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Healing Brush/Patch Tool

Q1:What is the difference between the Healing Brush and the Clone Stamp?
A1: The Healing Brush tool uses a similar cloning concept to the Clone Stamp, but the Healing Brush also matches the shading and texture of the source pixels. This helps the repaired area blend in better with the surrounding area. Note: For both tools, you must Option-click (PC: Alt-click) to sample a source area.
Q2:Is it possible to use the Healing Brush from one image to another? I'd like to use a second image as the source for the Healing Brush. Is that possible?
A2: Yes, you just have to ensure that both images are in the same color mode (Image>Mode). Then Option-click (PC: Alt-click) in one image to establish the reference point, and switch to the second document to use the Healing Brush.
Q3:Why can't I see the size of my Healing Brush?
A3: If the Caps Lock key is on, you'll see the precise cursor rather than the brush size. Turn off Caps Lock to see the actual brush size.
Q4:How can I make the results of the Healing Brush less obvious? When I touch up wrinkles, the result looks artificial. Is there a way to make the effect more subtle?
A4: One simple technique is to click on the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers palette to add a new layer, and in the Options Bar for the Healing Brush, check Sample All Layers. When you use the Healing Brush, the results will be on the new layer, which allows you to lower the Opacity to make the results less obvious.
Q5:How do I remove the obvious edge created by the Healing Brush? Sometimes I can see an obvious edge where I've used the Healing Brush. Is there some way to avoid that?

A5: If you're seeing an obvious edge from your use of the Healing Brush, try changing the brush shape to an angled oval. Click on the down-facing arrow to the right of the brush thumbnail in the Options Bar and in the resulting Brush Picker, use the handles in the Angle preview to make a slim oval, and then drag the arrow to change the angle. Now when you use the tool, the angle of the brush will cause the Healing Brush to be much more random, and the edge will usually be much less obvious. Another possible solution is to use a hard-edged brush—that way the Healing brush doesn't “look as far” for pixels to fix the problem.
Q6:What is the difference between using the Patch tool and copying pixels? I used a feathered selection and Option/Alt-dragged with the Move tool to copy pixels over a problem area. How is the Patch tool different?
A6: The Patch tool is different in a couple of important ways. First, you don't have to add feathering because that happens automatically. More importantly, perhaps, the Patch tool doesn't just cover up the problem, but also matches the lighting, shading, and texture of the problem area to help the patch blend in.
Q7:Is it possible to change the size of the area I selected with the Patch tool?
A7: If you need to refine the selected area made by the Patch tool, hold down Shift as you click-and-drag to add to the selected area, or press-and-hold Option (PC: Alt) to remove from the selected area. It's also important to note that you can use any selection tool first, and then switch to the Patch tool to use that selection as the patch.
Q8:What is the difference between Source and Destination with the Patch tool?

A8: There are two ways of using the Patch tool. One way is to select the area you want to fix, and then drag the selection to the area you want to use as the patch. In this case, choose Source. The other method is to select the area you want to use as a patch, and then drag it over the problem area. That is when you use Destination. Here's another way to think of these options: Source = Problem, Destination= Solution. If you want to select and fix the problem areas, use Source. If you want to select the solution and drag it over the problem, choose Destination.
Q9:Why doesn't the Healing Brush/Patch tool cover the spot when I drag a selection?
A9: There are a few possible reasons:
  1. If you don't see any results at all, you could be on the wrong layer.

  2. If the area you're trying to fix is “too bright” in contrast to the surrounding areas, then the Healing Brush/Patch won't be able to blend in, and the results won't be ideal. One possible solution is to start with the Clone Stamp tool (S) to “separate” the area you're trying to fix, before using the Healing Brush or Patch tool.

  3. The Patch tool option could be set to Transparent. Although there are a few situations when this option is helpful, it typically should not be used when trying to fix a problem.



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