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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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The Extract command provides a sophisticated way to isolate a foreground object and erase its background on a layer. Even objects with wispy, intricate, or undefinable edges may be clipped from their backgrounds with a minimum of manual work.

Note: For simpler cases, you can instead use the background eraser tool.

To extract an object, you use tools in the Extract dialog box. First you draw a highlight that marks the edges of the object, ad define the object’s interior. Then you can preview the extraction and redo it or touch up the result as needed. When you extract the object, PhotoShop erases its background to transparency. Pixels on the edge of the object lose their color components derived from the background, so they can blend with a new background without producing a color halo.

To extract an object from its background:

1. In the Layers palette, select the layer containing the object you want to extract. If you select a background layer, it becomes a normal layer after the extraction. To avoid losing the original image information, duplicate the layer or make a snapshot of the original image state.

Note: If the layer contains a selection, the extraction erases the background only in the selected area.

2. Choose Filter > Extract. You use tools in the Extract dialog box to specify which part of the image to extract. You can resize the dialog box by dragging its lower right corner.

3. Specify options for tools in the dialog box (you can change these settings at any time):

For Brush Size, enter a value, or drag the slider to specify the width of the edge highlighter, eraser, cleanup, and edge touchup tools.

For Highlight, choose a preset color option, or choose Other to specify a custom color for the highlight.

For Fill, choose a preset color option, or choose Other to specify a custom color for the area covered by the fill tool.

If you are highlighting a well-defined edge, select Smart Highlighting. This option helps you keep the highlight on the edge, and applies a highlight that is just wide enough to cover the edge, regardless of the current brush size.

4. Adjust the view as needed:

To magnify an area, select the zoom tool  in the dialog box, and click in the preview image. To zoom out, hold down Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) as you click.

To view a different area, select the hand tool in the dialog box, and drag in the preview image.

5. Define the edge of the object you want to extract:

To draw a highlight that marks the edge, select the edge highlighter tool  in the dialog box, and drag so that the highlight slightly overlaps both the foreground object and its background. Use Smart Highlighting to trace sharper edges. Use a large brush to cover wispy, intricate edges where the foreground blends into the background, such as hair or trees.

If you use Smart Highlighting to mark an object edge that is near another edge, decrease the brush size if conflicting edges pull the highlight off the object edge. If the object edge has a uniform color on one side and high-contrast edges on the other side, keep the object edge within the brush area but center the brush on the uniform color.

If the object has a well-defined interior, make sure that the highlight forms a complete enclosure. You do not need to highlight areas where the object touches the image boundaries. If the object lacks a clear interior, highlight the entire object.

To base the highlight on a selection saved in an alpha channel, choose the alpha channel from the Channel menu. The alpha channel should be based on a selection of the edge boundary. If you modify a highlight based on a channel, the channel name in the menu changes to Custom.

To erase the highlight, select the eraser tool  in the dialog box, and drag over the highlight. To erase the entire highlight, press Alt+Backspace (Windows) or Option+Delete (Mac OS).

pstut1

6. Define the foreground area:

If the object has a well-defined interior, select the fill tool  in the dialog box. Click inside the object to fill its interior. (Clicking a filled area with the fill tool removes the fill.)

If the object is especially intricate or lacks a clear interior, make sure that the highlight covers the entire object, and then select Force Foreground. Select the eyedropper tool  in the dialog box, and click inside the object to sample the foreground color, or click in the Color text box and use a color picker to select the foreground color. This technique works best with objects that contain tones of a single color.

7. Click OK to apply the extraction. On the layer, all pixels outside the extracted object are erased to transparency.

Note: For best results in cleaning up stray edges, use the cleanup and edge touchup tools in the Extract dialog box. You can also clean up after an extraction by using the background eraser and history brush tools in the toolbox.

PS: This tip works for PhotoShop 7.0


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