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Chapter 4. Secrets of Retouching >  Repairing Images with the Healing Brush and...

Repairing Images with the Healing Brush and Patch Tools

You’re going to love the Healing Brush and the Patch tools. Trust me. Maybe not today, or tomorrow, but when they get these innovative implements perfected you’re going to love them. Originally introduced in Photoshop 7, and working a little faster in Photoshop CS, both tools have yet to be matched by competing image editors. Both can do some things very quickly that you’d spend ten times as much time doing using the Clone tool or other methods.

The chief drawback to the Clone tool is that it’s “dumb.” The Clone brush ignores the pixels you’re painting over, and covers them completely with the pixels you’re copying from another location. That means you must be fairly clever about where you Alt/Option + click to create an origin point for the Clone tool. Ideally, you should select an area that is fairly close to the destination pixels in color, tone, and texture. If you can’t do that, there are various workarounds, such as changing the opacity of the Clone brush to less than 100 percent to allow some of the underlying pixels to show through. You can also clone onto a new, empty layer and merge that with the original image pixels using one of Photoshop’s cryptic blending modes.


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