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PhotoShop Trick: Using the Healing Brush tool in PhotoShop

Posted on: October 13, 2009


The healing brush tool lets you correct imperfections, causing them to disappear into the surrounding image. Like the cloning tools, you use the healing brush tool to paint with sampled pixels from an image or pattern. However, the healing brush tool also matches the texture, lighting, and shading of the sampled pixels to the source pixels. As a result, the repaired pixels blend seamlessly into the rest of the image.

healing tool

To use the healing brush tool:

  1. Select the healing brush tool.Click the brush sample in the options bar and set brush options in the pop-up palette
  2. If you’re using a pressure-sensitive digitizing tablet, choose an option from the Size menu to vary the size of the healing brush over the course of a stroke. Choose Pen Pressure to base the variation on the pen pressure. Choose Stylus Wheel to base the variation on the position of the pen thumbwheel. Choose Off to not vary the size.
  3. Choose a blending mode from the Mode pop-up menu in the options bar: Choose Replace to preserve noise, film grain, and texture at the edges of the brush stroke.
  4. Choose a source to use for repairing pixels in the options bar: Sampled to use pixels from the current image, or Pattern to use pixels from a pattern. If you chose Pattern, select a pattern from the Pattern pop-up palette.
  5. Determine how you want to align the sampled pixels: If you select Aligned in the options bar, you can release the mouse button without losing the current sampling point. As a result, the sampled pixels are applied continuously, no matter how many times you stop and resume painting. If you deselect Aligned in the options bar, the sampled pixels are applied from the initial sampling point each time you stop and resume painting.
  6. For the healing brush tool in sampling mode, set the sampling point by positioning the pointer in any open image and Alt-clicking (Windows) or Option-clicking (Mac OS).

Note: If you are sampling from one image and applying to another, both images must be in the same color mode unless one of the images is in Grayscale mode.

Finally, drag in the image. The sampled pixels are melded with the existing pixels each time you release the mouse button. Look in the status bar to view the status of the melding process.

Also note that this trick works well in PhotoShop Version 7.0. Do you know how it works in the newer versions of PhotoShop?

– Millie

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2 Responses to "PhotoShop Trick: Using the Healing Brush tool in PhotoShop"

I just started using photoshop elements and this is a great tool. It works a lot better than Gimp’s equivalent.

-Thanks for linking my blog. I added your link on my blog under “Blogs I read” Keep up the good work

Hi,

I’ve heard a lot about Gimp but never really had a chance of working on it. Thanks for your comment! Its good to know…

Also, thanks for adding my blog! 3 cheers!! 😉

– Millie

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