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How to Use the Healing Brush Tool in Photoshop?

  • Last Updated : 01 Sep, 2021

Adobe Photoshop is a raster-based image editing software. It is developed by Adobe.Inc and available for both macOS and Windows operating systems. You can use Photoshop to create or edit images, posters, banners, logos, invitation cards, and various types of graphic designing work. It provides various tools for designing and editing and the healing brush tool is one of them.

Healing Brush Tool

The healing brush tool as the name suggests heals. Now, you want to know what type of errors does it heals? Actually, it does not heal errors made by the users, rather, it heals the errors that the user wants to heal in the image. Therefore, in simple ways, it eliminates errors by patching it with some other part of the image chosen by the user. Now, you might be thinking that it is the work of the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop. Actually, previously in earlier versions of Photoshop, the Clone Stamp tool was only there, now in a newer version of Photoshop, we have much more intuitive tools for patching some defective parts of the image. One of the most important of them is the healing brush.  

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Therefore, the Healing Brush tool is used to heal some defective minute parts of the image by replacing them with another part of the image but unlike the Clone Stamp tool, it matches and blends the parts with the pixels around the defective part and brings in light a much smooth and fine blended patch. The healing brush tool looks like this:



The healing brush is generally used by Photographers, designers to heal small and minute parts of the images. This tool is not recommended to heal large parts. For those, the Clone Stamp tool works better. It generally used a retouch tool to remove the scars, dirt, pimples, and haziness from the portraits or to erase some minute mistakes like removing holes and crack because of its blending. This makes the patch much more accurate and realistic. Nevertheless, you can use it for other purposes also.  

How to use the healing brush tool?

Now, having understood what is healing brush tool is, let’s now learn how to use it. For that, we will use this sample image given below:

Now, if you look carefully, there is a small hole in the leaf. Now, let’s patch it using the healing brush tool:

Step 1: Open the image in the Adobe Photoshop document as shown below:

Step 2: Select the healing brush tool from the toolbar as shown below:



Step 3: Now zoom in to that part of the image that you want to heal (here we zoom into that hole in the leaf as shown below:

Step 4: Now, select a part of the image that you want to clone by moving the brush to that part of the image and click the Alt key, and then the click.

Step 5: Having cloned that part now come back to the part where you want to heal and simply paint over it.

Step 6:To make the clone accurately, try cloning from a different part that matches the color and texture and paint part by part.

Step 7: After a few of these steps, you will get a result as shown below:

Step 8: You can completely compare both the images and see the effect much more clearly as shown below:



So this is how we use the healing brush tool.

Note:

  • Your work might not be as fine as mine as you are doing it for the first time. Practice it more and you will see that you can also do much better even better than mine.
  • In every part you patch, it is recommended to clone multiple times and do it part by part to make a better and much more realistic effect.
  • Sometimes changing the value of Diffusion can give you a much better effect. (diffusion is discussed later in this article).

Option of the healing brush tool

Now having understood the healing brush tool, let’s learn about the properties of the healing brush tool. When we use the healing brush tool, you could see a properties bar as shown below:

Let’s discuss them one by one from the left.  

1. Brush Size: This option helps you to fix the brush size and hardness same as the one present in the Normal Brush tool. When we click on the option a dialog box appears as shown below:

From the above diagram, we can see that we can fix the brush size, opacity, and hardness just like the Normal Brush tool.

2. Mode: This option gives the different options of brush with which we can work. When we click on the mode option a dialog box appears as shown below:

3. Source: This tells us the two options from where we can pick our source for healing our destination. First, one is to pick the source from the image and the second one is to use a pattern as a source. In the first option, we pick our source from the image by placing our brush over the place which we want to pick and then pressing the Alt key from the keyboard. In the second option, a pattern dialog box appears, from where we choose our pattern and patch the destination with the pattern. Here’s an example is given below:

Fig 1.10: Healing with Pattern

4. Sample Option: Next in the row is the Sample option. The sample option lets the brush know which layer to sample the pixels from for blending. There are options in Sample – Current Layer, Current and Below, and All layers.

  • Current layer: The brush samples the pixels from just the current selected layer.
  • Current and Below: The brush samples the pixels from the current layers and all the layers below the current layer.
  • All layers: The brush samples the pixels from all the layers present in the current documents.

5.Turn on to ignore the adjustments layers when healing: If this option is turned on then, the tool ignores the adjustment layers while sampling the pixels.

6. Use pressure Control: This option is valid only when using a graphics Pen tablet to control the brush size and flow.  

7. Diffusion: This option determines the amount of blend that would happen. By default, the diffusion is given to 1. It has a range of values from 1-7.  




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