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Healing Brushes: Basic, Spot, and Clone

Lesson 40 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

Healing Brushes: Basic, Spot, and Clone

Lesson 40 from: Adobe Photoshop 101

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

40. Healing Brushes: Basic, Spot, and Clone


Class Trailer

Day 1


Adobe Bridge Basics


Sorting Images in Adobe Bridge


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 1


Processing Images in Adobe Camera Raw Part 2


Image Processing Q&A


Contrast and Color


Adjustment Brush and Auto Mask


Lesson Info

Healing Brushes: Basic, Spot, and Clone

Now we're going toe generally look at three tools and see how each one of those three tools works, and then see how we might use those three tools together to improve each other, meaning that if you try to rely on only one of those three tools, regardless of which of the three you pick, you're going to be a severely limited in what you khun dio. But if you learn what all three tools do and how they can work together, where one little part might need one of the tools in the other party image might need another tool. If you use them all together, they become much more powerful, and so we're going to start looking out, so we just need an image to work on. I just happened open kind of our random image almost to work with, because it doesn't really matter what we're looking at when we look at just the concept of how these tools work, and so let's see there's a thing that needs to be retouched out that white, whatever it is, I want to get rid of it. We have many different options we can use,...

we already know that I could select it, I could go to the edit menu, choose phil and that's where we found content aware we know there's a keyboard shortcut for that, it was shift delete and if I press return it's the same as pressing okay? And that is something I would try very frequently but you'll find it works best when the area you're attempting to retouch does not contain overly critical detail meaning that if I put the wrong rock in it wouldn't matter or if I put the wrong cloud in, it wouldn't matter it's not like a face where if I put an eye in where there should be a knows you'd instantly know and it would be so wrong there would be no way of even considering that but if it's something like this dirt, then the thing like content to where phil it's going to work great in general when it's something where it doesn't need really exact kind of content there where if it was off a little bit it wouldn't matter having said that sometimes it does an amazing job when you do need some specific detail if I come up here to these areas where we have these what are these called stan shins? Well here I have some layers already in this filing to get rid of him because I didn't describe how those were made so you can't use them let's just see what we could use here we'll use two different tools here the first one is we can try out using the one we have been which is thie it's known as content aware phil I need to select an area though for content where phil and I could manually selected again like this usually go just the tiniest bit outside of the object the only problem is most of the time I try to go over the whole thing but that's mainly if you're using something that has the word hell attached that I'd have to care that this blue thing it is is there but let's just try it not too bad and then we could do the next one sometimes though I don't feel like in making selections just sometimes the process of making selections is not convenient or just not what I feel like doing so there's a different tool that he's going to try to do something similar to this but you apply it in a different way and that would be the this guy which is the spot healing brush now it does have the word hell attached to it and I mentioned something earlier and that is any time you have something with the word heal in the name it means blend in to brightness in color of surroundings of whatever touches this area and what that means is it's very important for me to paint over the entire thing I want to get rid of and not do what I just did here where I got rid of only one of those days because otherwise if I stop in the middle of this blue bar is going to try to blend in with it right at the end where the the area that I've worked with stops so I got to paint over the whole thing when I do this I'm using the spot healing brush and I just gives me a brush I'm gonna click on the image going to drag over what I want to cover and I'm not going to like stop right here in lecco because it would try to blend into the blue thing on the edge of what's here it blends all the way around so I need to make sure that I go all the way across like that and now I can let go and it can attempt to do it and if it messes up I just get a smaller brush and I paint over that smaller area where it messes up and I can try to fix it but this particular image needs a little bit more specific detail we're putting in just generic detail it's not good enough because here there's for instance a straight line that needs to maintain means straight so it's not always going to do the best job so let's look at the three general retouching tools how they work and then see how we might tackle something like those stan shins that were there using three tools not just try to do one the three tools we're gonna look at are the clone stamp tool the healing brush, which looks like a band aid, and the spot healing brush and it's a matter of when should we choose each one of those and went to work with him? So let's, take a look. So first off, if he were to use the clone stamp tool, the clone stamp, too, will simply copies from one area and puts it somewhere else and that's all it does. So that means I need to first tell it where to copy from and so let's say that it is copy for over here on the right side option, click clicking and windows is how you do that because somewhere else and you apply it, and there is no effort to get it to blend in. I just happened to have copied from an area that is appropriate in brightness, but had I copied from, like up here, option, click and applied it down here it's not going to do anything to try to get that to blend in, it's up to me to do all the work that means it's up to me to think about the area that I'm copying from to ensure that it's a proper brightness, it's the proper color that has the proper kind of detail in it, and I need to make sure that the brush that I'm painting with has a soft enough edge that I can't see exactly where I stopped painting, but here, if you look at my end result, I can see exactly where I stopped because I was using a relatively hard edge brush. If I choose undo by typing command z, I could have created this with a softer edge brush come over here and see my hardness is that seventy five? In that case, I could've brought it way down, and then when I did this, at least I'd have a softer edge where you wouldn't see exactly where the edges, but still thie type of details that I was copying from wasn't quite appropriate, so it doesn't look good. So any time I used the clone stamp tool, I know that everything has to be right. You need bright brightness, the right color, the right detail, and you need to be careful. What kind of brush your using, how soft the edges now those things are not true when you use the other two tools were going to use, so lets look at next the healing rush with the healing brush, the on ly thing you're copying is texture, or you could say, detail what you're not copying is color or brightness sounds kind of weird might not completely understand what I meant by that, but I can show you what I mean if I copy from the clouds up here everything about the clouds is wrong to be used down here correct wrong color wrong brightness wrong detail everything's wrong but when I apply it anything with the word healing attached will try to match the brightness and color of the surroundings so when I let go we don't have the color of clouds what we have is the detail of clouds the texture that details the variation and brightness whatever word you use for what's in there right now the color and the brightness comes from the surroundings because anything with the word healing attached means match what's just on the edge of where I applied this chews on doing I'll do that one more time so when I'm painting like this with anything with the word healing attached it's looking at the exact edge before I'm painting looking all the way around in trying to match that brightness and that color now that could cause some problems if I try to do something like this I don't know why I would do this but well we'll see it happen look at what's on the area kind of above this it's dark stuff right and look at what's down below it's lighter and of brown stuff well this is going to confuse sputter shop quite a bit it's going to get a headache and because what I'm telling it to dio is to put this detail this texture and this variation and brightness that I've just painted in in there, but then get it to blend in with those surroundings. Well, that means it's going to try to make the transition between that dark area in the browner area just to smooth as those clouds in what it tries it's gonna look like a weird thing words tryingto it's trying to make the transition from that edge to that edge, justus gradual as the transition was in the cloud out from one edge to the other edge of the area and it doesn't look right and that's why anytime will use the word healing we don't want to come up in kiss the edge of something we're just touches the edge like that because it's going to pick up that color and now it's going to try to blend that color into what's on all the other edges, making it look just to smooth as those clouds in transition, which means it's gonna have to use quite a distance to try to make it look smooth. It looks weird what it really needs if I'm going to retouch that edge is an abrupt change in brightness from what I'm copying from, so I need to find another area that has an abrupt change in brightness. So let's see if there's an area other than what's right here where I might be able to use it well right there's an abrupt change in brightness to see where it goes from dark to light I don't know if it's the right angle or not but let's just see if it is I'm gonna copy from right here he's a smaller brush and then I'll come over here to use it it's not the right angle though if I could rotate that within their you know ken, by the way, I just haven't shown you how yet and it'll take us a while to get to that point so I can't show you right now, but if that was rotated to the right direction and I got a small enough brush and I got that transition to be right where it was supposed to be right in there, I would be able to use that source and get it to look right without getting that weird thing where it takes that color and just spreads that across the area don't you know I completely understand what I'm talking about here, but for now use it up here because it lines up a little better we touch out that larry, I'm not going to get a weird transition with that as much, although I did hit this thing at the bottom, which is I all clicked up top up here to say, I want a copy from there, so when you're in the healing brush, you do need to tell where to copy from yes, you do, um, but as I go through this, you'll get a better sense for what I'm talking about right now, it feels somewhat bag, but so with the healing brush, the healing brush acts a lot like the clone stamp tool where you tell it where to copy from it puts it somewhere else, but then after it's done, putting it there, it looks all the way around the edge and says, we've got to make the brightness and color match and so, oh, you gotta be careful with what you're copying from let's go to the spot healing brush, the spot healing brush is just like the normal healing brush. The only difference is you don't have to tell it what to copy from it figures that out for you, so if I want to get rid of this, I simply paint over it and let go and it looks at the surroundings and says, I'll pick somewhere and it copies so that any time you have your you're, uh, forgetting the name of this tool, the spot healing brush you don't have tell it where to copy from it's, the tool I would love to use for everything because all I got to do if I want to get rid of something, it's just paint over it, let go and it figures it out for me and that's great, I'll start with that tool to come in here and retouch out stuff, because if it works, it's going to be next to no effort because it tries to figure out where what to copy from now, we already know from what I've shown you before that it'll mess up. If, when I paint, I bump into the edge of my document, you remember how it tries to blend in with thinks so over here on the side to get rid of these guys, I'm assuming it's going to mess up it's not terrible, but is a little bit too dark on the edge I'll choose undo and if this looks like odd detail here, if I zoom up, it is because this was a stitch to panorama and I filled the empty parts, and that just happens to be what it filled in so that's artificial content on the edge after stitching a panorama. But if I wanted this to work better here, this is when we want to start using tools together. What I want to do is just put in what should be on the edge of the photo just on the edge doesn't matter how far over and extent and that's when I go to the clone stamp tool the thing that just blatantly copies copy from right here you see where my house is right there zoom up a little closer make it easier for you see looking option click right there and I'm gonna apply it over here now that is the right kind of material the right brightness and everything to have there so that's going to help it I needed the same thing all the way up though till I get to the sky so I got a copy from part of the sky and it was going to put it in here on the edge then we should have trees coming across so I'll copy from some trees get a smaller brush here there put some trees in and then I have to decide what should be in here should this extend all the way over there or not if I wanted to I need to put it there I'm just trying to get the colors and the brightness over there that it should blend in with I'm not being overly careful with what exactly is there I'm not sure exactly what color should be there I'll put something random I might have to fix it later but now if I try to use something with the word healing attached, at least it knows the right colors of what to blend into on the edge makes us so I could try to use this. I still don't know what it will do a great job, but we'll see I'm assuming we'll have to do this part completely manually, but at least now it shouldn't look overly dark when it's done, but it tried to figure it out, didn't we had to help it a little, though, in that before it tried to blend in what was on the edge, we put in some artificial stuff on the edge so it knew the right colors and then it figured it out. If there's some areas that are messed up just paint over him a second time remember three strikes and you're out give it a try, maybe I don't like that part give it another try, give it another try, and you can always choose undo a few times, just so you know, you have under the window menu choice called history, and it will list whatever you've done to your picture. And if you want to go back a few steps, just click on a previous step you could go back, I personally don't never have this panel open, I know I can go back all these steps in it but there's actually a keyboard shortcut that lets you go back and I screw up so often that I use it so much I don't want to have this open all the time I'd rather use a keyboard shortcut but for those of you that don't remember the keyboard shortcuts open the history panel and click on previous steps to get back here's the keyboard charcot step backward step backward watch the history channel you see just one up one I go step backward you just don't know what went down another one to go the other direction which means to reapply things there's something called step forward in all it does is it's going in the history panel and it's click it's doing the exam is what I'm doing right now that's step forward here step back and this is simply a list of everything I've done to my picture and so that means I'm getting multiple undoes as I go up this list and I'm reapplying those things as I go down this list it's just you don't need to stare at the list you could just use the keyboard shortcuts for these menu commands so how can I remember the keyboard shortcuts for those menu commands? Well, most people know the keyboard shortcut for undo because it is universal for most programs and that's command z an imac control z and windows if you know that keyboard shortcut by chance just add the other common modifier key there's only two keys down their option in command just add the other one. So that means if command z is the normal, undo the option command z here's adding one key to your undue option command z on windows, that's all control z you're just adding one additional key to your undo, and by doing so, you can type it more than one time and go back more than one step. It's exactly like having the history panel open and simply going back in the list. So if you ever see me getting multiple in dues, I just I just say, I'm going to go back a ways I'm doing option commands, the option commands, the option commands e to go back. All right, so what else do we need to learn before we can start tackling some more difficult things when you need to get rid of larger stuff? The problem is, if you use the spot healing brush because it blends in with the surroundings, you have to cover up the entirety of that object. Otherwise it's going to try to blend in to the edge of what's left over, and so sometimes that's inconvenient, because if I have a huge area to go across to get rid of something, doing it all in one past just makes it first off difficult to paint accurately across such a big area and secondly, it gives the spot healing brush a much greater chance of screwing up and so the other thing I would mention about using spot healing brush is to break apart large problems into smaller ones so if I wanted to get rid of these little stan shins that air here, I wouldn't necessarily use the spot healing brush to paint over all of them to begin with what I would do instead is go to the clone stamp tool in break it apart into smaller problems so that right here I'm going to break the stanton right there I'll just copy from here I'm option clicking, you know, sever the stance then I'll go over here and I'll sever this one then I'll go over here sever this I just need to make sure that whatever I sever it with is the proper brightness and color for what should be there if it was already completely retouched out come over here, sever this one so now what I have effectively done is isolated each one so I could paint over just one let go and it wouldn't I would not blend into some odd color that is some leftover piece does that make sense? We could also break it apart vertically if we needed to I could possibly pick some unique detail here like this little edge copy from it I just broke that and to two more smaller pieces the smaller you break it down into pieces the easier it is for the spot healing brush to deal with it you don't have to do this for everything but whenever you find that what I would do is consider first trying the spot healing brush on the entirety of something it just might be fast and easy I'm gonna paint over this entire tower and just see if it disappears if it does awesome but if it doesn't break it down into little chunks and then try the chunks separately and you'll find that often times it does a much better job so I don't know that it's going to do a great job here I've never tried it on this image but we'll try a little pieces now I just switched to the spot healing brush and now to get rid of this bottom I'll just paint over it get rid of this bottom while paint over it this bottom paint over it it messed up there so try that again remember three strikes before I have to try something else there's another bottom here I didn't break that one apart I should have because it will be a much better job if I break it apart so whenever you get something where you find that you've painted over the entirety of an object it's not doing a great job getting rid of it consider chopping it down in a little chunks and then just deal with a little chunk when you break it into the chunks, you just have to make sure that whatever material you're putting in there to break, it is the right brightness, the right color, so that when you bump into it with this tool, it can end up with the right uh, result so I don't know if it'll do any good they're because their statues and stuff there so that's where I would probably have to manually do things because that's, where you have specific detail, it's, more like a face if you put knows when I shall go doesn't look write the same thing is somewhat tour there, but I might come in here and at least get rid of an initially with this and then on lee, come back and fix it where it doesn't look right just make sure you cover the entirety until you hit that little gap. He made it up so I can't see the rest of that then in order to fix other parts that are in here, if it needs specific detail, you know where it would look wrong if it put in just a kind of random part of the of the surroundings that's when I might switch to the normal healing brush. Get a smaller brush here and like I think right there that didn't quite look right I'm not sure if you agree or not but not quite right so I'm looking for something where it has the right brightness relationship meaning that there should be a crack their dark crack um and that stuff so I'm just looking across here this looks like it has the same kind of crack and if you look at the brightness of this brick in the brightness of what's down here it's not that has to match this it's that it shouldn't be like this one here do you see how dark the brick is and how light this is? Well, if I apply that over here it thinks that it needs a transition from dark to light and it might not look right so I got a copy from right there come over here, I get a preview right in my brush I get tow line up that oftentimes after doing that I'll go back to the spot healing brush and so that I don't have an exact copy of what came from somewhere else all that's coming here and paint over some of the other areas to get it to copy from somewhere else just to create something that doesn't look exactly like what was on the other side I don't always have to do that but it's something I will do on occasion uh, so we still need to work on this as faras figuring out statues and what could come in there because this this stuff where he would have to have something overly specific. So what are we learning? So far? We're learning anything with the word healing doesn't work out on the edge of a picture. If we have something on the edge of a picture, we could use the thing that was called edit phil, there was that choice, or we could help the healing brush by first putting in some material on the edge so it knows what to blend into, then tried out. If the healing brush does not do a great job on a big area, break up into smaller areas, tackle the smaller areas individually, it'll usually do better when it messed up on a large one, and we use the normal clone stamp tool win. We need teo. Just put some material on the edge of our photo to get the material that the brush needed, teo blend into or if everything fails us. I mean, all the other tools that have all the help built in meaning the thing's called healing and things called content where fills the fancy stuff, just breaks down and does not help, then we have to manually use that tool.

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a Creativelive Student

Ben, thanks again for this course. I have taken and purchased quite a few of your courses to date. I keep thinking I will only watch to make sure I am on the right track and you always bring more to the table than the last course. Your teaching methods are the best, sorry to all the other instructors from Creative Live, but you are very easy to understand and you speak in layman's terms so we all can understand. I am following your instructions and working along with your files and it is the best! It is hard to keep up with you even when I watch you on one computer and work with the same files on another computer, to do what you are doing...impossible but I gain so much by trying. You provide so much info on each topic, it is amazing. Thanks to Karen for the PDFs, she does a fantastic job and also, for her templates/layout documents. Thanks again and to anyone who thinks this is too much money for all the videos, the exercise files and the instruction PDF, I am sorry to say but you are mistaken.

John Taylor

Like all of the Creative Live courses, excellent training. Ben does a great job of explaining the entry part of Photoshop. A lot of things cleared up in my head and i like his easy pace into this complex program. Thanks Ben.

Dawn Butler

Ben, A note of thanks for a fabulous 3 day tutorial on Photoshop. I am new to CreativeLive site and just happen to stumble across your Photoshop 101 class online, wow I'm I glad I did. I've wanted to learn to navigate Photoshop for sometime but found myself becoming more and more confused and frustrated watching video instruction and reading various articles online. You have simplified the learning process by making the class material clear and concise; after 3 days I came away with a great foundation to build on in the future. Thank you!

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