Essential Retouching Tools


Adobe® Photoshop®: Retouching and Collage


Lesson Info

Essential Retouching Tools

So now let's get into the main part of photo shop and let's talk about essential retouching tools that are found within there and to do so. Let's, try a couple different images. I wanted by serious I mentioned it's, a bunch of finnish gas stations. Unfortunately can't show logos on creative life s o locus that aaron, the images should be retouched out. Otherwise, this is so one looks like this one is on route sixty six, and one of the things that I do, uh, when retouching is I need to remove a lot of telephone lines. And so let's, look at some of the tools that we have available in photo shop and how those might be useful in getting rid of telephone lines. This image, we're going to stick to telephone lines that go across a blue sky later on in the day, we'll try to tackle telephone lines that will go across trees and other things. So there are three general retouching tools that I rely on in photo shop, and those particular tools are the clone stamp tool, which is this one here. The c...

lone stamp tool is the old school tool that's been photo shopped for eons. How long's it been, uh, and all it does is copy from one area of your picture and put it somewhere else. In an attempt to cover something up. So if I wanted to get rid of let's, say one of these telephone lines, I could go to a different portion of my picture and to tell it to copy from that area I hold on the option key alton windows, which I'm doing right now, and I click, then I go elsewhere. In my picture, I click in a drag in all it's doing is blatantly copying from one area and putting it somewhere else. You'll see two cursors across there, which is where you're copying from in a circle, which is where you're applying it when you let go, there is no attempt whatsoever made to make it blend in, so that is the tool I want to use the least because it makes me do all the work that means I need to make sure the area copying from is the right brightness, it's the right color, it has the right texture and that my brush either has a hard or a soft edge to match whatever it is and right touching up against either blends in a lot of work I gotta do mentally to make that tool give me successful results, and so I'm going to try to use that the least, but it's going to become overly useful to try to make the other tools behave and she's undo the second tool that I'm going to use is known as the healing brush in the healing brush looks like a band aid and it is found in this little slot right underneath your eyedropper and above the paintbrush tool there's more than one version of it there's the healing brush and then there's the spot healing rush we'll get to the spot healing brush in a few minutes with the healing brush it works with a similar concept to the clone stamp tool in that you option click somewhere which I'm doing right now all clicking in windows to define where you want to copy from then you click some where in drag to apply it it looks exactly like it did with the clone stamp tool until you release the mouse but the moment you release the mouse button photo shop is going to try to make sure that whatever I put in there perfectly matches its surroundings that means it's going to adjust the brightness of what I put in there to match the whatever's in the surrounding area it's going to adjust the color to make sure it matches the surrounding area and when I let go it's supposed to look like a blends in we have a few issues on the ends and we'll learn how to deal with those and it's doing exactly what I told it to dio which is if you think about the area that I copied from the only thing it's picking up from the area copied from two things the texture er which in this case might be grain in the photo um and any variation in brightness like was there a telephone line going across there where it gets dark in a certain spot? Was there an edge in there where it goes from bright too dark or what? That's what's copying so I copied from out here which in general is smooth and so what I was telling photo shop to do when I applied it over here is to make it justice smooth over there and it did that it tried at least but when it tries to match its surroundings I touched that sign and I was telling to make it look just to smooth this what's out here so it tried to take that green that it found on the edge in smoothly blended way over this way I tried to grab the white on this edge and smoothly blended over if I really wanted it to have an abrupt transition there I should have copied from something that had an abrupt transition meaning if I come up here and copy from this edge do wants a little easier for you to see here copping from here there we have an abrupt transition and so now if I get this tow line up in there click it knows hey, give me that abrupt transition when I get down here it's going to have a little bit issues in that I'm not going to be feeding it an abrupt transition is something bright so I might just stop a little bit shy of that post is there but you see how did a much better job up by the sign because I told it what kind of variation in brightness it should have been there before I was telling it make it perfectly smooth and you don't want a perfectly smooth transition from green too what was in the rest of the retouching you wanted abrupt edge abrupt diagonal one so that's what I copied from if you're not used to that you'll get used to it we're going to do this a lot on a bunch of different images and you'll get a sense for it but before we get into doing a lot more and let's talk about how it's really thinking let's say that I copied from something that is obviously the right wrong brightness I'm gonna copy from down here this is more of a yellowish area the sky that's lighter and I'm gonna apply it up here the brightness is obviously wrong right and the color's wrong too but when I let go it's not copying brightness it's not copying color it's copying texture or variation in brightness that's all it's looking for and so when you copied from the sky down there it said hey make this look perfectly smooth because that's what I'm feeding you when it comes to variation in brightness if I had copied from something else let's say a copy from the building over here do you see the building words got ribs? I'm going option quote there and apply it still, it doesn't matter that the color is different or that the brightness is different. What matters is the texture the variation in brightness when let go it still tries to match the brightness still tries to match the color of the surroundings, but it picks up the variation and brightness from the area in copying from so if I copy from down here with a rock star option, click applied up here I'm gonna get texture of rocks but the brightness and the color from the surroundings that's how anything with the word healing it's asked to it works it always says it's precisely match the surrounding brightness and color. The only thing you're copying is texture in variation of brightness I'll take us a while to get used to that then we have a third tool and it's the spot healing brush the spot healing brush works just like the other healing brush in that it matches its surroundings but you don't have to tell it what to copy from it figures that out for you by intelligently looking at the surroundings in saying if this area you painted across did not exist based on the surroundings what it's photoshopped think would be there so that means if I come in here and pain across a telephone line it says well based on the surroundings that air here your brain would probably say what should be here blue sky because the surroundings look like a bunch of blue stuff and so it just figures that out for you you don't have to tell it what to copy from that doesn't mean it's going toe not occasionally have issues on the edges if you bump into something but we'll learn how to fix those and avoid those as well so I would really like to use this spot healing brush on absolutely everything I ever need to retouch if possible because it's going to do ninety eight point six percent of the work if I come over here and there's some stickers on an oil can or something over here I just paint over that area I let go and I hope it figures out what should brother based on the surroundings but in this case um it didn't quite think right so I usually give it three tries I think of those three strikes and then you're out give it a second try cuban of third try and see if by the third try it can get rid of whatever it is you were attempting to and in this case it did but sometimes it will be finicky where you do it five times and it's still grabbing the wrong stuff and just it doesn't figure it out and that's when I switched to a different tool and say, fine, I'll do a little more work and get it to do what I need. So those are the three tools we're going to be using clone stamp healing, brush in spot healing brush, and we just need to get intimately familiar with those three tools and that's what I'd like to do over the next half hour or so so let's try things out. So we got telephone lines you noticed when I used the healing features that oftentimes we have issues on the ends. We're bumped into an object and that's very common here's how I solve those issues, I go to the clone stamp tool and with the clone stamp tool, what I'm going to do is sever the ends of whatever it is I need to retouch what I'm really trying to do is that the ends, instead of having it brought bump into some other object, I want to put the right content that would be there if that object was already removed. So if you think about the ends of this wire, what should be right here? If the wire wasn't, there should be blue sky shouldn't. So what I'm going to do is use the clone stamp tool, the tool that just blatantly copies from an area and I'll say, well, this should have a green edge and then blue skies, so I'm just going to copy from the edge of the signed by option clicking and then come down here just do that, so I've severed the end. I do the same thing down here with a sinus. I'll get a smaller brush option. Click on the edge of the sign, get this tow line up just do that. You see how it just severed the ends because if anything with the word healing attach always blends into to its surroundings, I've just told it what it's going to blend into on the ends instead of blending into the color of the sign on both ends, its going to blend into this new blue sky I put in so I could do this in each spot just grab a little bitty part of sky, grab it from really close by, though, because the brightness needs to be appropriate and just server the ends like that. Now, after you've done that, just go to your spot healing brush and just paint across it and just don't touch the sign and within the gap, you've added, and then it's going to have no issue whatsoever getting rid of this stuff so if you ever need to retouch up against the edge of something, go ahead and try it first with your spot healing brush because hack if it works great move on, but if you find it messes up on the edge, grab your clone stamp tool and say fine, I'm going to manually give a little gap there where it doesn't actually touch that object anymore. Instead, I've created the gap, so if you want to do a lot of these telephone lines, I might grab my cohen stamped tool here and just get the ends of them, and I'll talk about a different tool that in some instances will be able to do this in a single step process. It's just we haven't talked about that tool yet, so I can't quite get into it yet, but I'm just severing the ends with the appropriate brightness. So if I several these ends, the other thing I might want to do to make it more manageable is if there's any really, really long spans of these things is I might want to sever it somewhere in the middle because otherwise have to paint across the entire length of this line to make it look right, but if I just severed in the middle, I can do it into chunks and it just makes it more manageable, especially if they're really long and curved and complex I might sever the middle not essential though you can do it is one piece now let's go to our spot healing brush and now we can fix all of those I could just click and just make sure that when you're painting you don't let this circle touch those surrounding objects on lee let it touch blue sky and the thing that you're trying to retouch out and the reason why we want tio on ly sever the ends and not just give up on the healing features is if I don't if I just take my um clone stamp tool may copy from close by usually the brightness will not look right even if you're really close like right now when I do that can you tell this is a little too bright for its surroundings? Yeah whereas if he used something with the word healing attached it's going to make sure it matches the surrounding brightness so right there are gonna be careful not to bump the sign sure I got that on the way ok? Sometimes it'll mess up their copied back one of the telephone lines but give it three strikes that messes up three times then you know try something else another trick is if you click on one end and just let go then hold on the shift key in click on the other end anytime we shift click with any painting a retouching tool in general it will connect the dots between wherever you painted last and where you're clicking right now it's just means snapped a straight line between where you clicked last on where you're clicking now so hold shift here and it just painted across that for me and get a smaller brush and so I could just click here hold shift cook there, click here shift clip there and to this kind of stuff now one thing I should mention it and think about it on this particular image is if you ever work on skies like this, sometimes the end results um if they don't look smooth, all you need to do is when you're done like I can see some banning in the sky right now is get a bigger brush and go over those areas and see if you get her to smooth out if you can't it means that is probably copying from one of the other bands that are in there and if you guys can see that bands but go up to an area of smooth sky like way up here remember the brightness and the color don't matter it's just the variation in brightness and so this looks like it should in that other area in just go to the normal healing brush tool instead of the spot one and you can tell it where to copy from by option clicking I'll just copy up there from the sky then I can come down here is a smooth this out, but if it doesn't work for some reason in this case that's doing okay, one issue can be with blue skies, especially if there's very subtle changes so of some kind. I bumped into the building up here wright was copying from let me re tell it where to copy from someone on lee so much space up there available, but smooth that stuff out if you just find that regardless, whatever you do, you cannot get it to smooth out, then it means your images and eight bit mode in there are certain skies that go over a long enough distance, where eight bits means two hundred fifty six brightness levels were contained within your picture, sometimes that's not enough for really smooth skies that go across a very wide expands, and so you would need to change the mode of your picture from eight bits to sixteen from eight to sixteen, and in doing so, you're going tio give photoshopped more information to work with, and it will be able to give you a smoother looking in result it's mainly with skies that you'll notice it. And if you just find that regardless of what you do with it, it doesn't look smooth go to sixteen bit mode try again and you're probably gonna get a better looking result so those are telephone lines, severally ends and then used the with the hex it call the spot healing brush spot healing brush can also be used for all sorts of other things. It's censored suspects it's fine, or if you just want to get rid of little objects in your image like this little piece of weeds, just paint over it and it will figure out from the surroundings what copy from want to get rid of some little thing out here, paint over it, and it will try to figure it out, give it three chances, and if it doesn't work, then switched to a different tool where you have to do a little bit more manual work and then we can tackle other things. Question. Yes, I notice you're using normal mode for all of thes healing totals. Yeah, why would you know, do in content aware with it, or how does it think differently, incontinent, where, what are the differences? I am in content where actually if you look at the top of my screen, but my screen right here is a setting called content aware. Oh, I see and that's what I'm using what you might be thinking about is the patch tool the patch to it would have a menu similar to this where you switch between normal and content where I'm going to talk about the pashto later on there's a lot of limitations and using the patch tool I don't use it very frequently it we'll talk about it later but that's where you'd switch tweeted but this the default setting this content aware question coming in from the internet regarding eight versus sixteen bit do you recommend always starting in sixteen that versus eight bit the problem is your file size is twice as big and there are a few things and photo shop that will gain from being in sixteen bit mode as you add layers, it gets even bigger so you can end it with some massive files, so I don't suggest that absolutely everyone out there uses sixteen bit mode I we'll try to talk into sixteen bit mode when you notice an advantage because otherwise I want my file sizes to be quite it's huge if you don't mind massive files if you're not complaining about how faster computer runs you're not complaining about your hard drives filling up you have no complaints about that stuff then ideally stay in sixteen bit mode and use it all the time but if you are complaining about how faster computer is or how much they say everything's taken up in your hard drive, I would only go to sixteen that when you would notice a difference that would be when you're stitching panorama is panorama stitching looks better in sixteen bit mode or if you're using the healing brush across skies and you notice it doesn't look smooth, then go back open the original image again, say sixteen bit or just convert to sixteen bit from the menu, or if you have very subtle transitions in your image like let's say you have a blue sky and on one side of your photograph it's certain shade of blue on the opposite side of let's, say, a panorama it's, a slightly different shade of blue and it's over such a wide expanse that it would need to be so smooth to be out there sixteen that could be helpful then, too, but for the vast majority of images for most people, I would just guess seventy percent of the images you would notice a difference cool and then one other comment I would say there's a lot of discussion about a versus sixteen bit. One thing people will bring up is a hist a gram if anybody ever shows you hissed a gram to try to convince you into using sixteen bit mode, say thank you and then say now I don't print my history, graham really big I print my image so show me two images side by side the exact same image where I can see it in the picture, not in the bar chart because you don't put the bar chart it's fine and everything, but I want to see a visible difference in my picture and if I can't see it there, I could care less. What a bar chart looks like having said that the bar charts great barters useful the bar chart tells you that if it's spread out and has big comb like gaps, you might want to inspect your image to see if you can see it but unless I can see it that's not a convincing discussion to me, but that's what the church I think that person I'm going to start printing my instagram if you print your guest around, you know five feet wide and then you print your picture you know really tiny is referenced down in the corner great but so let's take a look at how we can use thes features and combination and how I would tackle a more complex image using them so first off I would love to just use the spot healing brush on darner everything if there's something I want to get rid of like this little cone that's here, I would click on it, drag across it and cross my fingers hoping that it will be able to handle it and oftentimes it will but it depends on what kind of background is behind it if it's gonna be able to handle or not, but considering the amount of work I just did, that wasn't bad considering it depends on what my clients quality standards are that kind of stuff that might not be bad let's see other things we might want to retouch out um there's a would post here I doubt it's going to do a good job because what should the end of that planter look like by looking at the rest of the picture? Can you even figure it out? House photoshopped gonna figure it out? Well, let's see what it does there it's not absolutely terrible but might need to do a little more there it's trying so I would love to use out shoes hundreds I won't quite put up with that level of quality. We'll try to get rid of this usually out of pain over the entirety of the object you want to remove, otherwise it blends into those colors that are left over. It did a lot of the work there so I might use the spot healing brush is a starting point and then touch up where it messes up or as I say, give it three strikes before your you are going to switch to something else usually you pain over a big area and it's not going to screw up the whole thing. So then you paint over a smaller area where it messed up and then paid over a smaller area work messed up to see if they can fix it, but oftentimes I don't try to just test it without instead I get used to when it's going to mess up it's going to mess up whenever something bumps into the edge. Your picture like this because when it tries to blend in with its surroundings, there's nothing beyond this edge to blind him with so all it confined is what's there to begin with and so it's going to try to blend into this dark thing that's here, what I want to do is remove this raised area that's here so here's, how I'm gonna do it? I'm gonna grab my normal clone stamp tool and I'm just going to break the problem into smaller chunks. So I'm gonna copy from up here by option clicking, clicking in windows I'm gonna paint it down here. So now I've isolated this portion from this porch jin by surrounding it with what would be there if that thing wasn't that makes sense, I just severed it where bumps into the edge of the frame that's what would usually have an issue I'm gonna copy from up here and I'm just going to put in what should be there if that object wasn't now watch the cross hair do you see the cross there up above the storm copying from do you see what it's about to hit was like over this way it's about to hit that transition into the other color of asphalt so I got that down here doesn't look quite right so I might need a copy again option click but now I've made it so it's not going to have that issue at the bottom here because what it bumps in it's going to see this color the color that should be there okay then this object I'm just going to break it apart and I might break it down here as well so now this is little chunks that I can deal with individually is long as they're surrounded by the proper brightness texture and color that's the stuff that photo shops going to blend into when I use something with the word healing attached then it should be all right I'll copy from up here and I'm just going to try to isolate that poll that's here from the problem that I have it doesn't have to be perfect it has to be approximately right I want that a little later okay then I'm going to come in and start using tried to use the spot healing brush and I'm just going to say fine now get rid of this. I know that the surroundings are the proper brightness the proper color proper texture and I just crossing my fingers and hoping it will find the right stuff from the surroundings to figure out how to get rid of that then I go to the next part kid it sometimes I have to go over it twice then I go to the next part and then sometimes have to touch up little areas when they don't look quite right but I'm using the spot healing brush because it does most the work go up here I might need to break this up even further let's just see what it does because when I come up here if I bump into that bottom the green part of that pump it's probably going to pull the green over see how it kind of pulled it down so isolated better get in there with your clone stamp tool get a small brush and copy from over here and try to create a gap between the object your retouching and what is bumping into it so there's a little bit of gap in there now I might separate this right down the middle is well doesn't have to be overly precise running out of space there s after option click again copy from the other side but I see how it kind of divided it up into little pieces and then see if it'll work I don't know if it will if it won't it just means more manual work for us but sometimes it well that's not so great stride the top this is where I might end up using layers which is a topic we'll talk about later in the day yeah it's not doing quite as well there but you saw down here at the bottom that breaking it up into smaller chunks ended up making it easier to tackle and that's one of the main things I want to get across there and when you use anything with the word healing it's going to blend in with its surroundings and so I'm going to need to make sure what's surrounding it on all sides looks right and that's what I just put in there now I can't always touch this up get out of your spot healing brush go to the normal one because some of the textures over there just look a little odd but I don't have to limit myself from copying from that surface that's right there were stark I can copy from way over here remember doesn't copy brightness overall the copies variation of brightness or texture so I can copy from over here even though this is too bright and then use it over here to smooth things out it'll make it match you know that kind of stuff s o I often do have to touch things up like that the main thing is when you're done inspect the area in the main thing to look for odd textures and repeats if you see the same little weed twice in their near each other, your brain is going to be able to pick that up, and you gotta have to retouch out one of the two. And so if I copied from the other edge of the photograph, your brains much more difficult to see a repeated pattern when it's from the other side of the document, and so, if it's possible to copy from far away, I will often do so. Just see your brain doesn't pick up that repeat so it's a little bit about using the combination of the clone stamp tool, the healing brush and the spot healing brush. We're going to do a lot more of that throughout the day, but we had to get started somewhere, so hopefully this helps somewhat uh, we have questions and such before we go to break, I think we've got maybe one or two questions. Let's, go ahead and start with d from philly. How do you rotate the spot you clone to match areas that curve different really that's what we're going to talk about later way have to progress, so when were like when we were over by this these pumps here ah we're going to end up copying from this chunk over on the right side let's say words straight and we're gonna use it to go around this corner we're going to have to make a curve and we would have to be able to do that kind of stuff and that's why I left that part so I could get to later uh that kind of stuff we're also going to progress into other things like I haven't used layers at all yet because we have talked about him yet and I would usually be doing this on a later learning that the healing brush is our friend oh yeah all right a quick question from darrell s when you use phil content aware is it on lee the healing brush in disguise it is similar to the healing brush in disguise but there are a lot of limitations of it so I'll show you some instances when I go to the edit menu and I choose content aware there are some advantages but there are also many disadvantages and so you'll find that I don't use it as frequently as some other people might um but I'll show you why uh after break it is great just a quick final question did you photo do you really edit using only the touch pad or does he was a mouse repent tablet because this really bothers them I love it I live on a tour bus okay and so I have a limited amount of time this desk is about three to four times as large as that is my desk and so do a limited amount of space there's probably four times as big as my dad due to a limited amount of space I don't have much around and so I would like to use a graphic sabaneta walk I'm talent's nice and I do on occasion but I find that frequently I need a sheet of paper a reference material sitting here I have my laptop or something similar keyboard here and I just don't have much space that's the on ly reason why I might be using a trackpad instead of a tablet if I had the luxury of space I would be always using a tablet wacom tablet served their awesome but what happened to me as I used to travel with a wacom tablet and I use it from my seminars when I was done I'd take the court and I'd wrap it around it and I put in my bag and after doing that one hundred times the court got a short in it and I had to do with full three day seminar without the tablet because we were in the middle of nowhere a skouras places where you could buy it and there was a major short in the court and I got used to the track pad where I'm pretty darn good at so I don't mind using the trackpad. But if I had the luxury of space, I would always have a graphic cell.

Class Description

Part of the Complete Photoshop Mastery Bundle.

Learn how to retouch any image, whether it be the simplest problem or the most complex and seemingly impossible task. Understand the difference between all the retouching tools and then learn how to supplement them with other Adobe® Photoshop® features. See how multiple images can be combined into a seamless composite that is much more than the sum of its parts.

  • Learn the difference between all the retouching tools and when to use each one
  • See how the Clone Source panel can help with difficult retouching jobs
  • Rid your images of telephone poles, power lines and pedestrians, even if they overlap complex backgrounds like trees
  • Discover how Layer Masks, Blending Sliders and Vector Masks are best implemented
  • Learn how Smart Objects can allow you to make almost infinite changes to your design without having to rework your image

  • This course is also part of the Photoshop tutorials series

    Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CS6