Monday, July 13, 2009

Cosmetic Surgery with The Spot Healing Brush

This Photoshop tutorial will show how to remove small glare spots, scratches, fuzz, cat hairs, and other boo boos (think of this as the 'cosmetic surgery' of Photoshop).

final edited image at left, Cuppa Black, 10" x 10"

First, a nice compliment: Here's a really great quote (Thanks Doug!) from the very fine painter Doug Hoover:
"R. I just wanted to tell you, as a 20 year recovering creative veteran, your Photoshop posts are spot-on. You know your PSD stuff. For a full-time artist, I think Photoshop is invaluable. And the only way to get good at this is to do it over and over. I started using Photoshop in 1995 and haven't looked back... You rock... D.

So, onto to today's tutorial:
Repairing small glare spots, scratches, fuzz, and other boo boos with the Spot Healing Brush.

First, I've opened the usual set of two matching images, and then used the Zoom Tool to magnify what I want to correct: primarily the cat hair (how'd that get in there??). To use the Zoom tool, click on the icon in the bottom of the side tool box that looks like a tiny magnifying glass. Holding down your Ctrl Key, (Cmmd for Mac users), click on + to enlarge, and - to reduce. (that's the 'plus' and minus' keys respectively.

Photoshop (CS2 and up) has a great little tool called the Spot Healing Brush; it is located on the main toolbox and the icon looks like a little bandaid. For small repairs on photos you can't beat this tool.

The Spot Healing Tool is very easy to use. Click on the tool, and then set the size as needed in the toolbar above: click on 'Brush' and a drop down palette will let you size the tool. To use the tool to take away dust motes, tiny raised spots that caught the light, etc., simply click on the offending spot. It will automatically blend into the surrounding area.

For scratches or hairs on a straight line
, click on one end of the line (the circle below indicated that starting point of the tool); then hold hold the shift key, and click again. The whole line should correct. If you get color crossover, undo the step (Ctrl+Z) and do in shorter segments.

Below is the corrected photo (on the left) line gone!