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Healing Brush and Patch

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  • Healing Brush and Patch

    I am a PSP8 user, just coming up to speed on the basics. RetouchPro is my premier source of photo retouching; I have not found its equal anywhere.

    As I try to "translate" the Photoshop steps and advice that most post in these forums, I am slowly beginning to believe that many of the PS commands have their equivalent in PSP.

    However, I believe that the Healing Brush and the Patch (do I remember that command correctly?) do not have any near equivalent in PSP. Could someone explain what these two tools do in PS so I could better determine if there is a PSP equivalent (or perhaps workaround).

    Thanks for any comments.


  • #2
    The Healing Brush is superficially similar to the Clone Stamp tool in that you sample from one image area by option (Mac)/alt (PC) clicking on a source area and then paint to cover up another area of the image (scratches, damage, blemishes, etc.). Katrin Eismann describes its action as "When the Healing Brush samples it “looks” at the texture, color, and luminosity of the source area separately. Then when you paint it merges the texture from the sample area into the color and luminosity of the destination area. To create a seamless merge i.e. retouch the Healing Brush spreads out by 10-12 pixels around the brush.".

    Like the Healing Brush tool, the Patch tool matches the texture, luminosity, and color of the sampled pixels to the source pixels, but you get to select the area you want to patch from/to (you can do either - patch from source or from destination) (using the Patch tool itself or the regular selection tools).

    I seem to remember that in Katrin Eismann's book (the first edition, published before Photoshop 7 came out) she described a technique for preserving/matching skin texture that achieved much the same effect. But I find that my copy (which normally lives next to the PC) has gone wandering, so I can't give an exact reference or description... perhaps someone else can oblige.


    • #3
      Hi Ken,

      The technique Leah was talking about is described in Chapter 5 of Katrin Eismann's book (Photoshop Restoration & Retouching "the first edition, published before Photoshop 7 came out" ). It 's about : 'Maintaining Film Grain' and 'Matching Film grain' ....

      Here is what it's all about and how to get there .... so you can find a workaround in PSP.

      Maintaining Film Grain

      To avoid the dreaded patterned Clone Stamp look when hiding blemishes, use a copy-duplicate approach.

      1) Zoom in on the blemish, spot, or freckle you would like to hide.

      2) With the one-pixel, feathered Lasso tool, select an area close to the blemish that has a similar lighting and tone as the blemish to be removed. Don't try to make an even or exact selection.

      3) (Cmd + Option + drag) [Ctrl + Alt + drag] the selection to duplicate the good information. Drag it over the blemish and deselect (Cmd + D)[Ctrl + D].

      Matching Film Grain

      To match film grain on retouched areas or in composites, use an Overlay neutral layer, filled with monochrome noise, and a quick layer mask to paint grain back into an image wherever needed.

      1) (Option + clicked)[Alt + clicked] the New Layer lcon and set the Mode to Overlay and turned on Fill with Overlay-neutral color (50% gray).

      2) Select Filter > Noise > Add Noise and set the filter to Monochromatic to build up texture.

      Adding Monochromatic noise on the neutral layer adds texture to the entire image.

      3) Add a layer mask to the Noise layer and filled it with black to hide the noise layer completely.

      4) With the Airbrush tool set to white, paint on the layer mask to paint noise back into the picture wherever needed. In essence, the black mask hides all the grain, and by painting on it with white you are revealing the grain only where it's needed.


      • #4
        Flora and Leah: thanks for taking the time to describe these details from PS7. I have done some more work (as well as searching) and it seems like duplicating or finding a good workaround in PSP for these functions will be somewhat difficult. Fine-tuned cloning in a discrete selection seems the closest I have come so far. I would love to be able to draw a selection around an area to be repaired, then draw a second selection around a zone that has the color, texture, etc that I want to duplicate, then simple transfer or copy the "good" selection to the "bad" selection. Maybe in the next version.....

        Thanks again,


        • #5
          Ken, if PSP can run this plug - you may be interested in giving the demo a look:

          Image Doctor -

          Hope that helps,

          Stephen Marsh.


          • #6
            Stephen: thanks for the tip. I am trying it now....seems pretty interesting. Very much like what I described in my message above in terms of the "smart fill".

            One reaction: PS7 = $609, ratio of program to plugin = 4.72
            PSP8 = $129, ratio of program to plug in = 1.00

            Hmmmm??? Time is money they say, but I am not doing this professionally. Something for me to think about over the next 30 days.

            Thanks again,



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