Healing Brush Tool 21: The Best Photoshop Tools

Healing Brush tool
Healing Brush tool

Undoing image. Like the clone tools, the Healing Brush Tool is used to paint with sampled pixels from an image or subject. However, the Healing Brush also matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels to the source pixels. As a result, the repaired pixels blend seamlessly with the rest of the image

The most used corrective tools in Photoshop are two. The Healing Brush tool and the Patch tool. The Healing Brush also has a variant, the Spot Healing Brush.

We use Photoshop correctors when we want to repair certain imperfections in photos. Removing pimples, moles or stains is very easy thanks to these tools. It seems that Photoshop works magic when using concealers as their use solves certain image defects effortlessly.

The Photoshop correction brush takes a sample of the area we have chosen and then applies it to the area that we have indicated. Photoshop compares brightness, light, texture, and contrast to make the cloning as close as possible. 

The first step will be to select the healing brush from the toolbar or by pressing the J key on the keyboard. We must remember to duplicate the layer we want to work on to be able to go back if necessary. To do this we will select the layer and press the command sequence Ctrl + J.

Spot Healing Brush Tool Photoshop’s spot healing

brush differs from the previous one in that it does not take any pre-swatches. This brush corrects the imperfections taking as reference the pixels that are around the place where we have clicked with the mouse. It is recommended for small defects that can be corrected with adjacent areas.

To use it, simply move the mouse, while pressing the right button, over the area to be corrected. Photoshop will do the correction automatically.

Patch Tool 

Photoshop’s Patch tool works in a similar way to the Healing Brush tool. Take a sample from one area and apply that sample to another. It takes into account texture, brightness, color, contrast, etc. Also, the Photoshop patch compares the source and destination areas so there are no sharp jumps in the arrangements. The tool is found on the same button as the Healing Brushes tool or by pressing the J key on the keyboard.

How to use the patch

The Photoshop patch has an options bar like the rest of the tools. With it we can determine if we add, subtract or intersect in the selection. If we check the transparent option we will obtain texture in the sample but the background will be translucent. What will differentiate the use of the patch will be the source and destination option. The tool will work in one way or another depending on what we have selected.

To start retouching with the patch, we must make a closed selection without stopping pressing the left mouse button. The area where we do it will depend on whether we have chosen the origin option or the destination option. 

With the first we will surround the area that we want to modify. By clicking on it and keeping the mouse pressed, we will move it to where we want the sample to be taken for the arrangement. In the space that we select first, we will see the part of the image to which we are dragging it.

Red-Eye Brush Tool

The first step will be to find and open our image with red eyes following the following path: file> open. Once the photograph is open, we will look in the tools panel for the Red-eye Brush tool. This is found together with corrective tools such as the Patch or the Spot Healing Brush Tool. As with all Photoshop jobs we recommend duplicating the background layer with the command Ctrl + J. We will work on the duplicated layer .

Once the Red Eye Brush is selected, we determine the size of the pupil and the amount of darkening we want. We recommend giving a value around 50% in this parameter. When we have chosen the correct values, we click on the center of the pupil with the mouse. Photoshop will automatically correct the red eyes of our model.

Clone Stamp Tool

Photoshop’s clone stamp tool is one of the most useful for digital photo retouching. It requires a lot of experience and its use is not easy. Cloning with the Photoshop stamp allows you to copy certain motifs or parts of an image into the same image or another. 

The clone stamp, unlike the Patch tools or the Healing Brush Tool, does not take contrast or brightness values   into account. That is why the fusion of the copied areas practically does not exist. The best results when using the tampon are when combined with the correction brush and patch.

Buffer options

The clone stamp has an options bar like all Photoshop tools. In it we can configure the operation of the buffer and adapt it to our needs. The options are the same as for any Brush since both tools work in the same way.

The clone stamp is the same as a brush but what it will paint will be what is in the part of the image that we have taken the sample. To select it we will click on its icon in the toolbar or by pressing the S key .

To start cloning with the pad, the first thing to do is choose the appropriate brush size that will depend on the area to be cloned in each photograph. A low flow and opacity will make us have to repeat the operation more times but the result will be more satisfactory. In the Sample option we will determine in which layer we want it to be taken into account for cloning.

Once all the parameters have been determined, we will begin to work. The Aligned option will keep the initial point fixed or it will keep it aligned with respect to the area in which we apply the sample.

To select the area that we want to take as a sample, we hold down the Alt key and click on the part of the chosen photo. Photoshop will clone what we have in that area of   the image where we paint with the brush.

We remember that the first step should always be to duplicate the layer so as not to lose the original image and have a reference to the change. In the chosen photograph we have decided to remove the shoes from the image and leave the sand clean. We must be careful not to leave very obvious repetitions.

Sudden changes in color will reveal that the image has been retouched. In this case, to achieve greater discretion in terms of retouching, we will choose sample areas far from the part to be cloned. We must not forget to respect the lines and curves of the image so that the edition is fluid.

Eraser Tool 

With this group of tools we will be able to eliminate parts of an image to extract the backgrounds or keep those parts of the photo that interest us. To directly access this group of tools we can use the keyboard shortcut “E”.

By themselves they are destructive tools (deleted pixels cannot be recovered, except with the help of the history panel). We can also use the shortcuts CTRL + Z or CTRL + Alt + Z.

ERASER:The eraser changes the pixels to the background color or to a transparent appearance. If it is applied on a locked layer, the pixels change to the background color and if not, the transparency replaces the pixels. With the eraser tool we can use any form of brush by choosing one of those that we have loaded. We can also vary the opacity of the tool according to our needs.

Blur tool

The icon that corresponds to the blur tool simulates a drop. Once chosen we can set the size of the blur, its intensity and the blending modes as if it were a brush . To blur any area of   the image, just hold down the left mouse button and paint in the area we want to edit as if it were a brush. The degree of blur will vary depending on the intensity that we have determined but in general the change will be very subtle.

Sharpen Tool

The effect of this tool is the opposite of that explained to blur. When we use the sharpen tool Photoshop increases the contrast in the color of the pixels. This gives a feeling of increased sharpness. The focus must be used with care since if we exceed it we will oversaturate the image and the reference of the original colors will be lost. Even if the image is black as in our case. It is applied in the same way as blur, painting over the area to focus as if it were a brush.

Finger Tool

Photoshop’s finger is a tool that generates a drag and move effect on the colors of the area to which we apply it. Its use is the same as the rest of the tools. Without stopping pressing the left mouse button we paint over the area that we want to blur.

In the finger options, in addition to the usual parameters, we find the Paint with fingers box. If the option is inactive, the finger will use the ink on which it is applied. When activated your finger can also paint in addition to dragging. The color you use to paint will be the one activated in the color picker in the tools panel.

Overexpose and Burn Tools Dodge and Burn take their names from ancient development techniques. The negatives were developed by projecting light from an enlarger onto a sheet of sensitive paper. 

If an object was placed between the light and the paper during exposure, a shadow could be cast on a specific part of the image: since this shaded area received less light than the rest of the scene, it appeared lighter. 

To obscure detail in another part of the printout, the rest of the photo paper had to be masked with a piece of cardboard, and the longer exposure time darkened the unmasked area. Development material

Manipulating the exposure during development was somewhat unpredictable, as the overexposure instrument had to be moved to prevent it from casting a pronounced shadow and blending the lightened area with the rest of the scene. Conversely, part of the photo could be underexposed and too much detail lost.

In this image we can see how the overexposed area and the underexposed area are noticeable.


Sponge Tool

Finally we can talk about the Sponge tool, it allows us to saturate (give more color) or desaturate (remove color) specific parts of an image. Saturate and Desaturate Options of the sponge tool In the palette above we show the options of the sponge tool, we have the size of the brush, the tips of the brush, the mode that can be Saturate and Desaturate, flow, airbrush (allows you to use a pencil pressure sensitive, works with the pressure setting of a tablet) and intensity (prevents the brighter colors from being over-saturated and acts on the weak ones).

Use the Healing Brush tool and final working Done (Photoshop)

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