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Retouching Images in Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 4 of 7

Retouching with the Healing Brush

Ben Willmore

Retouching Images in Adobe Photoshop

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

4. Retouching with the Healing Brush

Lesson Info

Retouching with the Healing Brush

So I'm going to come up here and I'm going going to now switch to a tool that is called the Healing Brush tool. The Healing Brush tool is similar to the Spot Healing Brush. The only difference is it allows me to pick where I'm copying from. So instead of copying from just anywhere I get to tell it. So I'm going to come over here where I see an intersection of grout lines. I'll option click there to indicate that's where I'd like to copy from. I'll then go over here towards the left side and with all of these retouching tools the very first time you use them you'll have to go to the Options bar at the top of your screen because the default setting is to only work on one layer and ignore the rest of the document. You need to set it to Current & Below or if it doesn't offer that option it might have a check box called Sample All Layers. But now I can come in here and get this grout line to line up, click and I want to paint across the entirety of the area I'm attempting to change. Cov...

er up the entire problem. When I let go it attempts to blend in with it's surroundings. I'm going to copy from the exact same intersection a second time. Option clicking there and using it right up here too. I just need to move up and down to make sure the horizontal grout line lines up and then side to side to get the vertical one. Click and now work my way out. Now if I don't have enough space because when I start working my way downward watch the crosshair at the bottom right of my screen that's where it's copying from. If it ever hits that wood floor it's not going to look right. We're going to start getting that wood floor transition which I just did. That's a bummer so I choose Undo. That means I need to break this up into multiple pieces again. Because I didn't have a large enough area to copy from. Anytime I need to break things up I go to my Clone Stamp tool. Clone Stamp simply means copy from one area. Put it somewhere else. I'll grab from the grout line here by Option clicking, I'll come up above, just break it up. All I'm trying to do is get this area so it's surrounded on all sides by the proper brightness. Therefore when I come over here and use the tool with the Healing, the word Healing attached, it can blend into the proper information. I'm going to go to this intersection of grout lines on the right side. Option click. Get it to line up here. Then paint over the entirety of that problem. Because if I'm only painting halfway across it's trying to blend in with what's just outside my brush to the left . It's way too dark. I need to cover that up in order to get it to be able to line up. There I hit the bottom again. So I might to need to choose to Undo. And just try again and not move down quite as far. Then I can come to just this grout line. The vertical one. Option click on it. Use it to connect these together. Now know that later on in a different lesson, I will show you a much more advanced way of performing retouching. And when I do that you'll be able to see how you could scale, rotate and flip horizontal pieces. And it will make it so there are many other areas you can copy from that we might not be able to at the moment. The other thing is know that anytime you have the word Healing attached to a tool you do not have to copy from an area that is the appropriate brightness. Or even the appropriate color. It just needs to have the appropriate variation in brightness. Like here where the grout line starts and it's got a highlight on the edge. It may be a shadow in the middle. That means I might be able to copy from way over here. Even though this area might be a lot darker then what I need to put it in with. I might still be able to copy from there because I'm using a Healing Brush. Healing means blend in with surroundings. Not sure if that will work or not. I've never tried it. I'll Option click there though and just see could I use it over here. Even though it might be considerably darker. If you just look on the right side of my screen you can tell it's a lot darker. But when it gets applied over here it automatically blends in with the surroundings. Whatever's just outside the area where I am painting. So I can easily copy from that other side.

Class Description


  • Work non-destructively so any change you make is easily undoable in the future
  • Use the content of multiple documents
  • Determine why Content-Aware Fill often produces disappointing results
  • Understand the fundamental differences between Clone Stamp, Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush
  • Formulate an effective strategy for comingling tools when a single tool cannot tackle a problem


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


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)

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