Grab a photo that requires airbrushing or touching up
The photo that I will be using for this tutorial is available at Stock Xchange. So if you want to download a copy and see the heal brush in action for yourself – please do!
As mentioned in the intro, this airbrushing and healing technique works on all damaged surfaces. It can be use to remove scratches from tables or walls right down to removing a spot or blemish from a holiday snap. Heres the image that I will be working with..
Select a clean area of the photo
The first step is to identify an area of the photo that is unblemished. Concentrate on picking an area with the correct texture rather than one that has a colour match. Photoshop will modify and blend colours for you.
As you can see below, I have selected the heal tool from the left hand menu. Holding ALT brings up the sample selection cross hairs – click the clean area to sample and this will be stored.
Brush away the blemishes
Next, go to the area of your photo that requires healing. You can either click or brush the texture from your selected ‘clean’ area over the top of the blemish.
You will notice that the brush area contains a preview of the texture you will be clicking or brushing into place. Don’t worry about the colour mismatch at the moment!
Note that if brushing, to keep the texture fresh Photoshop will sample texture using your selected clean area as a start point – this means you could pick up another blemish if you pick a ‘clean’ area which has blemishes surrounding it.
Notice that under my brush stroke looks discolored – not at all a fit with the surroundings. Well don’t worry! As soon as you release that brush click Photoshop will look at surrounding pixel colours and light levels and auto-magically recolour it. It does this so well that you cant even see where the brush was!
As you can see the colours have matched, and the deep scar has been removed.
Keep on brushing
Now carry on brushing away those blemishes. Keep adjusting your brush size to match the area you want to heal, and try picking different ‘clean’ areas for different textured finnishes.
The below image took around 2 minutes from start to finish! That’s how powerful the heal tool is.
So why not have a go!
If you’ve found this tutorial helpful why not consider leaving a comment, or even sharing it with your friends via Digg, Twitter etc! Happy Airbrushing!