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Working Faster with Photoshop’s Spot Healing Brush Tool

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The Spot Healing Brush tool was added to Photoshop as a way to harness powerful blending technology with less work (although the Healing Brush is pretty labor-free to begin with). It can quickly remove blemishes and imperfections in photos without requiring a sample point to be set.

The Spot Healing Brush tool automatically samples pixels from the area around the retouched area.

Let’s give the tool a try:

1. Open a file with a blemish (or download our sample image)

Ch11 Fig 14 Spot Healing 1
Look closely at the image; you’ll see some acne on the child’s forehead and a wet spot on her shirt. Both are easy fixes with the Spot Healing Brush tool.
2. Activate the Spot Healing Brush tool from the Tools panel.

3. Choose a soft-edged brush from the Options bar. Make the brush only slightly larger than the problem areas. For this image, a brush size of 25 pixels and a hardness of 25% will work well.

4. Set the blending mode in the Options bar to Replace to preserve noise, grain, and hair texture at the edges of the stroke.

5. Choose a Type of repair in the Options bar:

• Proximity Match. Pixels from the edge of the selection are used as a patch for the selected area. This should be the first attempt at repair; if it doesn’t look good, switch to the Create Texture option.

• Create Texture. Pixels in the selection are used to create a texture to fix the damaged area. If the texture doesn’t work, try dragging through the area one more time.

Ch11 Fig 15 Spot Healing 2

6. Click once on an area you want to fix. You can also click and drag over a larger area. After fixing the acne, touch up the wet spot on the child’s shirt. If you are unhappy with the spot healing stroke, simply undo and try again with a smaller brush. You can also try stroking in different directions to modify your results.

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Ch11 Fig 16 Spot Healing 3

Upon close examination, you should notice that you have healed several blemishes in the photo. If only life were so easy.

About Richard Harrington (43 Articles)
A certified instructor for Adobe and Apple, Rich is a practiced expert in motion graphic design and digital video. Rich is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals Instructor Dream Team, and a popular speaker on the digital video circuit. Rich is an internationally published author. His book, Photoshop for Video, was the first of its kind to focus on Photoshop’s application in the world of video. He is also a contributing author for Apple’s Aperture, iLife ’09 and iWork ’09, Video Made on a Mac, and Producing Video Podcasts. If you want even more Photoshop training, check out his book Understanding Adobe Photoshop CS4. If you have an iPod touch or iPhone, you can get <a href="http://tinyurl.com/upapps">Rich’s Training in your Pocket</a>

1 Comment on Working Faster with Photoshop’s Spot Healing Brush Tool

  1. Spot Healing Brush tool is awesome tool in Photoshop. It quickly captured the affected areas around the retouched zone.Very good work Richard.I love it so much.Thanks for posting the content.I sure it will very helpful for the new comer who are interested in Photoshop retouchingretouching.

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