretty well. It's gonna be hard to find an example that doesn't work well. If for some reason you're using this tool, and it doesn't seem to wanna pick the right area, then the other alternative is the healing brush, so there's spot healing and healing. The spot healing brush, you just simply paint, that is all, you don't do anything else. The healing brush allows you to say, "I would like you to use this area "right here," and you indicate that by option or alt clicking once, to say, in effect, "Copy these pixels here," so see how now the brush is sort of filled with that area? And then when I paint it in, it tries to do its best job blending everything in, so it kinda keeps the same relative texture, and so on. For simple stuff, spot healing usually works pretty well because you're just saying, you find the surrounding areas, if it doesn't work, or it's picking the wrong areas, or you have a situation where the issue you're trying to remove is surrounded by so many other issues that it keeps picking the wrong spot, the healing brush allows you to tell it, "Choose this area over here," as your area from which to borrow the information. Okay? Both very good. They both work on separate layers. They both use that content-aware kind of technology to a degree, although the spot healing does a little more of that, but this has the advantage where you can, you have a little more control over it. Okay? There are times, though, where the spot healing, or the healing brush, would be like, (sighs), like in this case, I want to extend this background to not see the light stand and everything. Now, some people say, "Why don't you just crop it?" Shh. We're doing retouching now. I would just crop it, actually, but we're not doing that right now. I need to fill in all this stuff. Just give me, I would say, an hour and a half of healing. I'll be right back. No, that would be the long way. There's a couple of choices here. If you have, how should I say this the best way? There is a function in Photoshop that's called Content-Aware Fill, and it can be really good. My concern with it is at the moment, at least, you cannot do it on its own layer, so the only way to use Content-Aware Fill is directly onto the photograph, which makes me a little nervous because there's no going back. If I did wanna try it, I would probably take this layer and duplicate it, just in case, so now I do Content-Aware Fill on here. The way Content-Aware Fill works is you make a selection, I'll just do part of it, and you go Edit, Fill, Content-Aware, and click OK. Yeah, it's not bad in portions, but down here, it kinda went, "Ah, I don't "quite know what to do," because it's looking at nearby areas. The top part is actually quite good, so I might be okay to do it in several steps. Like this, let's try that, see if that does it or not. It's not bad, actually, but, again, I had to get there by duplicating the entire thing, which just takes up a little more room, and sometimes, you'll find Content-Aware Fill is actually good a lot of the time, but it's not, it's intelligent, but it's not super intelligent, so sometimes you'll look at it and say, "This one time Content-Aware Fill worked like a charm. "The next time I used it, it picked someone's ear "to fill the doorway," and you're like, "What?" It just, it's odd sometimes. This case, it actually worked pretty well. I'm gonna show you an alternative, in case Content-Aware Fill doesn't work. The nice thing about Content-Aware Fill, make a selection, fill, done. The downside is if it doesn't work, your only option is to undo it, try it again, and sometimes after doing it six times, the sixth times might be a little better than the first five, but it still might not work at all. My philosophy has always been, in an ideal world, I'd love it if Content-Aware Fill just worked like that every time, but as long as it gets me close, that's still better than the alternative of me trying to do it all manually. In the older days of Photoshop, everyone used this tool called, back in the early days, it was called the rubber stamp, and then it became the clone stamp, but that's a very manual tool, which just takes a long time, so if you can avoid using that, I'm probably not gonna talk about that today, because I'll put that way down on the priority list of retouching tools. It's kind of, if nothing else is working, then I will try this, but let me show ya an alternative to Content-Aware Fill, if it doesn't work. This actually worked pretty well. The reason I like this one is A, I can do it on a blank layer, and B, I choose where to use, not Content-Aware Fill. It's still using Content-Aware technology, but it's on me to pick the spot from which I want it to work. It's called the patch tool. We need to make sure, when we check our settings for this tool, that it's not set to normal, it's set to Content-Aware. We also want to be set to Sample All Layers. There are two other settings here called Structure and Color, and this is another very unique tool in Photoshop. As we've talked about previously, most Photoshop tools on things like the type tool, you have to pick the settings first, then use the tool, if it doesn't work, you have to undo and start again, this tool is unique that you can use the tool and then change those two settings and have it update and see if it's any better. It's a much more live effect than most tools. Let's just get a little closer here. I take my patch tool, and you can, by the way, use any selection tool to start off, I could've made a marquee selection first, it doesn't really matter. It's happens that the patch will also works kinda like a lasso tool. Again, Content-Aware, Sample All Layers, and Blank Layer. Now, as I start to drag, it lets me decide where do you wanna use as your patch, so for example, not a good patch, better patch, not good, better. I'm looking at that existing pattern, trying to line it up as best I can, and then when I let go, it fixes it for me. Let's move down a bit and try it again, see if it does the same thing. Make a selection, move around, try and find a place where that pattern is kinda repeating, let go, so can you see down at the bottom, this part here is a little funky, it's not quite right? This is where you could try changing these settings, like changing the structure to one, means it's gonna try to be as structured as possible, meaning follow the existing pattern. If I put it to seven, it's gonna be a little more vague, but it might, see it didn't work so well there, but see, what's happening, every time I move it, it's redrawing, so it's redoing the patch live, which is different, 'cause Content-Aware Fill, it's one shot, if you don't like it, undo and start again. These ones let you at least try something. The chances are, and I kind of swayed it in my favor, if I had made a section all the way down not including the light stand, then it might've worked better. I'm not exactly sure what these blobs are, I guess it's the sandbag being repeated multiple times, I guess, so let's just try and see if we can fix it in here like that. That's better. Okay, so now, the results are on its own layer, and just, that simply means from an ease of changing it, but what it does for me that Content-Aware doesn't do, or Content-Aware Fill, I should say, is that Content-Aware Fill doesn't do it accurately, and I would still try Content-Aware Fill often first, but there are times where I look at something and go, "I already know this is not gonna work "because I'm trying to do such a narrow area "of fill, and there's so many surrounding things "I'm pretty sure it's gonna pick the wrong spot, "'cause it's not that smart." it's very good, and I always very quickly add compared to the alternative of me sitting here with the clone stamp tool for forever, (laughs) this is still way better, 'kay? Two very different end results. I like the patch tool, often because it gives me control, and I can adjust those settings if it doesn't quite blend in the first time. I'm gonna be honest with you, there'll be times where I'll do a lot of work with the patch tool, and I'll look and say, "Yeah, I do need to use the clone stamp tool "just for that little spot there," but I'd rather use the clone stamp to do a bit of touching up, as opposed to a whole big area. The clone stamp tool does work with layers. You can see it has that same kind of Sample All Layer thing. I do a separate layer for that, just so you can see. Basically, the idea of this, the way it works, it's you have to, much like the healing brush, we have to indicate where do you wanna copy from. With the clone stamp tool, you first have to sample and say, "This is the part I want you to copy from." Now, here's the important distinction. The clone stamp tool should be thought of, I think, as a copy-and-paste brush, 'cause you're basically saying, "Copy these pixels, paste them here "by brushing in," there's no blending of colors, there's no looking at texture, so the onus is completely on you to pick the right spot, which is why it can be so hard to use because you might start off going, "That looks great," and you go half an inch further, and all of a sudden, the colors don't quite match 'cause of shadows or whatever. To use the clone stamp tool, you Option or Alt click to say, "Sample this area," and then you take your brush, and as you start cloning, if you look really closely, can you see there's two cursors? The plus sign on the left is where I'm cloning from, and the brush side on the right is where I'm cloning to. Okay? You have to kind of train your eyeballs to split and look in two different directions at once, 'cause you kinda wanna keep track of where you're cloning from 'cause otherwise you go too far, and suddenly you're cloning a piece of wood that you don't want. I would also suggest that there's two tips for using the clone stamp tool that's gonna make your life a little easier. The first one is as you're using the clone stamp tool, have your finger poised above the undo shortcut, 'cause the chances are, every second or third clone, you're gonna be like, "Nope," and you have to undo it, so just be prepared for that, but also, I would suggest you pick a clone spot repeatedly. In other words, just don't click once here and expect as far you go over and over, it's gonna keep working, once you move to a different part of the image, you're probably gonna need a different area, 'cause the colors have changed, or the shadows, so I'm constantly option clicking start here, clone here, click again, because otherwise, the chances of, 'cause remember, it doesn't blend in, it happens right now, it's working quite well because I'm going exactly the same range of colors and shadows and everything else, but in lots of other things, if there's even like that doorway we had before, there were so many different shades the clone stamp tool would probably just say, "It's the best I can do." I used to be, when it was called the rubber stamp in the early days of Photoshop, it was the only retouching tool, so I became, grudgingly, the master of the rubber stamp tool, but it was a pain in the you-know-where because it was just a lot of work. For me now, the clone stamp tool has become kind of the down here somewhere tool to fix, I've done almost as much as I can using Content-Aware Fill, patch tool, healing brush, and if I need to, clone stamp tool to kinda fix in a little bit. Even then, if I was gonna use the clone stamp tool, I often use it for things like this, where I sample an area, and you can see here, for example, you can see the clone stamp tool, see how it's a different color? If I go to use it, it doesn't do anything to change it, it just stays that color. Sometimes, when you do some of the commands like Content-Aware, et cetera, you'll see almost like that same little dot appears over here as well, and you kinda see the repetition, so I might just do that, just to kinda say, and I'm gonna put the opacity lower, just to kind of blend in some little, so you hide those kinda little noticeable edges. For me, the clone stamp tool is much more of a final step than a main tool anymore. Question?
When you're using that tool, does your source move when you move the destination, or is it always pulling from exactly the same spot?
Good question. The way the clone stamp tool works by default, it's using this setting called aligned, which means if I option click here, wherever I start to click to paint, I've established that's the distance between them. If I'm very close like this, see how the crosshair and the brush are that far apart? If I stop, and I start again, they're still that far apart, always. There's also the option up here in the options bar to say don't do that, which means, if I always wanted to say, "I found exactly that I wanna take this texture everywhere," I would option click here, and then if I clone over here, that crosshair stays up there, if I clone down there, see how it still stays up there? Now, most commonly, I would say people use aligned, but you don't have to, as long as you understand the difference. The difference is when it's not aligned, that clone spot will never move, that reference point, where very often, you wanna be, I typically leave it aligned and just repeatedly option click to make a new reference point all the time, so I'm getting to some end result. Okay? Now, here's the only little part about this that we need to consider. Let's see, which one should I use? I'll use this one. Here's a raw file, and I'm gonna do some initial adjustment like, oh, Dehaze, mm, I like Dehaze. 'Kay, and I'll just do that, so I've opened it as a smart object, and I mentioned this before, but I will mention now, and we'll also do it in the next segment, that the only downside to this thing called a smart object, wherever it's sourced, is that any tool you go to use, you get that little, no, you can't do that symbol, but that's okay, 'cause we've already just finished saying we tend to wanna retouch on a separate layer anyway. Here's the only thing you have to consider about this. I'm gonna add a blank layer and say, "Let's just take our "spot healing brush, and see if we can't "take out this "stripes on here." Cool. That worked pretty well, but here's the only problem. The underlying layer, from which I healed, is a Camera Raw, smart object, which is nice because I can keep going back there to do further edits. Here's the only thing you have to consider. I've done that healing, I'll say, "You know, I just wanna make a little tweak "to this Camera Raw," so I double-click, no problem, come back here, I'll just make it a little more dramatic and darker, perhaps like that, click OK, which works fine, except for one thing, the healing layer doesn't update, 'cause those are just pixels. You see what's happening there? The photograph updated, but the layer above didn't, and it never does 'cause it's not live, so that's the one thing you have to be prepared for. If you decide to use these raw smart objects and then do retouching in Photoshop, you have a couple of options. The first one is, as much as you possibly could, make sure that your raw file, your raw layer, is as final as it could possibly be before you do any retouching, 'cause otherwise, like in this case, my only real choice at this point would be dump that top layer and start again, 'cause it will not update, that's just way it is, okay? Healing, cloning, patching, all that stuff to a blank layer is great, but it's not a live effect. It just can't be, so that's the problem. With that in mind, there is another possibility, and I would use it with a bit of hesitation; it's a good choice, it's just not quite as easy to use, perhaps, in some instances as things like the patch tool, and that is to retouch in your raw program. I go back to Camera Raw, and there actually is a healing type brush tool. It works a little bit differently, looks a little differently. I kinda like to use heal, there we go. Can you see how slow it is? I don't know if you can see it on the screen, but I'm moving my brush pretty fast, and it's going, "Ah, hold on. "I'm almost there (exhales)," and then what it does, it kinda looks sort of patch-tool-ish because it's saying, "Where would you like to use," and it automatically picks a spot, but I can say, "I think this spot would be better," just as an example. I won't do the whole thing, but you'd basically, you get the idea, you can see why I wouldn't do the whole thing (sighs). (laughs) I mean, this is a better solution for some things, but, good lord, sometimes it's so slow. Anyway, so here's why this could be a better choice is because it's part of Camera Raw/Lightroom, so that means if I now go back and say, "You know what? "I need to improve the exposure," it changes those too 'cause it's part of the process. Unlike healing on a separate layer, which is a one-shot deal, and you can't change it, so my approach is this: if I'm as convinced as I can be that I'm finished in Raw, then I'll do my retouching in Photoshop because I like the tools a little better, but if I'm still in an early stage, where I'm like, "I'm just not quite sure," if it's possible, and some things are frankly hard to retouch in Lightroom or Camera Raw, as you probably saw a little bit there, but it's not bad, but at least it means now it is live, so if I decide to adjust any setting, it'll update on the fly. Okay? That's the choice you have to make. There's no right or wrong answer. It really depends on the circumstance, just want you to be aware that don't be surprised if you open a Raw file, do some (mumbles), go, "Oh, cool," and then make an adjustment and wonder why the healing layer didn't update 'cause it, well, it just doesn't. That's just the way it works, okay? That is certainly an option, and there's nothing to say that once you've done that basic retouch you certainly could now do more in Photoshop, understanding that once again, the layer that you do any healing on will not update, only that Camera Raw object will, because it's part of Camera Raw from a retouching standpoint. Okay? Questions about that?
For a portrait, do you recommend to open a, like a smart object, or--
It depends a little bit on the source. If your portrait was taken in raw, then I would use that same approach to do as much raw editing, and from a, you know, a slider standpoint, then bring in the Photoshop and do, for the retouching, assuming at that point that you're pretty sure this is the right exposure, et cetera, because one of the advantages of Photoshop is when you do those layers, for example, I'll often, when I'm retouching a portrait, have one layer that's set to 50% opacity, so the wrinkles are somewhat there, another one set to 75, so they're almost gone, and then one set to 100%, so the 100% layer is the blemish removal layer, that no one wants to see, the other ones are, I need to lessen this effect 'cause they have a birthmark, but that's just the way they look, so I'll just make it less obvious, and that's easier to do in Photoshop than it is in Raw. Almost without exception, I love working in Raw, 'cause it gives me so much options, so that's almost always my starting point; if it's my images, certainly it is. If it's a stock photo, or someone else's project, and they give me a JPEG, hmm, oh well. Again, you can still open a JPEG in Raw, and you can still do a lot of things we've talked about, it just doesn't give you quite the same range of control, but I always try and start there, and then in Photoshop, build up those extra editing layers, understanding that I just have to do it in the right order, so I don't do all this work with retouching wrinkles and then decide to change the skin tone, and everything falls apart.
Okay, makes sense?
Thank you. Alright. I wanna show you another example here of healing, and with another little trick, for those of us, like me, that don't have a steady hand. I want to try and, quote unquote, remove the wire, which really means make it look like it wasn't there. I have a blank layer, I've got my spot healing brush, I'm gonna make the brush just a slightly bigger, and now I'm gonna take the next five minutes to very slowly drag along this line, trying to, no (laughs). I mean, I could, but we're not gonna do that. One of the things we can do in Photoshop to paint a straight line, not a perfectly horizontal or vertical line, this is the trick, if you hold the Shift key down as you drag, it'll go perfectly horizontal. I don't want that 'cause it's not quite horizontal, but it's still straight, so the trick is called click, shift, click, so instead of click-and-drag with the Shift key, which does horizontal, vertical, 45 degrees, you wanna paint a straight line at an angle of something other than straight horizontal or vertical, you do it this way. You click once here. Hold on, I've gotta find it. Now, that doesn't have pen pressure on it 'cause it (mumbles). Okay, so you click once here, you hold down the Shift key, and you click there, and it does a straight line, and then it says, "Let me heal all that for you," alright? Now, that actually worked pretty well. There's sometimes where, when you look really closely, you'll see where part of the building is a little funky, and that's where you might, this would be a rare, you'll hear me say this very rarely, if I did that, this actually worked pretty well, but if I look a little more closely at the building in the middle here, if I didn't like that, I might actually use the eraser tool (gasps) and erase that little part and redo it. I know, it's crazy to hear me say that, 'cause (mumbles) I normally never say use the eraser, but honestly, to say and now I'll pull a layer mask and (mumbles), no, I mean, that would just be pointless, so, you know, as much as I say, "Don't ever use the eraser," there will be times. Then over here, I didn't quite get the rest of it, so I click here, Shift, click here, see that one didn't do quite as well, so I might need to do that. Still, it's on its own layer, so now it'll be a little easier to fix the parts that didn't quite happen. The key thing to remember here is, and that's for any type of painting, not just this, in many programs, we hold down the Shift key to make a straight line, and the problem with Photoshop is it's literally horizontal or vertical or increments of 45 degrees. I want to be straight, but just not perfectly horizontal. Instead of Shift, dragging, click, shift, click, means draw a straight line between those two points, which is gonna be a whole lot easier than me painstakingly dragging across something like that. Okay? That can be very useful for things like wires and things of that nature.